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SBA Names Eastern Pa. 2016 Small Business Champion of the Year

Kutztown University SBDC’s Martin Brill Recognized for Outstanding Contribution and Assistance to Small Businesses
Release Date: 
Friday, May 27, 2016
Release Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA – U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta named Martin Brill, Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) International Trade Program Manager as SBA’s Eastern Pa. Small Business Champion of the Year. Brill will receive the award, presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding efforts to assist small businesses, at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 8. Media are invited to attend the event.

“The work Martin does for, and in support of, small businesses is truly outstanding. I’m very proud to honor Martin with this exceptional distinction for the work he has done over the years. Time and again, I’ve met with award-winning business-owners who sing Martin’s praises for the powerful impact he has had in helping those businesses,” said Leta. “While this well-deserved award is specifically for Martin, it also serves as a reflection of Dr. Ernie Post’s KU SBDC team and the entire Pennsylvania SBDC network that Christian Conroy leads in its vitally important work to assist small businesses.”

”I am truly honored by this award, fully recognizing that I am only successful because of fully supportive colleagues, responsive and capable management and SBA partners who create practical, helpful programs to support our small business clients. The PA SBDC network has provided me with training, analytical tools and the flexibility to engage with many wonderful, innovative companies in Pennsylvania. I have been very privileged to witness firsthand the best in American entrepreneurship and free enterprise,” Brill said.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Champion Award is presented in recognition of assistance given small businesses: to obtain financing and encourage investment capital; significant contributions through advocacy efforts to advance small business interests; efforts to increase business and financial opportunities; advisory activities to improve awareness of small business opportunities and efforts to strengthen the role of small business owners particularly minority, veteran and/or women-owned  small businesses; and improving the environment for the creation and expansion of small businesses, particularly those that are minority-, veteran- and/or women-owned and operated. Joining Leta in recognizing Brill are Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy and Kutztown SBDC Executive Director Dr. Ernie Post.

“Martin represents the qualities of many of our staff in the Pennsylvania SBDC network – a high degree of integrity, character and dedication to his clients. He is recognized as a subject matter expert in his profession of international trade and his experience and knowledge win him high praise from his clients and colleagues, many of whom he has served as a mentor,” said Conroy. “Martin has coordinated with the Lead Office to provide education and training to enhance the strategic initiative of the network for enhancing our export assistance to our clients. His ability to relate to clients, consultants, network leadership, and elected leadership all speak to the exceptional value that Marty provides to the network and our clients.”

Brill has established quite a record of accomplishment in his 20 years of dedicated service to, and advocacy for, his small business clients. Some examples:

  • In 2013, Brill nominated international trade client Zeigler Bros., Inc. of Adams County, which received SBA's National Exporter of the Year Award, the U.S. Department of Commerce Small Business Exporter of the Year Award and the Governor’s Impact Award for Export for South-Central Pennsylvania.
  • Last year Brill nominated international trade client Joseph Zidik, President, Custom Milling & Consulting (CMC) of Berks County, who won SBA’s 2015 Pennsylvania Small Business Person Award.
  • This year international trade client, Colorfin, Inc. of Berks County, was nominated by Brill and awarded SBA’s Pennsylvania Exporter of the Year. He also nominated Jennifer Gill, President, Exact Match Masonry Staining, LLC in Juniata County, who won SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Minority Business Owner of the Year Award.

“Martin is no stranger to stardom. After all, he has helped several of his clients be recognized as stars for their success at the regional, state and national level. He truly is an ideal awardee for Small Business Champion of the Year,” said Post. “Last year, he was presented with a plaque of appreciation at the annual Department of Business Awards Banquet at Elizabethtown College in appreciation of his dedication, enthusiasm, cooperation and hard work on research projects conducted by the College’s senior students for Kutztown SBDC clients under the guidance of Director of the International Business Program Professor Hossein Varamini and Brill. “Despite his tremendous record of accomplishment in achieving impact, what is most striking to me is what his clients say about him.” 

“We were able to start CMC with the help of an SBA-backed loan from our local bank. For that we will always be grateful.  But no monetary value could be assigned to the mentoring we have received over the years from Marty Brill and the great folks of the Kutztown University SBDC. An old boss once told me, when you go into business you need a good banker, accountant, and a lawyer. Marty Brill is like having all three wrapped up in one sensible, caring package. I don’t know how many small companies he works with, but if he gives them half the attention he gives CMC, he deserves a big raise,” said Joe Zidik, President and CEO of Custom Milling & Consulting, Inc., last year as SBA’s 2015 Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year.

The Kutztown University SBDC fulfills its mission to encourage regional economic growth by providing existing and potential entrepreneurs with consulting services and learning opportunities at outreach offices in Exton, Lancaster, Kutztown, Reading and Harrisburg. One of 18 Small Business Development Centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC Network and an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers, the SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC consultants may work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities, and much more.

SBA is a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government that helps Americans start, build and grow small businesses. SBA delivers its services through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations across the U.S. and its territories. National Small Business Week is an annual event organized by SBA to recognize the achievements of the top small businesses in the nation and recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy. SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania awards are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week.

SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho and Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta present the 2016 Small Business Week Awards at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 8. The event is open to the media. The awards ceremony begins at 10 a.m. June 8 with a luncheon at the “XFINITY Live! Philadelphia” restaurant at 1100 Pattison Ave. (tickets available: followed by a 1:05 p.m. Phillies game at nearby Citizens Bank Park (tickets available: The event is cosponsored by Constant Contact and the U.S. Small Business Administration.


To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or

Cosponsorship Authorization #16-0303-111. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact: Robert Goza, 610-382-3084.