SBA names 2023 R.I. Small Business Week award winners

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the 2023 Rhode Island Small Business Week Award winners Tuesday. 

This year’s honorees include two regional award winners among the 13 awardees. The group will be honored at the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 3 at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. 

“I congratulate all our winners and commend them for all the hard work they do as small business owners in keeping our economy going,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward. “This is without a doubt one of the strongest groups of winners we have ever had in Rhode Island.” 

Craig Pickell, CEO and president of Bullard Abrasives Inc. in Lincoln, was named Small Business Person of the Year. The Backyard Food Co. in Warwick was named Small Business Manufacturer of the Year. 

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Other honorees include: 

  • Rhode Island and New England Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Ellen Puccetti, Jennifer Ann Roberts & Elizabeth Dulude, co-owners of Wright’s Dairy Farm Inc. in North Smithfield. 
  • Rhode Island Small Business Exporter of the Year: Ellis Waldman, CEO and president of Walco Electric Co. of Providence. 
  • Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Tony Phouaykoumpha, owner of Latte Love Coffee House in Cranston. 
  • Rhode Island Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Christopher Mishoe, owner and brewer of Bravo Brewing Co. in Burrillville. 
  • Rhode Island Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Debbie Martitz, owner of Hope Cleaners in East Providence. 
  • Rhode Island Microenterprise of the Year: Miriam A. Ross, partner, owner of Miriam Ross and Associates LLC of Providence. 
  • Rhode Island Home-Based Small Business of the Year: Gloria Chacón, owner and president of Green View Tree Service LLC of Johnston. 
  • Rhode Island Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Vincent Pezzullo, owner and president, My Cousin Vinny’s Rentals LLC of Johnston. 
  • Rhode Island Financial Services Champion of the Year: Jon Richmond, vice president of banking and commercial lender officer for BankNewport. 
  • Rhode Island Joseph G.E. Knight Award For Entrepreneurial Excellence: Dr. Kristina McAteer, owner of Oceanside Medical-Aesthetics LLC of Warwick. 
  • Rhode Island District Director Award: Melody Weeks, executive vice president of R.I. Commerce Corp.