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April 08. 2012 10:50PM

SBA names top award winners


NANNU NOBIS 
CONCORD — The U.S. Small Business Administration will honor its 2012 New Hampshire award winners and champions at a celebration luncheon in May, showcasing Granite State entrepreneurs and small-business advocates that represent part of the SBA's commitment to its current $93 billion national loan portfolio.

Low-interest loans, government contracting opportunities and technical assistance are three of the ways the SBA, created in 1953, assists U.S. small businesses in “creating jobs, preserving free competitive enterprise, and strengthening the overall economy of our nation,” the SBA said in a news release.

New Hampshire award winners will be featured on May 17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua as the Concord District office of the SBA honors the following winners:

Nannu Nobis: Small Business Person of the Year

An India native who emmigrated to America in 1978, Nobis, CEO of Nobis Engineering Inc., earned a master's degree in Geotechnical Engineering in 1979 from the University of Michigan, then went on to graduate from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business Management's Minority Business Executive Program.

He founded Nobis Engineering in 1988 in a spare bedroom of his home. Nobis Engineering now has offices in Concord; Lowell, Mass.; White River Junction, Vt.; and Iselin, N.J., providing diversified services in geotechnical, environmental, and civil engineering, with more than 100 employees. Up to 5 percent of the firm's annual profits are designated to charitable organizations and every employee is offered 24 paid hours per year for volunteer work.

John Roy, Richard Kuhl: SCORE Counselors of the Year

John Roy of Vershire, Vt., joined the Upper Valley chapter of SCORE in 2002 after a career in management, financial services and information technology.

Shortly after his arrival, Roy's skills labeled him “the IT guy” of SCORE, and he served as chapter chair from 2004-06.

Roy conducts workshops on Internet marketing and website maximization, and led SCORE's Workshop Committee from 2007-09.


Richard Kuhl of Bedford also joined SCORE in 2002, and remains an active and involved member of the Merrimack Valley SCORE Chapter #199 in Manchester.

During his working career, Kuhl served in marketing and executive leadership at several companies, and “has a tremendous reputation with business owners for the counsel and advice he has provided throughout the past 10 years,” according to Richard Clough, chairman of the Merrimack Valley chapter. Kuhl also serves on SCORE's executive board, as chairman of the Marketing committee and a member of the Assignment and Recruiting committees.

Suzanne Delaney: Veteran Small Business Champion

Suzanne M. Delaney owner of The Entrepreneur's Source, is a franchisee with the company and works as a self-employment and business coach.

A Navy veteran, Delaney left the service in 2008 when she relocated to Nashua with her family. Still active in the reserves, Delaney helps individuals looking to become entrepreneurs by introducing them to a variety of franchise and similar system-based business opportunities.

Delaney also is actively involved in the local business community and volunteers with the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, where she received the Volunteer of the Year award in 2010.

Barbara Tremlett: Women in Business Champion

Barbara Tremlett of The Holistic Self Care Center in Nashua, says she feels “called upon to do great things and to help people do great things.”

Tremlett mentors dozens of business owners in addition to running her business, and supports women owners directly by providing them the opportunity to grow their professional practices through workshops.

She volunteers the use of her business location for many community affairs, and counsels small-business owners pro bono in positioning and marketing their own businesses.

Tremlett is president of the Business and Professional Women group in the Nashua region.

Millennium Integrated Marketing: Woman-Owned Business of the Year

Millennium Integrated Marketing of Manchester, owned by founder and president Linda Fanaras of Concord, was started in her home in 1996 when she sought advice from a SCORE counselor in Concord on managing a start-up budget and planning for growth.

In 2001, she leased her first office space in Concord and hired her first employee. Since then, the firm has expanded twice and is now located in the Manchester Millyard and has a satellite office in Boston's Financial District. It has 10 staff members and five dedicated contractors providing market research, corporate branding, creative design, interactive public relations and telesales/outreach services.

Fanaras previously served as the co-chair of the Concord Hospital Gala and as a prior board member of the Friends Program, and currently is a member of the Merrimack County Savings Bank Corporator's Board and the MCSB Foundation Board, and the BIA's board of directors.

Michael Turcotte: Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Michael Turcotte, founder of Turn Cycle Solutions LLC of Nashua, is a successful entrepreneur under 30 years of age whose company offers energy conservation principles, techniques and financial support programs.

Turcotte began marketing his services as a qualified energy auditor to home and business owners to help clients maximize their energy-efficiency opportunities.

Turcotte has taken advantage of networking opportunities for young professionals through StayWorkPlay New Hampshire and participated in the state's Green Launching Pad Initiative, resulting in the start of his second venture, Blue2Green in 2011, which promotes hydroelectric power production by restoring existing dams†and attracting investors to suitable dams and mill restoration projects.

Skelley Medical: Small Business Exporter of the Year

Bill Skelley, president of Skelley Medical, says, “International business is not easy. It takes time and a lot of hard work ... a total team effort.”

Skelley Medical has been around for almost 15 years, founded by Skelley in 1997. It purchases pre-owned medical equipment, rebuilds it and sells it worldwide to hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices and other medical facilities.

Skelley has been an active user of SBA services since 2003 and recently closed on two SBA 7(a) guaranteed loans.

During the slowdown in the U.S. economy in 2008, Skelley Medical looked for global growth opportunities and found them by exporting to Canada, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Italy, Nigeria, India, Australia, Mexico and Bolivia. The firm is currently exploring opportunities to export medical products to Brazil, Dominican Republic, Panama, Greece, Spain and other countries.

Laurel Bistany: Financial Services Champion of the Year

Laurel J. Bistany, executive director of the Regional Economic Development Center, considers herself “an ambassador of community and economic development here in southern New Hampshire.”

At the REDC, Bistany oversees financing, grant development, fund-raising, CEDS development and the Brownfields program, and is responsible for administering REDC loan funds, underwriting millions of dollars in loans that have directly led to more than 1,000 jobs being created or retained throughout the region, the SBA said.

She plans to build southern Hampshire's first Regional Business Training Center to support towns and businesses and stimulate job creation, and was awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the US Department of Agriculture to purchase the equipment for the training center.

Design Standards Corp.: Family-Owned Business of the Year

Design Standards Corp. of Charlestown, winner of the Jeffrey H. Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year award, is a second-generation contract manufacturer in the medical device industry.

Eric Crainich, company president, followed his father Lawrence Crainich, a tool maker, design engineer and entrepreneur, who founded the firm in 1971.

Eric Crainich began in an operations role for†U.S. Surgical Corp.'s Opthalmic and Cardiovascular Needle plant in Germany.

His company designs, develops and manufactures disposable and re-usable medical devices to support a variety of surgical procedures†in arthroscopy, endoscopy, spinal, cardiothoracic, bariatric, orthopedic†and general surgeries.

Claremont Savings Bank and the Capital Regional Development Council provided Design Standards with an SBA 504 loan in 2009 to consolidate all operations i a renovated building, where it expanded to 110 employees.

Peter Nieves: New Hampshire and New England Minority Small Business Champion

Peter Nieves, a shareholder at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green law firm in Manchester and chair of its Patent Law department, says he feels “blessed” to have the opportunity to “reach out to our community and help as many as possible.”

The patent attorney mentors a number of individuals, including minority-owned small businesses and the business owners themselves, on aspects of intellectual property including professional presentations, business etiquette, client development skills and marketing.

He also volunteers to mentor students on legal practice and best practices for increasing desirability in the legal field, and dedicates time to raise funds for nonprofit organizations to establish financial and legal assistance within the minority small business community.

Nieves was named to the New Hampshire Union Leader's 40 Under Forty class of 2007, and in 2009 and 2010 he was named a Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers in the area of intellectual property. He is also an adjunct professor of patent law at the UNH School of Law, formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center, and on the board of Friends of Children's Hospital at Dartmouth.

In addition to the New Hampshire awards luncheon, the SBA will celebrate its annual National Small Business Week in May to honor successful business persons and champions from around the country, with special events May 20-22 in Washington, D.C.

On the Net: www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com

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