Pess Release —

Sharon Hamer, Yup’ik


SBA Names Sharon Hamer as the 2023 Viriginia and Washington Metropolitan District Office Small Businessperson of the Year


Alexandria, VA – March 16, 2023 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the 2023 State Small Business Persons of the Year award winners on March 16, 2023.  Akiak Technology LLC is proud to announce that Sharon Hamer, the first indigenous President of our tribally owned 8(a) business, was named Virginia’s Small Business Person of the Year.  Each year, SBA honors outstanding small business owners and entrepreneurs from each of the States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  Virginia’s 2023 Small Business Person of the Year is Sharon Hamer, President and Co-founder of Akiak Technology, LLC.

              Sharon Hamer is Yup’ik and an enrolled member of the Akiak Native Community, a federally recognized Tribe in remote SW Alaska.  She founded Akiak Technology LLC, with spouse Kevin Hamer as a tribal owned business in 2019 to increase self-sufficiency through economic development for Sharon’s tribal community.  Akiak Technology provides Information Technology management services to federal, State, Tribal governments and commercial customers.  The business has two locations with its Headquarters office in Alexandria, VA and Bethel, AK.  Sharon credits support from the Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in standing up her new businesses.  “I immediately took advantage of the Mason SBDC that offers Virginia entrepreneurs no-cost advice, training and resources,” said Sharon. “Our Mason SDBC business counselors shaved years off of our small business learning curve by helping us develop a solid strategy and business model tailored to our tribal-owned small businesses.”

              Sharon is driven by a purpose to help create a better economic future for her indigenous people.  Her commitment and dedication to this purpose is evident in Sharon’s work to start and grow five tribal for-profit companies and one tribal non-profit.  “Helping one’s Tribe lift themselves up and out poverty by diversifying its economy with new businesses is not for the faint of heart”, said Sharon.  “But if we’re successful, these for-profit tribal businesses will generate new sustainable revenue streams for our Tribe.”  Sharon’s leadership and inspiration is paying off for Akiak Technology LLC, as it grew from negative revenue in 2019 to $2.8M in sales in 2022.  Akiak Technology LLC is accelerating revenue growth in 2023 with its first 8(a) prime contract award for $22.8M.

              In addition to Akiak Technology, LLC, Sharon is also the Co-founder and President of tribally owned Akiak Facility Systems LLC, currently in the SBA approval process for 8(a) certification and a Member of the Akiak Holdings LLC Board of Directors.  Sharon Co-Founded the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) Tribal Broadband Consortium, a non-profit tribal organization delivering historic first-ever broadband for the 30,000 indigenous people who live and work in the YKD. To date, the organization has 18 YKD Tribal Nation Members and has built two Low Earth Orbit (LEO) tribal village networks with nine more on the way.

              This year marks the return of in-person awards ceremonies for the first time since 2019, with a weeklong Small Business Week celebration taking place between April 30-May 6. Sharon will compete with state winners for the National Small Business Person of the Year during the award ceremony on Monday May 1, in Washington, D.C. For more information about SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year, please visit

# # #