NSBA Announces Finalists for Advocate of the Year AwardMarch 11, 2013
NSBA on Monday, March 11 announced the finalists for the 2013 Lew Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. The award winner will be named during NSBA’s Annual Advocate of the Year Award Luncheon on Monday, March 18 at 11:30 a.m., which is the kick-off event for the NSBA Washington Presentation on March 18-19 Washington, D.C.
“In the face of all the economic uncertainty facing small businesses today, these five finalists have gone far above and beyond in advocating for policies and programs that help not just their small business, but small businesses across the country.” stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. “I am honored to recognize such a distinguished pool of business owners.”
Dr. Raymond Jardine, Jr. – President/CEO of Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC, has been an outspoken proponent of veteran small businesses and the Native 8(a) program. Jardine has served on the VA Advisory Committee, American Legion, and participated on the White House Small Business Council. He has testified before Congress and was instrumental in legislation to improve small-business contracting and getting the NAICS code revised. NHV has grown from four employees in 2005 to 150 in 2012 and was named Hawaii Business Magazine’s Best New Business in 2010 and Best Places to Work in 2011.
Raymond Arth – President of Phoenix Products, Inc. in Avon Lake, Ohio is driven by his belief in the intrinsic value of a strong small-business community, and that is how he has selflessly advocated. Having testified before Congress and the Ohio Legislature numerous times, Arth has held countless leadership positions locally and nationally, including with the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and NSBA. Arth was named 1997 Small Business Person of the Year by the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce and has fostered a strong manufacturing business through a period when many others have folded.
Michael Canty – Owner, President and CEO of Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio is not only responsible for turning around his company, which he took over in 2006, but did so in the face of great economic turmoil. Canty’s passion for political activism landed him as Mayor of Bentleyville, Ohio for eight years. He continues to be extremely active on the local and state level and currently serves on the board at the COSE as well as the Governor’s Small Business Advisory Committee. Canty is a highly respected and well known advocate on small-business issues throughout Ohio.
Socorro Harvey – President of NVision Solutions in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi is a tireless advocate for entrepreneurship. In 2010 she pioneered the development of the Magnolia Business Alliance which was awarded with one of 10 SBA Regional Innovation Cluster contracts to expand and replicate the program. In 2011 NVision testified before Congress on contracting issues and Harvey is well known throughout the Gulf Coast for her small-business initiatives. She received a 2006 Tibbetts Award and was named the 2011 Minority Global Technology Firm of the Year for the Southeast Region.
John Hexter – Owner of Hexter Consulting in Cleveland, Ohio has been a long-time small-business advocate, starting with his involvement with COSE in 1980 and his participation in the 1986 and 1995 White House Conferences on Small Business. Hexter has lobbied state and federal officials on issues of tax fairness, health care parity and regulatory restraint, and has held a host of leadership positions in business organizations, including COSE and NSBA. He has testified before Congress and served as the Ohio representative for the Region V Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel.
The criteria used in determining award finalists was a commitment to small-business advocacy above and beyond policies that specifically impact their own business or industry; a proven history of volunteer efforts to advance and improve the overall small-business community; success in advocating for pro-small business policies; and success and growth as a small-business owner.