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WV SBA celebrates small business week

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The West Virginia office of the Small Business Admininistration will honor five Small Business Week award winners next week.

The recognition ceremony will  be 6 p.m. May 29 at the Erickson Alumni Center at West Virginia University.This year's winners are:

Small Business Person of the Year

 Diane Lewis, president and CEO, Action Facilities Management of Monongalia County. Founded in 2001 and incorporated in 2003, Action Facilities Management provides site management services including security, facilities maintenance, project management, equipment operations, consulting, training and staffing. The company has grown from an initial two employees in 2001 to the current on-board strength of 275-plus people providing government and commercial contract services to more than 20 clients in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

Small Business Exporter of the Year

 Tim Warden, president, Engart Inc. of Raleigh County. Engart designs, manufactures and supplies wet dust extraction systems for mining, utility and heavy process industries. The company utilizes its technology to eliminate the fire and explosion risk associated with collecting fugitive combustible dust that is generated during the material handling process. Engart ventilation and air cleaning technology provides a method to improve the environmental operating conditions for mine workers while maintaining regulatory compliance of its air quality emissions. Engart started in January 2003 and is headquartered in Beckley. A production facility is in Bluefield. Although Engart is a relatively small privately held company, it has expanded its geographic market to set up distributors in Canada. Engart also has an established market presence in South Korea, Mexico and Columbia.

Family-Owned Business of the Year

Jonathan Bellingham, marketing manager, Capon Springs and Farms in Hampshire County. Capon Springs and Farms has operated as a family-owned business since 1932, when Lou Austin purchased the property for its spring waters. Fourth-generation Jonathan Bellingham is the marketing manager. Located on 4,700 acres of forested mountains in Hampshire County, the property includes 90 guest rooms in a dozen lodges. Employing 125 local persons, the business is open from April through October each year. The business location lends itself to providing a variety of recreational activities.

Home-Based Business Champion

Mathew Thomas, Thomas/Work of Gilmore County. Launched in 2002, Thomas' focus is on creating finished pieces that combine metal and wood. Thomas blends three styles — traditional, contemporary and hybrid — among metal and wood. Thomas/Work is most known for its small furniture items, serving dishes and accessories. Thomas attended the 2012 Buyers Market of American Craft Conference as part of the Tamarack Foundation's Rural to Urban Markets Program. As a result of the show he picked up 59 new retailers.

Minority Small Business Champion

Christina Lundberg, business coach, Small Business Development Center in Berkeley County. Lundberg secured funding for multicultural events and publications and produced the 2012 Eastern Panhandle Multicultural Business Directory, which includes local businesses (black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American). She organized expos and workshops, co-chaired the Berkeley County Diversity Committee of Berkley County Public Schools, and co-chaired the economic development committee of Berkley Martinsburg Chapter of the NAACP.  

West Virginia's top small business SBA lenders also will be recognized during the celebration. The 2012 Community Bank of the Year is the First State Bank in Barboursville, which approved 31 SBA-guaranteed loans in West Virginia totaling more than $18.1 million. The 2012 Lender of the Year is Huntington National Bank, which approved 52 SBA-guaranteed loans for more than $9.9 million.