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Yinger named SBA Idaho Small Business Person of Year

Erin Yinger, executive director and co-owner of Coeur d’Alene-based A New Hope Social Services, has been named U.S. Small Business Administration 2010 Idaho Small Business Person of the Year.

A New Hope, which also fields offices in Kellogg and Sandpoint, provides outpatient and community-based mental health services to adults and children. Services include counseling, psychological rehabilitation, service coordination, psychiatry and nursing.

“Erin’s business is a good example of how vision, hard work, integrity and compassion can lead to success,” SBA Boise District Director Norman Proctor said in a release.

Bill Jhung, regional director of the Idaho Small Business Development Center in Post Falls, nominated Yinger for the award.

Jhung said A New Hope has experienced substantial growth in just a few years, and “it’s no surprise they have become such a highly respected service provider in the region.”

Yinger received the award June 9 at an SBA presentation at A New Hope’s office in Coeur d’Alene.She was working in the profession with another agency four and a half years ago when she decided to go out on her own. Business growth was controlled as “we added key components, grew a lot and then took time to catch up on policies and procedures,” she said in an interview. A New Hope employs 84.

“We do a lot of collaborating with community partners to identify community mental health gaps and fill those,” Yinger said. A New Hope staff have traveled outside the area to receive specialized training as needed to bring new programs to north Idaho to fill some of the needs identified, she said.

She enjoys the challenge of meeting the needs of the business – she has a master’s degree in counseling and plans to pursue an MBA – but makes sure the focus is on the individual client.

“I just put people first and take their perspective in,” Yinger said.

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