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SBA Announces 2016 Kentucky Small Businesses Award Winners

Release Date: 
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Release Number: 
16-0324KY
Contact: 
michael.ashcraft@sba.gov or 502-582-5971

The SBA Kentucky District Office has named Mr. David Dafoe, Founder and CEO of Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville, as the SBA Kentucky 2016 Small Business Person of the Year

Mr. Dafoe founded Pro-Liquitech International in 1992 after being employed at the Brown-Forman Beverage Company, where he developed highly successful new products. Pro-Liquitech evolved into Flavorman, an international custom beverage production company. Its impressive client list includes internationally known brands and some of the world’s largest distilleries. Flavorman secured three SBA loans to grow the business and relocate near downtown Louisville, kick-starting a revitalization of the area.

In 2012, Dafoe founded Flavorman’s sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, on the Flavorman campus. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is made up of three distinct and collaborative parts: Moonshine University, Grease Monkey Distillery and Challenge Bottling. Leaders attribute their success to the team. Flavorman and the Distilled Spirits Epicenter have 30 full time and four part time employees.

“Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter is a wonderful example of a small business using different SBA programs to grow profitably and create jobs. We admire Mr. Dafoe’s vision, tenacity and leadership,” said Ralph Ross, SBA Kentucky District Director. He continued, “I am amazed each year at the accomplishments of all of our small business award winners.”

SBA will also honor the following entrepreneurs on May 3 during National Small Business Week:

  • Ms. Kathy Mills, Strategic Communications, LLC, Louisville, SBA Southeast Region 8(a) Graduate of the Year, www.yourstrategic.com;
  • Mr. Bill Fensterer, Capital Access Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year, www.cac-ky.org;    
  • Mr. Harsha Wijesiri, Integrated Engineering, offices in Lexington, Louisville and Florence, Kentucky Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year, www.int-engineering.com;   
  • Mr. Scott Matheny, Semper Tek, Lexington, Kentucky Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, www.sempertekinc.com; and
  • Ms. Desiree Sloan Harmon, Club Fit Studio, Paintsville, Kentucky Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year; www.clubfitstudio.com.

All six SBA Kentucky winners will be honored in conjunction with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Pacesetter Awards at the “Kentucky Celebrates Small Business” event in early May. Details on the event will be announced soon.