For the second consecutive year, Blend has been named to the Inc Best Workplaces list! Read the full press release here.

Blend’s Karla Santi Named South Dakota’s Small Business Person of the Year

Congratulations to Blend CEO Karla Santi on being named one of the Small Business Association's People of the Year for 2022!



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Building a business from scratch is incredibly hard. Doing it well is even harder.

We know this, and so does the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a group dedicated to supporting America’s small businesses. Which is why it’s so exciting — and gratifying — to announce that Blend CEO Karla Santi has been named South Dakota’s Small Business Person of the Year by the SBA.

Honorees for the awards, which recognizes top entrepreneurs from each state, are selected at the state level.

“National Small Business Week is a pinnacle celebration each year, where we collectively honor and amplify South Dakota’s top business owners,” said SBA South Dakota district director Jaime Wood in a press release. “This year’s winners are an outstanding representation of the nearly 90,000 small businesses owners across our state. They work tirelessly to create employment opportunities, provide much needed products and services, and go the extra mile to volunteer time and talent where needed for advisory boards, community projects, and events.”

“With many unique and successful businesses in South Dakota, it’s an incredible honor to be selected as the Small Business Person of the Year,” said Karla Santi. “It’s a privilege to lead such a talented group of people as we strive to become known as the best team in the industry.

About the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year

All of SBA’s persons of the year — one for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands — will be celebrated during National Small Business Week, which runs from May 1-7, 2022. Karla and the rest of the honorees will be formally recognized on May 5 during the National Small Business Week (NSBW) Virtual Summit’s Awards Ceremony.

Blend was started in 2005 by cofounders Karla Santi, Joe Kepley, and Deane Barker. Today, Karla continues to serve as chief executive officer, while Joe is Blend’s chief technology officer.