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Delaware Woman Entrepreneurs Spotlighted During Women’s History Month: SBA Announces Historic ‘All-Female Line-Up’ of Winners for 2014 SBA Del. Small Biz Awards

Release Date: 
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Monday, March 31, 2014
Advisory Number: 
Jennifer Pilcher | 302-573-6294, ext. 222 | jennifer.pilcher@sba.gov

May 21 DuPont Country Club SBA Awards Ceremony Celebrates Del.’s First-Ever All-Female Slate of SBA Small-Biz-Owner Honorees

WILMINGTON, DEL. – For the first time ever, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Delaware District announced an all-female roster of annual Small Business Award winners. SBA’s Delaware District Director, John Fleming, officially presents these 2014 award winners – along with a cadre of SBA Delaware award winning small business lenders – with their awards May 21 at 4:30 p.m. at SBA’s annual Delaware “Celebrate Success” event at DuPont Country Club, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington, Del., 19803.  The event is open to the media.

“What better time than national Women’s History month to announce SBA’s first-ever all female slate of small business award entrepreneurs in Delaware?” said Fleming.  “As a local commemoration of the Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week, this event is an annual opportunity to recognize the achievements of small business and its advocates in Delaware.  Every year the award winners honored at this event have truly distinguished themselves and represent the very best that the Delaware small business community has to offer.  This year’s celebration – with its ‘all-female line-up’ of entrepreneur honorees – will be one for the history books, though, spotlighting female entrepreneurs at their best.” 

Businesses to be honored at SBA’s 2014 Delaware Small Business Awards event are:


Small Business Persons of the Year: Marian R. Young, President; Mark A. Lannan, Principal, BrightFields, Inc., Wilmington, Del.

Formed in 2003, BrightFields is a full-service environmental consulting and remediation services firm.  SBA’s Delaware Small Business Persons of the Year in 2008, just before The Great Recession, Young and Lannan met the challenges of that period head-on and led BrightFields to new levels of success, thanks to the firm’s strong pre-recession finances, as well as strategic advice from SBA-backed SCORE.


Family Business of the Year: Valerie A. Gooding, President/Artistic Director, New Castle Dance Academy, Inc., Newark, Del.  

Valerie Gooding opened New Castle Dance Academy in the back room of a shopping center music store in 1978 when she was 22 years old.  With the help of her husband and daughters – and periodic guidance from SBA-backed SCORE – Gooding built the business into an acclaimed dance studio, guiding and deftly restructuring it through her husband’s 2009 death and the challenge of The Great Recession.  Today, New Castle Dance Academy is poised for its next expansion. 


Minority-Owned Business of the Year: Dr. Manonmani Antony, Pain Physician and Managing Member, Sussex Pain Relief Center, LLC, Georgetown, Del.

Since 2010, the Sussex Pain Relief Center has provided patient-oriented, comprehensive pain treatment care in Sussex County, Del.  With her SBA-backed SCORE mentors, Dr. Antony drafted her business plan and used it to secure SBA-backed financing for her business.


Woman-Owned Business of the Year: Stefania Panza, Managing Member and Owner, Scotto Pastabilities V, LLC, d/b/a, Sofritto’s Italian Grill, Newark, Del.

Since 2004, Stefania Panza has grown her Kirkwood Highway restaurant, Soffritto’s Italian Grill, into an acclaimed dining destination.  Under Panza’s leadership, Soffritto’s was named the Best Italian Restaurant in the world outside of Italy by Ospitaliata Italiana, a prestigious international title awarded in Rome, Italy.  The restaurant has also been named the Best Italian Restaurant in Delaware by Delaware Today Magazine.  Most recently, Panza dramatically expanded the restaurant with SBA-backed financing.  


Young Entrepreneurs of the Year: Megan Corey and Amy Kanzleiter, Co-Owners, ShopMamie, Inc., Wilmington, Del.

After several years building their brand online and through private trunk shows—with guidance from SBA mentors – Corey and Kanzleiter took a deep breath and opened a clothing boutique in Wilmington, Del.’s, toney Trolley Square section.  The business was named ‘Best of Delaware’ by Delaware Today Magazine more than once, and was featured in national publications like Redbook and Women’s Day. 

Small Business Champion of the Year: Jimmy A. Jarrell, Paul B. Hughes, III, First National Bank of Wyoming, Wyoming, Del. 

Jarrell and Hughes dedicate their careers to helping small businesses.  As SBA lenders, Jarrell and Hughes have helped countless small businesses secure financing.  They helped lead First National Bank of Wyoming (“FNBW”) to be the number two SBA lender in Delaware in fiscal year 2013; FNBW is now one of the most active SBA lenders in the region. Jarrell volunteers at the First State Community Loan Fund, where he sits on the Loan Review Committee and is Treasurer of the Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee. Hughes serves on the Loan Review Committee for the First State Community Loan Fund.


Top Delaware SBA 7(a) Program Lender by Number of Loans: M & T Bank 

Top Delaware SBA 7(a) Program Lender by Dollar Amount: Parke Bank

Top Delaware SBA 504 Program Lender: Delaware Community Development Corporation

Top Delaware SBA 504 Program Third Party Lender, by Dollar Amount: M & T Bank

To request interviews or photos, contact Jennifer Pilcher, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Delaware District Office, at 302-573-6294, ext. 222. Jennifer.pilcher@sba.gov.



This news release does not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity.

All of SBA’s programs and services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.

The SBA is an independent federal agency, created in 1953, to assist small businesses start, grow, and prosper. The SBA provides financial assistance by: (1) making loans to help families and businesses recover from national disasters and (2) providing loan guarantees to commercial financial institutions for working capital (7a loans), buildings/land/equipment (504 loans through the Certified Development Corporations), and for exports. Through our resource partners, the SBA also offers a variety of business development programs and services such as training, government contracting and export assistance. SBA resource partners include Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Businesses). For information on the SBA’s programs and services contact us at 302-573-6294 or www.sba.gov/de.

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