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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Trina Banner

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Whether through her company, family or charitable endeavors, Trina Banner believes in role modeling through action.

“My deepest desire is to lead by serving others,” she says. “Each day, I want to show this through my professional life as well as in community involvement.”

Banner has served the Ozarks through her business, Creator Designs, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last summer. Owned by Banner and her husband, Bolivar-based Creator Designs sells screen-printing, embroidery and promotional products.

“What started with just us has grown to a company that employs 30 full-time employees with annual sales of $3.3 million, serving hundreds of local and national customers while supporting our local economy and encouraging employee development,” Banner says.

Faith is central to Banner’s life, and she believes her professional life is part of her mission, one she is honored to accept. Her passion extends to creating long-term relationships with customers and employee. Areas in which she feels she has helped the business include market development and expansion, software selection and implementation, marketing and human resources.

“Approximately 80 percent of our customers return and/or refer other business to us,” Banner said. “Of the customers who started with us in 1991, 90 percent are still doing business with us. The first three employees we ever hired still work at Creator Designs.”

She is proud to run a business that has recently marked 20 years of debt-free operation and expanded to include a Springfield location.

Banner is so enthusiastic about the value local businesses offer that she has been a consultant the past two years to assist a contractor struggling in a down construction market, helping reduce debt 46 percent in one year and creating new approaches to increasing customers. In an effort to encourage future business owners, Banner serves on the advisory board for SIFE, or Students in Free Enterprise, at Southwest Baptist University. She also encourages Creator Designs employees, seven of whom have started their own businesses.

Banner’s mentoring extends after hours, too. For the past 15 years, she and her husband have hosted a Sunday night meal and fellowship at their home.

“We welcome SBU students, singles and young families to get up close and personal, to witness how we apply God’s values in our home and our business,” Banner said. “It keeps us accountable and reminds us we are not here for what we can get but for what we can give.”

To that end, Banner supports Hopegivers International, a nonprofit, faith-based ministry that rescues and cares for orphans in India. In honor of Creator Design’s 30 employees, Banner initiated a sponsorship of 30 children.

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.

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