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McClain named state’s top business owner

Barbara McClain, co-owner of McClain Contracting in Andalusia, was honored by more than 100 family members, friends and dignitaries Wednesday, as she was recognized for being named Alabama’s U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2009.

McClain was originally honored with the award in April, and traveled to Washington, D.C., in May to compete for the national award. While in the nation’s capital, she testified before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business.

Wednesday, she received numerous plaques, resolutions and other honors from a variety of local, state and federal government officials. Mayor Earl Johnson presented a resolution congratulating her achievements, and also declared Wed., July 15, as “Barbara L. McClain Day.”

“This is such a special day for (McClain) and her family,” Johnson said. “She’s not hesitant to voice her opinion. She’s not hesitant to jump in and get involved in endeavors, and important matters and issues, and to help resolve problems in the community. For that, she is to be commended.”

McClain also received resolutions from Gov. Bob Riley, State Sen. Jimmy Holley, State House Speaker Seth Hammett and U.S. Congressman Bobby Bright. Vivian Burgess, a retired Air Force member and assistant project manager at McClain Contracting, presented McClain with five military coins.

“Coins are not given out regularly,” Burgess said. “The special meaning the military coin will carry for all time is one of camaraderie and brotherhood.”

McClain received her various awards due to her work with McClain Contracting, a company she has co-owned with her son, Kevin McClain, since 1997. Two years ago, the company began to take on federal construction contracts in three states — Alabama, Mississippi and Florida — including many at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss.

McClain, who grew up in Covington County as the daughter of a sharecropper, was credited for helping grow the business from four employees in 1997 to more than 30 today.

“An award is always given to just one person, but there are so many people who helped make this happen,” McClain said. “I have to give a lot of credit to my son, Kevin, who has worked very hard and for many long hours to make the company a success. I’m just truly humble and appreciative of this honor.”

McClain is married to her husband of 44 years, Bill. They have one son, Kevin, and live in Andalusia.