The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2022 Missouri Small Business Person of the Year is Jennifer Garrett-Hart, the President and CEO of Hartline Construction, LLC. Jennifer lead the combined classes of 2020 and 2021 during the hard hat tour of the BUILD KCI New Terminal Project. Jennifer was joined in leading the tour by Class of 2022 cohort member Kate Sweeten.

Jennifer Garrett-Hart founded Hartline Construction in 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri with just three employees.  Hartline is a woman-owned, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certified construction company that offers services in carpentry, painting, flooring, selective concrete, and demolition in Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. 

Despite the challenges of being a woman in the construction industry, and the challenges of the recent pandemic, Hartline Construction has demonstrated great resiliency and has experienced continued growth in sales and employees.  The company increased sales from $3.9 million in 2019 to $11.5 million in 2021, and the firm’s employees grew from 78 to 287.  

Since 2013, Hart received business assistance on multiple occasions from SBA’s partners including the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Missouri Kansas City and the Missouri’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).  Jill Hathaway, SBDC Senior Business Consultant says, “Jennifer Hart has been a client of the Missouri SBDC for nearly ten years and has participated in our educational programs including the Fast Trac Growth Venture, Construction Business Management and our Elevate program. Hart continues to surround her woman-owned business with professionals and mentors to learn from and move her business toward continued growth in Kansas City.”

PTAC Director, Shelly Cunningham says, “Our staff met with Hart in 2016 to help her pursue government contracts and I quickly understood that she already had some very important entrepreneurial traits—a strong desire to succeed, a clear vision for where she wanted to take her company, and a willingness to learn from others along the way.”

In 2019, Hartline Construction won the carpentry bid as one of several women-owned businesses to take part in the single-terminal project at Kansas City International Airport.