The National Small Business Week Conference, hosted by the Small Business Administration, has been recognizing the special impact made by outstanding American entrepreneurs and small business owners since 1963.
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Victoria P. Tifft, President & CEO of Clinical Research Management, Inc. was named the 2012 Small Business Person of the Year. Victoria, was inspirited by her battle with malaria while serving in the Peace Corps to start a research firm that helps fight infectious diseases. It just goes to show you that when you inspired by something close to your heart, something that you enjoy – you can achieve great things.
I thought I would highlight a the winner and a few local standouts to inspire you to keep moving forward with your business. Amazing things can happen.
- Eliseo Valenzuela, Cheryl Valenzuela, and Joseph Wolfe, First State Manufacturing, Milford, Delaware. The dream began in a garage in 1998. Now, First State Manufacturing, a Delaware upholstery manufacturer, employs 50 technicians and brought in $4.5 million in 2010 (up from $2.2 million in 2007)
- Laura Darnall and Lois Judy, Candy Craft Creations, Garden City, Georgia. Darnall and Judy formed Candy Craft Creations in a backyard shed in 2008, manufacturing and distributing “Fondarific,” a new type of fondant (the impossibly smooth frosting layer used by chefs and bakers to create the icing on cake). In four years, Candy Craft Creations has gone from two owner/employees to 30 employees and from zero sales to over $2.5 million in 2011.
- Timothy Whicker, Electric Plus, Danville, Indiana. Whicker left his day job to start his own company, Electric Plus, in 2006. Electric Plus, Inc. performs work in many different types of new and existing construction projects. They started with two electricians and an office staff of one; now Tim has 109 total employees and $15 million in annual revenue.
- Paula White, 600lb. Gorillas, Duxbury, Massachusetts.White and her husband Chris sell all-natural, frozen, ready-to-bake desserts in supermarkets and club stores.
- Marjorie Perry, MZM Construction, Newark, New Jersey. Perry bought her company from its previous owners in 1992, and has thrived as a woman entrepreneur in an industry dominated by men.So how did she grow her business from $3 Million to $13 Million in less than a year? The answer is threefold: having access to the right resources, an unwavering commitment to implement a revised business plan for the times and a partial scholarship to attend Tuck’s executive education program. Her general contracting work includes clients like the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Delta Airlines, Port Authority of NY/NJ, and Verizon, Continental Airlines, and Marriott. Her company also helped build the new Meadowlands Stadium for the New York Giants.
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