Dakota Business | SBA North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year

North Dakota District Office

u s small business administration
Dakota Business Newsletter, May 2, 2019
Troy Derheim, 2019 SBA North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year

Troy Derheim!

SBA's North Dakota
Small Business Person
of the Year for 2019


Next week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is honoring some of the top entrepreneurs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam, during National Small Business Week. Each of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C. on May 5-6 where they will be honored with their individual award. During the ceremonies, SBA will announce the 2019 National Small Business Person of the Year from the 53 winners from across the U.S. and territories. Watch the national award ceremony live May 6, beginning at 11:45 am CT, on SBA's Facebook page.

The annual Small Business Person of the Year award recognizes business owners who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit. The winners are selected on their record of stability, growth in employment and sales, financial condition, innovation, response to adversity and community service.

Troy Derheim, founder and CEO of Derheim, Inc., has been selected as the 2019 North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year and will be representing North Dakota at the award ceremonies.

After serving in the United States Army as a Fire Direction Artillery Specialist at Ft. Still, O.K., and in the Gulf War, Troy Derheim returned to North Dakota to attend college. While in college, he started a home-based, hot tub rental business. Not only was the business profitable, but every rental returned with positive stories of families and friends coming together and creating life-long memories. These stories made a lasting impact on Troy, recognizing the physical and emotional benefits of aquatic therapy.

The positive customer experiences inspired Troy to continue to grow the business into My Aquatic Services – a design, sales, construction, and service company specializing in commercial and residential pool, spa, and specialty aquatic products. Services unique to My Aquatic Services include energy and safety audits for commercial entities including schools, hotels, city pools, and aquatic therapy centers. The company is the only certified specialized leak detection company in North Dakota, pinpointing leakages in all aquatic vessels.

Over the past 28 years, Derheim's company earned multiple awards of excellence in the pool and spa industry, most recently being named one of America's Top 50 pool and spa service companies. He also faced critical challenges along the way. In 2008, the company lost half of its revenue due to an economic downturn. Later in 2015, Derheim sold the retail sales division – the producer of the majority of the company’s revenue – to concentrate on commercial projects and promote aquatic therapy. The buyer, who initially agreed to help Troy grow the construction side of the business, hired a direct competitor of My Aquatic Services. Derheim attributes the company's survival to retaining key experienced employees, the diversifying of services, and leveraging SBA resources to navigate his business through challenges and growth.

Throughout the years, in addition to SBA loans that allowed the company to expand to a new retail location and hire more staff, Troy also sought professional business advice from SCORE, the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center. Additionally, Derheim participated in SBA’s Emerging Leaders program to assist with company growth. Today, My Aquatic Services continues to grow and anticipates surpassing its all-time revenue achievements.

Troy’s belief in the positive value aquatic therapy has on his customers, also ignited philanthropic efforts as he often donates hot tub rentals to churches, non-profits, and charity fund-raising events around the region. His non-profit Aquatic Empowered assists rural communities to develop, build, and maintain aquatic facilities so that every individual can experience the joy and healing attributes of water.

Upcoming Events

May 7 Workshop - Boots to Business: Reboot

Devils Lake, ND
A one-day training for Veterans of all eras, Reservists, National Guard Members, Transitioning Military members, and their spouses interested in starting a business.

May 7 & 8 - Energizing Entrepreneurs Conference

Oakes, ND
Join NDSU Extension for a two-day conference designed to inspire and provide resources for anyone who wants to start or support a small business in their rural community.

May 8 Webinar - Federal Contracting Certifications

Learn about the various federal certifications you may be eligible for: 8(a) Business Development Program; Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB); Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business (EDWOSB); and the HUBZone certification.

May 9 - Small Business Conference

Offutt School of Business, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
You're invited to spend the day with industry experts as they address today's most pressing small business challenges. Attend panel discussions and workshops for strategies and techniques to start, grow, expand and transition your business. Stop by resource tables for one-on-one visits. Boxed lunch and refreshments included in registration fee. 

May 10 Workshop - Wealth & Succession Planning: How to Create a Clear Plan for Your Future

Bismarck, ND
Early planning, and regular reviews, will provide flexibility for your transition, maximize the value of your business, and preserve the wealth that has been built. Registration deadline Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

May 14 Workshop - HUBZone Certification

Rugby, ND
It pays to be in the zone! Learn how businesses in designated HUBZones can gain preferential access to federal contracting opportunities. Advanced registration is required. Contact Sherri Komrosky at 701-239-5658 or sherri.komrosky@sba.gov.

May 14 Workshop - Cybersecurity Seminar for Small Business

Fargo, ND
Join Microsoft for a one-day workshop focusing on helping small businesses understand the key components of a cybersecurity program. Registration deadline is Friday, May 10, 2019.

May 15 Workshop - Cybersecurity Seminar for Small Business

Bismarck, ND
Join Microsoft for a one-day workshop focusing on helping small businesses understand the key components of a cybersecurity program. Registration deadline is Friday, May 10, 2019.

May 24 - SBIR Road Tour

Fargo, ND
The SBIR Road Tour connects entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country's largest source of early stage funding - the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Also known as America's Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs provide over $3 billion in early stage funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas such as unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cybersecurity and defense.


Find other small business workshops and events on our Small Business Calendar at www.sba.gov/nd