In celebration of National Small Business Week (taking place May 20-26, 2012 in Washington, DC), Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year. The honor goes to Victoria Tifft, president and CEO of Clinical Research Management Inc., of Hinckley, Ohio.

“The innovation, inspiration and determination shown by Victoria Tifft have elevated her company, Clinical Research Management, above and beyond the norm,” said Mills. “These qualities are what make small businesses such a powerful force for job creation in the American economy and in their local communities.” When Tifft was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo more than 20 years ago, she came down with malaria. But it was the suffering of the local people living under devastating third world conditions that led her to dedicate her life to fighting infectious diseases. Upon returning from West Africa, she took a job at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. While there, she identified an opportunity to help the Army with pre-clinical early and late-stage clinical vaccine trials.

Tifft then created Clinical Research Management, also known as ClinicalRM and the company supports development of FDA-regulated vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices for government and commercial customers. ClinicalRM helped create the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Clinical Trials Center and the Center develops vaccines for infectious diseases such as malaria and E. coli.

Employing three people in 1994, the company now maintains domestic and international operations today with a staff of 331. Annual revenues have increased from $17 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010.

“I applaud Victoria and her team, and I applaud the runners-up and their staffs, and all of the state small business persons of the year who are here today,” Mills said. “We are grateful for their contributions to our economy. They are magnificent examples of the character of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.”