Rock the vote for Newfoundland and Labrador finalist in quest for $100,000 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award grand prize

Sarah Lynn Russell set to reboot Distinctive Interiors' craftsmanship using technology

BLAKETOWN, NL, May 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning point project, "Ready to Reboot", submitted by local businesswoman Sarah Lynn Russell will represent Newfoundland and Labrador in the finals of the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.

Sarah's project aims to automate Distinctive Interiors' conventional processes and spur growth in a hot housing market.  She'll need a resounding show of support from voters near and far to take home the $100,000 grand prize!

Originally a manufacturer of pine mouldings for the wholesale market, the company expanded into retail, diversifying its locally sourced and manufactured products to include stair components, cabinetry, hardwood flooring and interior doors. With a repositioned brand, Distinctive Interiors has reached a critical juncture and needs the right technology to deliver on multiple projects in the works. "A proper inventory control and manufacturing software system will help streamline and speed up our processes, which will shorten wait times and help our team better respond to customer needs," Sarah Lynn explains. "There's a big demand for wood products and lots of room for us to grow in Newfoundland's booming housing market."

A mechanical engineer by profession, Sarah Lynn signed on full- time in 2009 to manage the company's day-to-day operations. She made the leap to ownership in 2011, allowing her father, the company founder, to complete the business transition and retire. While she harbours some of her dad's adventurous spirit, Sarah Lynn's big dreams for the business are deeply grounded in reality. "We have a solid reputation to build on, and technology will help solidify and grow our market presence," she adds. "It will also make our team's efforts a lot easier. Our employees work extremely hard to keep up with demand and their dedication is a big part of how far we've come."

"All the finalists competing for the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award presented sound turning point solutions that could provide a solid springboard for future growth and success," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "Sarah and her company stand out as a vital part of their community, creating jobs and supporting local economic development."

"As a small manufacturer, we're part of the fabric of life here and our project, Ready to Reboot, needs each and every vote to win this," says Sarah Lynn. "In a big-box world, the personalized service and convenience we offer sets us apart. Your votes will help Distinctive Interiors grow this second-generation business, hire more people and preserve our reputation for dependability."

Voting for the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from May 22 to June 11. To support your favourite project, log into the contest microsite and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on Facebook at "BDC Entrepreneur", Twitter at @BDC_News and LinkedIn. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 17. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services.

About the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age. Nine finalists were short-listed to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. The winner will be selected by public vote and the contest runner-up will receive a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services. The Financial Post and La Presse are the media partners of the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.

About BDC
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity.

SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information:

Maria Constantinescu
Senior Advisor, Public Relations
Business Development Bank of Canada
(514) 496-7146


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