CarSense, Helicopter Tech among local SBA award-winners

While every week is small-business week here in The Inquirer’s Business section on Mondays, the real thing will be held May 16 to 20.

That’s when the U.S. Small Business Administration will hold several events in Washington to acknowledge the diversity and importance of the nation’s 27.2 million small businesses. (I don’t think they’re all invited to attend.)

The week culminates with the naming of the national Small Business Person of the Year. But no need to hold your breath: The winner won’t be a Philadelphia-area company for the umpteenth year in a row.

The state winners for Pennsylvania and New Jersey are Joseph Santelli, president of Santelli Tempered Glass Inc. in the Western Pennsylvania town of Monessen, and Jose Rodriguez, president of Merit Investigative Services Inc., of Newark.

Should Delaware steal the show, we could always adopt its state winner, Christy Crkvenac, as one of our own. She runs the Wilmington specialty pharmacies Fulcrum Pharmacy Management Inc. and Radius RX Direct Inc.

Still, the SBA gives out many, many regional awards. Philadelphia firms won most of the ones for the federal agency’s eastern Pennsylvania region, but not the big one. The 2011 Small Business Person of the Year is Richard J. Endres Jr., president of E.B. Endres Inc., a wood millwork and cabinetry firm in the Huntingdon County town of Huntingdon (which is more like central Pennsylvania.)

Here are the other awards:

Entrepreneurial Success: Francis I. McGowen, chief executive officer of CarSense Inc., of Uwchland.

Small Business Exporter of the Year: Rachel T. Carson, president of Helicopter Tech Inc., of King of Prussia.

Jeffrey Butland Family-owned Business of the Year: John M. Lawlor, president of Keystone Fire Protection Co., North Wales.

Financial Services Champion of the Year: David Light, president of Agex Financial L.L.C., Chalfont.

Eastern Pennsylvania Minority Small Business Person of the Year: Norma R. Pratt, owner of Rodgers Travel Inc., Wayne.

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: Lincoln Strehle, director of development at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-services & Education Center Inc.

Women in Business Champion of the Year: Ellen T. Fisher, publisher and founder of the Women’s Yellow Pages of Greater Philadelphia, Havertown.


That seemed like a lot of awards, didn’t it?

The SBA has nothing on the organizers of the 18th Enterprise Awards, which handed out hardware to 15 area technology companies and people Wednesday.

That’s nearly twice the number of awards given out at the 17th edition held in December 2009 when it was organized by the Eastern Technology Council.

The council merged with the Mid-Atlantic Capital Alliance in 2010 to form the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies, which everyone mercifully shortens to “PACT” (the “G” is silent, I guess).

While there is no overall “Leader of the PACT” award, there were plenty of other categories. Here are the winners:

  • CareKinesis Inc., of Moorestown — Life Sciences Start-up Company.
  • Monetate Inc., of Conshohocken — Technology Start-up Company.
  • NuPathe Inc., of Conshohocken — Emerging Life-Sciences Company.
  • SevOne Inc., of Wilmington — Emerging Technology Company.
  • Teleflex Inc., of Limerick — MedTech Pioneering Company.
  • Siemens Healthcare, of Malvern — MedTech Product Innovation.
  • Stephen M. Goodman, partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius L.L.P. — Legend Award.
  • Lockheed Martin, Information Systems & Global Solutions-Defense, of King of Prussia — IT Innovator Award of Excellence.
  • Safeguard Scientifics Inc., of Wayne — Investment Deal of the Year.
  • James Walker, chief executive officer of Octagon Research Solutions Inc., of Wayne — Technology CEO of the Year.
  • Health Advocate Inc., of Plymouth Meeting — Life Sciences Company of the Year.
  • ICG Commerce, of King of Prussia — Technology Company of the Year.

In addition, the following were named “CleanTech Companies to Watch”: Electro-Petroleum Inc., of Wayne; NovaThermal Energy, of Philadelphia; and Viridity Energy Inc., of Conshohocken.

Best of the rest

Since I’m trying to win the award for “Cramming as Many Company Names in a Column,” this would be a good time to placate some Temple University fans who thought I gave their business-plan competition short shrift in a column last week.

I’d mentioned that pureNano Technologies, which is developing a platform technology to produce ultrapure carbon nanotubes, won the grand prize. But as we’ve seen, you can never have too many categories for awards, so here goes:

Plehn Analytics, a provider of tools to analyze government data, and the Museum of the Macabre, a nonprofit focused on the supernatural, were first and second, respectively, in the “upper track,” which includes Temple graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Impact Performance Lab, which is developing parts for hybrid, electric, and alternative-fuel vehicles, and Print, an online, subscription-based software product aimed at colleges, were No. 1 and No. 2 in the “undergraduate track.”

Bennett Compost, a for-profit composting operation, and Malo Traders, which is developing a fair-trade rice business with farmers in Mali, were first and second in the “social innovation track.”

PureNano also won the best 30-second pitch and best-written cleantech plan awards. Malo Traders won for best-written minority business plan. And a business plan for an organization called Three won best-written plan by a woman.

Pay OK

An update on the outcome of the “say on pay” vote on the executive-compensation practices of Unisys Corp.

Last month, I wrote about how two proxy-advisory firms offered conflicting advice to shareholders of the Blue Bell information-technology company when it came time to cast their nonbinding votes on how Unisys pays its senior executives.

ISS Proxy Advisory Services recommended a vote against the executive pay proposal, citing a “pay-for-performance disconnect.” Glass, Lewis & Co. L.L.C. counseled just the opposite, because it said Unisys “adequately linked pay with performance.”

By more than 2-1, Unisys shareholders approved the company’s pay practices at its recent annual shareholders meeting.

According to a regulatory filing by Unisys, there were 21.8 million votes “for,” 8.5 million votes “against,” 178,707 abstentions, and 7.9 million “broker non-votes,” which means those shareholders never instructed their brokers how to vote their shares.