SEED Will Present the “Gus Yankopoulos Regional Business Advocate” Award to Melinda Ailes

Melinda Ailes (2)

The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation will present the “Gus Yankopoulos Regional Business Advocate of the Year” to Melinda Ailes at its 32nd Annual Meeting at 5:30 pm on Thursday, November 20th at White’s of Westport.

“We are very pleased to present this award to Melinda Ailes for hercontribution to the region’s small businesses over a period of 12 years,” stated Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director.

In addition to leading a team of small business advisors at MSBDC serving southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, Melinda provided management consulting services to small and mid size businesses ranging from start-up through maturity in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, service, distribution and high technology.

“Melinda was well known by the commercial lenders and business organizations in the region” added Gooch-Smith. “She was the go to person for bankers or organizations working with small businesses needing technical assistance.”

At the Annual Meeting, SEED will also be presenting the “Small Business of the Year” award to Heidrea Communications, LLC of Plymouth, Ma., and the “Banker of the Year” award to the lender in the region who has participated in the largest amount of loans with SEED, and exemplifies the spirit of assistance to small businesses.

The guest speaker at SEED’s Annual Meeting is Seth Goodall, the New England Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

At the meeting, SEED members will vote on a slate for officers, directors and members for 2015. The slate for SEED Officers includes: Gerard Nadeau, Chair (Rockland Trust Company); Richard Shafer, Vice Chair (Taunton Development Corporation); Jennifer Menard, Vice Chair (Bristol Community College); Lorraine Travers, CPA, Treasurer; Robert Reisner, Assistant Treasurer (Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank); William Lewis,Clerk (Bristol County Savings Bank); Roy Nascimento, Assistant Clerk (New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce); and Ferdinand Kelley, Past Chair.

In 2014, under all its programs, SEED made 79 small business loans totaling $21.3 million, leveraging $32.3 in bank loans and private funds, and creating 370 new jobs. SEED’s total current active portfolio of small business loans is $107 million.

SEED is a non-profit corporation certified in late 1982 by the SBA.  SEED runs three loan programs and a Business Assistance Program.  The loan programs provide financing from $1,000 to $5.5 million to small businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

SEED’s directors and members are community leaders who represent small businesses, financial institutions, local officials, and community organizations.  Members meet on an annual basis to elect a board of directors and officers.  For more information about the Annual Meeting and SEED’s programs call 508-822-1020 or visit


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