Illinois Small Businesses Honored at SBA Awards Luncheon
Michelle Haywood of Bluedog Design, LLC; Alison Gutterman of Jelmar, LLC; Kathy Xuan of Parc Corporation; Mike Rohan of All Trust Home Care, Inc.; and Robert Rakstang of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Governors State University.
CHICAGO, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Thursday, June 14 at the Union League Club of Chicago, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored five outstanding individuals for their contributions to the Small Businesses Community of Illinois. These small business owners and champions are recognized for their accomplishments as well as their support of other entrepreneurs.
Michelle Hayward of Bluedog Design, LLC was the Illinois Small Business Person of the Year. Michelle started her business as an innovation, brand strategy, and creative marketing agency. By using unique concepts of “viewing things sideways,” Michelle has provided exceptional services solving some of the most difficult brand problems for clients such as Nestle, General Mills, and Proctor & Gamble just to name a few. In a time of downsizing, Michelle continued to recruit the very best talent for her firm to provide the very best services to her clients. Michelle has grown her company to 29 full-time employees. Bluedog helps Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods companies fill their innovation pipelines, define the purpose and strategy behind their brands, and bring those strategies to life through creative brand executions such as packaging. As evidenced by her ever increasing services, employees, and revenues, Michelle ensures the success for dozens of clients during these adverse times in our economy.
Other award recipients included:
Entrepreneurial Success Award Winner– All Trust Home Care, Inc. (ATHC) is a successful home care business that has become known for its outstanding in-home patient care. The brain child of Mike Rohan and Judie Mirous, ATHC was born out of frustration when both principals could not find adequate care for their respective loved ones. As a result, the two launched one of the most successful in – home care patient businesses in the State of Illinois. While ATHC provides excellent care to a wide range of patients, their market niche is in – home care for Alzheimer’s patients. Mike Rohan is a certified Cognitive Trainer for the Brains Fitness Program and offers the service for free to the families they work with daily. This program is one that helps the elderly stay active mentally by improving the patients focus and memory. By consistently providing the highest quality of care in the private duty home health care market, ATHC has been awarded the Home Care Pulse Certification which is based upon customer approval and satisfaction for the delivery of its services.
Small Business Exporter of the Year — Kathy Xuan is the founder and principal of PARC (USA) Corporation. With over ten years of purchasing both post-industrial and post- consumer materials, PARC has earned an extraordinary reputation as a premier plastics recycler. Noted for its diverse customer network, tutelage in recycling methods, leadership in both market research and strategic planning, Kathy has guided her company to new heights in the industry. Using these types of business strategies, PARC has enhanced its reputation as a problem solver providing waste management solutions designed to conserve our precious resources and save energy. As a result, by the first half of 2011, PARC increased its export volume to $17.5 million which included $15 million of exports to China, $1.5 million to Latin America, and $1million to Canada. Judging from PARC innovativeness and application of its unique business strategies, it appears that this company will be in the “green” for years to come.
Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year– As an advocate for veteran – owned businesses, Robert Rakstang has helped America’s most honorable become heroes in the small business community. Quietly dedicated to improving the business environment for veterans, Robert has attracted a variety of professionals from wide range of backgrounds to donate their time and lend their expertise to support the veteran’s movement to lead small businesses into the next age of prosperity. By connecting with federal, state, and local government agencies, Robert has garnered the resources needed to support the development of veteran owned businesses as well as arm our vets with a cadre of resources to help ensure their success. Noted for his bi-annual Veteran’s Entrepreneurs Boot Camp, Robert has helped over 400 veterans hone their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge necessary to take the next step in the small business community.
Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year– Alison Gutterman is President of a third-generation family owned business known as Jelmar, LLC. Founded by her grandfather 63 years ago, Jelmar specializes in manufacturing and distributing of household and industrial cleansers. It’s most famous and recognizable product lines are its CLR – Calcium , Lime, and Rust Remover and Tarn-X product brands. After 13 years of working her way through the ranks, the company was passed down to Alison in 2007. She made significant changes in the expansion of marketing plans, public relations activities, and directed use of social media in an effort to increase the exposure and for mature product brands as well as new products being introduced. Today Jelmar is a $43 million company that has over 14 employees.
CONTACT: Carol Wilkerson, +1-312-353-7327, +1-224-330-5659, Mark Ferguson, +1-312-353-5430
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration