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story.lead_photo.caption Hilary Wendell reacts to her husband, Derrijk Hollon, as the pair accepted the Small Business of the Year award. They were presented the honor during Tuesday's luncheon prior to the opening of the Business and Lifestyles Expo in the Capitol Plaza Hotel ballroom. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Hollon Family Chiropractic was named Small Business of the Year during an awards luncheon at the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Business & Lifestyles Expo on Tuesday.

Hollon Family Chiropractic was established by husband and wife Derrijk Hollon and Hilary Wendell in 2013. They also recently opened a second location in California.

"This is truly an honor. Thank you. I'm really speechless right now," Hollon said to the crowd Tuesday. "Having moved here six years ago with nothing more than a few dollars and with a hope and a dream to open a practice here and begin changing lives here in Central Missouri, to being on this stage — wow."

The Hollons thanked the rest of their team, as well.

"We can't do it without you guys," Wendell said, warning the crowd she was trying not to cry. "Thanks for helping us change your community."

Other finalists for the award were Carrie's Hallmark, Merrell University and The Trolley Company.

The Exceptional Employee Award was given to Stephanie Lehman, community relations coordinator for C&S Business Services.

"I want to say thank you very much. It means a lot to me just to have my boss nominate me. That validation is something very, very special," Lehman said after accepting her award.

Lehman also thanked her coworkers at C&S Business Services, her family and her "extended family" from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The other finalists were Dianne Turner, administrative manager at Evers & Company CPAs LLC, and Logan Gratz, a broker salesperson and auctioneer with Gratz Real Estate & Auctioneering.

After the awards luncheon, the expo began. This year the theme was "Even Stronger," based on the "JCStrong" hashtag that was used following the damage Jefferson City suffered from the May 22 tornado. Susan Neill Dawdy, director of membership and special events for the chamber, previously said the theme came to mind as a way to represent the strength of Jefferson City's businesses and residents.

The convention space was full of booths from various Jefferson City area businesses, giving out brochures, business cards and various branded items like stress toys, pens, and even back scratchers and flying disks.

The expo also included for the first time a Wellness Expo through a partnership with the chamber, the Jefferson City Area YMCA, Capital Region Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital, which provided free health screenings and information to promote healthy living.

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