Network To Honor Small Businesses At State Capitol

Twelve Arizona small businesses and their achievements will be honored at the 2012 Success Awards and Legislative Lunch on March 29.

The event is hosted by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network (AZSBDC) and scheduled to take place from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on the House Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol Complex, 1700 W. Washington Street in Phoenix. Arizona Capitol Times publisher Ginger Lamb will serve as emcee of the event, which is expected to attract more than 300 guests, including members of the Arizona Legislature and  government, business and community leaders from across the state.

“The Success Awards provide an annual opportunity to recognize and applaud the achievements of Arizona small businesses,” AZSBDC State Director Janice Washington said. “The winners represents a wide range of industries and come from every part of this state. Their accomplishments are impressive, given the continuing challenges of the national and global economies.”

The 2012 Success Awards winners include:

Best Finishing, Inc. — Tucson, AZ      
Master Award Winner       
Christine M. Schlesinger

Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair — Phoenix, AZ
Howard Fleischmann, Sr.

Cotton Clouds, Inc. — Safford, AZ
Irene R. Schmoller

Criollo Latin Kitchen — Flagstaff, AZ
Paul and Laura Moir

Drug Valet, Inc. — Tempe, AZ
Jodi Dovidio

Gutierrez Canales Engineering, PC (GCE)  — Yuma, AZ
Marisol Canales, Stacy Gutierrez

K-Bar RV Resort — Show Low, AZ
David and Suzanne Mann

Kinetic Muscle, Inc. — Tempe, AZ
Dr. James Koeneman, Edward Koeneman

Kool Treats, LLC — Douglas, AZ
Donald and Brenda Bartol

Sierra Seed Company LLLP — Nogales, AZ
Sabrina Hallman

Sorellas Elite Fashion — Safford, AZ
Lynn Lewis, Rachel Peck, Emma McBride

Tender Hearts Senior Care, Inc. — Prescott, AZ
Rick and Debra Judy

“Each of these entrepreneurs has a story to share about what it takes to create and grow a successful small business in today’s environment,” Washington noted. “Their collective achievements demonstrate the dedication, resourcefulness and energy that has always characterized the Arizona small business owner.”

Best Finishing, Inc. of Tucson was chosen as the 2012 Master Award Winner because of owner Christine Schlesinger’s ability to identify and fulfill an important market need in an industry where the needs of customers had always taken a backseat to distribution strategies. “Christine rewrote the book on selling and serving finishing product customers in a sector that had always been manufacturer driven,” explained Washington. “Her dedication to providing customer solutions was a real game changer for her company.”

Success Award winners worked with an AZSBDC Network Center to achieve their goals and are chosen for their outstanding economic performance during the previous year (2011). “Each winner’s story is a good example of how the AZSBDC Network is helping Arizona businesses succeed,” said Washington. “We are a very strong Network with statewide reach.”

The AZSBDC Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible source of assistance for small business, with 28 locations across Arizona, including 11 Service Centers and 17 satellites and/or meeting sites. The Network recently also became the host of the new Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Center (AZPTAC) network, which is headquartered in Glendale and has satellite locations in Mesa, Tucson and Yuma.

During 2011, the Network counseled 3,128 clients and helped create or retain 1,647 jobs. AZSBDC clients started 268 new businesses last year. They created capital investment totalling $45 million. These companies collectively increased their sales by $85.1 million.

A map of all Network locations, including the new AZPTAC sites, can be found online at

The AZSBDC Network is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration and through host agreements with 10 Arizona community colleges and Tucson’s Microbusiness Advancement Center.

More information on the 2012 Success Awards can be found visiting the Success Stories page on the AZSBDC website or by calling (480) 731-8720. 


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