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SBA News: 29th Annual MED Week Conference Will Bring Top Minority-Owned Businesses to Washington in September

Release Date:  September 6, 2011    
Contact: Tiffani Clements (202) 401-0035
Release Number: 11-49    
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

WASHINGTON – One of 10 small businesses from around the country will be selected as the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year at the 29th annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week conference, hosted jointly in September by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. 

The MED Week conference will take place Sept. 27-30 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“We are happy to partner with MBDA on this year’s MED Week event to bring together accomplished minority small business owners, respected business leaders, federal agencies and top Fortune 100 companies to provide a lively, interactive framework for small businesses to learn critical tips on how to gain access to capital and federal contracts, how to expand their businesses and take their businesses global,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. 

The national winner will be chosen from 10 regional winners representing Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, South Carolina, Indiana, California, and Washington. 

Regional award winners have businesses that offer services ranging from manufacturing of military and occupational uniforms and marketing and staffing services to the design and construction of office furniture and environmental services including wildlife habitats, wetlands development and naturalized landscaping. 

MED Week celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding minority entrepreneurs and leaders and provides a platform for small, minority-owned businesses to learn about business growth strategies, receive premier training and networking opportunities. 

“Minority businesses are a phenomenal asset to the U.S. economy in a variety of sectors, from manufacturing to hospitality services and everything in between,” said MBDA National Director David Hinson. “These firms create good paying jobs and boost economic growth in America’s communities. The businesses recognized through the MED Week awards program represent just a few of our nation’s brightest and most innovative minority enterprises.”

The conference will also include workshops on access to SBA’s lending programs, access to federal contracts through the Small Business Jobs Act, growing your business through social media and access to government contracts through federal Mentor-Protegé programs. The SBA will participate in a roundtable entitled, “Doing Business with the Government,” to discuss government contracting opportunities for small businesses. 

The theme for this year’s MED Week event is “Emerging Industries & Markets: A Blueprint for Success,” and will continue its focus on helping minority small businesses expand their operations and establish a presence in the global marketplace while helping them weather the current economic climate in the U.S.  There will also be a business expo and tradeshow and a Small Business Town Hall to discuss the Small Business Jobs Act. 

In addition to announcing the national minority small business award winner, SBA will present the SBA Administrator’s Leadership award which recognizes the recipient’s tireless efforts and unwavering commitment on behalf of the nation’s minority small business community and the  award for the 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year. 

The 10 Regional Minority Small Business Persons of the Year are:

Charran K. Fisher, President
Fisher Contracting Corporation
Worcester, Mass.
Armando A. “Rocky” Aranda Jr., President
MILCON Construction, LLC
San Antonio, Texas 
Oscar Quiles, President
Pentaq Manufacturing Corporation
Sabana Grande, PR   
Elizabeth K. Harshfield, President
Exhibit Arts, LLC
Wichita, Kan.
Carlos Del Toro, President & CEO
SBG Technology Solutions, Inc.
Stafford, Va.
Jacqueline Nettleton, President
Mountain Movers Construction, Inc.
Rapid City, S.D.
Kenneth B. Canty, President & CEO
Freeland Construction Company
Charleston, S.C.                     
Ricardo A. Lopez, President & CEO
RAL Investment Corporation
National City, Calif.    
Clyde D. Harris II, President
Diverse Staffing Services, Inc.
Indianapolis, Ind.
Lorraine Kimberly Erion, President
LKE Corporation
Washougal, Wash.