Events / Maryland Small Business
Maryland hosts Small Business Week Awards
By Amanda Winters /
June 23, 2016

This month, the Maryland Small Business Week Awards Program celebrated its 32nd year by honoring the area's small business community under one roof. Held at Martin's West in Woodlawn, the program highlighted the importance of small business to the local economy and across the nation.

Les Hall, Maryland Commerce's program manager of small business financing, was honored with the Minority Small Business Champion of the Year award. Les has served the department for the past 22 years, delivering financial resources and services to local businesses and governments. Currently, Les primarily focuses on providing assistance to small, minority-owned, woman and veteran-owned businesses.

"We are so proud to have Les Hall represent the Maryland Department of Commerce and the entire state of Maryland," said Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. "Les has advocated for the small business community for years and continues to prove himself with every project Commerce throws his way. This award is very well-deserved."

The full list of winners from the 2016 Maryland Small Business Week Awards Program:

Maryland Small Business Person of the Year
Patrick Munis, New Wave Telecom & Technologies, Elkridge

Accountant Advocate
Macushla Wiedorn, Common Sense Income Tax Preparation, Severna Park

Attorney Advocate
Daniel G. Downer, Jr., Esq., Daniel G. Downer, Jr., Attorney at Law, Annapolis

District Director's Unsung Hero
Robert Wallace, BITHGroup Technologies, Baltimore

Entrepreneurial Success
Tori Paide & Marla Peoples, Still Point Wellness Spas, Columbia

Family-Owned Small Business
Joanie Gerber, Bikle Manufacturing, Inc., Smithsburg

Financial Services Champion
Maurice Ames, MD Capital Enterprises, Inc., Salisbury

Home-Based Business Champion
Laura Wiegmann, Laura's Eyes Photography, Pasadena

Insurance Champion
Jerrie Bey-Taylor, The Lion Heart Group, Cambridge

Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
Celester "Les" Hall, MD Dept. of Commerce, Baltimore

"Rising Star" Student Entrepreneur of the Year
Javon Gholston & Michael Heier, DeSolder Pen, Baltimore

Small Business Exporter of the Year
Mark Rice, Maritime Applied Physics, Baltimore

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
Alexander Fakeri, Mojo Web Solutions, Baltimore

Women in Business Champion of the Year
Diane Montier, Bruster's Ice Cream, Glen Burnie

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Paul Rineholt & Nick Gregori, Dorchester Decoy Rentals, Cambridge

For more information contact Rachel Howard at (410) 244-3337 or at For information on the 2016 Maryland Small Business Week Awards, visit


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