Success Stories

The Vermont office of the Small Business Administration has given the Family-Owned Small Business Award to James and Karen Mount of Mount Family Group. Mount Family Group (MFG) was originally started in Burlington as a family-owned business in 1982 by David and Francis Mount. MFG is in the personnel placement business, specializing in temporary help. From $25,000 in sales when it began, MFG has grown to a nearly $30 million company.

In 1995, the Mounts began to look among their five children for a family member who could become involved with the company and eventually take over as manager or owner. Karen, the wife of their eldest son Stephen, joined the company in 1996 and learned every aspect of its operations. She became David Mount's main adviser in administration and marketing matters. Karen became instrumental in training employees, in helping open new offices and eventually took on the role of Director of Administration. In 1997, James Mount, the Mount's second son... Read More

Charles Curtis, Jr., CEO of Draker Laboratories Selected Vermont Small Business Person of the Year

Five small business owners, four small business champions and a lender have been selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for outstanding success in their chosen fields.

Charles “Chach” Curtis Jr. CEO of Draker Laboratories, Inc., Burlington, Vermont has been named the SBA 2012 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year.  Nominated by Cairn Cross, Managing Director, Fresh Tracks Capital, Curtis was selected for outstanding leadership related to his company’s staying power, employee growth, increase in sales, innovative ingenuity and contributions to the community.

 Draker Laboratories, Inc., Burlington VT, provides monitoring, diagnostics and asset management services to commercial and utility-scale renewable energy systems.  After pioneering the concept and cutting-edge means of evaluating solar power generation, Draker Laboratories, Burlington, VT, had a well-deserved reputation for technical leadership.  The company’s founder, A.J. Rossman, had... Read More

Freshwater Vermont is not the place one might expect expertise in the removal of salt from seawater, and yet St. George, Vermont is the home of Industrial Services, Inc., a thriving international company focused on desalination.  In fact, it’s owner and founder, Scott Shumway, chose Vermont as an ideal place from which to conduct business.  In 1999, he and his wife and children moved from Bermuda to Vermont to start his global business and to enjoy the state’s beauty and outdoor activities.  “No matter where you’re located,” Shumway explained, “this is a field where you’re going to be working internationally.  For me, moving to Vermont was a quality of life issue.”  

Industrial Services Inc. (ISI) provides both the know-how and the equipment to convert millions of gallons of seawater into drinking water for municipal water supply companies and hotels and resorts around the world.  Since its founding in 2003, ISI revenues have increased from $200,000 to nearly $8... Read More

Bia Diagnostics is the manifestation of a long-term science bond shared by father and daughter, Thomas and Hannah Grace.  One of Hannah’s first memories is of observing, at the age of three, the division of cells through her father’s microscope at a UVM lab.  “I remember that as being the most amazing experience,” Hannah said.  Thomas and Hannah’s mutual love of science deepened over the years and prompted the co-founding of the company in 2007.

Bia Diagnostics, a Burlington food-testing lab, specializes in detecting allergens, gluten and trace contaminants in commercially-produced food products.  With funding assistance from an SBA-guaranteed loan, Thomas and Hannah Grace set up their own lab and office, purchased testing equipment, and began reaching out to potential customers.  “Without the SBA loan, we couldn’t have done it,” Thomas Grace said.  “We used it to buy equipment and create a buffer zone for things like rent and electricity until we could increase our... Read More