Mar 31, 2017
The Minnesota district of the U.S. Small Business Administration has named Shirley Joann Wikner
as its "Small Business Person of the Year."
Wikner is the CEO of an Eden Prairie-based business called Aviation Charter and Executive Aviation.
Aviation Charter provides specialized 24-hour, on-demand air service throughout the contiguous United States, Canada and Mexico. The company services a variety of needs, including corporate clients, organ transplant teams, and the airline industry, for which it carries aircraft parts and other mechanical components.
Aviation Charter runs in tandem with Executive Aviation, the company's terminal and maintenance facility
Wikner and her late husband Roger founded Aviation Charter and Executive Aviation in 1988. She became the sole owner after Roger Wikner died suddenly in 2012.
The company now has 54 employees.
The Small Business Administration evaluates candidates for its "Person of the Year" by a number of measures, specifically growth in sales or unit volume, an increase in total workforce, a company's financial health, and product innovation.
Wikner will be honored twice, first at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 4 at the Marriot Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park. Registration is open for the event until April 28.
She has also been invited to Washington, D.C., to join winners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of whom will be feted during National Small Business Week ceremonies.