SBA Celebrates RI Small Business Excellence During Small Business Week

Every year, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week with it’s annual Small Business Awards. This year, National Small Business Week was from April 29 – May 5, and spotlighted small business excellence all over the country, culminating with an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. with Administrator Linda McMahon.

The Rhode Island District Office of the SBA, with the cooperation of Governor Gina Raimondo, proclaimed the week of May 6 – 12, 2018, as Rhode Island Small Business Week. This observance allowed the SBA to properly celebrate local small businesses that exemplify the incredible entrepreneurial community here in Rhode Island. This year’s awardees included:

(L-R) Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee; SBA Regional Administrator, Wendell Davis; Small Business Person of the Year, Kelly Mendell; District Director, Mark S. Hayward; Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea; General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner.

SMALL BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
Kelly Mendell, President
MIKEL, Inc.
Middletown

NATIONAL SUBCONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
Charles Dewey, CEO
David Evans, President
Evans Capacitor Company
East Providence

NEW ENGLAND WOMAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Carol Dancer, President
Absorbent Specialty Products, LLC.
Cumberland

NEW ENGLAND VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
John Shepard, CEO
Veterans Assembled electronics (VAe)
Providence

NEW ENGLAND FINANCIAL SERVICES CHAMPION
Buck Harris, Vice President
Community Investment Corporation
Providence

SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTER
Michael Sigourney, CEO& Founder
Anne Beaupre Sigourney, CFO
Rick Grundy, President
AVTECH Software, Inc.
Warren

SMALL BUSINESS MANUFACTURER
Donald J. Boyle, President
Jade Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Warwick

MICROENTERPRISE
Nancy Warner, Owner
The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, Inc.
Charlestown

MINORITY-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Alba Rios, Owner
Tienda Alinary / Spanish Wholesale Center
Central Falls

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR
Johnny Luo, M.D., President
Doctor’s Choice
Warwick

JEFFREY BUTLAND FAMILY-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS
Lisa M. Sienkiewicz, Co-Owner
Gail Parella, Co-Owner
Gil’s Appliances
Bristol

HOME-BASED SMALL BUSINESS
Kim Coulter, Partner
William Coulter, Partner
Nina Luchka, Partner
Joshua Coulter, Partner
Stony Hill Cattle Company, LLC.
Charlestown

RHODE ISLAND DISTRICT DIRECTOR AWARD
Posthumously
Cheryl Watkins Snead, Founder, President and CEO
Banneker Industries, Inc.
North Smithfield

JOSEPH G.E. KNIGHT AWARD FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL EXCELLENCE
Christine Francis, Owner
Carmen & Ginger
Providence

Rhode Island boasted three regional winners in the categories of Woman-owned Small Business, Veteran-owned Small Business, and Financial Services Champion. The Ocean State also brought home a national winner, with Evans Capacitor Company of East Providence being named the “National Subcontractor of the Year”.

“Small business is the backbone of the Rhode Island economy,” said District Director, Mark S. Hayward. “So often these business owners are so enthralled in the day-to-day happenings of their small business that they never take a second to realize and appreciate the amazing business they have built. “Rhode Island Small Business Week” is our chance to congratulate them on the incredible job they do everyday.” he added.


SBA & CWE’s Congressional Luncheon  Celebrates Awardees

The SBA held three independent events to promote and recognize the small business winners. The first event, held on May 4 was the congressional luncheon hosted by The Center for Women & Enterprise. The luncheon was held at Sam’s Inn in Warwick and was attended by the entire congressional delegation including, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Langevin, and Congressman Cicilline. The event offered a unique and intimate setting for Rhode Island’s elected congressional leadership to meet, interact, and congratulate the awardees.

(L-R) Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Cicilline, Anne Sigourney, Michael Sigourney, Congressman Langevin, Rick Grundy, and District Director Mark S. Hayward.

Rhode Island House and Senate Recognize Small Business Excellence

On May 8, the Rhode Island House of Representatives and Rhode Island Senate, lead by the Chair of the House Small Business Committee, Representative Deborah Ruggiero, requested the presence of the SBA small business awardees. As the Senate session came to order, one by one, the awardees were recognized and honored.

 

Once all of the winners were acknowledge the senate took the time to individually congratulate them on the accomplishments. The awardees were then lead to the house and, upon their entry, Representative Ruggiero requested to be heard. The Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, recognized the Rep. Ruggiero and allowed her to honor the winners and their achievements. The group was once again individually honored and upon conclusion were met with a standing ovation from the house.

 

SBA awardees with Representative Ruggeiro.

The statehouse event helps demonstrates to the awardees how important their achievement is within the state and how important their individual small businesses our to the overall well-being and success of Rhode Island’s economy.


“Salute to Small Business” Draws Over 300 Attendees

The final event of Rhode Island Small Business Week was the “Salute to Small Business” sponsored by RI SCORE. This year’s event was held at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln held a crowd of over 300 attendees.

The flagship event of the Rhode Island district office, the “Salute to Small Business” is where the awardees receive their respective awards and are asked to address the crowd.

The festivities master of ceremonies was SBA District Director, Mark S. Hayward. Hayward started the event with the national anthem, sung by the Mount Saint Charles Senior Select Choir, lead by Ms. Brittany Dyer.



Hayward then invited RI SCORE Chair, Ed Gromada, onstage to make some opening remarks before turning the microphone over to SBA Regional Administrator, Wendell G. Davis. Davis addressed his own experiences as a small business owner and the role small business owners play in the financial success of the nation. Also making remarks were Lt. Governor Daniel J. McKee, Secretary of State, Nellie M. Gorbea, and General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner.

The 2018 class of SBA award winners was an exceptional group of small business owners and champions. If you know a small business that should be nominated for a SBA small business award, contact Ryan.Brissette@sba.gov.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.