SCORE Announces Winners of 2012 Small Business Awards

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- SCORE, a Small Business Administration partner organization designed to mentor entrepreneurs, has announced winners for its fourth annual SCORE Awards. The organization has named winners in seven categories highlighting small business and entrepreneurial excellence.

This year, two new categories were added to the list, that of outstanding franchise owner and outstanding green business.

The winners are:

Outstanding minority-owned small business: Bridgeja' Baker, Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja', New Orleans

Outstanding franchise as a small business: Terry Paradise & Marcia Connelley, Massage Envy, Middletown, Louisville, Ky.

Outstanding green small business: Terry Weaver, USA Gypsum, Reinholds, Pa.

Outstanding small business launched by an individual older than 50: Bruce Bohrmann, Bohrmann Knives, Yarmouth, Maine

Outstanding veteran-owned small business: Joel Goldberg, Aurico Reports, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Outstanding woman-owned small business: Tasha Oldham, My Story, Marina del Rey, Calif.

Outstanding non-profit organization: Beth Johnston, Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Boca Raton, Fla.

SCORE also named The Walmart Foundation and Sam's Club as winner of this year's outstanding corporate supporter award.

"This year's SCORE Award winners are success stories that symbolize the thousands of entrepreneurs who uplift our communities by putting the American economy back on track," SCORE CEO Ken Yancey said. "SCORE is thrilled about the opportunity to play a small role and help advise these small businesses as they pursue success," he added.

Bridget Weston Pollack, SCORE's director of marketing and communications, said it was important to add a franchise category given that "franchises represent a significant portion of small businesses operating in the United States."

Additionally, SCORE wanted to recognize green businesses that take the time to think about the environment because they "really are operating with the triple bottom line in mind at all times."

Founded in 1964, the SCORE acronym originally stood for Service Corps of Retired Executives. SCORE has since dropped the full name, saying it does not adequately represent the diverse base of volunteers in the organization, since many are still employed. More than 13,000 business experts volunteer as mentors in 364 SCORE chapters serving local communities with entrepreneur education to help grow 1 million small businesses.

The awards started as an offshoot of the annual Lou Campanelli Award, given to those with outstanding volunteer commitment to SCORE. There are two winners for the Lou Campanelli Award this year, Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media and website SmallBizDaily.com, and Brian Moran, president of small business consultant Brian Moran and Associates.

"The recipients stand out by epitomizing core American values such as work ethic, ingenuity, and fortitude," adds Mark Dobosz president of The SCORE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the organization. "I believe that their accomplishments, and recognition here, will inspire others across America to follow their dreams of small business success."

The SCORE Awards gala will be held August 16 in New Orleans.

Last year, SCORE presented awards to five individuals and one non-profit organization.

Check back later this month on TheStreet for profiles of this year's SCORE winners.

>>>Read about last year's award winners in TheStreet's profile series:
>>>SCORE Awards: American Product Distributors
>>>SCORE Awards: Healthy Life Clinic
>>>SCORE Awards: Spinal Health & Wellness
>>>SCORE Awards: School House
>>>SCORE Awards: East Cooper Meals on Wheels
>>>SCORE Awards: YouthBuild Louisville

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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