SBA Announces Local 2010 Small Business Week Winners

SAN FRANCISCO--()--The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in San Francisco has announced the winners of its 2010 Small Business Week awards. Winners include an online marketing company, the organizer of a women’s business advocacy group, a lender with a focus on low income communities, and the procurement supplier diversity office for Cisco Systems. The four winners – all women – will be honored in May during the San Francisco District Office Small Business Week celebration around the Bay Area.

Small Business Person of the Year: Janine Popick, CEO and co-founder of VerticalResponse

Janine Popick is CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys, and direct mail services empowering small businesses to create, manage, and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns.

“I’m so proud that the company I started in 2001 continues to be recognized by respected industry bodies such as the Small Business Administration for not only being a small business, but for our commitment to the small business and non-profit community. Over the past nine years we have continued to grow despite the economy, and are proud that today we support 75,000 small businesses with an easy and affordable email marketing product that helps them grow their businesses,” said Popick.

She is a columnist for Inc. Magazine's Women in Business blog, Girl Power: Female CEOs, and has been featured in USA Today, Entrepreneur Magazine, ClickZ, B2B Magazine, Selling Power Magazine, San Francisco Business Times, and Inside Direct Mail. She has been an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2006-2009, and won a Stevie Award for Best Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and 2009.

VerticalResponse has been ranked on the Inc. 500|5000 list from 2006 through 2009. The company has won numerous awards, including the Stevie Award for Fastest Growing Company of the Year (2007) and Best Overall Company (2007).

VerticalResponse has also won Fastest Growing Company of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times from 2005-2008, as well as Best Places to Work in the Bay Area from 2007-2009. VerticalResponse won the 2008 Small Business Computing Excellence in Technology Award, and the Stevie Award for Best Blog of the Year (2006).

In August 2008 the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) named the company official email provider for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

VerticalResponse also supports philanthropy, and grants 10,000 free emails to non-profit organizations (NPOs) per month. Popick actively supports volunteer initiatives by instituting at least four employee volunteer events per year which benefited the San Francisco Zoo, Project Homeless Connect, and the San Francisco Food Bank in 2009.

Popick attributes the continued momentum and growth it has seen each year to its high quality, easy to use product, coupled with its superior and steadfast customer support.

Popick will receive the award at the Small Business Week kick-off event, Flavors, at the Metreon May 17.

SBA’s Women in Business Advocate of the Year award: Barbara Kasoff, President, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)

Barbara Kasoff says, “In 2001, recognizing that there was no organization that focused specifically on the national economic issues that had a direct effect on the growth of women-owned businesses, I co-founded Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). Today, WIPP is a national coalition representing both women business owners directly and 49 business organizations, and counts well over half a million members.”

WIPP is a national bi-partisan public policy organization that advocates for and on behalf of women and minorities in business in the legislative processes of our nation, creating economic opportunities and building bridges and alliances to other small business organizations. WIPP’s goal is a collective voice that makes a powerful impact on Capitol Hill and with the Administration.

In addition to hosting an annual survey of small business priorities, WIPP has commissioned the first national polls “What Business Women Want” bi-annually since 2004. The organization also commissioned an economic impact survey which presented data including:

  • If women business owners were their own country, they would have the 5th largest GDP in the world;
  • Their economic impact is $2.86 trillion; and
  • Women business owners employ 16% of the US workforce.

“Two years ago, in partnership with American Express OPEN, WIPP launched “Give Me Five: Education and Access for Women in Federal Contracts”. This national program is designed to educate women business owners on how to apply for and secure federal procurement opportunities. Give Me 5 derives its name from The Equity in Contracting for Women Act which stipulates that federal contracting officers award 5% of all contracts to women-owned businesses. With women presently receiving 3.4% of federal contract dollars, Give Me 5 aims to increase the representation of women-owned businesses that win government contracts by providing resources and information to make it easier for women to register their businesses with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), a requirement to gain eligibility to apply for federal contracts. Specifically, women business owners could gain more than $6 billion in annual revenues by reaching the 5% contracting goal, according to a statement issued by the US House of Representatives Small Business Committee in March 2007,” said Kasoff

“Under my leadership, we have been instrumental in our legislative efforts to correct the weaknesses in the current law and will continue to advocate strongly to have it implemented. Because of these efforts, a new Rule was issued in early 2010. We will also continue to work with government agencies, large and small businesses and other non-profits to provide quality training and increase the number of women who are competing successfully for federal contracts,” she added.

Kasoff will receive the award at the Small Business Week Women Innovators’ Panel in the Julia Morgan Ballroom, San Francisco, May 19.

SBA’s Financial Services Advocate of the Year award: Katy Johnson, Wells Fargo Bank.

Katy Johnson, a 15-year financial services industry veteran, is Wells Fargo’s Community Development Officer for the San Francisco market. She is responsible for building and strengthening Wells Fargo’s relations with San Francisco nonprofits, community leaders and government officials. Her primary focus areas are small businesses, workforce development, affordable housing and financial literacy.

Johnson has actively served low income communities throughout San Francisco, working with SBA to organize presentations on entrepreneurship in the Bayview Business Resource Center, the LGBT Center and the Bayanihan Community Center.

Johnson is actively involved in the community as she serves on the Board of Directors for Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, the Small Business Week in San Francisco Executive Committee, Working Solutions Microloan Committee, and is Wells Fargo’s liaison for Bank on San Francisco.

“We’re delighted to recognize a real champion of communities that so often are left out of more successful economic picture. Katy’s is devoted to making sure everyone gets their share of the pie and her work makes a real difference,” said Gary Marshall, SBA’s Economic Development Specialist.

Johnson will receive the award at the Small Business Week kick-off event, Flavors, at the Metreon May 17.

SBA’s Minority Business Advocate of the Year: Denise Coley, Director, Global Supplier Diversity Business Development, Cisco Systems, Inc.

As director of Global Supplier Diversity Business Development at Cisco Systems, Inc., Denise Coley drives the company's supplier diversity initiative by developing relationships with diverse suppliers and Cisco. The mission of the program is to increase customer satisfaction and enhance sourcing through global supplier diversification. Since Coley started the Cisco Supplier Diversity program nine years ago, the program has gone global successfully in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, India and South Africa. Denise initiated an executive mentoring program that allows CEO's of diverse businesses to partner with functional business units executives.

Coley serves as a member of the Board of Directors on the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, and the Supplier Diversity Council of the Conference Board. Coley also served on the Northern California Supplier Development Council as a member of the Board of Directors for more than 10 years.

Coley was also a major force in developing and presenting Collaboration with the SBA and corporate members to sponsor the UCLA MDE Academy at the San Jose SBA Entrepreneur Center. The Academy has been a joint effort since 2005 between Cisco, the UCLA MBA program, and SBA to help train executives to develop their management skills.

“Denise’s support has made a lot of our work in the Bay Area more effective and allowed us to reach out to minority owned businesses in ways we wouldn’t have been able to without her,” said Mark Quinn, SBA’s San Francisco District Office District Director.

Coley will receive the award at the Small Business Week Networking Gala in the San Jose City Hall May 3.

SBA Public Information Officer
Gary Marshall
455 Market St.
San Francisco CA 94105
415 744 6771

SBA San Francisco District Director
Mark Quinn
455 Market St.
San Francisco CA 94105
415 744 8474

SBA San Francisco District Office Small Business Week awards for 2010

Small Business Person of the Year
Janine Popick
501 Second St. Suite 700
San Francisco CA 94107

Financial Services Advocate of the Year
Katy Johnson
Wells Fargo
MAC A0190-192
Post Montgomery Center
One Montgomery St., 19th Floor
San Francisco CA 94104

Women in Business Advocate of the Year
Barbara Kasoff
Women Impacting Public Policy
1714 Stockton St., Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94133

Minority Business Advocate of the Year
Denise Coley
Director, Global Supplier Diversity Business Development
Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134

Release Number: sf 10 01


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Gary Marshall, 415-744-6771


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Gary Marshall, 415-744-6771