Feds to tour Warren's AVTECH


Michael Sigourney has turned high tech startup AVTECH into a worldwide technology powerhouse, and Washington is taking notice.

On Friday, Rhode Island's congressional delegation and the deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration will tour AVTECH's opulent headquarters in the Cutler Mill, which Mr. Sigourney purchased in December 2008 and has been rehabilitating ever since. Officials — Senators Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. David Cicilline and James Langevin, as well as SBA Deputy Administrator Marie C. Johns — plan to tour the facility and will highlight AVTECH's international prominence in the global high tech market. One SBA officials said AVTECH is a great example of the importance of international markets to the success of America's small business owners. The meeting will also highlight how the SBA is helping small business owners like Mr. Sigourney compete and grow their businesses in the global economy. Crucial to Mr. Sigourney's success was a $200,000 SBA guaranteed loan that helped the firm grown and expand its market.

AVTECH, which Mr. Sigourney founded in Newport 25 years ago before later moving to Warren, is a computer software and hardware manufacturer that specializes in producs that monitor temperature and environmental conditions in IT (Information Technology) computer rooms and data centers. AVTECH's systems are in businesses large and small and are shipped to 177 countries. The company's products are used by almost every branch of the U.S. government.



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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.