Small Business Administration Announces 2014 Rhode Island Small Business Award Winners

PROVIDENCE, RI – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced the 2014 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year and other small business awards.  Winners will be honored during the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on June 4th at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston.  Awards will be presented in 11 categories.

The 2014 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year is Lisa Mattiello, owner of Pranzi Catering & Events in Providence.  Lisa started her catering business in 1997 in a small storefront.  Today, Pranzi is one of the area’s premier catering and event planning companies.

The other small business owners and an advocate who will be honored are:

Rhode Island and New England Minority-owned Small Business of the Year:

  • Miguelina Dominguez and Roberto Castellano, co-owners
    RCM Cleaning, LLC, Providence Rhode Island

Veteran-owned Small Business of the Year:

  • John H. Wood II, owner
    The Green Grocer, Portsmouth Rhode Island

Woman-owned Small Business of the Year:

  • Dr. Lori A. Duquette, owner
    Duquette Family Eye Care, Inc., North Smithfield

Rhode Island SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year:

  • Bianca Alicea, owner
    ChubbyChicoCharms, LLC, North Providence

Rhode Island Microenterprise of the Year:

  • Laura M. Ernst, president
    Land & Coastal Services, LLC, East Greenwich

Rhode Island Financial Services Champion of the Year:

  • Denise DiDonato, Vice President, Small Business Lending
    Freedom National Bank

Rhode Island District Director Award:

  • Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts

In addition to the SBA awards, the Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence will be awarded by the Rhode Island SCORE chapter to Herrick & White Architectural Woodworkers in Cumberland.

“Again this year we are pleased to honor an outstanding class of small business owners and a financial champion,” said Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island District Office.  “These are truly the “best-of-the-best” and are deserving of this recognition for their hard work and demonstrated success.”

Mattiello will join small business persons from the other 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam during National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. on May 15 and 16.  One of the small business persons will be selected as the 2014 National Small Business Person of the Year.  While in Washington the winners will have the opportunity to meet with top SBA officials and national business leaders.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of national Small business Week.  SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

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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.