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Kentucky’s 2015 Small Business Winners Announced

SBA to Honor Top Entrepreneurs During Small Business Week
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Release Number: 
Michael Ashcraft

KENTUCK - Mr. Scott Shinn, President and CEO of Sustainment Solutions, Inc. (SSI) in Lancaster, KY, has been named the SBA 2015 Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year by the Kentucky District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The company is a Veteran-Owned, HUBZone certified business and has participated in SBA’s STEP exporting program, received business analysis from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Lexington and mentored at the SCORE – Lexington Chapter, both SBA Resource Partners, and worked with the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, now administered by the Kentucky SBDC Network.

Shinn began his career in the U.S. Air Force in 1993 and was deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. He completed his military career in 2002 but returned to Iraq and Afghanistan with tasks that included managing, installing, maintaining, and servicing security equipment utilized by U.S. Military forces and NATO.

SSI has experienced 700% growth in revenue since its inception in 2009 and operates in tough, remote and hazardous climates. The company has seven full-time employees and 40+ contractors worldwide, with a footprint that has grown to 25 countries and counting.

As a leader, Scott understands the value and skillset of veterans and hires veterans. As an entrepreneur, he is always looking to invest in new technology and ideas, which he couples with his passion to help military veterans and children. He is an active board member for Kentucky-based Wilderness Trace Child Development Center, serves on Governor Beshear’s Advisory Board for Veterans Affairs, is a member of the Kentucky District Export Council and supports many sports and entrepreneurship activities in Garrard County.

“I am extremely humbled by SBA's decision to recognize me as the Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year. God has surely blessed us with an excellent team of veteran engineers and support staff that we have assembled at SSI, and I am proud of the sustainment, installation, and construction work that we do for the DoD, State Department, NATO and other international agencies.

It is not easy being a small business owner, but every day I wake up and realize the outstanding opportunities we have to succeed in this country if we tenaciously focus on our mission and hire the right people. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has some outstanding, talented business leaders, so I could not be any prouder to represent my fellow small business entrepreneurs this year.”

SBA’s Kentucky District Office also announces the following awards:

  • Ms. Kathy Mills, President and CEO of Strategic Communications, LLC in Louisville, is the 2015Kentucky 8(a) Graduate of the Year;
  • Mr. David Oetken, Director of the Louisville SBDC, is the 2015 Kentucky SBA Resource Partner of the Year;
  • Mr. Mark Strother, President and CEO of The Commercial Bank of Grayson, is the 2015 Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year;
  • Ms. Nicole Mueller, Owner of Startup Production, LLC in Richmond, is the 2015 Kentucky Home-Based Small Business Advocate of the Year;
  • Ms. Michelle Gorman, Small Business Specialist at US Bank in Bowling Green, is the 2015 Women Business Advocate of the Year; and
  • Mr. Shane Hamilton, President of Service Maids, LLC in Garrett, is the 2015 Kentucky Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

SBA Kentucky District Office Director Ralph Ross stated, “Entrepreneurs are the engines who drive our economy forward. Every year we honor them during Small Business Week, and this year we have an extra reason to celebrate. The Kentucky unemployment rate has dropped to 5.1%, and demand for SBA loans has increased 30% over last year. Our Kentucky Entrepreneurs are hard at work, and we cannot thank them enough."

Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced recently this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A panel is currently reviewing all of the packages, and a national winner and two runners-up will be selected and announced shortly. The national winner will be recognized as the 2015 National Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration this year in Washington, D.C., on May 8.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year National Small Business Week will be recognized from May 4 – 8, with national events planned in Miami, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York and Washington, D.C.

Kentucky winners will be honored locally at the “Kentucky Celebrates Small Businesses” event in Frankfort on May 6 in conjunction with the Kentucky SBDC Network and NAWBO – Lexington small business awards.

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