Administrator Guzman Announces 2023 State Small Business Persons of the Year

Karen Friel Announces West Virginia District Awards

WASHINGTON – Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s 33 million small businesses, announced today the 2023 Small Business Persons of the Year from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In addition, Karen Friel, SBA West Virginia district director, announces other West Virginia district level award winners.


The national winners will be recognized on Sunday, April 30 and Monday, May 1 during the National Small Business Week awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. At the event, one of the state/territory winners will be announced as the 2023 National Small Business Person of the Year.

“Our 2023 State Small Business Persons of the Year have given their all to achieve their American dream — to own and build a strong, resilient business; create jobs; increase competition and innovation and power America’s historic economic recovery,” said Administrator Guzman. “These incredible entrepreneurs show the vibrancy and grit of our nation’s small businesses. From Main Street to manufacturing hubs and tech centers, they are powering our economy. We hope their stories inspire and motivate the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

National Small Business Week will be held from April 30-May 6, 2023. For more information about NSBW, please visit


The West Virginia district winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 3 at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont, WV. “The West Virginia economy depends so much on small businesses,” said Karen Friel. “I look forward to taking the opportunity to honor some of the best of the best at our awards ceremony this spring.”

In addition to the West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year, listed below, the West Virginia District Office recognizes the following district awards:

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year

Anne Perella
A & J Sewing Studio LLC
Morgantown, WV
Nominated by: Sharon Stratton & Frank Goldsborough, SBDC

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Angie Cowger
Custard Stand Chili (CSC)/ The Custard Stand (TCS)
Webster Springs, WV
Nominated by: Crystal Dempsey, From the Hip Communications

*District Small Business Exporter of the Year and Lender award winners to be announced at a later date.

2023 National Small Business Persons of the Year are:
State  Awardee(s)  Name of Business  City/State 
West Virginia  Anthony & Heather Wheeler* Paris Signs 
(click link for bio – pg. 20)
Huntington, WV

*Nominated by Doug Harper, WV SBDC

State  Awardee(s)  Name of Business  City/State 
Alabama  Daryl Thomas Thomas Accounting & Income Tax Service, LLC Selma, AL
Alaska  Amie Sommer Tutka, LLC Wasilla, AK
Arizona  Jonathan Woodruff ORSA Technologies, LLC Scottsdale, AZ
Arkansas  Sean Beavers Graylee Construction and Demolition, LLC Austin, AR
California  Jared Malapit, Erik Wright, & Karl Vaillancourt Precision Construction Services San Luis Obispo, CA
Colorado  Amy Carnrick Foster Plumbing Denver, CO
Connecticut  Dennis Nash Control Station, Inc. Manchester, CT
Delaware  Jonathan Urquhart, Monika Urquhart, & Andreas Janke Bavarian Bakery and Deli Dover, DE
District of Columbia  Lonye Ford & Arlene Wube Arlo Solutions Washington, DC
Florida  Karina Doracio & Luis Contreras AmePower Miami, FL
Georgia  Ken Taunton The Royster Group, Inc. Atlanta, GA
Hawaii  Jonathan Montalbo Aloha Termite & Pest Control Kapolei, HI
Idaho  Taveesak “Dang” Chanthasuthisombut Dang’s Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar Hailey, ID
Illinois  Kathleen McShane Begin Within Therapy Services, PC Chicago, IL
Indiana  Haskell D. Portee Professional Management Enterprises Indianapolis, IN
Iowa  Aaron Warner ProCircular, Inc. Coralville, IA
Kansas  Jordan Michael Harris Harris Dream Clean, LLC Wichita, KS
Kentucky  David Dafoe Flavorman  Louisville, KY
Louisiana  Karen Williams NOLA Steele Fabrication & Erection, LLC Harvey, LA
Maine  Carolyn Delaney Journey Magazine Portland, ME
Maryland  Lois Gamerman Soft Stuff Distributors, Inc. Jessup, MD
Massachusetts  Kelly & Jim Sullivan Millennium Press Agawam, MA
Michigan  Todd Lotzer Prime Packaging Solutions Livonia, MI
Minnesota  Abdirahman Kahin Afro Deli & Grill St Paul, MN
Mississippi  Nick Wallace Nick Wallace Culinary Jackson, MS
Missouri  Luis Allan Arias Compass Roofing, LLC Kansas City, MO
Montana  Neli & Dimitar Nikolov The Corral Burger and Lodge Gardiner, MT
Nebraska  Rachel Daly Innovative Rx Kearney, NE
Nevada  Juanny Romero Mothership Coffee Roasters Las Vegas, NV
New Hampshire  Nancy and John Wilbur Wilbur Technical Services Mont Vernon, NH
New Jersey  Lauren Borawski Child’s Play Challenge Courses Scotch Plains, NJ
New Mexico  Chauling “Lynn” Armijo Four Winds Mechanical HTC/AC, Inc. Albuquerque, NM
New York  Joshua Schmieder JOSH Landscape Co. Honeoye Falls, NY
North Carolina  Michael McWhorter Mojotone Burgaw, NC
North Dakota  Matthew & Jesse Faul Red E, LLC Fargo, ND
Ohio  Jeanna Hondel Ascension Construction Solutions Columbus, OH
Oklahoma  Mike Bausch Andolini’s Worldwide Tulsa, OK
Oregon  Lisa Schroeder Mother’s Bistro & Bar Portland, OR
Pennsylvania Melinda Nearhoof Annie’s Flooring and Commercial Services Meadville, PA
Puerto Rico  Carlos E. Bonilla-Colon DUI, Inc. Guayama, PR
Rhode Island  Craig Pickell Bullard Abrasives, Inc. Lincoln, RI
South Carolina  Jennifer Megliore ArtWare, Inc. Hilton Head Island, SC
South Dakota  Denise Cotter & Michelle Marino Houndstooth House, LLC Sioux Falls, SD
Tennessee  Dr. Jonathan Scott Huitink Compass Pediatrics Gallatin, TN
Texas  Brandi Harleaux South Post Oak Recycling Center Houston, TX
Utah  David D. Mineer, Jr. Construction Monitor, LLC Cedar City, UT
Vermont  Christopher and Cortney Keene Keene Perspectives White River Junction, VT
Virginia  Sharon Hamer Akiak Technology Alexandria, VA
Washington  Jennifer Weddermann Weddermann Architecture Tacoma, WA
West Virginia  Anthony & Heather Wheeler  Paris Signs  Huntington, WV 
Wisconsin  Steven, Peggi, & Chuck Potter <
Release Date: March 14, 2023 Contact: [email protected]
Release Number: 23-14 Follow SBA on TwitterFacebookBlogs & Instagram