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SBA Announces 17 Wisconsin Small Business Award Winners

Regional Small Business Subcontractor of the Year is First Wisconsin Recipient
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Release Number: 
Shirah Apple/

MILWAUKEE—The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Wisconsin office will celebrate eleven successful small businesses and six individuals and organizations that exemplify excellence in entrepreneurship during National Small Business Week (April 29-May 5). Every year, the SBA recognizes the contributions of small businesses to America’s economy by honoring outstanding entrepreneurs and their supporters in each of its 68 districts and ten regions.  

“These 17 winners represent the best of Wisconsin’s 445,000 small businesses and the supporters that help them start, grow and succeed,” says Eric Ness, the SBA’s Wisconsin district director.  “The large number of high quality applicants this year made the decisions exceptionally challenging, so much so that we gave two awards in three categories.”

Most of the small businesses being honored are from outside of the Milwaukee/Madison corridor. Wisconsin’s Small Business Persons of the Year, Miles Harter and Curt Greeno of Dynamic Recycling are based in Onalaska. The Small Business Person of the Year-Honorable Mention, Benjamin Westra of WDS Construction, is in Beaver Dam. Other winners are from Baldwin, Chetek, Barron, Portage, Kenosha and Eau Claire as well as Hartland and Menomonee Falls.  Of note, Trisha Mowry of Riverside Engineering in Eau Claire is Wisconsin’s first Regional Subcontractor of the Year award winner, competing with several other Midwestern state winners for that honor.

SBA resource partners in Madison, including SCORE Madison, the SBDC at UW-Madison, and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation will all receive recognition for their work in mentoring and counseling small businesses. This year’s Minority Small Business Champion, Eugenia Podesta of Synergy Co-working, is also based in Madison.

SCORE Southeastern Wisconsin is hosting the 33rd annual SCORE/SBA Awards Breakfast on May 4 at the Marriott Milwaukee West in Waukesha to recognize the honorees, followed by three workshops for small businesses.   The Badger State business community is invited to attend.


Wisconsin’s SBA award winners are:


Small Business Persons of the Year

Miles Harter and Curt Greeno, Dynamic Recycling, Onalaska

Small Business Person of the Year-Honorable Mention

Benjamin Westra, WDS Construction, Beaver Dam

Small Business Exporter

Barron County Cheese, Gene Graf, Barron  

8a Graduate of the Year

Henry Hurt, Hurt Electric, Menomonee Falls

Small Business Subcontractor of the Year-REGIONAL AWARD

Trisha Mowry, Riverside Machine & Engineering, Eau Claire

Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award

Michelle Somes-Booher, UW-Madison SBDC                          

Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

Andrea Hughes, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., Madison

Family-owned Small Business

Rob and Vicki Walz, Cascade Mountain, Portage

SCORE Wisconsin Mentor of the Year

Robert Sands, Madison SCORE Chapter

Young Entrepreneur

Paul Vincent Mumm, Stout Construction, Chetek

Emerging Small Business

Patrick Traynor, Skycoat, LLC, Baldwin

Emerging Small Business-Honorable Mention

Kelly Deem, Elsie Mae’s Bakery and Cannery, Kenosha

Minority Small Business Champion

Eugenia Podesta, Synergy Co-working, Madison

Financial Services Champions

Eric Manke, Byline Bank, Brookfield

John Miller, Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., Milwaukee

Small Business Legal Assistance

Larry Glusman, Freibert, Finerty & St. John S.C., (now  Davis & Kuelthau, S.C.), Milwaukee

Home Based Business Champion

Deb Nollen, Area Welcome, Hartland


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. It empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. The SBA is the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses that is backed by the strength of the federal government. The SBA delivers its services to people through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more about the SBA, visit