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Rhodes Recognized For Innovation

Sonora, CA — The U.S. Small Business Administration is honoring Julia Rhodes as the 2010 Central California Small Business Person of the Year.

Rhodes is the founder of Sonora based KleenSlate Concepts that develops and manufactures products for the education industry.

The company was founded in 2001 when Rhodes created an eraser that caps directly to the end of a dry erase marker. As a teacher of 14 years, Rhodes knew the frustration of hunting down missing erasers for dry erase boards.

“I thought there has to be a better way, which is what all inventors start with,” says Rhodes. “It grew into a business, and here we are today selling internationally throughout the world.”

Since the development of the dry erase cap, KleenSlate has developed many other products, including popular dry erase paddles that can be used in classroom settings and team activities.

The company exports products to the countries of Germany, Spain, Australia, UK, Canada, Peru, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Japan, Israel, China, New Zealand and Ireland, and donates products to deaf schools in Africa and Ethiopia.

Rhodes and her business were selected from a pool of finalists spanning 15 central California Counties.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.