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Announcing SBA’s 2013 Wisconsin Business Awards Winners

Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Advisory Number: 
Shirah Apple at 414-297-1096


Four Regional Award Winners Among the 15 State Winners; May 31 Celebration Planned


MILWAUKEE-- The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the contributions of small businesses to America’s economy by honoring outstanding small business owners and those who champion them.

This year, seven small businesses and eight individuals, firms, and organizations that support entrepreneurial success will receive awards from SBA’s Wisconsin District office.  Four state winners have also been selected as regional awardees from among recipients in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 

Small Business of the Year – Tom Nieman, Fromm Family Foods, Mequon.  Fromm is a long time manufacturer of high quality pet foods.  Nieman shepherded the family business through a major and successful expansion.

Small Business of the Year Honorable Mention – Ed Neumueller, Ray Riddle, Larry DeWerd, Standard Imaging, MiddletonStandard Imaging is a leading supplier of radiation calibration and quality assurance instruments for health care.

Small Business Exporter – REGIONAL WINNER – Joe Kuhn, Owner/President, Contrail Aviation, Verona.  Contrail Aviation refurbishes and exports commercial aircraft parts

Young Entrepreneur –Lexy Frautschy –Ian’s Pizza, Milwaukee.  Frautschy moved from student employee to an important executive role in the company, opening two Milwaukee locations of the Madison-based restaurant.

Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Small Business REGIONAL WINNER -- Gene, Chris & Deb Anguil,  Anguil Environmental Systems, Inc., Milwaukee.  Anguil provides air pollution control systems for industry throughout the world.

Graduate of 8(a) Business Development Program – Jean Thiel, Belonger Corporation, West Bend.  Belonger Corporation is a complete mechanical and plumbing contractor in the specialty trades service industry, providing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration commercial & industrial applications.

Emerging Small Business – Ugo Nwagbaraocha, President, Diamond Discs International, West Allis.  Diamond Discs International provides cutting tools to the construction and infrastructure industries regionally and internationally.

Financial Services Champion – Dan Schneider, Executive Vice President, Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation, Monona.  Schneider has advocated for training and education in the financial services industry to improve support for small business.

Women in Business Champion -- Ruth Rohlich, Business Development Specialist, City of Madison.   Rohlich has been a tireless advocate for small business and business owners in Madison.

Minority Small Business Champion -- REGIONAL WINNER -- Seyoum Mengesha, Minority Business Development Manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Madison.   He facilitated the launch of a statewide Ethnically Diverse Business Coalition. 

Veteran Small Business Champion – Patty Conklin, KPH Construction, Madison.  Conklin facilitated the creation of the Emerging Construction Business Incubator to assist small and disadvantaged businesses with entry into the federal marketplace.  

Small Business Legal Assistance Award– Jan Pierce, A Business Law Firm, Milwaukee. Pierce assists small businesses and social entrepreneurs.  His firm offers a unique pricing structure to make legal services more easily accessible to small businesses.

Home Based Business ChampionREGIONAL WINNER – Carl Bogar, Historic Military Impressions, Kenosha.  Bogar has mentored home-based business owners and organized matchmaking events in collaboration with several economic development organizations.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Service Excellence –Jim Mishefske, Director, UW Eau Claire SBDC.  Mishefske has developed unique partnerships with other economic development organizations in Dunn County from the SBDC’s location in Eau Claire County.

Women’s Business Center Service Excellence – Wendy Baumann, President and Chief Visionary Officer, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), Milwaukee.  WWBIC is a statewide organization focused on business creation, expansion and sustainability.

The 28th Annual SBA Awards Breakfast will take place Friday, May 31 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.  The keynote speaker will be chef, author and culinary instructor Sanford “Sandy”  D’Amato, former owner of Sanford Restaurant.  To register for the event or to sponsor a table, visit http://www.reinhartlaw.com/Events/Pages/28thAnnualSBA.aspx. Contact Mary Trimmier at (414) 297-1093 or mary.trimmier@sba.gov for more information. 

SBA Wisconsin congratulates all of the winners and thanks them for their commitment to Wisconsin’s small businesses.



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