Vistage Members Rick McKeel and Dan Schmidtendorff Named Indiana State Small Business Person of the Year

WASHINGTON, DC, June 21, 2013 – Vistage members Dan Schmidtendorff and Rick McKeel have been named Indiana State Small Business Person of the Year for 2013 and 2011, respectively by the U.S. Small Business Administration.   During the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week (June 16-21), the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes small businesses that create jobs, produce revenue, lift local economies, support the local infrastructure and give back charitably to the communities where they live and work. 

Dan and Rick’s Vistage Chair Michael Stensaas said, “It has been my privilege to work with Rick, a 10 plus year Vistage member, and Dan, a 5 plus year Vistage member in our group. Their success and demonstrated leadership skills have been a role model for the other members and have inspired them all to greater success, growth and achievement in their companies.”

Dan Schmidtendorff, President and CEO of Communication Company of South Bend, was honored in South Bend by the SBA on June 18, 2013 and attended an event for award winners from all 50 states in Washington DC on June 21, 2013.

Founded in 1976, Communication Company began as a communications and sound company for the K-12 market, and has become a specialist in design, installation, and service of life safety, security, audio visual, and communication systems for the healthcare, education and government markets.

In 2006, Dan Schmidtendorff purchased the company and has since grown the company from 14 to 42 full time employees, and the gross revenue from almost $3 million to almost $8 million, nearly a 168% increase. The company has also doubled the average amount of projects it takes per year from around 120 to more than 240.

The Communication Company makes monetary donations and volunteers their time with the Salvation Army, Imerman Angels, St. Jude’s, American Cancer Society, Hospice, American Red Cross, Hope Rescue Mission, South Bend Medical Foundation, and the Center for the Homeless, and is partnering with their Chamber of Commerce on local and regional economic development projects. Year after year as their profits increase so do their charitable donations, with increases at a minimum of 24% and as high as 74%.

On June 24, 2011 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Indiana District Office honored Rick McKeel, President and CEO of New Carbon Company, Inc. as the 2011 SBA Indiana Small Business Person of the Year. McKeel received his award at the SBA Awards Luncheon at the Westin Indianapolis Hotel, during 2011 Indiana Small Business Week.

New Carbon sells Golden Malted® Pancake and Waffle Flour to contracted distributors who supply the food service industry. The company also manufactures commercial waffle bakers which are provided to customers in exchange for the exclusive use of Golden Malted products in the waffle bakers.

McKeel joined the company in 1992. His accomplishments in sales and service led to his promotion to President and CEO of New Carbon Company in 2002. Under McKeel’s leadership the company launched a new business model featuring waffle cone and Panini grill sandwich makers used by national soft serve franchises, like Dairy Queen. He led the company in acquisition of a major competitor.

Sales increased from $12 million in 1998 to $34 million in 2010. New Carbon employs 74 full-time and two part-time employees.

In addition to selling products to distributors in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the company exports to 16 countries. Assistance for exporting was provided by the North Central Small Business Development Center.

McKeel was honored in Washington DC on May 20, 2011 for his distinction during National Small Business Week and was selected as one of 16 members to be recognized as Champions of Change by the White House.

about Vistage International 
Founded in 1957, Vistage International, headquartered in San Diego, California, is the world’s leading CEO peer advisory membership organization, serving more than 16,000 CEOs and senior executives in 15 countries. Vistage members participate in Chair-led advisory board peer groups, receive one-to-one coaching, learn from expert speakers, and interact among a global network of CEOs representing a broad range of industries. Its renowned Vistage CEO Confidence Index has been tracking CEO confidence and main street business issues since 2003.

media contact
Leo Bottary 
Vistage International