Some of the small business persons across the country being honored here during Small Business Week are from our own backyard.
Representing Maryland is John Laughlin, who was named the state's small business Businessperson of the Year for 1980 by the Baltimore Regional Office of the Small Business Administration.
Laughlin is president of Digital Systems Corp. of Walkersville in Frederick County. He was chosen from a final field of five candidates. The award is based on the quality of management, the number of jobs provided, contribution to the local economy and management's involvement in community affairs.
Founded by Laughlin and his brother in 1975, Digital Systems originally employed six people. The computer manufacturing firm now employs about 100 workers at its production and engineering facilities in Frederick to build computers, test instruments and electronic sub-assemblies.
Digital Systems has $1.5 million in invested capital raised locally and another $1.1 million in lines of credit. The company plans to sell and additional $1 million in stock for expansion and capital.
S.T. Research Corp. of Newington, Va., was selected from 70 nominees around the country as the SBA's National Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year for 1980. The firm is the first company from the Washington area to receive the award since it was instituted in 1971.
S.T. Research was cited for its technical competence, outstanding quality and dependability of its products and its unassisted expansion into export sales.
The company's products include microwve receiving systems and industrial process and microprocessor systems for military and commercial customers. Its president since 1974 is S. Ronald Perrino.
Stuart L. Forsyth, executive director of SCORE's Washington office, was named by the SBA as SCORE Advocate of the Year. SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, was established in 1964 as a voluntary organization of retired business persons to advise small businesses under the supervision of the SBA.
The SBA cited a total of 12 persons for their role in advocating small business.
SCORE's Washington office assists and guides SCORE chapters around the country. Last year Forsyth served as manager of disaster assistance centers in Louisiana and Mississippi. He also set up a management training course used by the Portland, Ore., chapter.