News That’s Fit to Print
At first, Jim and Kelly Sullivan thought the email was junk or a hoax.
“It was an invitation to us from the president to go to the White House to sit in the Rose Garden with him and the vice president for a remarks ceremony,” Kelly recalled, adding that the missive was followed shortly afterward by an email from the Small Business Administration (SBA), essentially letting them know that the email from the White House was real, and they should reply — soon.
They did, and when they gathered in the Rose Garden with the other 49 Small Business Persons of the Year for each state, as recognized by the SBA, they managed to get within a few feet of the president, but didn’t fight the crowd to get any closer.
This gathering, which came during National Small Business Week, has been part of a nearly month-long whirlwind for the Sullivans, owners of Millennium Press in Agawam, the Small Business Persons of the Year from Massachusetts.
There was an awards ceremony in Washington that came just after the White House visit, and, earlier this month, another small-business awards ceremony in Massachusetts, at which they were recognized for their accomplishments in business — and for their perseverance through a series of challenges over the past 34 years.
There was an appearance on a Bloomberg podcast — “I was terrifed; I’m a printer, and they’re firing questions at you left and right,” Jim said — and, just a week ago, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who directed the Sullivans to SBA funding, and other officials toured Millennium’s facilities to get a look at its cutting-edge technology and talk with its team of 18 employees.