Washington, DC, April 4, 2017 -
The DC Chamber of Commerce
proudly announces the six winners of its 2017 Small Business Awards, who will be recognized at the upcoming Chamber's Champions Small Business & Economic Development Summit and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 8AM - 2PM, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The Chamber's Champions Small Business & Economic Development Summit and Awards Ceremony connects and showcases organizations and companies in the Washington, DC business community. The program features a business engagement session including exhibitors, diversity suppliers and financial institutions, four workshops and an award ceremony.
"This year's awardees are a driving force in the evolving Washington DC business community. With this honor we celebrate their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit; and their commitment to the District's business landscape," said
Vincent B. Orange, Sr., President and CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce.
"We congratulate them for their career successes, community focus and their contributions to a thriving economy in the District."
The Small Business Awards recognize business growth, community involvement and innovative efforts in the District of Columbia. Recipients were named in six categories:
Small Business Person of the Year - Robert Kinsler, DC Fray
Robert Kinsler is the visionary behind United Social Sports, an innovative small business enterprise providing recreational sports programs to adults throughout the District. Kinsler's mission to #neverstopplaying, fueled the company's rapid growth and a rebranding campaign. Now named DC Fray, Kinsler's innovative concept has evolved beyond sports to include events, social gatherings, travel, and fitness. DC Fray, independently owned and operated in Ward 5, employs a dozen full-time and seasonal part-time employees and is set to explode in several jurisdictions across the nation. Under Kinsler's leadership, DC Fray was named one of the Inc. 5000's fastest growing companies in 2016. Through DC Fray's sports leagues and event services, Robert Kinsler's company has served over 300,000 area participants and dozens of local companies, all of which have resulted in a large economic impact on the local economy. The company has generated nearly $10 million in revenue since its founding and far surpassed that level of general economic impact through its vendor and partnership relationships.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year -
At the age of seventeen Abiud Zerubabel began his entrepreneurial career in college with a property management business, which led to master leasing from landlords and subleasing to students. The success of his business created one million dollars in revenue before the age of twenty-one. In 2013 his development company, UIG, was named one of the five fastest growing real estate firms in DC by Inc. Magazine, a phenomenal feat for any young entrepreneur. In 2016 Abiud's latest venture Acumen Capital ranked number two on the Inc. 5000's list of the fastest growing companies in DC. Recently, Blackbusiness.org, an independent non-profit organization, named Abiud's company as a top 5 Black-owned company on its "Fastest-Growing Companies in America" list.
Non-Profit Organization of the Year - Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run -DC (GOTR-DC) provides preteen girls (grades 3-8) an innovative, mentor-based afterschool program combining an evidence-based character development curriculum with running instruction. At GOTR-DC, they inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through research based curricula which include dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.
Small Business Champion of the Year - Department of Small and Local Business Development
The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) supports the development, economic growth, and retention of District-based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District's commercial corridors. DSLBD is dedicated to maximizing Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation while linking SBEs to contracting and procurement opportunities. Among their many accomplishments DSLBD helped launch the DC Business Center, a website providing DC business owners direct access to the District of Columbia's government. The website offers a wealth of information on the city's procurement opportunities; and the key regulatory and support agencies for small businesses. DSLBD's oversight also extends to the District's $1 Billion expendable budget, of which $564 Million will be spent with SBEs in this fiscal year. Please visit cbeconnect.dc.gov for more information.
Women in Business Champion of the Year - Loretta Caldwell
L. S. Caldwell & Associates, Inc. (LSC)
is considered to be one of the foremost firms in the country specializing in the development, implementation, and administration of Contracting, Employment and Community Awareness Compliance Programs. Founder, President and CEO, Loretta S. Caldwell, has been recognized by the Federal Government and the District of Columbia for her contributions to economic development.
During her tenure with the U. S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) in Washington DC, Caldwell was praised for her business development initiatives and for her work in supporting the growth of women entrepreneurs. In 2016, the U. S. Department of Commerce recognized LSC as a strong advocate and developer of successful business solutions. They awarded LSC the contract to operate the Baltimore, Maryland MBDC, providing contracting, financing and technical solutions to mid-size minority and women business owners. Under her leadership, LSC is responsible for the research, development and subsequent creation of Compliance Programs for major corporations and municipalities. By ensuring compliance on major development projects, the firm has literally created thousands of jobs and made possible millions of contract awards to small, minority and women owned businesses.
Small Business of the Year - CRP, Incorporated
Since 1988, CRP has demonstrated the ability to successfully compete with other DC-based firms for Federal contracts and it is a distinction which underscores their leadership in this area among DC businesses. As a leader in Federal contracting in the DC business community, CRP has evolved into a multifaceted, multi-million dollar professional services and management consulting firm with an expanding list of Federal clients.
Under the leadership of Dr. Carolyn Rudd,
CRP was among the nation's first minority-owned firms to provide an array of technical support services to the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From the early 1990s to 2102, CRP evolved as one of the principal partners to SAMHSA, providing a portfolio of technical and programmatic services in support of the agency's strategic and policy priorities. These mission-critical areas ranged from co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders, behavioral health of returning veterans and underage and methamphetamine prevention to building the evaluation capacity of SAMHSA grantees and addressing the behavioral health needs of Tribal and other priority populations.
The DC Chamber will offer the business community free admission to the business engagement session and workshops, for all registered attendees. The awards luncheon will be a separate, ticketed event. For more information on the DC Chamber's Champions Small Business & Economic Development Summit and Awards Ceremony, please click on the Small Business Summit Flyer or visit
Event Schedule at a Glance
8:00am - 10:00am Registration and Breakfast
8:30am - 9:00am Opening Session
9:00am - 11:00am Networking and Business Engagement Opportunities
- Diversity Supplier Meetings
- Financial and Alternative Lender Meetings
10:30am - 11:15am Concurrent Workshops (DSLBD, DCRA, OCP, US-SBA)
11:30am - 12:15pm Concurrent Workshops (DSLBD. DCRA, OCP, US-SBA)
12:30pm - 2:00pm Small Business Awards Luncheon (Ticketed Event)