SBA Recognizes the Office of Surety Guarantees FY23 Award Winners


Surety Agent of the Year to be Honored During National Small Business Week Ceremony in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s cabinet for America’s more than 33 million small businesses, announced the Office of Surety Guarantees award winners recognized for their continued work to help small contracting businesses acquire surety bonds.

“SBA’s surety guarantee partners play a crucial role in helping the SBA facilitate billions of contracting dollars to America’s small businesses, and our 2024 Surety Guarantee award winners are delivering above and beyond to advance our economy,” said Administrator Guzman. “As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, there are contract opportunities for small businesses to rebuild infrastructure, manufacturing and supply chains, and the clean energy economy of the future. The SBA, along with these incredible surety companies, are helping them leverage these revenue growth opportunities to create jobs and strengthen our communities.”


Three SBA surety bond partners were selected to receive the Surety of the Year, Surety Agency of the Year, and Surety Agent of the Year awards based on their participation, activity, claims, recovery, and their commitment to helping small businesses obtain contracts with both government and private sector entities. One small business was also selected to receive an award based on its growth since entering the Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program and its work supporting the local economy.

The Gray Casualty & Surety Company was recognized as Surety of the Year. Pinnacle Surety & Insurance Services was honored as Surety Agency of the Year, and Kenneth C. Turner of KOG International, Inc. was chosen as Surety Agent of the Year. IMEC Group, Inc., was honored as Small Business of the Year.

Surety of the Year award recipient The Gray Casualty & Surety Company joined the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Prior Approval Surety Bond program in 2017. Gray Casualty ramped up its SBA participation in FY 2023, exceeding its prior participation by more than 80%.

“Gray Surety is honored to be recognized by the SBA for our shared work in creating bonding opportunities for deserving businesses. We share this honor with our dedicated agency partners who have embraced the tools provided by the SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees,” said Michael D. Pitre, Gray Surety Chief Operating Officer.

Surety Agency of the Year award recipient Pinnacle Surety & Insurance Services is an Alliant company that has been an SBA-authorized agency since 2011. Pinnacle’s participation in the SBG Program last year helped their SBA-participating small business clients retain more than 170 employees, nearly doubling the SBA-guaranteed bonds issued to those clients in just one year.

“We are honored to receive the Surety Agency of the Year award. At Alliant, we are committed to empowering women, veterans, minorities, and all small and emerging contractors. Through our partnership with the SBA, we have been able to provide increased bonding programs that enable our clients to achieve their business goals. Alliant is committed to driving positive change in our communities and fostering inclusive economic opportunities for all,” said Rachelle Rheault, Alliant Vice President.

Surety Agent of the Year award recipient Kenneth C. Turner of KOG International, Inc., has been active in the surety industry since 1996. He handles contractors throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond with numerous sureties. He has developed an extensive network of surety contacts and, with years of expertise, brings these resources together to better serve his clients. Turner placed his first client in the SBA’s SBG Program in 2003 and continues to actively promote SBA-backed surety bonds to numerous small businesses today. Turner will be the first recipient of this award presented during SBA’s National Small Business Week in April.

Small Business of the Year award recipient IMEC Group, LLC grew its bonding capacity from $213,000 to over $6 million over ten years in the Surety Bond Guarantee Program. IMEC Group is a minority-owned, 8(a) certified firm supporting the local economy in the Columbia, MD area and across the Mid-Atlantic states. IMEC Group continues to utilize the SBG Program to support its bonded projects, allowing the small business to grow and continue to access new revenue streams through bonded projects.

The SBA Surety Bond Guarantee program has 38 active surety partners represented by over 100 authorized agents nationwide and guaranteed more than 9,000 bonds with a contract value of over $7.3 billion in fiscal year 2023. More information about the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program is available at

Co-sponsorship Authorization # 24-1-C. SBA’s participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


About National Small Business Week
In the spirit of National Small Business Week, we celebrate the unprecedented growth of entrepreneurship in the United States, marked by 16.5 million new business applications since the Biden-Harris Administration took office. This surge highlights the dynamism and innovation that America’s entrepreneurs bring to our local communities. The SBA will continue to champion the endeavors of small businesses and the vital role they play in driving economic prosperity across the nation.

About SCORE 
SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, SCORE has provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

About the U.S. Small Business Administration 
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

CONTACT: Christine Saah-Nazer U.S. Small Business Administration 202-756-0304 [email protected] Rebecca Galanti U.S. Small Business Administration 202-756-0304 [email protected] 

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