Mamava founders named Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year

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Mamava founders named Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 9:40am -- tim

Christine Dodson, left, and Sascha Mayer at the Mamava location in Burlington International Airport. Photo by Matthew Thorsen.

by Dan Monahan, SBA The owners of a Burlington company were named the 2018 Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year Monday. Sascha Mayer and Christine Dodson of Mamava are being recognized by the US Small Business Administration for employment growth, financial success, expansion and community involvement. Mamava designs and manufactures free-standing lactation suites for nursing mothers.

Mayer and Dodson will be presented their award during the 2018 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted by Vermont Business Magazine in June. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.

The idea for Mamava came to light in 2006 after Mayer read an article in the New York Times about the difficulties many nursing mothers face when they return to work. At the time she was a nursing mother who could relate to the challenges mothers face sometimes having to pump breast milk in bathrooms, cars and other undesirable locations. Dodson, Mayer's co-worker at JDK Design, had experienced the same difficulties. They decided there had to be a better way and the idea for Mamava was hatched.

For several years, Mamava was mostly just an idea, lovingly incubated at the design studio where Mayer and Dodson continued to be employed full-time. It wasn't officially established until 2013 when Mamava placed the first prototype in Burlington International Airport. The first two years was a bit of a struggle as many startups are in those infant years.

However, in 2015 Mamava really started to take off. Since then the company has tripled its sales and placed 435 suites in airports, stadiums, convention centers, hospitals, schools, zoos and private businesses throughout the US.

The company hired its first full-time employee in 2015, obtained an SBA microloan from Community Capital of Vermont and won the 2015 InnovateHER VT Challenge.

Today the company has 16 full-time and three part-time employees and expects to hire six more full-time employees in 2018.

Active in the community, Mayer and Dodson donate to the Vermont Women's Fund, Girls Nite Out, and are members of the Main Street Alliance. Mamava has partnered with other organizations to donate lactation suites to airports, a zoo, a school and a public health department.

"Christine and I were thrilled to receive the official letter from the SBA regarding our selection as the Vermont Small Business Person of the Year.  However there is more than one person involved in this business. Mamava owes its success to many people. We would not be here without investors, family, friends and our incredible staff," said Mayer.

"Sascha and Christine are very deserving of this award. They have taken a passion and turned it into a thriving business selling hundreds of Mamava pods across the U.S." said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Office Director.

Mamava and the Small Business Person of the Year winners from each state have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C. April 29 to 30. During this time they will be honored with their individual award along with the naming of the 2018 National Small Business Person of the Year.

For more information, visit www.mamava.com.

NATIONAL WINNERS (see full list below)

On Monday, Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the US Small Business Administration in Washington, announced this year's Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, DC, on April 29-30, where they will be honored with their individual award along with special recognition of the three runners-up and the naming of the 2018 National Small Business Person of the Year. Vermont's Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc won the national award in 1988, which was presented to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield by President Reagan at the White House.

"It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 52 winners from across the US and Puerto Rico," McMahon said. "These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 30 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine of our economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements."

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 29 – May 5. 

After the national awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. McMahon will continue National Small Business Week with a bus road show starting in Jacksonville, Fla. and then continue on to South Carolina and North Carolina.  Each stop she will meet with small business owners, visit small businesses and hold roundtable discussions. Additionally, virtual events, recognition and educational opportunities throughout SBA's 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the week. 

2018 STATE SMALL BUSINESS PERSONS OF THE YEAR

ALABAMA

Charles W. Underwood II
Owner
C & R Movers, LLC
Montgomery, AL 36110

ALASKA

Lori Brewer
President
Caffe D'arte Alaska/Alaska Coffee & Restaurant Equipment
Anchorage, AK 99518

ARIZONA

Dirck Theodor Schou
President and CEO
Catalina China, Inc.
Dba HF Coors
Tucson, AZ 85713

ARKANSAS

Joe Saumweber
Co-Founder & CEO
Michael Paladino
Co-Founder & CTO
RevUnit LLC
Bentonville, AR

CALIFORNIA

Matthew Cohen
Chief Executive Officer
Off the Grid Services, LLC
San Francisco, CA 94123

COLORADO

Margot Langstaff
Managing Partner – Marjority Owner
Elisa Jane Hamill
Managing Partner – Co-Owner
LifeHealth
Littleton, CO 80123

CONNECTICUT

April Marie Lukasik
President
Bright & Early Children's Learning Centers
North Branford, CT 06471

DELAWARE

Kim Adams
President and CEO
Mountain Consulting, Inc.
Dover, DE 19904

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Denita R. Conway
President and CEO
PROVEN Management, LLC
Washington, DC 20001

FLORIDA

Michael Zaffaroni
Owner
Fernandina Mulch & Stone, LLC
Dba Liberty Landscape Supply
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

GEORGIA

Peter Andrews Dugas
President and CFO
Tonya Barr Dugas
CEO
Dusoul Company
Dba Technical Services Audio Visual
Athens, GA 30606

HAWAII

Reginald G. Perry
Managing Manager
Barbers Point Aviation Services, LLC
Kapolei, HI 96707

IDAHO

September Myres
President and CEO
Sundance Consulting, Inc.
Pocatello, ID 83201

ILLINOIS

Rebecca Fyffe
President
ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention, Inc.
Dba Landmark Pest Mgmt
Schaumburg, IL 60173

INDIANA

Michele Durante Meyer
President and CEO
Creative Solutions Consulting, Inc.
(CSCI Consulting)
Indianapolis, IN 46216

IOWA

Bob Simpson, President
Big River Packaging
Clinton, IA 52732

KANSAS

David Sasson
President & CEO
OverstockArt.com
Wichita, KS 67211

KENTUCKY

Lesme Romero
Owner/Manager
EZ Foods, Inc.
Dba Lexington Pasta/Lexington Pasta Garage
Lexington, KY 40505

LOUISIANA

Keith Porta
Managing Member
APC Construction, LLC
Harvey, LA 70058

MAINE

Beth Shissler
President and COO
Donald Oakes
CEO
Sea Bags, LLC
Portland, ME 04101

MARYLAND

Tamara Michele Beideman
Owner
Elizabeth Jane, Inc.
Dba Sweet Elizabeth Jane
Ellicott City, MD 21043

MASSACHUSETTS

Joseph Melville
Gary Melville

Owners
Melville Candy Corporation
Randolph, MA 02368

MICHIGAN

Albert F. Zehnder
CEO
Zehnder's of Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth, MI 48734

MINNESOTA

Brenda Kay Nolby
CEO
Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory, Inc.
Ham Lake, MN 55304

MISSISSIPPI

Barbara Alamsha
Tim Alamsha

Owners/Operators
Ear Candie Productions, LLC
Dba Rock U 2
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

MISSOURI

Melissa Ann Smith, DDS
Managing Dentist and Owner/Operator
Washington Smiles Complete Health Dentistry
Washington, MO 63090

MONTANA

Charles "Skip" King
Owner
King's Ace Hardware
Billings, MT 59102

NEBRASKA

Mark Anthony Santo
Mark VII Enterprises, Inc.
Omaha, NE 68131

NEVADA

Medhi Zarhloul
Founder & CEO
Crazy Pita Rotisserie & Grill
Henderson, NV 89052

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Mark Wentworth
President & CEO
Green View Technologies, Inc.
Rollinsford, NH 03869

NEW JERSEY

Richard C. Spanier
President and CEO
Rudolph Research Analytical
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

NEW MEXICO

Jasper Dutch Riddle
President/Winemaker
Noisy Water Winery & Cellars
Ruidoso, NM 88345

NEW YORK

Snehal (Raj) Dayanidham Thakkar
Founder & CEO
Charter School Business Management, Inc.
Dba FOREsight Financial Services for Good
New York, NY 10001

NORTH CAROLINA                     

Andrew Michael Matroni
Founder and CEO
Innovation Catering, Inc.
Dba Queen City Catering
Charlotte, NC 28208

NORTH DAKOTA

Kari Marie Weigel
Executive Director/Owner
Sylvan Learning Center
Bismarck, ND 58503

OHIO

David S. Nolan
President/CEO
Quality Control Services LLC
Cleveland, OH 44114

OKLAHOMA

Tracy Lynn Evans
Owner and CEO
Woodward Wellness Center, LLC
Woodward, OK 73801

OREGON

Matt Higgins
Owner
Coava Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Portland, OR 97214

PENNSYLVANIA

William A. Campbell
CEO
Water Treatment Services
Dba First Defense Operations Management
Monroeville, PA 15146

PUERTO RICO

Alex Gomez
President
Tijuana's Bar & Grill Corp.
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00909

RHODE ISLAND

Kelly Beth Mendell
President
MIKEL, Inc.
Middletown, RI 02842

SOUTH CAROLINA

Ronald David McNeil
CEO
Hannah Solar Government Services
Charleston, SC 29492

SOUTH DAKOTA

Kevin Nyberg
President/CEO
Nyberg's Ace Hardware, Inc.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

TENNESSEE

Joseph Powers
Owner
Green Cube Solutions
Blountville, TN 37617

TEXAS

Von C. Washington Sr.
President and CEO
IDA Technology
El Paso, TX 79905

UTAH

Paul Casper Merrill
CEO/President
Casper's Ice Cream, Inc.
Dba Fatboy Ice Cream, Inc.
Richmond, UT 84333

VERMONT

Sascha Mayer
CEO, Co-Founder
Christine Dodson
COO, Co-Founder
Mamava, Inc.
Burlington, VT 05401

VIRGINIA

David S. Kyle II
President/Chief Executive Officer
Trademasters Service Corporation
Lorton, VA 22079

WASHINGTON

Danny House
Owner
Dan The Sausageman
Burien, WA 98166

WEST VIRGINIA  

Douglas Tate
President & CEO
Alpha Technologies, Inc.
Hurricane, WV 25526

WISCONSIN            

Miles Harter
CEO
Curt Greeno
President
Dynamic Recycling
Onalaska, WI 54650

WYOMING

Tyler Reed Miller                                                                  
President
Earth Work Solutions
Gillette, WY 82717

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and is a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses, and recover from disasters.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islandsand Guam. To learn more about SBA, visit www.sba.gov.

SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration 3.12.2018 www.sba.gov