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SBA Administrator honors nation’s top small businesses

Allegheny Science & Technology Corp. CEO among honorees

WASHINGTON – Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has announced this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

West Virginia’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year Winner is Arria Hines, president & CEO of Allegheny Science & Technology Corp.

All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on May 1-2 where they will be awarded their individual awards along with recognition of the runners-up and the naming of the 2016 National Small Business Person of the Year.

In making the announcement, Contreras-Sweet said: “It is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and her territories.  These small business owners represent the best of the best and showcase daily their entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s evolving and competitive business environment.”

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are May 1-7 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose and Oakland, California.

“There are more than 28 million small businesses serving as the economic engine of our country, employing half of the private sector and creating two out of three net new jobs.  If our small business sector was a country, its output would rank number three above Germany and Japan.  I’m looking forward to welcoming these talented entrepreneurs to their nation’s capital and celebrating their stories to shine a light on American ingenuity and innovation,” Contreras-Sweet said.



In addition, SBA’s West Virginia District Office has announced all of the 2016 small business award winners:


WV Small Business Person of the Year

Arria Hines – Allegheny Science & Technology Corp.

Nominated by: Deana Dean, i-79 Development Council
WV 8(a) Graduate of the Year

Diana Marie Lewis Jackson – Action Facilities Management Inc.
Nominated by: James Merrill, Action Facilities Management Inc.


WV Exporter of the Year
Scott Hedges – Power Sonix Inc.

Nominated by: Matthew Coffey, WV Small Business Development Center
WV Family-Owned Small Business of the Year

Douglas Kreinik – Kreinik Manufacturing Company

Nominated by: Marsa Myers, WV Small Business Development Center
WV Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

Francisco Guerrero – El Rey Mexican Restaurant

Nominated by: Susannah Higgins, WV Small Business Development Center
WV Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Lisa Levendosky Fritsch – Agile5 Technologies Inc.

Nominated by: Shannon Proud, Agile 5 Technologies Inc.


WV Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year
Douglas Edward Tate – Alpha Technologies

Nominated by: Terry Cyfers, WV Small Business Development Center
WV Encore Entrepreneur of the Year
Ralph and Amelia Garcia – Garcia’s Latin Market LLC

Nominated by: Sharon Stratton, WV Small Business Development Center
WV Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Nesha Ashok Sanghavi – University Girls

Nominated by: Sam Payne, WV Small Business Development Center
WV Small Business Champion of the Year

Jens Kiel – Made in Germany

Nominated by: Terry Cyfers, WV Small Business Development Center


The West Virginia District Office highlights the 2016 Small Business Week winners, Wednesday, May 4, 2016 during an invitation only awards luncheon at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont.

Press inquiries can be sent to me at [email protected] or 304-623-7445. Winner success stories will be released to the press closer to the event date.




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