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Waymon Armstrong, the owner of a small business that uses computer simulations to help government and private sector clients prepare for and respond to natural disasters, medical emergencies and combat, was today named National Small Business Person of the Year by Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
SBA Administrator Mills made the announcement during ceremonies at SBA’s celebration of National Small Business Week 2010:
“ Waymon Armstrong is a perfect example of the innovation, inspiration and determination that exemplify America’s most successful entrepreneurs. He believed in his brainchild to the point where he deferred his own salary for three years to keep it afloat. When layoffs loomed for his staff after 9/11, their loyalty and belief in the company was so great that they were willing to work without pay for four months. Waymon’s commitment to his employees and to his business – Engineering & Computer Simulations, Inc. – demonstrates the qualities that make small businesses such a powerful force for job creation in the American economy and in their local communities. It’s the same qualities that will lead us to economic recovery. We are especially proud that his company benefited from two grants under SBA’s Small Business Innovation and Research Program. I applaud Waymon, and all of the state small business persons of the year who are here today. We are all grateful for their contributions to our economy.”Armstrong, the top winner, started Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) in 1997. Today it is one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing private companies in America. Armstrong and ECS use cutting edge technology to help government and private clients prepare for natural disasters, medical emergencies, and times of war.
ECS is a provider of game-based simulation systems and interactive performance assessment tools that train emergency medical personnel and emergency management teams from different jurisdictions to cooperate in the event of a natural disaster, and simulation training programs that teach unmanned vehicle operational personnel procedures to launch and operate unmanned vehicles.
The ECS engineering team brings together an experienced staff that values innovation and creativity while focusing on customers’ needs. Today, ECS employs 45 people, and recruits from the central Florida talent pool. ECS doubled its revenues in 2008. The company has seen a 640 percent sales growth over the past three years. The loyalty of his staff was rewarded with generous benefits: full insurance, personal time off, every other Friday off, monthly catered appreciation lunches, bonus and profit-sharing plans, and on-site massage therapy.
Again, kudos to Waymon and the ECS team, well done!