SBA’s 2015 Michigan Small Business Awards Are Announced!

Release Date: 
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Release Number: 
Catherine Gase, (313) 324-3609|

DETROIT – The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the winners of its 2015 Michigan Small Business awards.  The awards will be presented on May 7, 2015 at the 11th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards event at The Lansing Center in Lansing. 

As part of National Small Business Week, the SBA has been recognizing the special impact made by outstanding American entrepreneurs and small business owners since 1963. “The SBA is honored to highlight the impact of the courageous men and women who work every day to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness,” said Gerald Moore, SBA Michigan District Director.  “Together with our partners, we honor and celebrate the individuals whose inspiration and efforts keep America strong.”

The SBA honors the exceptional small business owners and the champions who support them each year at Michigan Celebrates Small Business.  The event was founded by the SBA, the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Michigan Small Business Development Center Network, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Small Business Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Business Network in a collaborative effort to showcase the economic power of Michigan’s small business. 

The following winners were selected because of their staying power, financial performance, innovativeness, response to adversity, contributions to their communities, and advocacy for the advancement of small business.

  • Small Business Person of the Year:  Pat LeBlanc, Chairman, EBW Electronics, Inc., Holland
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Alex Riley, CEO, MeritHall, Inc., Detroit
  • Woman Owned Small Business of the Year:  Carla Walker-Miller, President and CEO, Walker  Miller Energy Services, LLC, Detroit          
  • Exporter of the Year:  James E. Miller, President, Air and Liquid Systems, Rochester Hills
  • Veteran Small Business Owner: Luciano Hernandez, President, Tiger Studio, Zeeland
  • SCORE Counselor of the Year: Steve Feinman, Michigan SCORE District Director, Ann Arbor
  • SBDC Consultant of the Year:  Julie Oldham, Business Growth Specialist, Waterford
  • Small Business Development Center of Excellence and Innovation:  SBDC Southeast Region,           
  • Richard King, Regional Director, Wendy Thomas, Associate Regional Director


For more information on the award winners, please contact Catherine Gase at the SBA Michigan District Office at (313) 324-3609 or email: For more information on this event, please go to  Media note: Most photos of winners are available from SBA upon request.