LAS VEGAS — The Nevada District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has selected its small business award honorees for 2012. Winners will be recognized at an awards reception on May 23 in Las Vegas.
Nancy Munoz, Leah Munoz and Rachel Drenk with Specialty Vehicles in Henderson have been named SBA’s Small Business Persons of the Year for the State of Nevada. They also have been invited to attend SBA’s National Small Business Week activities in Washington, D. C. from May 20 through 26, to be recognized with all other state Small Business Persons of the Year.
Others being honored at the awards function in Las Vegas include:
• Microenterprise Business Person of the Year: Jane C. Lee, president, Jadon Foods, Las Vegas
• Minority Small Business Champion of the Year: Jackson and Paula Sylvester, founder and executive producer, Large Vision Business Network Mixer, Las Vegas
• Women in Business Champion of the Year: Kimberly Gyuran-Miles, founder and president, The Payroll Company, Las Vegas
• Home Based Business Champion of the Year: William Robert James, owner and president, A to Z Improvements, Inc, Las Vegas
• Michael Graham Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Valerie Miller, small-business writer, reporter and journalist, Las Vegas
The nominees are judged by an independent panel of small-business leaders on a variety of criteria, including staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, financial reports, innovative products or services, response to adversity, evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects and small business advocacy.
For Nancy and Leah Munoz and Rachel Drenk, this is a family affair. Specialty Vehicles is a third generation, family owned business that has been women-owned for two generations. Today, mother and daughters continue to grow the company which is considered the premier provider of the most diversified line of transportation vehicles in the industry. The company, which began with one trolley, has grown to 27 vehicles including specialty trolleys, trams, mini-trams and buses. SVI also offers sustainable solutions to customers concerned about their carbon footprint, including alternate fuel sources and zero-emission battery powered people-movers with a solar panel option.
During tight economic times, even though upfront costs were daunting, Specialty Vehicles developed new lines of business and additional revenue with the help of an SBA 7(a) loan from Mutual of Omaha Bank.