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Local Business Owners Selected as National ‘Champion of Change’

Release Date: 
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Release Number: 
14-15
Contact: 
Jennifer Pilcher (302) 573-6294

Wilmington, Del. – The White House and the  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced Donna and Frank Masley of Wilmington, Delaware as one of 15 selected nationwide as a  Champion of Change by the Obama administration as part of its Winning the Future Across America initiative. They were selected from more than 900 nominations.

Donna and Frank are owners of Masley Gloves, a HUBZone Certified, Woman Owned Small Business that designs and manufactures specialty gloves – including gloves for the Military – that are 100% ‘Made in U.S.A.’ Since 2005, the Masleys’ have demonstrated an exemplary record of hiring over 60 individuals that were previously incarcerated and many who are living in impoverished sections of Wilmington, Del. Realizing the commitment and energy these individuals bring to the business, the Masleys recently purchased a building in a Historically Under-utilized Business Zone (“HUBZone”), where glove team members can now walk to a safe and comfortable work environment.

“All across the country, business owners like Donna and Frank are doing amazing things to help deserving, previously incarcerated, Americans transition back into the work force and become contributing members of society,” said SBA Delaware District Director John Fleming. “It’s wonderful to see a former ‘SBA Delaware Small Business Person of the Year’ recognized as one of the President’s Champions of Change.” Each week, the Administration features a group of Americans, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, who embody the President’s initiative to “Innovate, Educate, and Build.”

In recognition of their selection as White House “Champions of Change,” the Masleys are featured on the White House website and attended a White House event featuring Piper Kerman, author and creator of Orange is the New Black.  During the day-long event, the Masley’s participated in a panel discussion and workshops on how best to assist men and women in re-entering the work force with other top leaders. They were accompanied by their consultant, James Johnson, Vice President of Employer Engagement, at Career Team, of Wilmington and John Fleming and Jim Provo from the SBA Delaware office.

“Employment is crucial to successful reintegration into the community and decreasing the risk of recidivism.  Frank and I strive to employ ex-offenders because it is good for our community, for our company, and for our country. In the community, public safety is improved because, as employees, they are less likely to return to crime if they have work and can support a family. For our company, we gain a dedicated, loyal employee with an ardent desire to succeed. And our country benefits not just by saving the cost of repeated, long term, incarceration… but also by creating a new member of the workforce who contributes to Social Security, child support, taxes and the community” said Donna Masley.

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