Eric A. Hoover of Conneaut Lake, Pa., was named recently the National Small Business Person of the Year.
Hoover founded Excalibur Machine Company in 1988 to provide original equipment manufacturing, machining and fabricating services for larger manufacturing companies.
In announcing the award, the U.S. Small Business Administration said his company experienced continual growth over the past five years in a difficult industry, and posted sales that more than tripled in the same period.
As a result, Hoover launched three other companies: Camelot Consolidated, a sales organization; Blade Transport, a trucking firm and Lancelot Construction, a construction firm.
Excalibur Machine Co. serves manufacturers of locomotives, rail cars, material handling systems and equipment for mining, glass handling and heavy construction.
Hoover was born and raised in Conneaut Lake, a small town in northwest Pennsylvania. A news release from the Small Business Administration said he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at an early age, and accomplished much despite predictions from doctors that he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.