The U.S. Small Business Administration has named its 2016 New Jersey Small Business Person of the Year, it announced Monday.
Charles Olivo, founder of Stonefield Engineering and Design in Rutherford, was honored as part of the National Small Business Week event, SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone announced.
“National Small Business Week gives us the stage to recognize the outstanding achievements of small business owners like Charles Olivo,” Titone said in a prepared statement. “Six years ago, it started with an idea in the basement of his home; today, he is leading a team of 40 professional engineers and planners that generate in excess of $4 million in annual sales.”
Olivo, who started his engineering and design company at age 29 in January 2010, was nominated for the award by JPMorgan Chase Bank. He was chosen based on criteria that included: staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, financial strength of the company, and more.
“When I started the company, I envisioned an engineering and design firm that would empower and create young engineers and designers who had a strong sense of community,” Olivo said in a statement. He added that his company’s employees average 26 to 27 years of age, much younger than the industry standard.
“I like to say that we are a forward-thinking, progressive and aggressive company,” he said. “We continue to push back against the norms of engineering and design.”
As his company has grown, Olivo has utilized resources such as the SBA’s 7(a) Guarantee and 504 programs, as well as JPMorgan’s New Jersey business banking office.
The company is based out of two historic buildings in Rutherford, Olivo’s hometown.
“Much of our work is part of private and public sector land development projects,” he said. “Projects can range from a single-family home to a large-scale, mixed-use project that requires the attention of skilled engineers and designers.”
Olivo competed with other state honorees for the National Small Business Person of the Year Award, which was presented Monday in Washington, D.C., at a ceremony honoring all of the state winners.
Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell of Equator Coffee and Teas, based in San Rafael, California, were named National Small Business Persons of the Year, the SBA said.