SBA’s Boise District Office Names 2014 Idaho Small Business Person of the Year

Cityscape view of downtown Boise Idaho

thumbnail of a manBoise, Idaho – Gary Multanen, CEO of Best Bath Systems along with his wife, Susan, and children Megan and Jay have been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2014 Idaho Small Business Person of the Year. The Multanen family was nominated for the award by Larry Ilk, vice president and commercial relationship manager of Zions Bank in Boise, Idaho.
Best Bath Systems has been in business for over 40 years. In the last 18, the focus has primarily been on manufacturing accessible bathing systems for residential remodels and commercial construction/remodels. When Gary’s mother could no longer bathe safely in her traditional tub/shower, he recognized the need to design and build what was needed to make his mother’s bathroom safe; and started a product line that was unique and solved problems for people with bathing challenges.
From those humble beginnings in 1995, Best Bath Systems has gone from zero sales in accessible bathing products to $20 million in sales for 2013. In 2010 the Best Bath residential dealer network contained 347 dealers; in 2013 the network spans 490 dealers across the United States and Canada. Managed by a team of 12 people, covering 8 territories, this division sold $8.4 million in products for 2013. Best Bath Systems is recognized as a leading American manufacturer dedicated to making bathing units that are safe for people of all abilities.
“Best Bath Systems is committed to being the employer of choice for all employees’ whether on the manufacturing floor, in the sales force or on our administrative team,” said Gary Multanen, CEO. “This award is the result of our commitment to sharing profits with our employees, listening to our customers, and continually striving to solve the needs of our customers through innovation. We are extremely grateful to the support we’ve received from the SBA and the Idaho SBDC.”
“Since I started working with Best Bath Systems, they have impressed me with their business acumen, dedication to innovation and quality, and their commitment to the community,” said nominator Larry Ilk. “I’m pleased they have been recognized with this honor, and Zions Bank is proud to help support their continued growth.”
“SBA is proud to honor the Multanen family as the 2014 Idaho Small Business Person of the Year,” said SBA Region X Administrator Calvin Goings. “Under Gary’s leadership, Best Bath Systems has experienced sustained growth for many years.”
“The Boise District Office is pleased to have assisted Best Bath Systems with three SBA guaranteed loans and business development counseling from the Idaho Small Business Development Center in support of their Idaho expansions,” said Boise District Director Rodney Gradzieleski.
The Multanen family will be honored locally at the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce Luncheon in on June 10, 2014. SBA Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam will converge on Washington, D.C. in May 15 – 16, when one of them will be selected as National Small Business Person of the Year during the U.S. Small Business Administration’s celebration of National Small Business Week.

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