Person of Year award
Oscar Quiles, president of Pentaq Manufacturing Corp. in Puerto Rico, has been named National Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Quiles, pictured above (center), received the award from Joseph Jordan and Marie Johns, both of the SBA, at a Sept. 30 ceremony.
Quiles' company manufactures tents and uniforms for the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard, among other clients.
"We are honoring Oscar for his commitment to excellence in government contracting, for creating jobs and providing work incentives for his employees," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills in an Oct. 3 press release. "Oscar's story is a true testimony of all that small businesses do for our nation and its economy."
Quiles learned about occupational uniform manufacturing during a decade of work for his family's business, Caribbean Needlepoint Inc. In 2003 he bought a company that was about to close, keeping all 50 employees on the payroll with help from the Workforce Investment Act Program. A year later the company became Pentaq Manufacturing, with a specialty in military clothing, uniforms, and related products.
Today the company has 160 employees and $3.2 million in revenues. The Coast Guard and DoD recently awarded contracts to Pentaq totaling $17.7 million to manufacture coats, shirts, trousers, bed nets, and bags.