R.I. SBA names 2010 award winners

PROVIDENCE – Jack Goodison, CEO and chief financial officer of J. Goodison Company Inc., has been named Small Business Person of the Year by the Rhode Island office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Goodison and seven other award recipients will be honored at the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards luncheon on June 2 at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston. The event is co-sponsored by the Joseph G.E. Knight SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) Chapter in Providence.

“I congratulate Jack Goodison and each of the 2010 Rhode Island Salute to Small Business award winners,” Mark S. Hayward, the SBA’s director in Rhode Island, said in a statement. “This recognition is a tribute to the hard work and commitment to success that these entrepreneurs have demonstrated.”

Goodison joined East Providence-based J. Goodison five years after it was founded in 1999 by his son Jamie, and helped grow it from a two-person operation with $250,000 in annual revenue to an 18-employee enterprise with $5 million in yearly sales.

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The marine business does dry dock work for the military, primarily the U.S. Coast Guard, ranging from sandblasting and painting to welding repairs and equipment testing. Goodison handles all of the company’s corporate, financial, legal and administrative matters, according to its website.

“I was quite surprised,” Goodison said after learning he had won the award. “I consider myself a blue-collar guy, keep my head down, try to get up and go to work every day.”

J. Goodison is preparing to move its principal office from Providence to Quonset Point, where it has purchased a four-acre parcel with the help of a $750,000 SBA loan.

Goodison has trained and employed residents from South Providence through the federal Historic Underutilized Business program, which provided the company with a competitive advantage for bidding on contracts. About 35 percent of his current employees were hired through the program.

The other award winners are:

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Rebecca Baton, owner, Rebecca’s Salon & Day Spa LLC in Exeter and Rebecca’s 2 in Charlestown.
  • Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year: Gerard L. Bucci Jr., president, Warwick Ice Cream Company Inc. in Warwick.
  • R.I. SBA District Director Award: Keith W. Stokes, executive director, R.I. Economic Development Corporation.
  • Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence: Nancy C. Moretti, president, Just for Kids Early Childhood Learning Center Inc. in Smithfield.
  • Financial Services Champion of the Year: Laurie Walsh, assistant vice president, commercial loan officer and business assistance manager, South Eastern Economic Development Corporation.
  • Women in Business Champion of the Year: Carmen Diaz-Jusino, program manager, Center for Women & Enterprise in Providence.
  • Minority Small Business Champion of the Year: Claudia Cardozo-Tarullo, small business account executive, R.I. Economic Development Corporation.

In addition, Baton also won the regional New England award in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Additional information is available at sba.gov and riscore.org.

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