CLEVELAND, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- John Kent Barnard, Executive Chairman of Vita-Mix® Corporation, has been recognized as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Council of America (SBCA). The award was presented at a reception held at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC on May 4, 2011. The SBCA provides small business support and development to ensure that small business remains a vital segment of the U.S. economy.
Though Vitamix has grown to become known worldwide as a top industry brand, Barnard said the company still operates with the small business principles on which it was founded.
"Vitamix remains steadfast in focusing on our company's core strengths and values, something that is far easier to accomplish as a small business," Barnard said at the award reception. "By not allowing profits to overshadow customer, supplier, employee and dealer needs, the company possesses the advantage of being agile. In turn, we can make impactful decisions quickly while continuing to work from a long-term perspective."
Barnard started his career at the family-owned business demonstrating Vitamix machines. Earning his engineering degree from Case Western Reserve University and his MBA from the University of Buffalo, Barnard worked in a number of large public manufacturing companies before returning to Vitamix in 1981. He eventually became Chief Executive Officer and President of Vitamix, a position he held for many years. He now serves as the Company's Executive Chairman, while his daughter Jodi serves as President.
Criteria for the Small Business Person of the Year award include:
- Dedication to small business in America as evidenced through promotion of a climate favorable to free enterprise.
- Promotion of a positive image of American business through excellent business, civic or corporate leadership.
- Leadership in advancing the interest of small business in America evidenced by efforts and accomplishments in affecting the legislative and regulatory environment.
"This recognition highlights our company's significant and meaningful achievements," Barnard said. "I am extremely proud to represent such an outstanding small business and all of the wonderful people who dedicate their days to help make it a success."
Vita-Mix® Corporation, privately owned and operated by the Barnard family since 1921, manufactures and markets superior blending and mixing products directly to the public and the restaurant/hospitality industry. Vitamix is recognized as a leader in innovation in the direct marketing industry, having created the infomercial genre in the late 1940s and developed the first true commercial blender in the early 1990s. Leading consumer magazines rank Vitamix as the highest quality consumer blender. The company's commercial customer list reads like a "Who's Who" of major restaurant chains, and gourmet chefs worldwide say their Vitamix machines are more important to them than their knives. Nestled in the valley of picturesque Olmsted Falls, Ohio, the company employs more than 300 people, has a global presence in more than 80 countries and continues to win awards for product innovation. For more information, visit www.vitamix.com.
SOURCE Vita-Mix Corporation