Michael Allen, president of Z-Axis in Ontario County, was chosen as Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Buffalo district office, for a territory covering 14 counties.
Allen was given the same SBA honor on a statewide level, and he is in the running for a national title.
Z-Axis is an electronic products manufacturer in Phelps that had seen its sales of cathode ray tube-based displays decline. Allen became president in 2007 and under his leadership, Z-Axis developed a new product line and entered the contract manufacturing market.
Other SBA award recipients: exporter of the year, Damon Piatek, Welke Customs Brokers USA, Tonawanda; home-based business of the year, John “Jack” O’Connor, SCORE Buffalo Niagara certified mentor; young entrepreneur of the year, Brian Junke, Lock 34 Bar and Grill, Lockport; veteran small business champions of the year, Robert Banas and Robert Novak, Buffalo Veteran Business Council, Tonawanda.
Also: women in business champion of the year, Sara Vescio, Women’s Business Center, Canisius College; minority small business champion of the year, Jesse L. Burnette, Erie County Division of Equal Employment Opportunity; family owned business of the year, Michael Young, AEY Enterprises, Macedon; financial services champion of the year, Bernadette Aja, KeyBank; district director’s Small Business Week Special Recognition Award, Katharine Smith, White Rabbit Design, Buffalo; District Director’s Small Business Week Special Award for Distinction and Achievement, Lauren D. Rachlin, Hodgson Russ, Buffalo.