Doug Rosser said if he’d known his business, Piedmont Outdoor, was going to win Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce’s Sustaining Small Business of the Year award recently, he would have had all of his employees there.
“They’re the ones that won it,” he said.
His employees are Kim Rosser, general manager; Calley Compton, office/sales; Carol Martin, accounting; Harvey Kiser, sales manager; Mack Maddox, parts/service manager; Michael Tillison, technician; Norris Warren, service; Ethan Bates, parts/service, and Colton Reid, parts/service.
This year marked the 11th year for the Small Business Awards Gala, held at the Buckner Event Plaza at McClellan. Community and chamber members nominated 22 businesses from the area, and all nominees received an award. Four businesses were chosen from those nominees to receive the top awards of the night: the Emerging Small Business of the Year, Sustaining Small Business of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Small Business Advocate.
For a young man born in the small Cherokee County community of Mount Zion in 1939, Rosser has made an impact on the city he now calls home.
He worked in the poultry business until one Sunday morning when the preacher told the congregation that if they didn’t like what they did to change jobs. Rosser heeded the preacher’s advice and told his employer he was going to quit even before he had another job.
He bought Auto Supply, which eventually became Piedmont Outdoor, which is located at 613 N. Main St. For the past 38 years, Piedmont Outdoor has provided a way for Rosser to support his family and give employment to his four children while they were in school.
Rosser is married to the former Janice Anderson. They have eight grandchildren and attend First Baptist Church where Rosser is a deacon and, for the past 31 years has been involved in Carpenters for Christ.
“I enjoy our business,” he said. “Most of our customers are like family. I like that.”
Rosser said he thinks Piedmont Outdoor won the longevity award because the business has made changes through the year.
“Changing has helped us survive and succeed,” he said. “We change the type of products we sell and the service we give. What’s helped us be here all these years is constant change. It’s not like it was when we started out 38 years ago.”
Rosser said the award might not be a huge deal for some, but for him, it’s a tremendous honor.