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SBDC Advisory Council awards five businesses of the year for 2011

HOUSTON (Nov. 22, 2011) – The Lone Star College System Small Business Development Center and its Advisory Council has named five 2011 Small Business of the Year Award winners.

The winners, one from each of the five Lone Star Colleges, were honored on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the LSCS SBDC 25th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards Banquet held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott.

This year marked the silver anniversary of the Small Business of the Year awards.

As the winners were announced by each of the LSCS college presidents, the recurring theme was that all of the finalists were worthy of the award but only one could be the winner.

The 2011 25th Annual Small Business of the Year award winners : The Backyard Grill, Mark McShaffry, representing the LSC-CyFair area; Skylla Engineering, Gabriel Beltran, Robert Hill and Mark Perlioni, LSC-Kingwood; Milstead Automotive, Amy and Dick Milstead, LSC-Montgomery; All About Doody Pet Waste Removal Service & Products, LLC, Nathalie-Claire Bland, LSC-North Harris; and Outback Western Wear, LLC, Michelle and Chris O’Rourke, LSC-Tomball.

Each year, the LSCS SBDC Advisory Council recognizes successful small businesses that make an impact in the local community. More than 200 nominees were gathered from the community this year and narrowed down to the 15 finalists. The finalists were selected by 25 members of the advisory council on the basis of leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, business growth and contribution to the community. 

The winners for each college service area are then named from the list of 15 finalists.

“The diversity of the businesses chosen as finalists is amazing,” said Sal Mira, executive director of the LSCS SBDC. “Each owner’s passion to succeed especially in these times is inspiring and their generous commitment to serving the community is unselfish. In my mind they are all winners.”

Ray Laughter, LSCS vice chancellor of external of affairs, was also honored as part of the event for his many years of outstanding leadership of the LSCS Small Business Development Center and in the region’s sustained economic growth. Laughter began his  LSCS career in 1987 with the SBDC.

The LSCS 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 sbdc.LoneStar.edu

With more than 75,000 students in credit classes for fall 2011, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.