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SBA Announces Small Business Awards

June 27, 1997

The Small Business Administration (SBA) held its annual Small Business Week celebration June 1-7. Small Business Week is designated each year to honor the nation's small businesses and to highlight their contributions to the national economy and their local communities.

David Guiliani, president and CEO of Optiva Corporation in Washington state, was recognized as the National Small Business Person of the Year.

Optiva manufactures the Sonicare brand of sound wave-powered toothbrushes. The company started in 1988 as a technology transfer project for the University of Washington. With the help of a grant obtained through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, the company has grown from 10 to 250 employees with over $50 million in sales in 1995. Optiva's "built in the USA" strategy also helped create more than 1,000 jobs for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Pacific Northwest.

The ceremony also included the first ever Lifetime Small Business Advocacy Award. SBA's Office of Advocacy presented the award to Milton Stewart. Stewart was the first presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the SBA. He is currently President of the Small Business High Technology Institute of Phoenix.

The winner of the Entrepreneurial Success Award was Constance Macricostas, Chairman and CEO of Photronics Inc. of Brookfield, Connecticut. This honor is given to a former "small" business, by SBA size standards, that has grown into a large business with SBA assistance.

SBA recognized leading business owners from each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam at the ceremonies in Washington. A complete listing of the SBA award winners is available on the SBA home page at www.sbaonline.sba.gov/sbaweek/