KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City woman says she was in shock when she went to the mailbox recently.
Jeanette Hernandez Prenger opened the unusual envelope and realized Speaker of the House John Boehner had personally invited her to attend the President's State of the Union address.
"I was in disbelief," Prenger said from Washington Tuesday.
President Obama's focus Tuesday night will be on the future of America's economy. Prenger said that she will closely be listening to the President's ideas on job growth.
Prenger will be in the House Gallery, sitting among the country's most politically prestigious. The small business owner was recently named among the top 500 Hispanic business owners in the nation.
She is the president of downtown informational technology company ECCO Select, a multi-million dollar company that started with just two people and has grown to 200 employees.
Prenger believes she knows why Speaker Boehner chose her; she says she is both parties’ prime target.
"(I'm a) small business owner," Prenger explained, "as a Latina, Hispanic, from the Midwest, in Kansas City, an entrepreneurial city. I think there were a lot of factors."
Prenger has rubbed elbows with the Republican Party’s elite for years.
She has photos of she and George W. Bush and other national lawmakers posted in her bright, green office.
She said she likes to intentionally keep a close relationship with those who can help her small business grow.
"It has been a benefit to know people who are making very important decisions in Washington D.C.," Prenger said, "and to have access to voice my concerns, opinions, what it's like in Kansas City."
She, like so many other small business owners, has been hesitant to grow as the looming debt ceiling debate draws near with so many questions.
Prenger said she wants to feel confident to spend her money in the bank on hiring people again. While she knows Tuesday’s speech will be well delivered, she is looking past the oratory to actions later.
"Talk is cheap and rhetoric can be pretty but at the end of the day but actions speak louder than words. I'll be listening and watching," she said.
Economists confirm Kansas City's employment, housing and consumer confidence is on the upward trend but uncertainty across the country has made job growth slower than it should be here.
Prenger will attend a reception before the President's address Tuesday night and then she said she too plans to address some lawmakers before she leaves.
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A long-range plan for the state's highways suggests that Kansas Highway 10 between Lawrence and Johnson County become a partial toll road.