Anne Woker

President and Owner

Ecologic Inc.

Little Rock

Anne Woker

When Anne Woker started the environmental management service company Ecologic Inc. in 1994, she was the sole employee for the first nine months but already had nearly a decade of experience in environmental assessment and consulting.

What's more, she had solid advice from two separate, successful small-business owners: her mother and father. Woker's father, Jack Kinnaman, runs the Kinco Inc. construction company of Little Rock, and her mother owns PK Interiors.

Ecologic has only three employees other than Woker but surprisingly has been able to compete with the big dogs for environmental management contracts. For example, the firm earned a $2.5 million contract with the U.S. Postal Service. The firm's business has grown every year through referrals, repeat clients and selection interviews, Woker says.

The 37-year-old Woker has been involved in several charity events, chairing the 1998 Mardi Gras event that netted more than $60,000 for Arkansas Children's Hospital and the auction for the Centers for Youth & Families "Centers Classic" that brought in more than $90,000 in 1996 and 1997. She also serves on the Centers' board.

Before she tried environmental consulting, Woker worked as director of a small business college in Russellville.

Woker credits much of her success to her staff.

"They are very caring, competent people," she says. "I think they feel as equally responsible to our clients as I do ... That's the only way you can make it in small business."