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SBA To Honor Rhode Island Award Winners at the “Salute to Small Business” Luncheon

Advisory Date: 
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Advisory Number: 
Contact: / (202) 805-9168



Advisory Date:  May 10, 2018                            

Advisory Number:  RI18-32                                


SBA To Honor Rhode Island Award Winners at the
“Salute to Small Business” Luncheon

The U.S. Small Business Administration will honor the 2018 Rhode Island Small Business Award winners. This year’s winners include 21 small business owners across 14 distinct award categories. The awardees will be recognized at the “Salute to Small Business” luncheon on Friday, May 11, at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln. In keeping with tradition, Governor Raimondo has proclaimed the week of May 6 – May 12, “Rhode Island Small Business Week”.


Lieutenant Governor, Daniel J. McKee
Secretary of State, Nellie M. Gorbea
SBA Regional Administrator, Wendell G. Davis
SBA District Director, Mark S. Hayward


11:30 a.m.: Registration/Networking with Award winners– Open to Press
12:00 p.m.: Program Begins – Open to Press
2:00 p.m.: Media Opportunity by request

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kirkbrae Country Club
197 Old River Rd., Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865

Highlight small businesses that have displayed excellence at the state, regional, and national level.

Please coordinate your coverage with Ryan Brissette, SBA Public Information Officer at (202) 805-9168.

SBA Awardees

Small Business Person of the Year – Kelly Mendell, President of MIKEL (Middletown)

National Subcontractor of the Year – David Evans, President of Evans Capacitor Co. (East Providence)

New England Financial Services Champion – Buck Harris, V.P. of Community Lending, Community Investment Corporation (Providence)

New England Veteran-Owned Small Business – John Shepard, CEO of Veterans Assembled electronics (Providence)

New England Woman-Owned Small Business – Carol Dancer, President of Absorbent Specialty Products (Cumberland)

RI District Director Award – Posthumously Cheryl Watkins Snead, CEO of Banneker Industries (North Smithfield)

RI Small Business Exporter – AVTECH Software: Michael Sigourney, CEO; Anne Sigourney, CFO; Richard Grundy, President & COO (Warren)

RI Small Business Manufacturer – Donald Boyle, President of Jade Manufacturing Company (Warwick)

RI Microenterprise – Nancy Warner, Owner of The Worm Ladies of Charlestown (Charlestown)

RI Minority-Owned Small Business – Alba Rios, Owner of Tienda Alinary (Central Falls)

RI Young Entrepreneur – Johnny Luo M.D., President of Doctor’s Choice (Warwick)

RI Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business – Gil’s Appliances: Lisa Sienkiewicz,
Co-owner; Gail Parella, Co-owner (Bristol)

RI Home-Based Small Business – Stony Hill Cattle Company: Kim Coulter, William Coulter, Nina Luchka, Josh Coutler; Partners (Charlestown)

Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence – Christine Francis, Owner of Carmen & Ginger (Providence)



About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit