Founder and CEO of Queens-based ISS Action Security Pamela Newman, a Woodsburgh resident, was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration in New York state as the Small Business Person of the Year in Washington D.C. on May 1.
“Owning a small business is really about building a family,” Newman said. “We started because we needed a way to provide for our family, and now our family of employees is what keeps us going and helps make the business strong.”
Pamela Newman was living in Woodmere and pregnant with triplets Channah, Moshe and Abie, now 24, when her house burned down. She and her family then moved in with her parents in North Woodmere. She has since had another child, Golda, who is 18.
In 1991, Newman said, her business began with a commercial telephone line in her parent’s basement. The company has since moved to its current headquarters near John F. Kennedy airport. “Today we contract with six federal agencies in seven states and employ 250 people,” she said. “It turned out that the triplets and the fire were actually very big blessings for us.”
ISS Action is a security firm providing a range of services from armed guards to special event security to emergency response plans. The company has worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Transportation and Maritime Administration over the years.
Her husband, Yehuda Daphna, is a special forces veteran. He is president of ISS. “He is the security expert, I’m the business person,” said Newman, who previously worked in marketing.
“More than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of three net new jobs in the U.S. each year,” Linda McMahon, the U.S. Small Business Administration administrator, said.
Last year, ISS Action’s gross revenue was about $14 million, according to an SBA statement. “This is a great SBA success story that we’re proud to share with the community,” Beth Goldberg, the district SBA director for New York, said. She said that Newman was a graduate of SBA New York’s first Emerging Leaders Program in 2015 and how a business assistance program, helped ISS to efficiently develop its resources.
According to the SBA, any person who owns and operates a small business can be nominated to receive a Person of the Year award. Nominees must be residents of the United States or its territories.
When evaluating nominees, judges look at several criteria. These include: staying power; growth in number of employees over a minimum of three years; increase in sales, set profit and net worth; innovativeness of product or service; response to adversity; contributions to community-oriented projects; and a description of markets served and products exported, if applicable.
Close friend and Cedarhurst resident Henny Rudansky said Newman’s story is “incredible.” The two raised their children together. “She is a vibrant, dynamic, super young woman,” she said, “and I think her story will inspire others to succeed.”