Community Businesses Receive Recognition
The Small Business Administration named four local businesses as tops in the state.
The Broadneck region has numerous successful family-owned and -operated businesses. Three of them, two from nearby Severna Park, are shining in the spotlight as Maryland winners in the National Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Week Awards Program.
The honorees will be recognized at the 28th annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards Luncheon at Martin's West in Woodlawn on April 13 where Gov. Martin O'Malley and other elected officials and dignitaries will join the celebration.
The 2012 Maryland Small Business Week Award winners are:
Award: Women in Business Champion of the Year
"I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this award. As a small business owner, who is also a woman, I appreciate the hard work and determination it takes to be successful," wrote Greer in an email to Patch.
"Women in business are a vital part of our community. They sometimes face unique challenges, and it is my privilege to champion what they do in any way that I can. It benefits everyone, and I enjoy helping."
"I am fortunate to be part of a great community and hope that I have contributed to it in some small way," Greer wrote.
Award: Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
This family-owned business has been in the area since the 1930s. Walter and Emilie Sosnoski took it over in 1958. The brothers then became owners in 1995 after their father, Walter Sosnoski, passed away.
"I'm happier for the past generations since they never got it, "said Kevin Sosnoski.
"We have such a good relationship with our customers," said Kevin Sosnoski, whose customers come to the store by word of mouth. "There's no better advertising," he said. "It's a win-win."
Michael Sosnoski is a full-time county firefighter with more than 20 years with the county and also president of the Anne Arundel County Burn Center. He coordinates burn camps and is an active volunteer.
Award: Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Conway, 27, has owned Garry's for four years. He purchased the business at age 23 and is a 2002 graduate of Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn.
"I started at Wesley College but saw an opportunity and I decided I would
rather have business loans mean more to my future than college loans," Conway wrote in an email to Patch.
"As you probably know, Bill Gates, Dennis Miller, and Steve Jobs never finished college because they had their vision on bigger and better things," he wrote.
Conway is looking at an expansion for outdoor seating at the restaurant located in the Old Severna Park Village shopping center.
Award: Accountant Advocate of the Year
(This category doesn't compete beyond Maryland)
Ann Furst is a CPA with Gardiner & Appel Group Inc.
"It was an unexpected honor. It made me feel really good that the Severna Park Chamber felt enough of me to nominate me," said Furst.
All winners except for the accountant and legal categories advance to the regional competition. Regional winners then compete at the national level.
Editor's note: Eddie Conway is currently not pictured. Patch will add his picture when one becomes available.