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New Mexico, Rhode Island Firms Named National Contractors of the Year as Procurement Awards Take Center Stage During National Small Business Week

Washington, D.C., April 2008 – Two small business contractors, one from New Mexico and the other from Rhode Island, were today named the National Prime Contractor of the Year and National Subcontractor of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration at a luncheon held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. as part of National Small Business Week.

The Small Business Prime Contractor and Small Business Subcontractor of the Year awards honor small businesses that have provided the government and industry with outstanding goods and services either as prime contractors or as subcontractors. The recipients are:

  • Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year, Richard J. Lara, President of Classic Industries, Inc. of Dona Ana, NM. This general contractor and construction management firm specializes in commercial and residential construction projects. The small disadvantaged and 8(a)-certified business has fulfilled more than 50 Department of Defense construction contracts.
  • Small Business Subcontractor of the Year, Cheryl Snead, President and CEO and Roland Snead, Executive Vice President of Banneker Industries Inc. of North Smithfield, RI. Banneker is an 8(a) graduate who specializes in providing supply chain management solutions to a multitude of agencies and firms in the federal, private and public sectors. Banneker Industries’ operations are located in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Indiana, California and Dallas, Texas.

“Today, we celebrate the small businesses, corporate leaders and government officials who contribute to the success of small businesses, their communities and our economy,” said SBA Administrator Steve Preston. “It is this kind of entrepreneurship on the part of small businesses and leadership by corporate and government purchasers that helped small businesses secure more than $78 billion in federal contracts for goods and services last year, helping them grow, create jobs and fuel the nation’s economy.”

The luncheon was sponsored by Raytheon and the Minority Business Development Agency.

Small business owners, corporate leaders, government officials and volunteers from across the country are in Washington, D.C. for the week-long conference to be honored for their accomplishments in procurement and their contributions to the small business community and the nation’s economy. The contracting awards recognize these businesses and organizations for their commitment to providing contracting and subcontracting opportunities to small, women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.

Other federal contracting awards included:

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, recognizing large prime contractors that have excelled in their use of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors. The recipients are:

  • Donald Rogers, President, Tetra Tech EC of Morris Plains, NJ; (Construction Category).
  • Thomas May, Small Business Liaison Officer of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Pasadena, CA; (Research & Development Category).
  • Manjiv S. Vohra, President and CEO of Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC) of Burlingame, CA; (Services Category)
  • Michael Robinson, Program Director, Global Supplier Diversity of IBM of Somers, NY.

Gold Star Award, recognizing the exemplary performance of federal agencies and their dedicated personnel who carry out the aggressive goals and strategic initiatives that help ensure a role for small business in the federal marketplace. The recipient is:

  • Edward C. Foley, acting deputy for Small Business Programs for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District Office.

Frances Perkins Vanguard Award, honoring government and industry for excellence in the use of women-owned small businesses as prime contractors and subcontractors. The recipients are:

  • Nancy Tullis, deputy of Small Business Programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District Office.
  • Earth Tech, Inc. of Brooks City Base, TX.
  • Joan Branson, Sector Manager, Small Business Liaison Officer of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems of Pascagoula, MS 39568

Surety Bond Award, honoring a surety company for the support it provides to small contractors who need help securing bid and performance bonds. The recipient is:

  • Don Sirkin, CEO of Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company, of Seattle, WA.

Today’s events also included a forum entitled: “Secrets of Building Alliance Partnerships with Prime Contractors” with the General Services Administration, Homeland Security, Computer Services Corporation. Thursday’s schedule includes a business matchmaking session with corporate buyers and prime contractors at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD. The action moves to New York Thursday afternoon for the closing bell ceremony at NASDAQ to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Business Center program. There will also be a Lender Award Winners & Financial Forum in New York on Friday.

For additional details on Small Business Week 2008, including a full schedule of events and information on all award winners, visit

The U.S. Small Business Administration thanks the following cosponsors of National Small Business Week and related events: Sam’s Club, Administaff, Raytheon, IBM, Chevron, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Salesforce, Lowe’s, Banco Popular, Minority Business Development Agency, General Service Administration, MyBizHomepage, Dun & Bradstreet, National Association of Development Companies, Direct Selling Education Foundation, Association of Small Business Development Centers, National Small Business Association, Federal Allies Institute, SCORE, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Consumer Energy Alliance, and FedSources.

The SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any cosponsor’s, donor’s, grantee’s, contractor’s or participant’s opinions, products, or services. All SBA programs and cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least 2 weeks in advance, by contacting Cosponsorship Authorization #SBW2008

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