BOSTON – Bioengineering Group, of Salem, has been named the 2013 8(a) Graduate of the Year according to an announcement by Bob Nelson, District Director for Massachusetts with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The 8(a) Graduate of the Year award is presented annually to an outstanding business that has graduated from the SBA’s 8(a) business development program for government contracting, and has a proven track record of business success. Bioengineering Group was judged on four basic criteria: uniqueness of the firm and originality of entrepreneurship, response to adversity, participation in community projects, and demonstrated commitment to a social mission in hiring policy.
The company was nominated for this award by former Senator John Kerry, who praised founder Wendi Goldsmith by saying, “Ms. Goldsmith’s commitment to her business, to sustainable design practice, and to leadership in women’s entrepreneurship is truly admirable.”
Bioengineering Group was founded in 1992, and Ms. Goldsmith has been a pioneer in the field of ecological restoration and the application of sustainability principles to natural resource planning, commercial development, and public infrastructure for more than 20 years. Having received 8(a) certification in 1999, she led the company through a period of planned growth, building upon a broad base of federal business on the foundations laid earlier with small scale consulting projects she did with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. When government priorities shifted away from civil works after 9/11, Ms. Goldsmith secured a 7(a) loan with help from the SBA to address working capital needs, and survived to grow and prosper in the future. The company continues to successfully serve the government, and recently received two honor awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) for its work on both the Seabrook Sector Gate Complex and St. Bernard Chalmette Loop Levee Floodwall System.
“Bioengineering Group is clearly a successful example of a business that used sole source contracting through its 8(a) status to grow and prosper,” said Nelson. “I hope that this company can serve as a model and inspire other small businesses in Massachusetts to consider the 8(a) business development program.”
Bioengineering Group and Ms. Goldsmith will be honored at an SBA awards ceremony in June.