Illinois Entrepreneur Named SBA's 2018 National Small Business Person of the Year

Release Date: 
Monday, April 30, 2018
Contact: 
Jessica Mayle, jessica.mayle@sba.gov, (312) 886-0409

Small Business Person of the Year Rebecca Fyffe, with SBA Administrator Linda McMahonWASHINGTON Linda McMahon, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, recognized Rebecca Fyffe, owner of Schaumburg, Illinois-based Landmark Pest Management, as 2018’s Small Business Person of the Year at a ceremony and reception at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.

 “Rebecca took over a struggling business in 2001 when she was 25 years old, one of only a few women in the industry and the youngest pest control company CEO in the country,” McMahon said. “Since then, her company has prospered under her leadership, growing from 18 to 70 full-time employees with substantial revenue growth.”  

Landmark Pest Management furnishes innovative residential, commercial and municipal pest management services. Landmark’s approach to pest control is science-based, featuring the most up-to-date methods, many of which were developed by the company through field trials and proprietary innovations. This year, Landmark is expanding service to neighboring areas in Michigan, Indiana and Missouri along with exploring expansion opportunities in California and New York.

“Rebecca has built an exemplary pest control firm and is so deserving of this award.  She has been an inspirational leader in STEM, embracing science and technology to innovate in her field and beyond,” McMahon said. “I’m so pleased that Rebecca has benefited from the services we provide through the SBA.  Through the knowledge she acquired from an SBA-backed Women’s Development Center, she applied for and was approved for an SBA-backed 7(a) loan that provided the capital she needed to expand her business.”

Fyffe was among 52 state and territorial nominees competing for the national award. McMahon personally recognized and commended each of them for their hard work, innovative ideas and dedication to their employees and community at the Washington event.

“This award is proof that business owners can both do good, and do well,” Fyffe said, expressing gratitude to the SBA and the Women’s Business Development Center for their guidance and support.

Fyffe will be recognized at a media event and awards presentation at the Women’s Business Development Center (8 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 400, Chicago) on Thursday, May 3 at 11 a.m. RSVP to SBA Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Mayle at (312) 886-0409 or jessica.mayle@sba.gov if you would like to attend or interview Fyffe.

In addition to the Small Business Person of the Year, the SBA’s Illinois District Office has presented 2018 Illinois Small Business Awards to:

  • Illinois Rising Star Small Businesses: Dan Rosskamm, president of Big Lift, a forklift manufacturer in Lombard, Illinois, and Tony Reyes, owner of Chicago’s Walton Contractors, are also being recognized for their growth and accomplishments. Big Lift received a series of investments totaling more than $5 million from a Chicago-based Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) licensee, Granite Creek Partners, from 2009-11. Reyes has been a client of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Joseph Business School, an SBA resource partner, since 2012.
  • Illinois Exporter of the Year: Tony Stankus, president of RND Exhibits International of Willowbrook, Illinois, which designs, constructs, and installs trade show exhibits and produces other special events. Approximately 60 percent of RND’s customers are international companies and trade associations from countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and Russia, just to name a few. In 2017 alone, the firm worked with customers from 26 different countries. Stankus has received two SBA 7(a) loans to allow RND to expand several times, eventually to their current, 50,000 square foot site, as well as counseling from Dennis Foldenauer, the SBA’s Regional Export Finance Manager.
  • Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award – Illinois & Region: Women’s Business Center at the Women’s Business Development Center, Chicago. Led by President and CEO Emilia DiMenco, the WBDC is committed to serving its clients and advocating for women and all diverse business owners across the Midwest. Staff including WBC Director Janice Lopez, Associate Director Lisandra Martinez, and Director of Established Business Services Cynthia Johnson build capacity through one-on-one counseling, online and in-person training events, and certification and procurement technical assistance. (This center also received the Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award for the Great Lakes Region, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio.)

National Small Business Week runs through May 5, and networking events, trainings, and other programming to help prospective and current small business owners will be held throughout the week at the SBA Illinois District Office (500 W. Madison, Suite 1150, Chicago) and other locations throughout Illinois. Visit www.sba.gov/il to learn more.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

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