NSBA Names Cap Willey Advocate of the Year

September 15, 2011

NSBA yesterday kicked off the 2011 Washington Presentation, the annual event where small-business owners from across the country flock to Washington, D.C. to lobby their members of Congress, hear from administration officials and network amongst one another. The opening event was the Annual Advocate of the Year Award Luncheon during which Grafton H. “Cap” Willey IV of CBIZ Tofias in Providence, R.I. was named the 2011 Lewis Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year.

Willey is the managing director at CBIZ Tofias where he has handled a broad array of accounting functions for individuals and other small-businesses. He has held various leadership positions in myriad small-business associations and has twice been elected as a delegate and state chair to White House Conferences on Small Business. Willey was appointed to a three year term on the Small Business Advisory Council to the Federal Accounting Standards Board, and served on a number of state advisory committees to the Governor and General Assembly in Rhode Island. In 2010, Willey was instrumental in getting Rhode Island to change its personal income tax system to a more competitive, business-friendly system.

In addition to Willey, NSBA honored four other finalists during the luncheon: Eric Blackledge, president of Blackledge Furniture in Corvallis, Ore.; Dr. Alison Brown, president and CEO of NAVSYS Corporation in Colorado Springs, Colo., Dr. Ron Katznelson, president of Bi-Level Technologies in Encinitas, Calif., and Benny Lee, chairman and CEO of DuraComm Corporation in Kansas City, Mo.

Following the announcements of the awards, NSBA’s luncheon sponsor, Pfizer, welcomed Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report as the key-note speaker. Duffy is a Senior Editor for The Cook Political Report, a highly-respected resource which provides analyses of Presidential, U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial races. Duffy provided candid insight into the 2012 elections and shared with NSBA members some of the key political indicators to watch for in the coming 14 months.