2014 Cleveland District Small Business Week Winners Honored at Ceremonies Throughout the District May 12 -16

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SBA Cleveland District Office


Angela Wilcoxon of Key Bank; SBA Cleveland District Director Gil Goldberg; Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin of Aurora, Ohio

SBA Travels to Aurora to Honor the Cleveland District Small Business Person of the Year

The Cleveland District Office of the SBA recognized Dr. Praful Patel, Founder and President of National Biochemicals, Inc., as 2014 District Small Business Person of the Year.  The Small Business Person of the Year is selected based on the following criteria: staying power, growth in the number of employees, increase in sales or unit volume, current and past financial performance, innovativeness of product or service offered, response to adversity, and contributions to community-oriented projects. “The SBA recognizes Dr. Patel because of his entrepreneurial spirit and leadership.  He has created good, high-paying jobs that have resulted in an enriched local economy.” said District Director Gil Goldberg. National Biochemicals manufactures and supplies raw materials to the life science industry. Its clients include biopharmaceutical companies, wholesale distributors, teaching institutions and other providers of high purity biochemical based products.  


SBA Cleveland District Director Gil Goldberg (on tractor) and Mr. Dallas Steiner of Venture Products

SBA Celebrates in Orrville with the Cleveland District Exporter of the Year

Because he has brought Venture Products, Inc. to great success on the global stage, has created many good jobs, and has employed effective solutions to exporting problems, Mr. Dallas Steiner, COB of Venture Products, Inc., has been named 2014 Exporter of the Year for the Cleveland District. The honor is awarded to a company with outstanding sales, profits and creative export marketing strategies.  The company recognized must also demonstrate encouragement of other small businesses to export and volunteer assistance to others entering the export market.  Venture Products, Inc. makes Ventrac brand compact tractors with commercial grade attachments. Ventrac equipment is unique; the design includes an articulating frame, front-mounted attachments, and all-wheel drive traction in a compact design. Its products are used in specialty locales such as golf courses, hospitals, schools, estates, and as well as by professional contractors.   


Lisa Kleinhandler, CEO of Hudson Fasteners and Butland Award winner, and Executive Vice President Cris Young

Owner of Youngstown Family Owned Company Honored with the Jeffrey Butland Award

District Director Gil Goldberg presented Ms. Lisa Kleinhandler, CEO and President of Hudson Fasteners, Inc., with the SBA Cleveland District’s Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year Award for 2014. The award recognizes a family-owned and operated business which has been passed on from one generation to the next. The Kleinhandler family began the wholesale fastener distribution business in 1946. Ms. Kleinhandler is now the third generation owner of the company. Hudson Fasteners, Inc. provides its clientele with six decades of fastening knowledge and access to over 100,000 different fastening products, with a network of distribution centers located throughout North America. 


Lorain County Community College SBDC staff with Director Kimberly Plzak (holding award) and SBA District Director Gil Goldberg

Elyria Small Business Development Center Receives the SBDC Service Excellence and Innovation Award

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Cleveland District Office recognized the Ohio SBDC at Lorain County Community College with its Service Excellence and Innovation Award. This award honors a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for its excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation. “The SBA is proud to honor Kimberly Plzak and the staff of the SBDC at Lorain County Community College,” said Mr. Goldberg.  “The results of their counseling, advice and support to those working to pursue or grow small businesses has strengthened the local economy.  Under Ms. Plzak’s leadership, her team has accomplished outstanding work and is greatly deserving of this recognition.” 


Ken Ferian of Huntington Bank, N.A.

Cleveland Lender Acknowledged with the Financial Services Champion Award

The U.S. Small Business Administration has recognized Mr. Ken Ferian, Senior Vice President of The Huntington National Bank, as the 2014 Financial Services Champion for the Cleveland District. Small Business Champions are individuals or organizations dedicated to supporting the small business community through volunteer service. The SBA is pleased to recognize Mr. Ferian for his unselfish volunteer contributions to the small business community," stated Mr. Goldberg.  “The SBA also honors him for his advocacy efforts to increase the flow of capital to small businesses, in particular at his financial institution.”