Local women receive SBA Phoenix award


Samoa News Elda Najera-Suisala and Lori Sword of American Samoa are the recipients of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer for their volunteer work following last September’s tsunami.

Najera-Suisala capped off her emotional experience by meeting yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama at White House Rose Garden, where she gave the Hawai’i-born President a flower ula and a hug.

Because of an emergency situation, Sword— whose flower ula was also given to the President— was unable to attend the Rose Garden event.

The award ceremony was held Monday in Washington D.C. during the SBA’s National Small Business Week 2010 event, which included an award for a North Dakota mayor who managed to organize local efforts to stave off a major flood and the owner of a South Texas construction firm who is working to rebuild a more hurricane-resilient city.

SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills during the ceremony said these individuals displayed tremendous courage and resourcefulness in the midst of devastating disasters.

Read the full story at samoanews.com

“The Phoenix Award acknowledges their heroic efforts, and is a token of appreciation for their contributions to the economic recovery of their communities,” she said in a news release.


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