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Posted at 06:19 PM ET, 05/21/2012

Vaccine researcher is small business person of the year

Victoria Tifft fromOhio was named the National Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Administration Monday at an event headlined by Small Business Administrator Karen Mills.

Tifft was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo more than 20 years ago when she came down with malaria, an event that sparked her interest in infection disease control. After a stint at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research after her return from Africa, she created Clinical Research Management, which supports development of FDA-regulated vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices for government and commercial customers. Today, ClinicalRM manages the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Clinical Trials Center.

“The innovation, inspiration and determination shown by Victoria Tifft have elevated her company, Clinical Research Management, above and beyond the norm,” Mills said in a statement. “These qualities are what make small businesses such a powerful force for job creation in the American economy and in their local communities. Victoria was determined to fight disease around the world and she persisted.”

First runner-ups are Darrin Swanson, co-founder of truck-parts manufacturer Kit Masters and Swan Machine in Perham, Minn. Second runner-up is Michael Cote, founder of Looks Gourmet Food Company of Whiting, Maine.

Last year’s winner was Rick Cochran of Mobile Medical International Corp., a Vermont manufacturer of mobile health care and diagnostic tools. His products include mobile surgical hospitals and inflatable hospital wards built into tractor-trailers.

The National Small Business Person of the Year and runners-up were selected from among the state winners in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and Guam. The award was announced in connection with National Small Business Week, an SBA event that will feature speakers and conferences at the Mandarian Oriental hotel in D.C. on Monday and Tuesday.

D.C. small business person of the year.

Maryland small business person of the year

Virginia small business person of the year

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By  |  06:19 PM ET, 05/21/2012

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