SBA Administrator Honors Nation’s Top Small Businesses

Winners to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. on May 1-2
Release Date: 
Monday, March 14, 2016
Release Number: 
16-17 - S. FL
Contact: 
Terry Sutherland 202-205-6919

WASHINGTON – Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced today this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on May 1-2 where they will be awarded their individual awards along with recognition of the runners-up and the naming of the 2016 National Small Business Person of the Year. 

 

In making the announcement, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said: “It is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and her territories.  These small business owners represent the best of the best and showcase daily their entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s evolving and competitive business environment.”

 

In Florida, Sherry Acanfora-Ruohomaki, Owner and President of K9 Kampus of Melbourne beat out the competition to win the Florida Small Business Person of the Year Award.  K9 Kampus is a luxury dog daycare and boarding facility which includes full-service grooming, indoor air-conditioned training, a zero-entry pool, and nearly an acre of outdoor romping space.  Since its inception nearly six years ago, Acanfora-Ruohomaki used great ingenuity and resourcefulness to grow the business not only in customers and sales, but also in the number of employees, service offerings, and physical space expansion.  Acanfora-Ruohomaki helps other aspiring women entrepreneurs by volunteering as a mentor and facilitator for the Ignite Program hosted by WeVenture, an SBA Women’s Business Center located on the Florida Institute of Technology; she also donates the use of K9 Kampus to Paws for Veterans and Paws for Boots, two organizations that provide dogs and training to disabled veterans.

 

“Sherry Acanfora-Ruohomaki is a true visionary who executed on her great idea to the benefit of herself, her family, and her community.  We are pleased to celebrate her business accomplishments and contributions to our state and local economies and to our community,” said Francisco A. Marrero, SBA South Florida District Director.

 

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are May 1-7 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose and Oakland, California.

 

“There are more than 28 million small businesses serving as the economic engine of our country, employing half of the private sector and creating two out of three net new jobs.  If our small business sector was a country, its output would rank number three above Germany and Japan.  I’m looking forward to welcoming these talented entrepreneurs to their nation’s capital and celebrating their stories to shine a light on American ingenuity and innovation.”

 

2016 Small Business Person of the Year Winners

 

 

ALABAMA               

Xiomara Hernández-Bracken                        

Owner                                                                        

Bouncing Parties, Inc.                                                           

 

ALASKA                               

Connie Core-Dubay                                                   

CEO/Owner

Cold Spot Feeds, Inc.

 

ARIZONA                             

Paul A. Smiley                                                                                  

President                                                                                

Sonoran Technology and Professional                     

Services, LLC                                                            

 

ARKANSAS              

Regina Renee Radke                                                 

CEO                                                                                       

Wade Stuart Radke                                                    

COO                                                                                       

Galley Support Innovations

 

CALIFORNIA                      

Helen Margaret Russell                                                                                

Co-Founder and CEO                                                

Brooke Jean McDonnell                                            

Co-Founder and President

Equator Coffees and Teas, Inc.

 

COLORADO            

Reed Howard Silberman                                           

Founder/CEO                                                             

Ink Monstr                                                                             

 

CONNECTICUT                  

Peter Newman                                                                       

CEO                                                                                       

Victoria Newman                                                                  

Executive Director

Greenwich Education Group

 

DELAWARE            

Chris J. Bisaha                                                                                   

Joseph A. Baker                                                                                 

Co-Owners

Henlopen City Oyster House

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA                                                                       

Robert C. Palmer                                                                   

CEO                                                                                       

Creative Business Solutions, Inc.

 

FLORIDA                 

Sherry L. Acanfora-Ruohamaki                                

Owner/President                                                                    

K9 Kampus LLC                                                                   

 

GEORGIA    

Catherine A. Downey                                                

CEO                                                                                       

CATVIDEO, Inc.                                                                   

 

GUAM                       

David J. John                                                             

President                                                                                

ASC Trust Corporation

 

HAWAII                    

Raymond Jardine Jr.                                                  

Chairman & CEO                                                                  

Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC                               

 

IDAHO                      

Enruque F. Contreras                                                

Ana M. Paz

Owners

Conpaz Inc. dba Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant

 

ILLINOIS                 

Dwayne Steven Jackson                                            

President & CEO                                                                   

Software Tech Enterprises, Inc.

 

INDIANA

Baziel W. Vrient                                                                   

President                                                                                

Albert W. Vrient

Operations Manager

Agdia, Inc.

 

IOWA            

Anthony D. Halsted                                                   

Owner                                                                        

Hoover’s Hatchery Co., LLC                                    

 

KANSAS                   

Roger Lee Ward III

Dana Marie Ward

Owners

Great Day Moving (Marathon Moving

  & Delivery LLC)

 

KENTUCKY             

David Allen Dafoe                                                    

Founder/CEO                                                             

8th Street Ventures                                                     

  Dba Flavorman, dba Distilled Spirits                     

  Epicenter, Dba Pro-Liquitech                                 

 

 

LOUISIANA 

Angela O’Byrne                                                                    

President/Owner                                                                    

Perez, APC

 

MAINE                                  

Margo Walsh                                                             

Owner                                                                        

Maine Works LLC                                                    

 

MARYLAND            

Patrick Babasola Munis                                            

CEO                                                                                       

NewWave Telecom & Technologies, Inc.

 

MASSACHUSETTS                                                                         

Robert Jacob George                                                             

Founder, President and CEO                                                 

StratComm, Inc.                                                                                

 

MICHIGAN              

Russell Beaver                                                                       

President                                                                                

RB Construction Company                                       

 

MINNESOTA                       

Gloria Jean Freeman                                                 

CEO                                                                                       

Olu’s Home/Olu’s Center                                         

 

MISSISSIPPI                        

Mike Pornovets

Owner

Everything Kayak LLC

 

MISSOURI               

David Laurence Bailey

Founder & President

Baileys’ Restaurants

 

MONTANA              

Greg Thayer                                                               

CEO                                                                                       

Eugene Thayer                                                                       

Director

Montana Merchandising, Inc.                                   

  Dba Montana Milling, Inc.

 

NEBRASKA              

Yolanda F. Diaz                                                                     

Member/Owner                                                                     

Little Miss Fashion LLC                                           

 

NEVADA                  

Bradley J. Burdsall

Owner and Operator

The Egg Works

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE             

Elie El-Chalfoun                                                       

Owner/Operator

Mega-X

 

NEW JERSEY                      

Charles Olivo                                                            

Founder and Principal                                               

Stonefield Engineering and Design LLC

 

NEW MEXICO  

Karl S. Halpert                                                          

President & CEO                                                       

Private Label Select Ltd. Co.                        

 

NEW YORK 

Tammy Ann Loewy                                       

Wynde Kate Reese

Owners

Green Goddess Foods LLC

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Charles Ashton Creech

President

Thomas Howard Chappell

Vice President – Maintenance

Plus Team

NS Aviation, LLC dba North State Aviation

 

NORTH DAKOTA

Jon Simmers                                                                          

CEO                                                                                                   

Bismarck Aero Center                                                                                                           

                                                                                                           

OHIO            

Sally Hughes                                                 

CEO                                                                           

Caster Connection                                         

 

OKLAHOMA

Ellis “Lanny” McIntosh                                

Founding Principal, CEO                              

The McIntosh Group                                     

 

OREGON     

Jeremy Murfin

Geoff Mets

Johnpaul Simonet

Owners/Members

5.S.G. LLC dba Five Star Guitars

 

PENNSYLVANIA    

Dr. Wei-Shin Lai                                                                   

Chief Executive Officer                                                        

AcousticSheep LLC                                                  

 

PUERTO RICO                   

Fernando J. Rodriguez                                                          

President                                                                                

Prime Janitorial Service Corp.                                  

 

RHODE ISLAND                 

Thomas Parsons Kellogg III                                      

President                                                                                

Parsons Kellogg LLC                                                

 

SOUTH CAROLINA                       

JoAnne Laurea LaBounty                                          

President                                                                                

Spartanburg Meat Processing Co., Inc.

 

SOUTH DAKOTA               

Janet R. Eining                                                                      

Owner                                                                        

Cellular Only Connection, Inc.

 

TENNESSEE

Terence Andrew Douglas                                          

President                                                                                

Alliant Corporation

 

TEXAS

Yolanda Arriola                                                                     

President and CEO

Southwest University at El Paso

 

UTAH

Jay Benjamin Broadbent

President

Alpine Home Medical Equipment LLC

 

VERMONT               

Thomas M.L. Stearns                                                

President

High Mowing Organic Seeds

 

VIRGIN ISLANDS               

Brianne B. Beatty                                                      

Ryan B. Skinner                                                                    

Owners

Flagship, LLC

 

VIRGINIA    

Caroline Anne Taylor                                                            

RN-President                                                             

Taylor Made Diagnostics, Inc.

 

 

WASHINGTON       

James “Kiwi” Ferris                                                  

President                                                                                

Edensaw Woods, Ltd.                                                

 

WEST VIRGINIA   

Arria Hines                                                                            

President & CEO                                                                   

Allegheny Science & Technology Corp.                  

 

WISCONSIN            

Mark Matthiae                                                                       

CEO                                                                                       

Crystal Finishing Systems, Inc.        

 

WYOMING

Anthony Andrew Aguiree

President

Triple A Building Services, Inc.

 

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