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SBA Excellence Award Recipient Honored at Albany Ceremony

PLATTSBURGH, NY — Douglas Ferris, owner of Earth Science Engineering, P.C. (ESE) was honored at the 9th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon May 7, 2006 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Colonie. "Doug Ferris is a sterling example of a North Country native who returned to his hometown to make a difference in the community," said, Dee Clark, Regional Director of the North Country Small Business Development Center at SUNY Plattsburgh , who nominated Ferris for the award.

Based in the town of Willsboro, Ferris' company performs civil and environmental engineering services for individuals and commercial, industrial and municipal organizations. His company is an innovator in one of the region's most important economic and environmental service sectors. By successfully restoring land sites and improving area environments, ESE has positively impacted the region.

The Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon is one of many events in local communities across the nation that celebrates National Small Business Week. Small businesses are the driving force behind America's tremendous growth and job creation. They employ 51 percent of the private-sector workforce, or 57 million Americans.  They create two out of three new jobs and produce 51% of the private sector output.

During the ceremony, Teresa Sayward, Assemblywoman (R-NY, 113), surprised Mr. Ferris with a New York State Assembly Proclamation highlighting his commitment as an entrepreneur that gives back to the community. Remarking on the proclamation, Doug Ferris said, "Having Teresa there was an honor, and to receive this proclamation from her in front of an Albany crowd...well, it was more than I could have imagined."

Doug has a vision to improve the economy of one small town in upstate New York. He and his brother recently invested in the former Willsboro Lanes, reopening the facility and renaming it the Willsboro Bowling Center. Future plans include development of a restaurant, a gift shop, professional office space and relocation of ESE. Most recently, he merged with Steve Benway of S.K. Benway Construction to form Zebra-Tech, L.L.C., a design/build general contracting firm specializing in Civil and Environmental construction, wetlands mitigation, ponds, retaining walls, foundations, storm water pollution prevention projects, and onsite septic disposal.

"As a community-minded individual, Doug has taken a leadership role in many local organizations," said Clark. "He has paved the way for one international Afghani student to come to Willsboro, to live in his home and to obtain a scholarship for him from St. Lawrence University. Doug's philosophy is that there are 'pearls in your own backyard' and has proven so by making a difference."

Photo caption: Doug Ferris was honored at the 9th Annual Small Business Excellence Awards luncheon on May 7, 2006. From left to right: B.J. Paprocki, US Small Business Administration (Syracuse) District Director; Teresa Sayward, Assemblywoman (113); Douglas R. Ferris, Owner of Earth Science Engineering; Dee Clark, Regional Director, North Country SBDC; and Patrick MacKrell, President/CEO, NYBDC (NY Business Development Corporation).

The NYS/SBDC, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York and the State University of New York, provides high quality, pro bono, small business counseling, training and focused research to approximately 15,000 entrepreneurs a year.  Since its inception in 1984, the 23 regional offices statewide have worked directly with almost 263,947 businesses, helping them invest over $3 billion in the state's economy, and creating or saving more than 123,817 jobs.

The North Country SBDC, located at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, has worked directly with 5,576 businesses, helping them invest almost $48.9 million in the area's economy, and creating or saving over 1,843 jobs since 1984.  The NYS/SBDC at Plattsburgh, part of the School of Business and Economics at Plattsburgh State, works one-on-one in a confidential setting with emerging, existing and expanding entrepreneurs by exploring avenues for funding, marketing and management. The staff provides these services at no cost to clients in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and northern Washington counties.  For additional information contact the NYS/SBDC at 518-564-2042. Visit the SBDC by online at www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/support/sbdc .

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