Above And Beyond

Dedicated and determined, this year's nominees are true models of success

the only thing. After witnessing his younger sister, then 3, struggle to determine which shoe goes on which foot, Williams knew he had to do something. This led to inspiration for the SmartButton, a sound-activated button that attaches to a shoelace or Velcro shoe strap.
Available in three colors–blue, white, and pink–the SmartButton says “This is your left shoe” or “This is your right shoe,” in both English and Spanish. Last year, the company grossed more than $10,000. For now, Williams plans to keep the 2-year-old business online only since the Internet is increasingly used as a shopping hub. However, orders can also be received via postal mail.
These days, the entire Williams family takes part in the business. Dad, a research engineer at Wilsonart International, helps with the day-to-day activities of the business. While mom maintains current and past orders.

Ben Foster Films
TYPE OF BUSINESS Film Production
CEO/PRESIDENT Ben Foster
LOCATION Bear, DE
www.benfosterfilms.com
If there is one thing Ben Foster excels at, it’s multitasking. In addition to handling the daily operations of a production company, he writes, casts, and directs each film he produces. At just 9 years of age, Foster produced his first film, Tough Life, which focused on a petty dispute during a basketball game. The intent, as with his other films, was to inspire his peers to make positive decisions. The film earned Foster a plaque and trophy from the mayor of his hometown. Just one year later his second short film, The Comedy Kid, was lauded best comedy at the Wilmington Film Festival.

Due to the success of his short films, Foster, now 13, produced his first feature-length film, Kid Patrol, in 2005. He also makes sure to cast aspiring African American actors in his films to help them build their portfolios. According to Foster, his ultimate goal is to have a feature-length film in theaters within the next 10 years. Currently, his films are available at local video stores. Last year Ben Foster Films
earned $2,000 in revenues.

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