DANBURY, Conn. — A Danbury businesswoman has received a special honor from the U.S. Small Business Administration for her work to bring diversity to the workforce.
The administration named Dawn Reshen-Doty of Benay Enterprises the 2016 Connecticut honoree for a minority-owned small business. She applied for the honor, and, not expecting to win, she forgot about the award until she received a call from a number she didn’t recognize.
Since she was in a meeting, she let the call go to voicemail. But then then she had a chance to hear the message.
“I listened to the voice mail, and I was like, ‘wohoo!’” Reshen-Doty said. “I was very excited.”
Reshen-Doty applied for the award at the suggestion of Nelson Merchan, a business adviser at the Connecticut Small Business Development Center. His organization —along with the Danbury Hackerspace and SCORE — make Danbury a great place for business, she said.
“There is great diversity here,” she said. “There are a lot of organizations that really want small business to grow.”
Benay provides bookkeeping services, financial reporting, budgeting, integrative payroll, HR and benefits administration.
While Reshen-Doty said she has a lot of flexibility as a small business owner, she feels compelled to create a business environment in which her staff can flourish.
“What drives me is seeing our clients succeed and also creating a place for my staff where they can grow as professionals and have a safe, secure, steady and, hopefully, interesting job.” Reshen-Doty said. “I’m building something not just for myself but all the people who work with me.”
Reshen-Doty also provides internship opportunities to students from Western Connecticut State University. The presence of interns benefits both the students and the company, she said.
“I think there’s a great energy in young people, and it’s always been a win-win situation where they bring new ideas and talent to us … and we often give them their first opportunity to fly in the business world,” Reshen-Doty said.
For more information on Benay Enterprises, visit its website here.
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