Beth Ehlis Strube, founder and owner of FunShine Express, Inc. and Strube Rentals, LLP, Dickinson, was recognized on May 12 by the Small Business Administration as the 2010 Small Business Person of the Year for North Dakota.

During the recognition, Strube credited co-workers and family as having critical impact on the growth and success of both businesses over the last 15 years, according to a Funshine press release.

"This is a timely award for our business as we enter our 15th year. But I have not done this on my own," she said. "I work with a group of talented people who are dedicated to the well being of young children."

She said the organization reaches 50,000 children across the nation each day with our "combined products." FunShine Express creates and produces early childhood curriculum materials.

"Remarkably, Beth has always risen to the occasion to create a better way to educate preschool kids, a better way to run a business, a better way to market and a better way to manage her employees," said Kari Warberg-Block, owner of Earth-Kind Inc., Bismarck.

The 2010 U.S. Small Business Person of the Year will be announced during National Small Business Week held in Washington, D.C., next week.

Each year since 1963 the president has issued a proclamation calling for celebration of Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to the nation. More than half of all Americans who work either own or work for a small business, according to the press release.

Activities in Washington, D.C. include nationally recognized speakers on a variety of topics relevant to small businesses, as well as Rose Garden and State Department Receptions.

State award and national winners are judged on business performance, sustainability, overcoming obstacles, and contributions to community.

FunShine employs 30 people in Dickinson. The business has moved from several locations, beginning in homes to its current office building and production facility on East Highway 10.