Kris Shah, president of an Orange County electronics firm, has been named a runner-up in the Small Business Administration's national competition for Small-Business Person of the Year.
Shah, 59, who heads Litronic Industries Inc., an Irvine-based builder and designer of computer security systems, was chosen second runner-up in the competition. He qualified for the national contest after being named Small-Business Person of the Year in California.
The annual entrepreneur award was won by Ross Youngs, who started a company in his basement to develop a cheaper, environmentally friendly product for storing compact discs. His firm, Univenture Inc., is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Using a household clothing iron as a welding tool, Youngs, 41, created a lighter, sturdier packaging system for holding CDs. Sales have grown to $15 million at the company, which has Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp. and Warner Bros. among its customers.
In winning the 35th annual entrepreneur award, Youngs was selected from 53 SBA small-business winners representing 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. The SBA, which helps entrepreneurs manage their firms, selects winners based on stability, innovation, growth in employment and sales, community service, financial condition and response to adversity.
Shah's Litronic Industries, which employs 65 people, provides an electronic security system that safeguards Internet users, electronic commerce and corporate communications.