Reposted from syracuse.com, by Rick Moriarty, May 6, 2013
The U.S. Small Business Administration has selected Louis DeMent, CEO of Giovanni Food Co., as the New York state winner of the 2013 Small Business Person of the Year Award.
DeMent was chosen for the award based on Giovanni’s growth in sales and employees, staying power, response to adversity and its charitable contributions, the SBA said.
He received the award at the SBA’s annual awards luncheon today at The Doubletree Hotel in DeWitt.
Giovanni has been making pasta sauces since 1934, when the DeMent family opened their Italian-style restaurant in Oswego. The DeMents started making sauces on a larger scale in the 1950s before expanding into other tomato-based product lines.
Second-generation owner Jack DeMent led the transition to a larger facility in Liverpool in 2006. Within a year, Jack DeMent died unexpectedly and his 34-year-old son Louis stepped forward to lead the family business.
The company opened a production plant in DeWitt in 2009.
Giovanni’s products are now sold in grocery and specialty stores across the country. Under Louis DeMent’s leadership, sales have increased 49 percent over the past three years and the number of employees has grown to 68, the SBA said.
DeMent will compete for the national award at the SBA’s National Small Business Week celebration on June 21 in Washington, D.C.
Also at the ceremony today, SonicBrite, Inc., a dental product distributor in Liverpool, received the SBA Syracuse District’s 2013 Small Business Exporter of the Year Award. It was selected for its growth in sales due to increased exporting and creative overseas marketing efforts, the SBA said.
Matthew Turcotte received the SBA Syracuse District’s 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He was chosen for the increase in sales and profits at his company, North Shore Solutions and for demonstrating long-term potential as a successful business owner, the SBA said. The company has offices in Potsdam and Clayton.
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