SBA, White House honor Deborah Carey of New Glarus

The U.S. Small Business Administration named Deborah Carey, president of New Glarus Brewing Co., the Wisconsin Small Business Person of the Year for 2011 and runner-up for the national prize. She was also selected as a Champion of Change by the White House.

Deb Carey founded New Glarus along with her husband, Dan Carey, in New Glarus in 1993. Although the brewery does not sell its beer beyond the borders of Wisconsin, it sold about 92,000 (31-gallon) barrels in 2009.

In 2007, New Glarus completed a $21 million brewery on a hilltop that overlooks the village of New Glarus. The company now employs more than 60 workers.

Carey told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she thinks New Glarus Brewing’s personnel policies figure in the attention she’s receiving.

The company covers virtually all of its employees’ health insurance costs, Carey said, with workers responsible only for a small co-pay. The firm pays tuition for work-related education, and its 60-plus employees average about $16 an hour.