CLARKSBURG -– Judy K. McCauley, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's West Virginia District Office has announced the 2010 West Virginia Small Business award recipients.

Selected as West Virginia's 2010 Small Business Person of the Year is Craig W. Hartzell, president of Azimuth, Incorporated headquartered in Morgantown, W.Va. As West Virginia's top small business person, Hartzell will be competing against entrepreneurs from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam for the title of National Small Business Person of the Year during SBA's 47th Annual National Small Business Week event in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

Other top West Virginia entrepreneurs and small business champions selected include as the 2010 SBA Young Entrepreneur, Jalon "Jay" Petre, president of Renick Millworks LLC located in Renick.

Thomas and Rosemary Grant, owners of First Choice Bookkeeping Inc. of Huntington have been selected as the 2010 Financial Services Champion.

West Virginia's 2010 Minority Small Business Champion is Diane Lewis, president of Action Facilities Management based in Morgantown.

Kara Gray, owner of New Horizon Consulting in Dallas has been named as the 2010 Women in Business Champion for West Virginia.

West Virginia's Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business for 2010 is L.J. Hughes & Sons Inc. in Summersville. The firm is in its third generation of family ownership with brothers David M. Hughes and John M. Hughes along with cousin Fletcher G. Herold Jr. overseeing daily operations of the business. The company not only was chosen as West Virginia's top Family-Owned small business, but was also selected as the Regional Award Recipient for SBA's Region III which encompasses the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

And finally, chosen as West Virginia's 2010 Small Business Exporter is Scott M. Hedges, president and Michael J. Grady, vice president of Power Sonix, Inc. located in Martinsburg.

These top entrepreneurs and small business champions will be honored during West Virginia's 2010 Small Business Awards Celebration on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at the Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley.

McCauley stated, "Small businesses are the driving force behind the economy and are leading the way through the national recovery effort. Small businesses represent nearly 97 percent of West Virginia's employers and this Celebration is a great opportunity for West Virginians to demonstrate their appreciation for our entrepreneurs and small business champions."

The Celebration will be hosted by the West Virginia Women's Business and Training Center and is set to run from noon until 2:00 p.m. on May 13. Cost is $40 per person. To register, contact Karen Jones at (800) 766-4556, via email at kjones@westvirginiawbc.org, or register online at www.westvirginiawbc.org.

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