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LSC SBDC names 23rd Annual Small Business award winners for 2009

More than 250 friends and guests were on hand Nov. 19 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott as the 23rd Annual Small Business of the Year award winners were announced and recognized.

Members of the Lone Star College System Small Business Development Center Advisory Council selected five award winners, representing one from each of the Lone Star College service areas.

“After viewing the videos of these businesses and getting to know each of the finalists a little better, I believe you all will agree – there are no losers here tonight,” said Sal Mira, executive director of the LSC-SBDC.

The 2009 23rd Annual Small Business of the Year winners are:

  • Unishippers, Joe Nichols; representing the LSC-Cyfair area;
  • Extension 19 Answering Service, Andie Szabo, representing LSC-Kingwood area;
  • Xpress Lube, Jeff Early, representing LSC-Montgomery area;
  • Veterinary Medical Center of Spring, Dr. Karen Gunn and Graham Gunn, representing LSC-North Harris area; and
  • Element Payment Services, Leo Corley, representing the LSC-Tomball area.

Each of these winners was presented with a marble trophy on a wooden mahogany base. In addition, each of the finalists received a commendation from U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady’s office recognizing their contribution to the economy and the community.

Each year, through this Small Business of the Year award, the LSC SBDC Advisory Council recognizes successful small businesses that make an impact in the local community and on the economy.

Nominees were gathered from the community and 15 finalists were selected by members of the advisory committee, three from each of the five college service areas, on the basis of leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, business growth, and contribution to the community.

The winners were selected from this pool of finalists and the banquet attendees were treated to a brief video presentation of each of the 15 finalists.

Dr. Richard Carpenter, LSCS chancellor, gave opening remarks, and the master of ceremonies for the banquet was Dr. Bennie Lambert, vice president of student development at LSC-North Harris.

The LSC-SBDC works with existing companies to help them get started, grow and compete in today's global economy. SBDC services are available for companies in every phase of the business life cycle, helping entrepreneurs make sound decisions and succeed. For more information about the SBDC visit http://www.lonestar.edu/sbdc/

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 59,000 students in credit classes this fall, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.


Joe Nichols, of Unishippers, representing the LSC-CyFair area, accepted the award.

Andie Szabo, Extension 19 Answering Service, representing LSC-Kingwood area, with Dr. Richard Carpenter, left, and Dr. Bill Coppola.

Jeff Early, Xpress Lube, center, representing the LSC-Montgomery area, with Dr. Richard Carpenter, left, and Dr. Austin Lane, right, LSC-Montgomery president.

Dr. Karen Gunn, Veterinary Medical Center of Spring, representing the LSC-North Harris area, accepted the award.

Leo Corley, of Element Payment Services, accepted the award, representing the LSC-Tomball service area.