Updated March 29 at 5:29pm

SBA names Ocean State winners


PROVIDENCE - The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its list of nine 2012 Rhode Island award winners on Tuesday.

The list included two regional awards - the Family-Owned Small Business of the Year award and the New England Women in Business Champion award.

The Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year award, for all of New England, went to Rob Armstrong, president of East Providence-based A.B. Munroe Dairy.

“Our employees are very dedicated and have a strong sense of service,” said Rick Gregoire, controller for the dairy. “Our people on the road live on customer satisfaction. When you rely on your customers to make a living you get a special motivation. Over the course of time you also become part of people’s families, too.”

“It’s not just a business enterprise, it the relationship you have with the customers. It’s unique,” he added

The New England Women in Business Champion of the Year was awarded to Miriam A. Ross, principal, Law Offices of Miriam A. Ross, Esq., in Providence.

Other honorees were:

  • R.I. Small Business Person of the Year: Carolyn Rafaelian, president, Alex and Ani, Cranston

  • R.I. SBA District Director Award: Nancy L. Langrall, policy director, Office of Senator Jack Reed, Providence

  • Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence: Richard Remeika and Jose Sanchez, Bob and Timmy’s Grilled Pizza, Providence

  • R.I. Financial Services Champion of the Year: Anthony Capuano, Jr., senior vice president, Webster Bank, Providence

  • R.I. Minority Small Business Champion: Claudia X. Cornejo, business information specialist, Office of Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, Providence

  • R.I. Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: Richard L. Ferro, principal, RLF Management Services, Newport

  • R.I. Home-Based Business Champion of the Year: Lauren E.I. Slocum, president, Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, Warwick

“I congratulate another outstanding class of Rhode Island small business award winners,” Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island district office, said in prepared remarks

Rafaelian will compete for the National Small Business Person of the Year award during the national small business week celebration in Washington, D.C. in May.

The Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Celebration will be held the week of May 28-June 1.

Local events planned include a series of professional development workshops. The highlight of the week is the awards luncheon on May 30, at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston.


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