SBA  News Release



SBA Administrator Honors Nation’s Top Small Businesses

Winners to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 30 – May 1


WASHINGTON – Administrator Linda McMahon, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced today 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. All winners are invited to ceremonies in Washington, D.C April 30 – May 1 where they will be honored with their individual award along with the recognition of three runners-up and the naming of the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year.

“It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and its territories,” McMahon said. “These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”

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 April 30 – May 6 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, Calif.

“I’m proud of our region’s winners,” said Carl Knoblock, acting SBA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator.  “Every year our national competitors reflect the dedicated work of our entrepreneurs as well as the support of SBA and our partner organizations. I am confident that at least one of our district winners will walk away with a national title.”

2017 Small Business Person of the Year Winners in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Donna L. Vanderwende
Vanderwende Farm Creamery
Bridgeville, DE 19933

Robert W. Dozier Jr.
President & CEO
RWD Consulting, LLC
Washington, DC 20036

Kara DiPietro
HMC Incorporated
Columbia, MD 21046

Elvin Eugene Stoltzfus
Pik Rite, Inc.
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Corliss Udoema
President & CEO
Contract Solutions, Inc.
Manassas, VA 20109

Matthew Paul Knott
President & CEO
River Riders, Inc. and Clarion Inn Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


In addition to the Small Business Person of the Year Award, SBA’s West Virginia District Director Karen Friel is excited to announce the following District Level award winners:

2017 8(a) Graduate of the Year (National Award Winner!)
Leah Heimbach – Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC
Fairmont, WV
Nominated by: Desirea Votaw, HMS

2017 WV Small Business Person of the Year
Matthew Paul Knott – River Rider Family Adventure Resort     ­
Harpers Ferry, WV
Nominated by: Mary Hott, SBDC

2017 WV Small Business Exporter of the Year
Justin Seibert – Direct Online Marketing
Wheeling, WV
Nominated by: Chad Remp, Wheeling Truck Center

2017 Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Donald Riggenbach – Riggenbach Tile and Carpet
New Martinsville, WV
Nominated by: Donna Schramm, SBDC

2017 Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
Chin Orih – Corporate Cleaning Services, LLC
Morgantown, WV
Nominated by: Sharon Stratton, SBDC & Mindy Walls WVU WBC

2017 WV Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
Elizabeth Yeager Cross – Yeager Design & Interiors
Scott Depot, WV
Nominated by: Heather Vanater, BR&E & Amber Wilson, SBDC

2017 WV Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year
Chad Ranson & John Roberts – Ranson Inspection Services, LLC
Ripley, WV
Nominated by: Marsa Myers, SBDC

2017 West Virginia Encore Entrepreneur of the Year
Delaina Kucish – Our Country Corner
Fairmont, WV
Nominated by: Tina Shaw, Marion County Chamber of Commerce

2017 West Virginia Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Dakota Janowitz – DJ’s Firewood
Augusta, WV
Nominated by: Lindsey Teets, SBDC

2017 WV Small Business Champion of the Year
Patrick Ford – Business Development Corporation of the Norther Panhandle
Weirton, WV
Nominated by: Ed Powell, SBDC

West Virginia Lender of the Year
Huntington National Bank
67 loans for more than $17.9 million

West Virginia Community Bank of the Year
MVB Bank
12 loans for more than $1.7 million

West Virginia Microlender of the Year
First Microloan of West Virginia
13 loans for $474,000


“We have an outstanding group of small business owners that represent our state,” says Friel. “I look forward to meeting with each of them in the next couple weeks and celebrating their success during National Small Business Week.” The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office will celebrate the award winners during an invite only luncheon on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont, WV.