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March 18, 2016
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Louisville’s David Dafoe wins Kentucky’s SBA top honors

Winners to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. on May 1-2

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 18, 2016) – Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In Kentucky, Mr. David Dafoe, Founder and Chief Operating Officer for Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville, was named the SBA Kentucky 2016 Small Business Person of the Year. Mr. Dafoe founded Pro-Liquitech International in 1992 after being employed at the Brown-Forman Beverage Company, where he developed highly successful new products. Pro-Liquitech evolved into Flavorman, an international custom beverage production company. Its impressive client list includes internationally known brands and some of the world’s largest distilleries. Flavorman secured three SBA loans to grow the business and relocate near downtown Louisville, kick starting a revitalization of the area. In 2012, David founded Flavorman’s sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, on the Flavorman campus. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is made up of three distinct and collaborative parts: Moonshine University, Grease Monkey Distillery and Challenge Bottling. Leaders attribute their success to the team. Flavorman and the Distilled Spirits Epicenter currently have 30 full time and four part time employees.

“Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter is a wonderful example of a small business using different SBA programs to grow profitably and create jobs. We admire Mr. Dafoe’s vision, tenacity and leadership,” said Ralph Ross, SBA Kentucky District Director. The SBA Kentucky District Office, in conjunction with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, will be hosting a Celebrate Small Business event later this spring with Flavorman/Distilled Spirits Epicenter and other small business award winners from across the state. Information on those winners will be released later this week, and Small Business Person of the Year winners for the entire country are listed below.

All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on May 1-2 where they will be awarded their individual awards along with recognition of the runners-up and the naming of the 2016 National Small Business Person of the Year.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are May 1-7 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose and Oakland, California.

In making the announcement, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said: “It is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and her territories. These small business owners represent the best of the best and showcase daily their entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s evolving and competitive business environment. There are more than 28 million small businesses serving as the economic engine of our country, employing half of the private sector and creating two out of three net new jobs. If our small business sector was a country, its output would rank number three above Germany and Japan.  I’m looking forward to welcoming these talented entrepreneurs to their nation’s capital and celebrating their stories to shine a light on American ingenuity and innovation.”

2016 Small Business Person of the Year Winners

 ALABAMA:                        Xiomara Hernández-Bracken, Owner, Bouncing Parties, Inc.

 ALASKA:                             Connie Core-Dubay, CEO/Owner, Cold Spot Feeds, Inc.

 ARIZONA:                          Paul A. Smiley, President, Sonoran Technology and Professional Services, LLC

ARKANSAS:                       Regina Renee Radke, CEO and Wade Stuart Radke, COO, Galley Support Innovations

CALIFORNIA:                     Helen Margaret Russell, Co-Founder and CEO, and Brooke Jean McDonnell, Co-Founder and President, Equator Coffees and Teas, Inc.

COLORADO:                      Reed Howard Silberman, Founder/CEO, Ink Monstr

CONNECTICUT:                Peter Newman, CEO and Victoria Newman, Executive Director, Greenwich Education Group

DELAWARE:                       Chris J. Bisaha and Joseph A. Baker, Co-Owners, Henlopen City Oyster House

District of Columbia:       Robert C. Palmer, CEO, Creative Business Solutions, Inc.

FLORIDA:                            Sherry L. Acanfora-Ruohomaki, Owner/President, K9 Kampus LLC

GEORGIA:                          Catherine A. Downey, CEO, CATVIDEO, Inc.

GUAM:                               David J. John, President, ASC Trust Corporation

HAWAII:                             Raymond Jardine Jr., Chairman & CEO, Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC

IDAHO:                               Enruque F. Contreras and Ana M. Paz, Owners, Conpaz Inc. dba Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant

ILLINOIS:                            Dwayne Steven Jackson, President & CEO, Software Tech Enterprises, Inc.

INDIANA:                           Baziel W. Vrient, President and Albert W. Vrient, Operations Manager, Agdia, Inc.

IOWA:                                 Anthony D. Halsted, Owner, Hoover’s Hatchery Co., LLC

KANSAS:                            Roger Lee Ward III and Dana Marie Ward, Owners, Great Day Moving (Marathon Moving & Delivery LLC)

KENTUCKY:                        David Dafoe, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, 8th Street Ventures, d/b/a Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter                                 

LOUISIANA:                       Angela O’Byrne, President/Owner, Perez, APC

MAINE:                               Margo Walsh, Owner, Maine Works LLC

MARYLAND:                      Patrick Babasola Munis, CEO, NewWave Telecom & Technologies, Inc.

MASSACHUSETTS:          Robert Jacob George, Founder, President and CEO, StratComm, Inc.

MICHIGAN:                       Russell Beaver, President, RB Construction Company

MINNESOTA:                    Gloria Jean Freeman, CEO, Olu’s Home/Olu’s Center

MISSISSIPPI:                     Mike Pornovets, Owner, Everything Kayak LLC

MISSOURI:                        David Laurence Bailey, Founder & President, Baileys’ Restaurants

MONTANA:                       Greg Thayer, CEO and Eugene Thayer, Director, Montana Merchandising, Inc., d/b/a Montana Milling, Inc.

NEBRASKA:                      Yolanda F. Diaz, Member/Owner, Little Miss Fashion LLC

NEVADA:                            Bradley J. Burdsall, Owner and Operator, The Egg Works

NEW HAMPSHIRE:           Elie El-Chalfoun, Owner/Operator, Mega-X

NEW JERSEY:                     Charles Olivo, Founder and Principal, Stonefield Engineering and Design LLC

NEW MEXICO:                  Karl S. Halpert, President & CEO, Private Label Select Ltd. Co.

NEW YORK:                       Tammy Ann Loewy and Wynde Kate Reese, Owners, Green Goddess Foods LLC

NORTH CAROLINA:          Charles Ashton Creech, President and Thomas Howard Chappell, VP – Maintenance, Plus Team NS Aviation, LLC. d/b/a North State Aviation

NORTH DAKOTA:             Jon Simmers, CEO, Bismarck Aero Center

OHIO:                                  Sally Hughes, CEO, Caster Connection

OKLAHOMA:                     Ellis “Lanny” McIntosh, Founding Principal, CEO, The McIntosh Group

OREGON:                           Jeremy Murfin, Geoff Mets and Johnpaul Simonet, Owners/Members, 5.S.G. LLC, d/b/a Five Star Guitars

PENNSYLVANIA:              Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, CEO, AcousticSheep LLC

PUERTO RICO:                  Fernando J. Rodriguez, President, Prime Janitorial Service Corp.

RHODE ISLAND:                Thomas Parsons Kellogg III, President, Parsons Kellogg LLC

SOUTH CAROLINA:          JoAnne Laurea LaBounty, President, Spartanburg Meat Processing Co., Inc.

SOUTH DAKOTA:              Janet R. Eining, Owner, Cellular Only Connection, Inc.

TENNESSEE:                      Terence Andrew Douglas, President, Alliant Corporation

TEXAS:                                Yolanda Arriola, President and CEO, Southwest University at El Paso

UTAH:                                 Jay Benjamin Broadbent, President, Alpine Home Medical Equipment LLC

VERMONT:                        Thomas M.L. Stearns, President, High Mowing Organic Seeds

VIRGIN ISLANDS:             Brianne B. Beatty, Ryan B. Skinner, Owners, Flagship, LLC

VIRGINIA:                          Caroline Anne Taylor, RN-President, Taylor Made Diagnostics, Inc.

WASHINGTON:                 James “Kiwi” Ferris, President, Edensaw Woods, Ltd.

WEST VIRGINIA:              Arria Hines, President & CEO, Allegheny Science & Technology Corp.

WISCONSIN:                     Mark Matthiae, CEO, Crystal Finishing Systems, Inc.

WYOMING:                       Anthony Andrew Aguiree, President, Triple A Building Services, Inc.

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