ATLANTA, April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alfred A. Mignacci, a Raleigh resident who worked tirelessly to help rebuild a mobile home community shattered by a deadly tornado last year, will receive the U.S. Small Business Administration's Phoenix Award for his outstanding efforts as a volunteer.
Hardest hit during last April's tornadoes was the Stony Brook mobile home development in Raleigh. Of the 183 homes in the community, 50 were destroyed and 98 were badly damaged. The tragedy was magnified by the loss of four children. Al Mignacci, a 74-year-old retiree from IBM with a background in mechanical engineering, took the community—comprised mostly of Hispanic immigrants—under his wing.
Working 60 to 80 hours per week for six months, often in the rain or in extreme heat, Mignacci repaired mobile homes, coordinated countless volunteer work crews from all over the country and managed the purchasing and delivery of building materials. He became the "go to" person on all construction repairs, making sure the work was done correctly. Because of the language barrier, gauging the basic needs of each family became increasingly difficult. So Mignacci recruited translators from neighboring churches to establish solid lines of communication, which allowed the residents to get the assistance they needed. If he heard a missing person report, Mignacci would take the initiative to support search efforts. Mignacci's sense of responsibility, sharp organizational skills, and a compassionate heart made him a central figure in Stony Brook's rebuilding, where he still volunteers today and is giving the residents an energizing dose of hope and self-respect.
For his display of resilience and dedication to the recovery of Raleigh, Mignacci will receive the 2012 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer.
"The Phoenix Award is an acknowledgment of an individual's heroic efforts and a recognition of the contributions they make to the recovery of their communities," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. "Al Mignacci displayed tremendous courage and resourcefulness in the aftermath of the tornado, and he exemplifies the spirit one must have to rebuild after a disaster like this."
The Phoenix Awards will be presented on May 22, 2012, during the U.S. Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week celebration, May 20-26, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. Events can be viewed live online through the free webcasting service, accessible at http://www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com
Since 1998, the SBA has given the Phoenix Award to business owners, public officials and volunteers who displayed selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.
The SBA makes low-interest, taxpayer-backed disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes. More information about the disaster assistance program is available at www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.
Small Business Week 2012 sponsors and cosponsors include: Association of Small Business Development Companies,AT&T,Dun & Bradstreet,InterContinental Hotels Group, Lockheed Martin,Microsoft, National Association of Development Companies, National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, National Association for the Self-Employed,National Small Business Association, Neustar, Northrop Grumman, Office Depot,PAYCHEX, Prudential, Raytheon,The Sage GroupSalesgenie, SCORE, Small Business Investor Alliance, T-Mobile, VISA, and Women Impacting Public Policy.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's participation in this cosponsored activity does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any cosponsor's, donor's, grantee's, contractor's or participant's opinions, products, or services. All SBA programs and cosponsored programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least 2 weeks in advance, by contacting [email protected]. Cosponsorship Authorization #SBW2012