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SBA ADMINISTRATOR SAIKI NAMES SMALL-BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

 SBA ADMINISTRATOR SAIKI NAMES SMALL-BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
 WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- An Oklahoma grandmother whose small business grew from a $7.78 investment into a multimillion-dollar company, was today named as the National Small Business Person of the Year. Amelia B. McCoy, chief executive officer of Handmade Rainbows and Halos by Amelia, Inc., of Lamar, Okla., is the second woman to win in the competition's 29-year history.
 The award was announced by Patricia Saiki, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at a Congressional luncheon, the highlight of Small Business Week. Saiki also named a first and second runner-up and two firms receiving the SBA's highest national award for prime and subcontracting.
 "Amelia McCoy is an outstanding example of American entrepreneurship at its best," Saiki said. "She has proven that a good idea combined with hard work, innovation and creativity can equal success."
 McCoy was chosen from among men and women previously selected as Small Business Persons of the Year in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
 After making hairbows for her granddaughters as a hobby, McCoy began a small one-person, home-based business in 1978. Sales have since grown from $1.5 million annually to $5 million in 1991. Rainbows and Halos provides jobs -- in an area with high unemployment -- for nearly 450 cottage industry workers, and eight full-time employees. The company's products now include nearly 500 designs and are sold in 1,275 Wal-Mart stores.
 McCoy said the greatest hurdle she had to face in starting her own business was "overcoming the Oklahoma image that a grandmother and rancher's wife should cook, clean house, and take care of her grandchildren rather than start a business."
 "First runner-up was Iowa winner Richard W. Stewart, chief executive officer of Frontier Cooperative Herbs of Norway, Iowa. He started his herbs and spices business as a hobby in 1976. He nurtured his small business while going to night school to earn a degree in business administration. Today, Frontier's annual sales top $13 million and his company employs 165 people.
 Second runner-up was James W. Fleming, president of Aero Metals in LaPorte, Ind. His casting business has evolved from a start-up operation in his basement to an international $15 million company with 250 employees. His company provides quality components for a variety of industries including aerospace, defense, automotive and agriculture.
 Also honored at the Congressional luncheon were: Frederick R. Ruiz, president/CEO, Ruiz Food Products, Inc. of Dinuba, Calif., recipient of The Entrepreneurial Success Award; Ted W. Waitt, president, Gateway 2000, North Sioux City, S.D., Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Lester Coffey, CPA, president of Coffey and Associates of Rockville, Md., Accountant Advocate of the Year; William C. Enloe, president of Los Alamos National Bank, Financial Services Advocate of the Year; Murray L. Feldman, Business Editor, WJBK-TV/WWJ Radio, Southfield, Mich., Media Services Advocate of the Year; Harold K. Brown, associate dean, College of Business Administration, San Diego State University, Minority Advocate of the Year; Paul C. Hsu, president, Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises, Inc., Wausau, Wis., Small Business Exporter of the Year; William Carey, Jr., president, Corporate Resources Development, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., Veteran Advocate of the Year; and Thomasine M. Tarsell, president, Tomco Insurance Corporation and Tomco Money Management Corporation, Towson, Md., Women in Business Advocate of the Year.
 Other awards announced this week include the National Prime Contractor of the Year and the National Subcontractor of the Year. These awards will be presented at a Procurement Awards banquet on Thursday.
 The recipient of the National Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award is Morrison Construction Services, Inc. of Richland, Wash. The firm, represented by company president, John H. Chapman, is a full service general contractor with emphasis on mechanical design and construction, service and maintenance of major equipment installation, and energy management and environmental services.
 The Subcontractor of the Year award went out to Gordon-Piatt Energy Group, Inc. of Winfield, Kan., and was accepted by the firm's president and CEO, James P. Salomon. Gordon-Piatt is the major subcontractor of aircraft chair frames for two major aerospace companies.
 Small Business Week is designated each year to honor the nation's small business owners and to highlight their contributions to the national economy and their local communities. Banks, chambers of commerce, trade associations and other business-oriented groups nominate candidates for the state business person award. The SBA National Advisory Council, made of up business leaders from across the country, ranks each of the state winners based on seven criteria. The business owner with the top score becomes the national winner.
 -0- 5/12/92
 /CONTACT: Donna Harper of the U.S. Small Business Administration, 202-205-6740/ CO: U.S. Small Business Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


SH -- NE019 -- 9331 05/12/92 16:45 EDT
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Date:May 12, 1992
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