NSBA , SBTC Champions of Small Biz Innovation

February 9, 2012

Last week, the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) and National Small Business Association (NSBA) honored Members of Congress, congressional staffers, small-business owners and employees and other key advocates for their work in ensuring the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was given a long-term reauthorization. The awards, the Champions of Small Business Innovation, were given during a reception hosted by NSBA on Feb. 2, and were determined by the small-business members of SBTC.

For nearly a decade, NSBA and SBTC has been fighting a major stalemate over proposals that would have dramatically changed the SBIR program. The passage of a reasonable, long-term SBIR reauthorization is a major win that wouldn’t have happened without the many dedicated and outspoken champions of small-business innovation recognized by SBTC and NSBA.

Awarded with top honors, the MVP of Small Business Innovation Advocacy, were Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, respectively; Kevin Wheeler, deputy staff director for the committee under Chair Landrieu; and Robert Weiss.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) attended the reception to receive their awards and mingle with NSBA and SBTC members. Although Sen. Landrieu was unable to attend the event, her chief of staff, Jane Campbell accepted the award for her. Several other lawmakers also were recognized with Champion Awards: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Reps. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).

Several small-business owners who also serve as NSBA Trustees were recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award, including SBTC Executive Director Jere Glover, NSBA Immediate Past Chair Larry Nannis of Katz, Nannis & Solomon, PC and Robert Schmidt of Cleveland Medical Devices, Inc.

The following NSBA Trustees were recognized as Champions of  Small Business Innovation: ML Mackey of Beacon Interactive Systems, Les Bowen of  Material Systems, Inc., Jeff Gilling of Diamond Antenna & Microwave Corp., Robert Baker of the Smaller Business Association of New England (an affiliate of NSBA), Scott Hauge of Small Business California (also an NSBA affiliate) and Christopher White of Active Spectrum, Inc.

In all, SBTC and NSBA honored 73 critical players in the SBIR success. Please click here for a complete list.