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Specialty Lumber Supplier Named SBA Washington Small Business of the Year

Edensaw Woods Takes Top Honors,Celebration Recognizing Winners May 4 at Museum of Flight, Boeing Field
Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Release Number: 
SDOPR 16-18
Matthew Williams, 206-553-7315

PORT TOWNSEND - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2016 Small Business Person of the Year is James “Kiwi” Ferris, owner of Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend, Washington. The company, started in 1984, has become one of the top specialty lumber providers in the area; importing wood from all over the world.

“I came here on Halloween of 1980,” Ferris said. “I started building boats, and people were interested in the lumber I was using; it just started from there. Now we have more than an acre of storage and import woods from all over the world.” 

James Ferris is exactly the kind of person that embodies the idea and spirit of what an entrepreneur really is,” said District Director Nancy Porzio. “He started just doing something he loved, realized there was a niche to be filled and pursued a very successful career in it. It’s an amazing story and we are so excited to be able to honor him and showcase his success.”

Ferris used an SBA 504 loan to build the 40,000+ square foot warehouse that houses all their lumber in Port Townsend.     

Ferris said winning the award was a complete surprise, but an exciting one.

“When I got the initial letter I assumed it at first it was just paperwork for a lumber order,” Ferris said. “It’s exciting. We have been getting congratulations from all over the globe. Our suppliers, friends in the industry, just all over. It’s a humbling award.”

Outside of running his business, Ferris is greatly involved in his community. He has been a board member of Sound Experience for nine years. Sound Experience uses their 103-year-old schooner to teach children and adults about sailing, the environment and the Puget Sound. Ferris has donated all the wood for repairs and restoration of the ship at cost, a savings estimated at over $400,000.

He, along with his employees, started the Edensaw Community Cancer Foundation to help families located in eastern Jefferson County who are battling with cancer. The foundation has distributed roughly $250,000 to families since it started in 2007.

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact small business has on our country,” said Regional Administrator Calvin Goings. “It’s a chance to celebrate the dedicated, hard-working small business owners who are making a difference in their communities.”

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.