NSBA Honors Small Business Advocates at LuncheonMarch 27, 2013
The opening event of last week’s 2013 NSBA Washington Presentation in Washington, D.C. was the Lew Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award Luncheon. During that luncheon, attendees heard from keynote speaker, the Honorable Jim Nussle, former Chair of the House Budget Committee and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. NSBA also recognized the award finalists and announced for the first time publicly Raymond Arth, President of Phoenix Products, Inc. in Avon Lake, Ohio as the 2013 Lew Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year.
Mr. Nussle spoke to the group on one of the most critical issues facing America’s small businesses: the growing national debt. A highly-respected expert on federal budget issues, Nussle is a member of the steering committee for the Fix the Debt Campaign—of which NSBA is a partner—and is a prominent voice in the national debate on our country’s fiscal priorities and challenges. Mr. Nussle underscored the need for lawmakers to work together on addressing the debt and was critical of the negative impact that partisanship and political entrenchment is having on lawmakers’ ability to do the work of the American people.
Agreeing with NSBA that sequestration is the wrong way to go, Mr. Nussle emphasized that spending does need to be cut, but in a pragmatic way that encourages economic growth. He urged all attendees to be part of the solution, to look for federal spending that they think could be cut—even those programs or tax benefits that may benefit their own business. In closing, Mr. Nussle urged the group to bring up the debt with their lawmakers in the following days’ meetings and continue to raise the issue once they get back home.
Nussle took questions from the audience on issues ranging from tax reform to sequestration. He provided a lively discussion of a challenging topic, and his comments were very well received by the group.
In addition to the timely keynote address, NSBA recognized the 2013 Lew Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award winners. Raymond Arth, President of Phoenix Products, Inc. in Avon Lake, Ohio, was named the overall winner, and Dr. Raymond Jardine, Jr. of Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC, Michael Canty of Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding, Inc., Socorro Harvey of NVision Solutions and John Hexter of Hexter Consulting were all recognized as outstanding finalists for the award.
Mr. Arth is a very deserving recipient of the award, and has built a reputation as a pragmatic, thoughtful representative of small business. He has continued to stay involved and engaged in numerous small-business organizations for more than 30 years and has fostered a strong manufacturing business through a period when many others have folded.
Having testified before Congress and the Ohio Legislature many times, Mr. Arth has made it a priority to bring forth the needs of the entire small-business community. He has held myriad leadership positions locally and nationally, including with the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and NSBA. Phoenix Products was designated a Family Firm of Distinction by the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in 1998, and Arth was named 1997 Small Business Person of the Year by the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce. In 2001, he was honored with the Entrepreneurship Leadership award by COSE and The Rotary Club of Cleveland.
In his remarks upon accepting the award, Mr. Arth said it has been his pleasure to work on these important issues, and he encouraged all attendees to continue fighting for pro-small-business policies locally and nationally.
The finalists recognized by NSBA were:
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.
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.