High Mowing founder named Vermont Small Business Person of the Year

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High Mowing founder named Vermont Small Business Person of the Year

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 4:37pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Small Business Administration announced the 2016 Vermont small business award winners today. The top prize, the Vermont Small Business Person of the Year, is awarded to Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds founder and owner. He is being recognized for growing his company, increasing sales, employee growth and contributing to the local community. High Mowing Organic Seeds is a farm-based company located in Wolcott that produces and distributes vegetable, flower and herb seeds throughout the US and Canada. High Mowing Organic Seeds is the first organic company guaranteeing all of its seeds are non-genetically modified organism verified.

Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds founder and owner.

Stearns launched his company in 1996, and in its first year sales were $2,000.  By 2001, business had grown to such an extent Stearns began to contract with other local farmers to grow his seeds. Twenty years later his company has grown to be one of the top organic seed companies in the U.S., and today has more than 60 employees.

The other 2016 Vermont winners are Mansfield Heliflight as the Exporter of the Year, Shat Acres Highland Cattle as the Family-Owned Small Business of the Year, Sweet Crunch Bakeshop & Catering Company as the Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Power Play Sports as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Snug Life as the Micro-Enterprise of the Year and Desai Management Consulting as the Minority-Owned Business of the Year.

Each year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“Small business owners represent the best of the best and showcase daily their entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s evolving and competitive business environment,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Stearns and the 49 other state winners are invited to attend the ceremonies in Washington, D.C. May 1 to 2 where they will be awarded their individual awards, along with the naming of the 2016 National Small Business Person of the Year. 

"There are more than 28 million small businesses serving as the economic engine of our country, employing half of the private sector and creating two out of three net new jobs. If our small business sector was a country, its output would rank number three above Germany and Japan. I'm looking forward to welcoming these talented entrepreneurs to their nation's capital and celebrating their stories to shine a light on American ingenuity and innovation," said Contreras-Sweet.

In the spring, all of the Vermont small business winners will receive their awards during the 2016 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted by Vermont Business Magazine at the Shelburne Museum Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education located in Shelburne, Vt. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.

2016 Small Business Person of the Year Winners

ALABAMA              

Xiomara Hernandez Bracken                         

Owner                                                                        

Bouncing Parties, Inc.                                              

ALASKA                              

Connie Core-Dubay                                                   

CEO/Owner

Cold Spot Feeds, Inc.

ARIZONA                            

Paul A. Smiley                                                                                   

President                                                                                

Sonoran Technology and Professional                       

Services, LLC                                                            

ARKANSAS            

Regina Renee Radke                                                 

CEO                                                                                       

Wade Stuart Radke                                                   

COO                                                                                      

Galley Support Innovations

CALIFORNIA                     

Helen Margaret Russell                                                                                  

Co-Founder and CEO                                               

Brooke Jean McDonnell                                            

Co-Founder and President

Equator Coffees and Teas, Inc.

COLORADO           

Reed Howard Silberman                                           

Founder/CEO                                                            

Ink Monstr                                                                             

CONNECTICUT                

Peter Newman                                                           

CEO                                                                                       

Victoria Newman                                                                   

Executive Director

Greenwich Education Group

DELAWARE                       

Chris J. Bisaha                                                                       

Joseph A. Baker                                                                                 

Co-Owners

Henlopen City Oyster House

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA                                                                     

Robert C. Palmer                                                                   

CEO                                                                                       

Creative Business Solutions, Inc.

FLORIDA                

Sherry L. Acanfora-Ruohomaki                                

Owner/President                                                                    

K9 Kampus LLC                                                                   

GEORGIA   

Catherine A. Downey                                                

CEO                                                                                       

CATMEDIA, Inc.                                                                 

GUAM                      

David J. John                                                             

President                                                                                

ASC Trust Corporation

HAWAII                   

Raymond Jardine Jr.                                                  

Chairman & CEO                                                                  

Native Hawaiian Veterans, LLC                               

IDAHO                      

Enrique F. Contreras                                                  

Ana M. Paz

Owners

Conpaz Inc. dba Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant

ILLINOIS                 

Dwayne Steven Jackson                                            

President & CEO                                                                   

Software Tech Enterprises, Inc.

INDIANA

Baziel W. Vrient                                                                    

President                                                                                

Albert W. Vrient

Operations Manager

Agdia, Inc.

IOWA            

Anthony D. Halsted                                                  

Owner                                                                        

Hoover’s Hatchery Co., LLC                                    

KANSAS                  

Roger Lee Ward III

Dana Marie Ward

Owners

Great Day Moving (Marathon Moving & Delivery LLC)

KENTUCKY                       

David Allen Dafoe                                                    

Founder/CEO                                                            

8th Street Ventures                                                     

Dba Flavorman, dba Distilled Spirits                      

Epicenter                             

LOUISIANA

Angela O’Byrne                                                                     

President/Owner                                                                    

Perez, APC

MAINE                                 

Margo Walsh                                                              

Owner                                                                        

Maine Works LLC                                                     

MARYLAND                       

Patrick Babasola Munis                                             

CEO                                                                                       

NewWave Telecom & Technologies, Inc.

MASSACHUSETTS                                                                                   

Robert Jacob George                                                             

Founder, President and CEO                                                

StratComm, Inc.                                                                                

MICHIGAN             

Russell Beaver                                                           

President                                                                                

RB Construction Company                                       

MINNESOTA                      

Gloria Jean Freeman                                                  

CEO                                                                                       

Olu’s Home/Olu’s Center                                          

MISSISSIPPI                       

Mike Pornovets

Owner

Everything Kayak LLC

MISSOURI               

David Laurence Bailey

Founder & President

Baileys’ Restaurants

MONTANA              

Greg Thayer                                                               

CEO                                                                                       

Eugene Thayer                                                                       

Director

Montana Merchandising, Inc.                        

Dba Montana Milling, Inc.

NEBRASKA            

Yolanda F. Diaz                                                                     

Member/Owner                                                                      

Little Miss Fashion LLC                                            

NEVADA                 

Bradley J. Burdsall

Owner and Operator

The Egg Works

NEW HAMPSHIRE            

Elie El-Chalfoun                                                        

Owner/Operator

Mega-X

NEW JERSEY                     

Charles Olivo                                                             

Founder and Principal                                    

Stonefield Engineering and Design LLC

NEW MEXICO  

Karl S. Halpert                                                           

President & CEO                                                       

Private Label Select Ltd. Co.                        

NEW YORK

Tammy Ann Loewy                                       

Wynde Kate Reese

Owners

Green Goddess Foods LLC

NORTH CAROLINA

Charles Ashton Creech

President

Thomas Howard Chappell

Vice President – Maintenance

Plus Team

NS Aviation, LLC dba North State Aviation

NORTH DAKOTA

Jon Simmers                                                                           

CEO                                                                                                   

Bismarck Aero Center                                                                                              

OHIO             

Sally Hughes                                                  

CEO                                                                           

Caster Connection                                         

OKLAHOMA

Ellis “Lanny” McIntosh                                 

Founding Principal, CEO                              

The McIntosh Group                                     

OREGON     

Jeremy Murfin

Geoff Mets

Johnpaul Simonet

Owners/Members

5.S.G. LLC dba Five Star Guitars

PENNSYLVANIA  

Dr. Wei-Shin Lai                                                                    

Chief Executive Officer                                                        

AcousticSheep LLC                                                  

PUERTO RICO                   

Fernando J. Rodriguez                                                           

President                                                                                

Prime Janitorial Service Corp.                        

RHODE ISLAND                

Thomas Parsons Kellogg III                                      

President                                                                                

Parsons Kellogg LLC                                                

SOUTH CAROLINA                      

JoAnne LaBounty                                          

President                                                                                

Spartanburg Meat Processing Co., Inc.

SOUTH DAKOTA              

Janet R. Eining                                                                       

Owner                                                                        

Cellular Only Connection, Inc.

TENNESSEE

Terence Andrew Douglas                                          

President                                                                                

Alliant Corporation

TEXAS

Yolanda Arriola                                                                     

President and CEO

Southwest University at El Paso

UTAH

Jay Benjamin Broadbent

President

Alpine Home Medical Equipment LLC

VERMONT              

Thomas M.L. Stearns                                                 

President

High Mowing Organic Seeds

VIRGIN ISLANDS             

Brianne B. Beatty                                                      

Ryan B. Skinner                                                                     

Owners

Flagship, LLC

VIRGINIA   

Caroline Anne Taylor                                                             

RN-President                                                             

Taylor Made Diagnostics, Inc.

WASHINGTON      

James “Kiwi” Ferris                                                   

President                                                                                

Edensaw Woods, Ltd.                                                           

WEST VIRGINIA   

Arria Hines                                                                             

President & CEO                                                                   

Allegheny Science & Technology Corp.                    

WISCONSIN            

Mark Matthiae                                                           

CEO                                                                                       

Crystal Finishing Systems, Inc.         

WYOMING

Anthony Andrew Aguiree

President

Triple A Building Services, Inc.