Arizona Small Business Week Award Winners Announced by SBA
Monday, April 4, 2011
Posted by: Whitney Fletcher
Date: April 4, 2011 Contact: Stephen Hart
(520) 620-7042 firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 04-11 Internet Address: www.sba.gov/az
SBA HONORS ARIZONA’S ENTREPRENEURS AND SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONS
PHOENIX, AZ – Annually, the U.S. Small
Business Administration (SBA) honors Arizona entrepreneurs and small business
champions for their contributions to the economy. Over 97 percent of the
businesses in the state are small businesses and have proven, year after year,
to be the greatest sources of the innovation, jobs and growth for Arizona’s
On May 5, Arizona’s winners of SBA’s prestigious Small
Business Week awards will participate in a ceremony honoring their
entrepreneurial spirit, success, and commitment to the growth of small business
in the state.
"Each year the SBA has the honor of spotlighting Arizona
winners of our Small Business Week awards which celebrate and spotlight the
entrepreneurial spirit and community activism that has long characterized the
small business community of Arizona,” states Robert Blaney, SBA’s Arizona
District Director. "As risk takers, innovators, and employers, these winners
reflect how small businesses contribute to both the state economy and their
At 11:00 a.m. on Thursday May 5 at the Arizona Biltmore, the
Small Business Administration in association with the Arizona Small Business
Association (ASBA) will conduct a formal ceremony during the 18th
Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon to present awards to Arizona’s Small
Business Person of the Year, Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the year,
Exporter of the Year, Veteran Small Business of the Year, Women in Business
Champion of the Year, Minority Small Business Champion of the Year, and
Financial Services Champions of the Year.
Arizona’s 2011 winners are:
2011 Arizona Small
Business Person of the Year
The winner of this
award is an individual who owns and operates, or bear principal responsibility
for operating, a small business.
This year’s Small Business Person of the Year is Dan Kelley
of Tierra Dynamic – Integrated Environmental Service of Phoenix.
As with so many small businesses finding a niche or creating
one is the key to success. Dan Kelley realized the need early on in the
environmental remediation era that started in the 1990’s for a firm that could
both assess the environmental liabilities of property owners, or purchasers
under the new Superfund law, and assist in mitigation.
Tierra Dynamics soon offered Phase One Environmental Studies.
In due course, Dan realizing the challenge of funding remediation requirements
under Superfund, built a niche offering specialized loans to property owners for
cleanup of land that would otherwise lose its value as a place of business or
as productive land. Underground tank remediation developed as another core line
From humble beginnings, Tierra Dynamics has developed into an
international corporation. Despite its international presence, giving back
remains part of the corporate culture. Tierra works with Habitat for Humanity,
offering pro bono water system design, installation and permitting assistance.
Further, Dan created the Voluntary Environmental Alliance (VERA) which helps
local Superfund site owners who inherited or purchased tainted properties
afford the up-front costs of cleanup. To date, VERA has brought $35 million in
cleanup funding to rural Arizona communities.
2011 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year
The winner of this award is a business who has increased
employment opportunities for family members and non-family members, demonstrated
long-term business success and economic growth measured by sales and profits,
and helps strengthen family-owned businesses within the community.
As the story goes, the mythical Phoenix bird dies in a burst
of flame only to be reborn from its own ashes. The rebirth of the Hollis
families Cinema 4 theaters in Globe is no myth, but many see it as a miracle.
In fact, rebuilding the burnt out hulk of the theater that had been in the
family since the 1950s, took old fashioned elbow grease, time, passion,
patience, commitment and help from small business counselors at the Gila
Community College Small Business Development Center.
Bob Hollis and his sister Diana grew up in the theatre,
working in the family cinemas as kids. Today, following the devastating fire of
July 2005 and four years of recovery, their rebuilt and expanded family
business, Hollis Cinema 4 reopened in November 2009.
The four-screen, 500-seat theatre was the largest investment
in Globe in decades. Today, the Hollis’s employ 14 and patrons relish saving
the seventy-mile drive they used to make to Mesa to catch a movie.
2011 Arizona Small Business Exporter of the Year
The winner of this award is an individual who has
demonstrated increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment because of
This year’s Small Business Exporter of the Year is Vante of
For over 30 years Vante has been a leader in the medical
device manufacturing industry. Specializing in the four categories of catheter
manufacturing equipment, biopharmaceutical equipment, industrial applications
and OEM solutions, Vante’s products include their own SAFFIRE and PIRP
manufacturing systems, industrial tube sealers, and plastic sealing and welding
Vante serves more than 500 customers and works with over 23
partners to distribute its export products around the globe. Vante achieved growth of 20 to 30 percent six
years in a row and it is targeting 15 percent growth this year, expecting sales
of $9 million to $10 million. Vante aims to produce about 90% of its
device components in house by the end of 2011.
2011 Arizona Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
The winner of this award is an individual who has fulfilled
a commitment to advancing small business opportunities for Veterans of the U.S.
Armed Forces, actively supported legislation or regulation designed to help
Veteran owned small businesses, or advocated special consideration for Veteran
owned small businesses.
This year’s Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year is Raymond
Ragan III of Rook & Knight – Strategic Communications and Technology in
A Reserve Army officer, Ray was injured in Iraq, but,
undaunted, he returned home to start his own small business and with the goal
of enhancing veteran business support in Arizona, developed the Arizona
Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
In his role with the Chamber, now called the Arizona
Chapter, U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Ray has reached out to all segments
of the veteran population in an effort to address the full spectrum of their
economic needs from employment to business development. He serves as an
advocate for the veteran business community in governmental policy and
Education is another bulwark of his outreach to fellow
veteran business owners, and his efforts in support the SBA’s Patriot Express
loan program – designed expressly for veterans – assisted many in pursuing the
2011 Arizona Women in Business Champion of the Year
The winner of this award is an individual who has fulfilled
a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership and has
demonstrated efforts to increase business and financial opportunities for
This year’s Women in Business Champion is Debbie Chandler,
who is executive director of SBA’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Arizona and
of its host, the non-profit Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC) in Tucson.
The Women’s Business Center, offers small businesses
counseling, training, and mentoring programs. The Women’s Business Center is a
destination for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owner alike,
looking for assistance in the fundamentals of business organization, finance,
marketing and planning for growth.
MAC is also one of SBA’s Arizona micro-lenders, offering
small business loans up to $35,000. The organization also hosts one of the 11
Small Business Development Centers in the state. SBDCs provide one-on-one
confidential evaluation and guidance by counselors with real-life business
ownership and management experience to help you fast-track your plans for
startup and growth.
Debbie brought her 25 years in the Arizona banking industry
to MAC in 2006. In the five years since, MAC has grown from serving 500
business clients annually to over 1200. Prior to taking on the role of
director, Debbie served in many roles in banking with the most recent being as
Senior Vice President at Bank of America where she grew a client management
program throughout greater Arizona.
2009 Arizona Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
The winner of this award is an individual who has fulfilled
a commitment to support minority entrepreneurship and has demonstrated efforts
to improve conditions in the minority small business community as a whole, not
solely for individual personal advancement.
This year’s Minority Small Business Champion is Tony
Hatcher, retired SBE Procurement
Manager for the City of Phoenix Finance Department/Purchasing Division.
Throughout his 17 year career with the City of Phoenix Tony was
responsible for outreach and development of local small, minority and women
businesses doing business with the City.
Anything but routine, Tony’s duties included interviewing
companies to discern their capabilities, and instructing small businesses in
the all too often complex procurement processes of the City and various other
government agencies. Individual, one-on-one interaction, participation in trade
fairs, conferences, networking events, and conducting workshops throughout
Maricopa and Pima Counties were characteristic of his outreach efforts.
An integral part of the connection between small business
and government, city, state, and federal procurement operations, Tony leveraged
his previous experience as Senior Minority Buyer for Maricopa County’s Minority
and Women's Business Enterprise Program, his service on the Board of Directors
for the Grand Canyon Minority Supplier Development Council (GCMSDC), and his
participation with the American Contract Compliance Association (ACCA) and the
Arizona Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).
Now retired, Tony continues to assist small, minority and
women-owned businesses by offering professional consulting services.
2011 Arizona Financial Services Champion of the Year
Cave Creek, AZ
The winner of this award is an individual who assists small
business owners in providing the amount and quality of assistance required to
obtain financing to advance small business interests.
This year’s Financial Services Champion is Tim Collins of BNC
National Bank in Cave Creek.
Involved in SBA lending for over 23 years, Tim has worked
tirelessly for the small business lending community, providing over $200
million in small business loans to over 500 businesses in Arizona. He has
specialized in business acquisition, start-up, debt restructure, franchise and
special purpose commercial real estate lending over the years.
As a regular speaker to a variety of trade groups, including
the Arizona Association of Mortgage Brokers, the Arizona Business Brokers
Association and the Arizona Small Business Association, Tim has spread the word
on the merits of SBA loan programs. He has taught classes on SBA lending at the
Arizona School of Real Estate.
Reflecting his approach of being a consultant to small
businesses, Collins has also been a regular contributor for the past 15 years
at SCORE Loan Clinics in the Phoenix area. SCORE is a resource partner of the
SBA that offers free one-on-one counseling and workshops to small businesses to
help the start, grow and succeed.
2011 Arizona Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Service Excellence and Innovation Award
This award honors a Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
for its excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program
delivery and management through innovation. Among the many characteristics
examined are a Center’s record of new business creation, capital infusion,
counseling success, job creation, and program and training innovation.
Arizona’s network of 11 SBDCs is a partnership between the
state’s community college districts and the SBA. These Centers serve thousands
of clients annually through business training programs and free, one-on-one
confidential counseling by counselors who use their real-life business
ownership and management experience to offer practical and relevant advice.
The Arizona Western College SBDC in Yuma won the award this
year for its record of success, innovation and economic impact. Center Director
Randy Nelson’s personal background – MBA in management and marketing, business
professor, restaurant owner, middle manager in the plastics manufacturing
industry and a vice president with Budget Rent-A-Car – typifies the experience
Center counselors offer clients.
The Center offers counseling workshops in both Spanish and
English, and offers expertise in accounting, marketing, technology,
import/export, procurement, compliance issues and financial analysis. These are
in addition to the fundamentals of business plan development, marketing
strategies, strategic planning, research, patents, procurement registration and
certification, and personnel management.
Social Marketing Strategy is among the new focuses the
Center offers, helping businesses understand how websites, email marketing and
traditional marketing are complimented by social media such a Twitter,
FaceBook, and Google Apps and Maps.
Director since 2002 Randy has led the Center to levels of
assistance not previously seen. Between 2007 and 2010 alone, the Center helped
88 new business startups, created or helped retain over 650 jobs, impacted
sales with increases exceeding $24.8 million, and helped small business access
over $32.3 million in loans or investment.
Under Randy’s direction, the Arizona Western College SBDC
team, which includes Sandra Hernandez and Alan Pruitt, have built a legacy of
excellence and a reputation for innovation and community involvement in Yuma,
the surrounding area and among their peers throughout the state.
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Awards will be presented in a ceremony on May 5 beginning at
11:00 a.m. at the Arizona Biltmore, located at 2400 East Missouri Avenue in
Phoenix. For further event information or to register online for the event
or call 602-306-4000.
For more information about all of the SBA’s programs
for small businesses, visit the SBA’s extensive Web site at www.sba.gov/az
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