SBA Portland District Office Presents 2014 Small Business Week Award Winners

Release Date: 
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Release Number: 
Kellie Randall (503) 326-5200

Pacifica named Small Business Person of the Year 

PORTLAND, Ore.  – The Portland District Office presented this year’s Small Business Week awards during a luncheon at the Portland Art Museum, May 22, 2014. Nine small businesses, three champions of small business and 13 lending institutions were honored.  

Regional Administrator Calvin Goings, Regional Advocate Jennifer Clark and District Director Camron Doss spoke about the impact of small business on the economy and the community at large. 

“Right here in Oregon, we have 350,000 small businesses that open their doors daily – providing employment, high quality products and services to customers both here and overseas,” said District Director Camron Doss. “Our entrepreneurs and small business owners, along with our small business champions and lenders, are one of our state’s greatest strengths and it was our privilege to recognize some of them here today.” 

Small Business Awards presented to small businesses and entrepreneurs:

  • National Small Business Persons of the Year – Billy and Brook Taylor, Pacifica. Billy and Brook started making candles in their kitchen in 1997. Within just a few years, the company was grossing nearly $5 million in sales. Despite the Recession, in 2008, Pacifica reached $12 million in sales. Through the launch of its fragrances as perfumes and other new product lines, the company had been consistently growing. A desire to reposition the brand had Billy and Brook searching for capital, but they didn't want to lose ownership of their company to do it. Through SBA lending products, Billy and Brook secured the financing they needed to transform Pacifica. Within just a few years, the company was grossing nearly $5 million in sales. In 2009, 70% of Pacifica’s sales came from home fragrance categories. Today, 80% of revenue comes from beauty and perfume products. The transformation has Pacifica on a growth path to more than double revenue over a 5 year span. Since 2010, Pacifica has consistently added 15 employees each year, ending 2013 with 110 employees and a 33% increase in sales over 2012, totaling $15 million. Pacifica was named the National Small Business Persons of the Year in a ceremony last week in Washington, D.C.
  • Region 10 Small Business Exporter of the Year – Patrick Kruse, Ruffwear. Ruffwear is 25 people and 29 dogs strong, manufacturing high-quality dog products in Bend. In the last three years, Ruffwear has grown export sales across Asia, the Pacific and Europe by 38 percent. Ruffwear was also named the District Exporter of the Year.
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year – Palo Alto Software.  Since its creation in 1988, Palo Alto Software has grown to a respected provider of small business tools worldwide with the single goal of helping other small businesses grow and become successful.
  • Young Entrepreneurs of the Year – Keeley Tillotson and Erika Welsh. Keeley and Erika started making nut butters between classes in their University of Oregon apartment and selling it at Farmer’s Markets, now they are in more than 2,000 locations in all 50 states.
  • Community Impact Award – Dan Bubb, Gorge Networks. Dan began Gorge Networks in 1994 as the first company to provide Internet service in Hood River. Gorge Networks strives to give their clients the highest levels of customer service and are committed to supporting and enhancing the communities in which they live and work.
  • Rising Star Award – Eric Ufer, Pest Solutions. Eric started Pest Solutions in 2011 and has grown in sales each year, expanding his client base exponentially and geographically.  
  • Small Business Spirit Awards – Betsy Cross and Will Cervarich, Little Boxes; Cathy Zwicker and Torie Nguyen-Khac, Crafty Wonderland.
    • Betsy and Will started Little Boxes, a local movement to encourage people to shop small during the holiday season. Over the last three years vendor participation has expanded across Portland totaling 200 stores in 2013.
    • Cathy and Torie started Crafty Wonderland as a monthly craft show and have grown it into a retail store and a bi-annual craft fair at the convention center. Their spring fair featured more than 200 artist vendors and was attended by 4,500 consumers.  

Small Business Champion Awards presented to individuals or organizations that promote, assist and aid small business:

  • Small Business Champions – Rhonnda Parson Edmiston; Victoria Lara, Lara Media Services.
    • As Diversity and Business Equity Manager at Howard S. Wright, Rhonnda Parson Edmiston has consistently grown small subcontractor participation on projects in Oregon, from 7% in 2011 to 13% in 2013. Rhonnda was also responsible for managing the small business plan for the recently finished Edith Green Wendall Wyatt federal building. The small business goal on the project was 11% or $15 million in small business participation. The project finished with 20% and $27 milllion, including 17% diversity craft labor participation and 8% female craft labor participation.
    • Victoria Lara has worked tirelessly to help organizations bridge cultural and linguistic gaps to reach the growing Latino demographic. Victoria and her small business, Lara Media Services, longstanding history of championing community causes has earned the recognition of not only the Latino community, but the region at large. Perfectly positioning Lara Media Services to help businesses and communities create strategies and messages that will help them reach the Hispanic population.
  • Region 10 Small Business Development Center of Excellence and Innovation – Tammy Marquez-Oldham, Portland Community College SBDC. In 2013, the Portland SBDC surpassed all of their counseling and business development goals, with 72 exporting clients, 183 long-term counseling clients, a 96% client satisfaction rate and capital infusion of more than $4.2 million. PCC SBDC was also named the District SBDC of Excellence and Innovation. 

Small Business Lending Awards presented to leading SBA Lenders:

  • 7a Lender of the Year – U.S. Bank. U.S Bank guaranteed $48 million dollars through 209 separate loans during fiscal year 2013.  
  • 504 Lender of the Year – Evergreen Business Capital. Evergreen Business Capital guaranteed $31 million through 37 loans during fiscal year 2013.
  • Portland District Lending All-Stars – SBA Lenders that guaranteed at least $10 million and/or 20 loans.
    • Bank of the Cascades – $3.9 million, 20 loans
    • Bank of the West –  $20.9 million, 23 loans
    • CapitalSource –  $10.7 million, 10 loans
    • Cascades West Financial Services – $13.2 million, 12 loans
    • Columbia State Bank – $15 million, 83 loans
    • Evergreen Business Capital –  $38.9 million, 37 loans
    • JPMorgan Chase – $3.8 million, 46 loans
    • Key Bank –  $20.4 million, 63 loans
    • Live Oak Banking Company –  $12.4 million, 10 loans
    • NW Business Development –  $14.5million, 18 loans
    • U.S. Bank –  $48.6 million, 209 loans
    • Wells Fargo – $38.3 million, 95 loans 

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