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Joe Giordano, with Project OpportunitySM was recently recognized and awarded the 2014 Maryland Small Business Week Award in the “Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year”. Congratulations Joe, and all of the other winners below.

BALTIMORE—The winners of the 2014 Maryland Small Business Week Awards Program were announced today by Stephen D. Umberger, District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Baltimore District Office. Winners will be honored at the 30th Annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards Luncheon Thursday, May 15th at Martin’s West in Woodlawn, Md.

This year’s winners are:

  • Accountant Advocate of the Year: Donald Cunningham, Donald Cunningham, CPA LLC, Millersville
  • Attorney Advocate of the Year: Chad Malkus, Esq., Michael Hodes, LLC, Cambridge
  • District Director’s Unsung Hero Award: Rich Loeffler, Maryland Small Business & Technology Development Center, Wye Mills
  • Entrepreneurial Success of the Year: Danny Farrar & David Posin, Soldierfit, Frederick
  • Family Owned Small Business of the Year: Kim Lawson, Fishpaws Marketplace, Arnold
  • Financial Services Champion of the Year: Steve Primosch, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., Annapolis
  • Home-Based Business Champion of the Year: Barbara Zimmer, B. Zimmer & Co., Pasadena
  • Insurance Advocate: Nancy Ann Nicklow, W. Ray Huff Insurance, Pasadena
  • Maryland Small Business Person of the Year: Stephanie Novak Hau, Chesapeake Environmental Management, Bel Air
  • Minority Small Business Champion of the Year: Charles Ramos, CR Dynamics, Baltimore
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year: John Doran, Centreville Trailers, Centreville
  • Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: Joe Giordano, Project OpportunitySM, Salisbury
  • Women in Business Champion of the Year: Shabri Moore, Moore Wealth, Inc., Frederick
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Matt Wyble, Champion Realty, Severna Park

Each year the President of the United States declares national small business week in celebration of the contributions of the small business community to the nation’s economy. The SBA holds the annual awards competition to recognize outstanding small business owners and their advocates. National Small Business Week activities will be held May 12-16, 2014 at various locations across the country.

For more information contact Rachel Howard at (443) 848-7025 or at [email protected]. For information on the 2014 Maryland Small Business Week Awards Luncheon or for tickets, visit the event website at

Project OpportunitySM - Logo

Glen Burnie, MD (March 19, 2014) – The Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC) today announced that eight veterans have successfully completed the Project OpportunitySM training program and graduated in a ceremony at the Youth Employment Center in Glen Burnie on Tuesday, March 18. The graduates are: Howard Biddle, Janeen Birkhead, Patricia Buckley, Greg Coster, Chuck Davis, Regina Gillens, Jason Harris and Emma McClain.

An AAWDC-funded, 10-week veteran’s training program, Project OpportunitySM supports entrepreneurship through education, mentorship, loan opportunities and business development and planning.

“I founded Project OpportunitySM in the fall of 2010 and have since trained 100 veterans and graduated 81 in the state of Maryland,” explained Joe Giordano, founder of Project Opportunity. “This is the first time we have done training in collaboration with AAWDC and the results are excellent.”

“Not only are we giving veterans the knowledge and tools to create wealth by starting their own businesses, this program also has a positive effect on Anne Arundel County’s economy and creates employment opportunities for our residents,” said Kirkland Murray, CEO and President of AAWDC.

“I had the good fortune of working with Joe and Project OpportunitySM previously in Howard County, so I know firsthand the value of this program,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “Congratulations to all of our graduates. I know that they are well-prepared to enter into this new phase of their careers and I hope they will pursue their dreams right here in Anne Arundel County.”

One of the graduates, Chuck Davis, has already started his window-cleaning business, Kiss My Glass of USA ( “This program, although rigorous, set me on a path for success,” explained Mr. Davis. “With the tools I learned, I can now develop and refine my business plan and prepare for anticipated growth in the future.”

The guest speaker was Anne Arundel Economic Development’s President/CEO Ed Rothstein and the sponsors were Mission BBQ and Alan I. Elkin, CEO of Advance.

To view pictures of the event, please visit AAWDC’s Facebook page:!/media/set/?set=a.276760182484293.1073741827.138670862959893&type=1

Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC) is a 501(c) (3) Corporation charged with providing workforce and training services to Anne Arundel County citizens and businesses. AAWDC operates seven One-Stop Career Centers that offer innovative workforce solutions to businesses and job seekers. Business services include customized recruitment assistance, job postings, business retention, training funds for incumbent workers, and workforce transportation solutions. Job seeker services include job search assistance, career guidance, career development and computer skills workshops, access to our resource center, training assistance, and supportive service referrals. Please visit for more information.

Media Contact: 

Theresa Downs
[email protected]