It’s one of our favorite times of the year here at SCORE, when we honor small business success stories at the SCORE Awards. This year’s honorees and their mentors have diverse business interests and experience, and together, they exemplify the spirit of small business in the United States.
Let’s meet the 2017 SCORE Award winners!
Outstanding American Manufacturer Small Business Award
Desserts Out The Jar creates individually crafted, home style gourmet desserts, conveniently packaged in authentic, traditional style mason jars. Mentor Gregory Shapiro has helped owner Yashica McKinney validate her business idea and stay motivated through the startup phase.
Outstanding Community Impact Small Business Award
Aunt Laurie’s creates handwoven gift baskets assembled by disabled clients going through job-skills training. Owner Laurie Brown first teamed up with Rod Casavant when she was first starting her business and refining her business plan. Aunt Laurie’s has surpassed several sales goals, and Brown now serves as a SCORE mentor herself.
Outstanding Diverse Small Business Award
Vegan Distribution is a specialty food distributor of plant-based products for the foodservice industry. Sharon Lu contacted SCORE for help deciding whether to purchase a second business in order to grow her own. Mentor Mitch Grunat guided Lu in areas of operational efficiency and marketing effectiveness after the merger was complete.
Outstanding Encore Entrepreneur Award
Hughes Barney Investigations is a premiere, woman-owned background investigation and security services firm. Owner Jeannette Hughes turned to SCORE for help attracting business and securing contracts. Mentor Karen Williams has guided Hughes through the steps necessary to apply for the 8(a) Business Development Program.
Outstanding Franchise Small Business Award
College Hunks Hauling Junk of NoVa provides stress-free, full-service local moving services, removing unwanted items from people’s homes or businesses to dispose, recycle or donate. Brad Westerman worked with SCORE mentor Richard Rose as he completed the due-diligence process to evaluate franchising opportunities.
Outstanding Green Small Business Award
Stat-Medicament-Disposal Corporation created a bottle that safely neutralizes pharmaceuticals, OTC medications and vitamins conveniently at home. Mentor Gregg Gimlin assisted owner Lawrence Kenemore, Jr. as he prepared to apply for grants and deliver presentations about his disposal program to local organizations in various cities.
Outstanding Innovative Small Business Award
CapeAble’s weighted blankets, weighted wearables, and sensory enrichment tools deliver deep-pressure touch stimulation which enables the central nervous system to communicate more effectively with the brain. Mentor Bill Causey worked with owners Marna Pacheco and Susan Hickok as they shifted their business model, adjusted their business plan and developed their own manufacturing method.
Outstanding Job-Creator Small Business Award
Advocations connects and supports professionals with disabilities and inclusive companies nationwide. Mentors Chuck Sawicki and Adriana McLane helped owner Lindsey Haaser diversify her client base and position her business for growth.
Outstanding Veteran-Owned Small Business Award
Urban Dwell is an independent boutique-style gift shop featuring carefully hand-curated hip and trendy merchandise. With help from mentor Richard Rose, owner Tom McMahon was able to determine the ideal location for his business, forge a relationship with his future landlord and negotiate a favorable lease for this new shop.
Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business Award
Sugar Beeze was created by a mom desperately searching for a protein snack for her son, a Type 1 Diabetic, and the result was the Benji Bar. Owner Julie Maddox worked with mentor Bill Heitz, who helped her write a business plan, determine the cost of goods and draw up a profit and loss statement, among other achievements.
Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award
The One Gallon Soap Company is an environmentally-minded company producing liquid hand soap made from recycled bars of hotel soap. Owner Tristan Corriveau found access to partnerships and a greater understanding of business finances through his time spent with mentors Donna LeBreaux and Chuck Grossman.