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Kentucky Business Grayhawk, LLC Highlighted as SBA Recognizes the Office of Surety Guarantees FY20 Award Winners

Winners highlighted have more than 524 bonds with contract value of more than $260 million
Release Date: 
Friday, June 4, 2021
Release Number: 
21-0604KY
Contact: 
michael.ashcraft@sba.gov

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the Office of Surety Guarantees award winners for their continued work to help small contracting businesses acquire surety bonds.

Three SBA surety bond partners were selected to receive awards based on their participation, activity, claims, and recovery and their commitment to helping small businesses obtain contracts with both government and private sector entities. One small business was selected to receive an award based on its growth since entering the Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program and the number of jobs it supports in the local economy.

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company was recognized as Surety of the Year.  Tom Sauer Bond Agency (TSBA) and Andrea Haight of CCI Surety, Inc. were honored as Surety Agency of the Year and Surety Agent of the Year, respectively and Grayhawk, LLC, with offices in Lexington and Louisville, Ky., was honored as Small Business of the Year.

Grayhawk grew their bonding capacity from $66,000 to over $4 million over seven years in the Surety Bond Guarantee Program and supported 110 jobs in the Lexington and Louisville economies in FY20. Grayhawk graduated from the Surety Bond Guarantee Program in FY20 and is now able to obtain bonding without SBA support.

Mark Nabity, CEO of Grayhawk, stated, “Thanks to the SBG Program, our company was able to weather a very tough period, rebuild our financial base, and return to our conventional surety provider. I am very appreciative of Kevin Keller with The Fedeli Group for his knowledge and assistance in guiding us through the program.”

“I’m proud of the partnership the SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees has with the sureties, companies, and agents who support our mission of growing small businesses by continually using the Surety Bond Guarantee Program,” said Peter Gibbs, Director, Office of Surety Guarantees. “Our partners take time to understand the needs of small businesses and use the Surety Bond Guarantee program as a resource to increase their support of firms which may have difficulty obtaining surety bonding.”

Surety of the Year award recipient, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, has been a participant in the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Prior Approval program since 2011. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company grew their activity with SBA by 93% in FY20, assisting more than 55 small and emerging businesses in partnership with SBA.  West Bend Mutual Insurance Company’s surety division works in partnership with independent agents to service their customer’s bond needs and helps small, emerging, and minority contractors grow through their partnership with SBA.

“West Bend is proud to partner with the Surety Bond Guarantee Program, and we highly value the relationship we’ve developed since joining the program in 2011. Not only does it allow us to offer bonds to many of our small and emerging contractor clients, it also aids in our mission of helping our customers increase their surety capacity. This, in turn, helps their businesses grow. We look forward to many more years of solid partnership with the SBA and the benefits it provides to our contractor clients,” said Jason Enders, West Bend’s director of  Bond Underwriting.

Michael Sauer, a member of TSBA, winner of the Surety Agency of the Year, said, “Thanks to the SBG Program, TSBA has enjoyed over 20 years of success promoting small contractors and empowering women, veteran, minority-owned, or otherwise disadvantaged individuals and companies to achieve their surety program goals.  The invaluable relationships that we enjoy with both the SBA and our surety partners have truly enabled us to have a positive and lasting impact within the communities in which we are fortunate to operate.  We at TSBA are honored to receive this award and look forward to continued success with our friends in the SBG Program.”

Surety Agent of the Year, Andrea Haight, joined CCI Surety, Inc. in 2003. Over the last 18 years, Andrea has experienced many of the improvements made to the Surety Bond Guarantee Program. Increased bonding limits for her clients, SBA’s streamlined Quick App program with faster guarantee approvals, and the electronic application process using SBA’s CAFS system have provided significant advantages to Andrea’s small business clients.  The SBG Program has been a cornerstone in her ability to help small businesses all over the United States.

The SBA Surety Bond Guarantee program has 42 surety partners, 350 authorized agents nationwide, and guaranteed more than 10,000 bonds with a contract value of over $7 billion in fiscal year 2020.  More information about the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program is available at www.sba.gov.  Questions from surety companies may be directed to Peter C. Gibbs, Director of the Office of Surety Guarantees, at peter.gibbs@sba.gov.