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LIVE FROM NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK – Interview with SBA Small Business Person of the Year, Victoria Tifft

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LIVE FROM NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK – Interview with SBA Small Business Person of the Year, Victoria Tifft

By Stephen Morris, SBA Official
Published: May 21, 2012

This week we’re live-blogging from National Small Business Week, a public-private partnership event to honor and empower America’s small business community.

We just announced this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year - Victoria Tifft, President and CEO of Clinical Research Management in Hinckley, Ohio.
50 State Winners
Congratulations on your award. What inspired you to start your business?

I had an idea that I could provide a service where there was a need. No one else was doing it.  It seems like a lot of entrepreneurs start out this way.

What’s your advice for someone who’s thinking about starting a business?

You should seek out advice from others, whether it’s your local SBA, economic development agency, or local SCORE chapter. I also just finished an executive MBA. I sought out help from a expert strategist at a local university.I talk with a lot of other local small business owners. We all have a lot of the same stories.

You’ve been successful in government contracting, what’s your advice for a business that wants to sell to the government?

I went to the local SBA office and they helped me get in touch with agencies that were contracting. Even with government contracting, contracting officers  want to know who they are doing business with. They want to sit down and talk face to face with the small business owner.

About Victoria Tifft and Clinical Resource Management

Victoria learned about the devastating living conditions endured by people living in Third World nations when she contracted malaria while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African nation of Togo. After her recovery, she returned home to the U.S. determined to spend her life working to provide medical solutions for the global community. In 1992 Victoria established ClinicalRM, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) that supports development of FDA-regulated vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices for government and commercial customers.

ClinicalRM helped create – and today manages – the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Clinical Trials Center. The Center develops vaccines for infectious diseases such as malaria, and E. coli. ClinicalRM has achieved amazing growth. Employing three people in 1994, the company maintains domestic and international operations today with a staff of 331. Annual revenues have increased from $17 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010.

SBA’s resource partners, which include the Kent Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Ohio Small Business Development Center have supported ClinicalRM’s growth. Victoria and her team serve on, or volunteer in numerous state, county and community groups. ClinicalRM donates to numerous non-profits, including the United Way, Salvation Army and the Ronald McDonald House.

About the Author:

Stephen Morris
Stephen Morris

SBA Official

Stephen Morris is online media coordinator for the U.S. Small Business Administration where he manages digital outreach to the small business community.


Wow, it is so great to see what Victoria has been doing for Third World nations. Malaria effects so many, but most Americans don't even know it exists. Keep up the great work Victoria!
Thanks a lot you for this site. Thats all I are able to say. You most evidently have crafted this world wide web into something speciel. You intelligibly know what you are working at, youve taken care of so many quoins.
Congratulations to Victoria Tifft! It's not easy to start our small business, espcially government contracting!
Congratulations to Victoria and thank you for sharing such a wonderful insight to this successful business.
I agree with JosephNed in his statement about her hardly being a SMALL business owner.
I would be very interested to know if she thinks that getting an MBA was actually beneficial for building her business and if so, was it because of what she learned at business school or who she met? Also, I must admit I agree with JosephNed in his statement about her hardly being a SMALL business owner.
Being a part of the Health Care Institution, we respect and commend the initiative step of Victoria Tift, President and CEO of Clinical Research Management, making her the National Small Business Person of the Year. They perform clinical researches to support pre-clinical testing and clinical trials. We salute their contribution to the medical world.
Hi Steve. Well written article. I like the small business promotion that is happening all week. However, the subject of this article is just ridiculous. People would pay more attention if this award had any meaning or relevance to actual small businesses. Small Business. The definition certainly needs to be changed. Business is not about how many people are working for you, but how much you are doing. A company producing 20 million+ annual revenue is hardly a 'small' business. ESPECIALLY, since the average small business owner in this country is squeaking by as it is. How about we focus on ACTUAL small businesses and not ones with gauranteed government contracts? And just a side note: Starting a business in 1992 and making it a success through 2012 shouldn't count for small business Owner of 2012. Maybe small business owner of the last decade? I mean, to win the award for 2012, the majority of activity for your business should be focused within 2011, right? Certainly not 1992 - 2010. (No offense meant to Victoria, her business and employees.)
YES my friend... Correct!!

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