Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Jersey, Texas Firms Take Top Prize as National Contractors of the Year; Small Businesses, Business Leaders and Government Officials Honored

A small-business contractor from New Jersey and another from Texas were named the National Prime Contractor of the Year and National Subcontractor of the Year, respectively, during a breakfast ceremony held this morning by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The event, sponsored by Raytheon, was part of National Small Business Week 2010, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Small Business Prime Contractor and Small Business Subcontractor of theYear awards honor small businesses that have provided the government and private sector with outstanding goods and services, either as prime contractors or as subcontractors.

This year’s winners are:

* Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year: Anne C. O’Brien, president of Kalimex Inc., of Ocean View, N.J. This woman-owned, 8[a]-certified, small disadvantaged construction company boasts 14 years of successful project experience, plus more than $18 million in annual sales revenues. In one of those projects, Kalimex reopened the stairs to the crown in the Statue of Liberty for the first time since 9/11, ensuring visitors’ safe ascent up the famous double-helix stairway to the observation level in the statue’s crown. The National Park Service described Kalimex’s work on the Statue of Liberty as "sleek, elegant and magnificent." Another notable project for Kalimex Inc. includes exterior building renovation and masonry repairs on the Edgar Allan Poe House, located in Philadelphia, Penn., for the National Park Service; and

* Small Business Subcontractor of the Year: W.T. Gardner, founder and CEO of Savage Precision Fabrication Inc., of Wylie, Tex. Gardner founded Savage, a veteran-owned and Native American-owned firm, with $2,000 worth of tools. The company manufactures precision machine and sheet metal fabrication components -- including mechanical assemblies made of aluminum, titanium, copper, stainless steel and plastics -- to meet design specifications, and support the aerospace, military, defense and high-tech industries. It develops in-house processes -- such as heat treating, aging, Tungsten Inert Gas [TIG] and Metal Inert Gas [MIG] -- that are usually outsourced by a small business. The company has 38 employees, $4.4 million in annual sales in 2008, and is a preferred manufacturer in the aerospace and defense industry.

"Today, we celebrate the contributions of the outstanding business leaders, government officials and small businesses whose inspiring work in the federal contracting arena are creating jobs and helping lead economic recovery," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills [pictured].

"Contracting with small businesses is a win-win for both the government and small businesses," Mills noted. "The government gets access to the most innovative companies, and small businesses get the oxygen they need to grow and take their businesses to the next level.

"That’s why it’s so important that more than $7 billion in federal contracts have already been awarded to small businesses under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

Small-business owners, corporate leaders, government officials and volunteers from across the country are in Washington, D.C., for the three-day conference, to be honored during five major award events for their achievements as America’s top entrepreneurs. The contracting awards recognize businesses and organizations for their commitment to providing contracting and subcontracting opportunities to small, women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.

Other federal contracting awards included:

Frances Perkins Vanguard Award: Honoring government and industry for excellence in the use of women-owned small businesses as prime contractors and subcontractors.

The recipients are:

* Jim Cuff, senior vice president, Science Applications International Corporation [SAIC], of McLean, Va. [Industry Buying Activity];

* Kevin Boshears, director, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Department of Homeland Security, of Washington, D.C. [Federal Buying Activity]; and

* Bennie Boren, acquisition supervisor/small-business specialist, Public Works Department Gulfport, NAVFAC Southeast, of Gulfport, Miss. [Federal Procurement Official].

Gold Star Award: Recognizing the exemplary performance of federal agencies and their dedicated personnel who carry out the aggressive goals and strategic initiatives that help ensure a role for small business in the federal marketplace.

The recipient is:

* Judith P. Croxton, director of business operations, Shaw Air Force Base-20th Contracting Squadron, of Shaw AFB, S.C.

Surety Bond Award: Honoring the 16 participating surety companies and bond producers for the support they provide to small businesses who need help securing bid, payment and performance bonds.

Two prominent national surety trade associations accepted the awards on their behalf. They are:

* Ms. Lynn Schubert, president, The Surety & Fidelity Association of America; and

* Mr. Mark H. McCallum, CEO, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence: Recognizing large prime contractors that have excelled in their use of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.

The recipients are:

* Richard A. Heltzel, president, Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc., of Aiea, Hawaii [Construction Category];

* Amber Janey, small business liaison officer, Rockwell Collins, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa [Manufacturing Category]; and

* Keith Joy, director of small business programs, UT-Battelle LLC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory [ORNL], of Oak Ridge, Tenn. [Research & Development Category].

The 2010 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence-Research & Development is one of SBA's top honors. Administrator Mills praised the Department of Energy's ORNL's "hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to [its] community" while presenting the award to Keith Joy, director of small business programs at ORNL.

Joy tasked his office with "aggressive goals" to meet the requirements of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award. In 2010, he and his staff encouraged strong performance via an internal awards program, meetings between contractors and small businesses, and extensive outreach programs to maximize the impact of ORNL's small business programs. Joy noted that he was "very proud, humbled, and appreciative" to receive this honor on behalf of his team at ORNL.

"The President recognizes that small businesses are the building blocks of our economy," said Bill Valdez, acting director of the Department of Energy's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. "Our office's mission is to support the innovation and growth of small businesses, and we absolutely must continue to honor their hard work."

Small Business Week featured a series of forums on innovation, exporting and social media, designed to help entrepreneurs with current, real-world issues that impact their businesses. There was also a town hall forum to discuss small-business concerns.

For additional details on Small Business Week 2010 -- including a full schedule of events and information on all award winners -- visit http://www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com/.

Small Business Week 2010 sponsors and co-sponsors include: Sam’s Club, Visa, Ford, ADP, Raytheon, Cbeyond, UPS, Intuit, Google, eBay, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, D&B, Verio, ASBDC, NADCO, NAGGL, NASE, NSBA, WIPP and SCORE.

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration

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