National Small Business Week was packed with events and resources for small businesses. Each year, the Small Business Administration (SBA) chooses businesses who have used the SBA programs and services successfully. This year, two Arizona companies won awards.
Small Business Person of the Year 2019
Jennifer Herbert, Chief Executive Oficer
Jef Herbert, Chief Strategic Oficer
Jef Herbert got his first taste of the possibilities of creating new flavors of Mead, an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey, afer taking a brewery course at Chicago’s Seibel Institute. Jef and his wife Jennifer founded Superstition Meadery in 2012, and that year they produced 300 gallons of mead and cider in a 20 squarefoot space. Fruit, herbs, spices and barrel aging are the basics of mead production, a beverage that has been enjoyed across cultures around the world going back 4,000 years.
Within two years, demand for Superstition’s mead and cider products pushed the couple into a 2,500 square-foot space, which they outgrew in six months while producing 6,800 gallons of mead and cider. Counseling from the local Small Business Development Center, and two SBA loans supported the continued domestic and international expansion to five countries. Superstition Meadery’s sales had grown from $724,000 in 2015, to $1.9 million in 2017, and staf increased from nine to 20.
Jennifer and Jef contribute to CASA for Kids, an organization that supports abused or abandoned children, the Sierra Nevada Resilience IPS project to raise money for forest fire victims, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Admiral Engineering & Manufacturing Company,
Small Business Subcontractor of the Year 2019
Jennifer Rahn, President
Before Jennifer Rahn, President of Admiral Engineering & Manufacturing Company, Inc., became the president of the company, for 18 years she held several positions including ofice assistant and Executive Vice President in the company. Jennifer worked closely with the previous owner of the company and learned every aspect of the business. Upon the previous owner’s retirement, she purchased the company. Admiral Engineering is a woman-owned high quality precision manufacturing firm with more than 51 years in the machining industry. Its specialty is numerically controlled milling, tooling, prototype and developmental machining for the aerospace, defense, space medical and technology industries.
Admiral Engineering has 25 employees and averages $3 million in revenues annually. The company manufactured the Deployable Surface Asset (DSA) Program and the DSA antenna manufacturing antenna that is still used today.