Wisconsin Entrepreneur Kevin McDermott and Steven Smits, Owners of Patriot Taxiway Industries, Win the 2010 SCORE Award for Outstanding Veteran-owned Business

Washington, D.C. — SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” honors Kevin McDermott and Steven Smits, owners of Patriot Taxiway Industries in Lomira, Wis., with the SCORE Award for Outstanding Veteran-owned Business. They earned this honor for their contributions to their community, exemplary achievements in their field, and overall business success. McDermott and Smits will accept this award, which is sponsored by Administaff, at the 2nd Annual SCORE Awards and black-tie gala.

McDermott, Smits and other SCORE Awards winners will be recognized during a September 16 event at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more at www.score.org/score_awards.html.

Kevin McDermott and Steven Smits originally intended to operate a small company producing aviation lighting systems. They soon grew their business when only 20 months into operations, the company was awarded a $7.7 million contract from the Air Force to supply lighting at 28 bases.

Attending meetings at Milwaukee SCORE, Kevin and Steven met with counselor Joan Burke, and they were given checklists to understand what it takes to start a small business and to understand what they'd be up against. SCORE also joined the Patriot Taxiway team with counselors who understood the federal contracting process.

"There was an awful lot we didn't know" about starting a business, Kevin says. SCORE, Kevin says, gave them the framework to ask the right questions that would help them succeed regarding banks, liability insurance and marketing to the federal government.

Kevin and Steven each have more than 20 years experience in the Air Force National Guard. They met in 1988 and have been deployed together all over the world including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo and Somalia.

For more information, contact Christine Banning at 800/634-0245 or media@score.org. To attend the SCORE Awards, contact Mark Dobosz at 941/371-3107 or mark.dobosz@scorefoundation.org. Learn more at www.score.org/score_awards.html.

About The SCORE Foundation: The mission of The SCORE Foundation is to support and leverage the work of SCORE by soliciting, investing and managing resources for the benefit of SCORE. Learn more about The SCORE Foundation at www.scorefoundation.org.

About SCORE: Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 8.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. More than 12,400 business experts volunteer as mentors in 364 chapters serving local communities with entrepreneur education to help grow 1 million small businesses.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at www.score.org and www.score.org/women. Connect with SCORE at www.facebook.com/SCOREFans, http://twitter.com/SCOREMentors and www.scorecommunity.org.