Kenneth Gluckman, Ken Gluckman

Kenneth S. Gluckman Named FSBDC at UCF Regional Volunteer of the Year

May 5, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – The Florida SBDC at UCF is pleased to announce that Kenn Gluckman has been named 2015 Regional Volunteer of the Year in honor of his committed service to the FSBDC’s award-winning Advisory Board Council (ABC) program.  He will be recognized at the FSBDC at UCF’s National Small Business Week celebration which will occur on Tuesday May 19th at the 2015 Small Business Awards Luncheon, an invitation-only event being held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. Eunice Choi, Regional Director at the SBDC at UCF, is hosting the luncheon which will feature remarks by representatives from the Small Business Administration who will present awards to local SBA awards recipients.

Gluckman is one of the longest serving volunteer advisors in the ABC.  He first applied to become a volunteer at the program’s inception in 2003 and has donated 119 hours of pro-bono consulting services in the 12 years since, which distinguishes him as one of the program’s top volunteer advisors in terms of hours.  An accomplished business attorney, Gluckman’s hours of service to the program have a fair market value of $35,700.

“When the program first started it seemed like a great way to help with economic development and giving back to the community,” commented Gluckman.  “Small businesses are often without proper support and being able to help them grow and prosper was exciting and gratifying.  My family has a long history of service locally, beginning with my grandmother who helped found Legal Aid in Orlando.”

Gluckman has always been eager to assist and has served on five ABC advisory boards over the years.   When asked why he has remained committed to the program over so many years, Gluckman commented, “As I worked with various businesses, I realized that I not only enjoyed helping them, I also learned a great deal.  I learned about business in general as well as how business owners think and react.  This helped me be a better advisor to my business clients in my own practice.  I also continue to feel that it is important to give to the community,” remarked Gluckman.

During his involvement with the Advisory Board Council, he has served on the boards of diverse companies including: a restaurant equipment and janitorial supply company; an IT staffing and executive search firm; a civil and environmental engineering firm; a saltwater aquarium and coral reef aquaculture facility; and a business surplus and electronics recycler.  Projects he has assisted ABC clients with include:  lease negotiations and related office space issues; contracts with vendors and customers; business structure and organization issues, and employment law issues, among many others.

Advisory Board Council client Chris Brooker, President of Orlando Recycles, remarked on Gluckman’s contribution to his advisory board, “Orlando Recycles, Inc. has thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the expertise Kenn Gluckman has given since our initial Advisory Board meeting in October 2012.  He has provided us with solid advice and assistance in areas of business startup and licensing, personnel issues and legal procedures to name a few.  His ability to break down complex business scenarios into easily understandable language has been a great asset to our company.”

Gluckman began his law practice, General Counsel Advisors, P.A., in 2001.  The firm focuses on various facets of business law for companies, including business closings, employment law, corporate formation and governance, private capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, franchise operations, real estate and litigation.  Gluckman has been a member of the Florida Bar Association and the Orange County Bar Association since 1995 and is a Supreme Court of Florida Certified Civil Court Mediator. Gluckman is currently a volunteer board member of Orlando, Inc. (chamber of commerce) and Maitland Soccer Club, and has volunteered for the UCF Technology Incubator.  He is a former board member of the Orlando Chapter of the global Association for Corporate Growth, and was the founding president of the Chapter, and has also served as Chairman of the 100 Club, a support organization for the National Entrepreneur Center.  Gluckman graduated with high honors from the Florida State University (FSU) College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida and also received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from FSU.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

 

Carol Craig, Craig Technologies

Craig Technologies CEO Carol Craig Named Florida Small Business Person of the Year

Engineering and Technology Company’s new Manufacturing Division Going Global With Assistance from the FSBDC at UCF

May 4, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Carol Craig has done it all. And she has only just begun. But for now, based upon her leadership, business success and service to the community, she has been named the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Florida and is a finalist for the SBA’s highly-regarded national Small Business Person of the Year award.

Carol is CEO of Craig Technologies, an engineering, technology and manufacturing business that she founded in 1999 and has built it to approximately 430 employees and $40 million in revenues. She is or has been on the boards of at least 27 different community and/or charitable institutions. She chose to relocate and expand her business in the City of Cape Canaveral, partly to tap into the highly talented workforce living on the Space Coast but also, and more importantly, as a means to spur economic development in her community that was so negatively affected by the end of the Shuttle program. And she is a wife and mom, deeply involved in her family and raising her children.

Initially, Craig Technologies was a high-end engineering and technical services company serving military and commercial customers. Over the past 15 years, as the company’s reputation for delivering high-quality products and exceptional customer service has grown, Carol has reinvested profits that enabled the company to add product lines and divisions – all based on Craig Technologies’ ability to support projects from concept to real world application with end-users in mind. To help her along, over this period Carol attended seminars, participated in events and received government contracting consulting from the FSBDC at UCF’s sub center at Eastern Florida State College.

Most recently, Carol has diversified the business from its engineering and technical services base to precision manufacturing. The company has expanded and enhances its’ existing capabilities to create a complete supply chain solution, extending from design engineering, R&D and prototype development to full scale manufacturing, acceptance testing and product delivery.

It was during this time that Craig Technologies partnered with the Florida SBDC at UCF, supported by Enterprise Florida, to develop an international marketing strategy. Working with Jill McLaughlin, the FSBDC’s International Trade Consultant, the company took advantage of what Carol calls a “great opportunity” to develop an Export Marketing Plan. The Plan targeted foreign markets for Craig, recommended market entry strategies and opportunities for identifying trading partners. “The plan gives a really good basis and foundation for our global push,” Carol says. “We can now go to the international markets with confidence and be far more competitive.”

When asked about her experience with FSBDC, Carol states, “I would tell other business owners to take advantage of the SBDC now, even if you think you don’t have the time. It’s important. They have great programs and will shorten the amount of time it takes to succeed.”

As for her award, Carol concluded by saying, “I am extremely honored to be recognized as the Florida Small Business Person of the Year, not only personally and for my company, but also because it highlights that Brevard County is significant, we are growing and we have new and great things going on here.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862

sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

FSBDC at UCF Celebrates National Small Business Week

Three FSBDC at UCF Clients Honored as SBA Award Winners

May 4, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – In recognition of the immense contribution to a healthy economy made by the entrepreneurs and small business owners of Central Florida and the nation, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is celebrating the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week with a luncheon and awards ceremony recognizing local SBA award winners.

The FSBDC at UCF’s National Small Business Week celebration will occur on Tuesday May 19th at the 2015 Small Business Awards Luncheon, an invitation-only event being held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. Eunice Choi, Regional Director at the SBDC at UCF, is hosting the luncheon which will feature remarks by representatives from the Small Business Administration who will present the following awards to local SBA awards recipients in attendance:

  • Small Business Person of the Year
    National Finalist, State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
    Carol Craig, Craig Technologies, Cape Canaveral
  • Small Business Person of the Year
    North Florida District Winner
    Sandra Saft, Window Interiors, Altamonte Springs
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
    Southeast US (Region IV), State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
    Douglas Worswick, Certified Slings, Inc., Casselberry

“Our clients and advocate are so very worthy of recognition by the Small Business Administration as part of its Small Business Week,” remarked Eunice Choi of the Florida SBDC at UCF. “We at the FSBDC at UCF are extremely pleased that our valued clients have been honored for their hard won success, contribution to our local economy and community service. It is gratifying to the FSBDC that we assisted them in their achievements in some small way.”

“It is an honor to recognize the achievements of these and all the exceptional small business leaders in our state,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and State Director for the Florida SBDC Network. “These innovative companies play a key role in stimulating economic development – helping our state and nation move forward. We are pleased to be able to play a role in their success.”

National Small Business Week is proclaimed by the President of the United States to recognize the critical contributions made by America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to our economy. This year’s week-long celebration is scheduled to run May 4 – 8 with events being held in multiple cities from coast-to-coast that are designed to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. The week’s events culminate in Washington, DC, where the Carol Craig and the five other final-ists for the National Small Business Person of the Year will be invited to a recognition ceremony at the White House on May 8th.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862

sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Doug Worswick with International Trade Consultant Jill McLaughlin

Certified Sling CEO Doug Worswick Named Small Business Exporter of the Year

Export Marketing Plan from FSBDC at UCF Adds to International Growth

May 1, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando – Doug Worswick, CEO of Certified Slings, Inc., had a balancing act to do: survive the “great recession” of 2009 while continuing the tradition and legacy from Doug’s Dad by applying his simple philosophy: “Be humble, take care of your team. Your team will take care of our customers and everything else will take care of itself.” Doug was determined to continue to provide quality service and the highest quality products with the team of employees who had helped him build the company.

Certified Slings is a distributor and manufacturer of slings, rigging, overhead lifting, load securement and contractor supplies. In all cases, safety is the highest priority. It counts as its customers the construction, mining, power utilities and theme park industries, as well as the U.S. military.

As he watched many of customers, competitors and partners go out of business during the recession, Doug jumped into action and looked for ways to weather the storm. By doing so, he found and was able to take advantage of the many resources available to businesses in Central Florida, including from the Florida SBDC at UCF.

While Doug used creative marketing and invested in product development to lead Certified Slings through the economic downturn, he also saw diversification into new international markets as a key component for growing the company. Certified Slings began exporting in the late 1990’s as an “accidental exporter” where customers found the company essentially through word of mouth.

Although the company had some success internationally, in 2009 Doug went on the offensive and began aggressively pursuing export sales. Despite the perceived risks presented by international markets, Doug invested in the export opportunity and hired a Director of International Sales. The company targeted Latin America and the Caribbean markets and, by uncovering opportunities, building relationships and establishing its brand, it generated positive momentum.

Momentum wasn’t enough for Doug, however, and in 2012 he turned to the FSBDC at UCF to help achieve even greater export success. The FSBDC, with support from Enterprise Florida, produced a customized Export Marketing Plan for Certified Slings that identified new markets, recommended marketing strategies and facilitated in-country contacts.

With the Export Marketing Plan in hand, Certified Slings had a game plan. Doug chose to expand his international team and focused them on effective market entry strategies based on the needs and characteristics of each market and each customer. Doug sought assistance from his FSBDC international trade consultant who, as Doug says, “guided them down the path.”

Today, Certified Slings has seen a 100% increase in its international business and has a strong foundation for the future. It has 110 team members providing quality service and quality products. And, on the strength of his leadership, business success and team-centered philosophy, Doug has been named Small Business Exporter of the Year for the North Florida District, State of Florida and Southeastern United States (Region IV) by the Small Business Administration.

When asked how the FSBDC has helped him, Doug said, “The FSBDC has been great from Day One. The Export Marketing Plan set the standard and now, as the journey continues, every time we have a question or hit a roadblock, they are there for us. The have been helpful, responsive and provided the resources we need. They have been just a tremendous support.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862

sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

 

Window Interiors, Sandi Saft, Pauline Davis

Window Interiors Founder and President Sandi Saft Named Small Business Person of the Year

Credits Company Employees and FSBDC at UCF for Recognition

April 30, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando – When buildings are constructed today, there is heavy emphasis on energy efficiency, both to lower costs and be as green as possible. Beyond architectural design and glass treatments, one of the most important tools to strengthen or improve a structure’s energy efficiency is the use of shade systems. At the same time, window shade systems can add important interior design elements that make a space more visually appealing. We may not realize it, but window shade systems are an important part of creating beautiful interiors and energy efficient buildings.
The entrepreneur in Sandi Saft, founder and President of Window Interiors, saw the opportunity in window shade systems. And she found the Florida SBDC at UCF to help her realize her vision. Fast forward to today and Sandi and her team have built an impressive company and she has been named Small Business Person of the Year for North Florida, in recognition of her business accomplishments, strength under adversity and contributions to the community.

It was more than 25 years ago that Sandi started her company and she began by taking advantage of the FSBDC’s new business seminars to build and expand her business knowledge and perspective. With that support, she founded Window Interiors and, with her team at the company behind her, has built a highly successful company.

Window Interiors is a sub-contractor that provides attractive and energy efficient window covering systems. The company works with general contractors, health care systems, national restaurant groups and building management companies. The company has contributed to the beauty and efficiency of a broad range of buildings, including Florida Hospital’s Ginsberg Wing, the Amway Center and, very recently, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, among others.

Sandi is the first to say she hasn’t done it alone. She credits the Window Interiors team for much of what has been accomplished. She is also vocal in her appreciation of Pauline Davis, her consultant at the FSBDC at UCF, who has assisted with focused, one-on-one consulting. “The FSBDC has been very, very helpful. I have been able to rely on its resources and Pauline’s counsel, whether it be about budgeting, human resources or managing growth,” Sandi says. “You don’t need to be a start-up to benefit from their help. The FSBDC has an accumulation of knowledge and experience that every business can call on and benefit from, all at little or no cost.”

And the business results at Window Interiors supports Sandi’s enthusiasm. The company stayed the course through the “Great Recession”, retaining its employees in the face of the downturn. Today the company is in hiring mode with the largest sales pipeline in the company’s history and a long list of bid requests awaiting a response.
“The award of Small Business Person of the Year is a real honor for me, and for the whole team here at Window Interiors,” Sandi commented. “I would say to any entrepreneur or business owner out there: Go for it! The FSBDC will make sure you are going in the right direction and will provide the help you need.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862

sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

 

JK2 Construction, Paul Holmes, Hal Thayer

JK2 Construction & Scenic Thrives with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF

Participation in FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council, Small Business Institute® and CEO XChange Help Company Grow

April 23, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Orlando – At the height of the recession, Paul Holmes had a choice to make about his construction company: sit by and ride out the downturn or use the time to move his business forward. He chose to move his business forward.

JK2 Construction & Scenic describes themselves as “One Company. Two Divisions.” The Construction Division of the company was founded 27 years ago and is a classic general contracting, design-build, and construction management company serving commercial clients, residential and time share developments, and the theme park industry. Five years ago the Scenic Division was launched to expand the construction services by self-performing themed and specialty items. The Scenic Division specializes in architectural millwork, custom props/specialty items, and scenic/theme painting for the Construction Division as well as serving clients in the retail, theme park, entertainment, hospitality, and restaurant industries.

Prior to the great recession Paul, like many entrepreneurs, believed he was too busy to seek outside resources to assist him. When the economy put the construction industry into a decline and he had some available time, he took the opportunity to look around and find out if there were services available to help him focus “on” the business and the best strategies for growth rather than simply working “in” the business and managing its day-to-day operations.

That’s when Paul found the Florida SBDC at UCF and its CEO XChange, a facilitated peer-to-peer executive roundtable program serving business leaders and owners that offers a confidential setting to discuss the challenges, threats and opportunities they face as managers and leaders. “The CEO XChange has been and still is a great experience,“ Paul says. “It enables a group of chief executives to collaborate and work through the issues we all face as small and medium-sized businesses.”

CEO XChange was just the beginning of the services offered by the FSBDC that Paul took advantage of. He went on to enroll in its Small Business Institute® (SBI®) which connect FSBDC clients with the resources and management expertise of UCF’s College of Business Administration. In the program, a team of students, supervised by UCF faculty, provide management consulting services tailored to the needs of the client. In Paul’s case, the UCF students analyzed JK2’s business and came back with recommendations on business strategy and ways to improve its marketing effort.

Paul followed up on the SBI® program by having the FSBDC put together an advisory board through the Advisory Board Council (ABC), a no-cost board of experts providing advice and council to help businesses grow. It acts as a matchmaker between established businesses and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with the volunteers selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client. “The ABC has been a great asset for us,” commented Paul. “They have helped us determine the right moves and the right ways to expand our business, and at the same time have challenged us to exceed our goals.”

“We’ve had great success by taking advantage of the FSBDC’s CEO XChange, SBI® and Advisory Board Council. Our business results have been phenomenal; we’ve doubled our revenues, our Scenic Division facilities and our work force, and are on plan to achieve another year of 20% growth” Paul states. “I would highly encourage any entrepreneur to seek the services of the FSBDC. I only wish I had sought their services much earlier in the company’s development. They have consistently helped us make those tough-to-make decisions that every entrepreneur faces. The FSBDC at UCF is an outstanding resource to have and depend on.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862

Bennett Law Center, FSBDC - Lake County, Stan Austin

Bennett Law Center Receives Important Loan With Assistance from FSBDC at UCF in Lake County

Local Immigration Law Firm Establishes Foundation for Growth

April 9, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Stan Austin, Area Manager- Lake County, FSBDC at UCF, 352-602-4575 or stan.austin@ucf.edu
Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@bus.ucf.edu

Groveland, FL — For the first three years, practicing law meant a full plate for attorney Bridgette M. Bennett of the Bennett Law Center. Between launching her immigration practice and representing more and more clients, she didn’t have time for much else. She had a nagging feeling, however, that she could be doing more to strengthen the foundation of her firm and manage its growth more effectively.

It was then that Bridgette turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF’s office in Lake County. She’d heard FSBDC offered seminars that could help her answer her many business questions. And she found she had the opportunity to have a no-cost, expert business consultant from the FSBDC dedicating their knowledge and experience to guiding her and her business. Without a business background of her own, the FSBDC represented an opportunity to get, as she says, “real information and real life experience in a highly digestible way.”

And so it began in April, 2014. Bridgette attended the FSBDC’s New Venture seminar series and took classes in marketing, finance, business plan writing and more. She connected with Stan Austin, an FSBDC consultant and the Area Manager for Lake County. Together, they began an evaluation of Bennett Law Center’s current situation and the goals Bridgette had for it. She quickly came to understand “You don’t know what you don’t know,” as they say. She found no question or idea was too big or too small for the FSBDC, whether it be about human resources issues or finalizing her business plan. She enjoyed the benefits of consulting tailored to her situation which helped get her plans in focus and her actions better targeted at her long term goals.

In the short term, up first was Bridgette’s desire to refinance her mortgage on the building that housed her firm and move from a private mortgage to commercial financing, as well as having the ability to use some of the loan proceeds to increase her working capital. However, she was afraid her credit score and the value of the property might keep her from obtaining a loan.

After Bridgette put together an initial loan application package for presentation to the lenders, she brought it to the FSBDC for review. There Stan Austin provided suggestions and answered her questions, enabling Bridgette to complete the loan application and present it to the lender. After the usual back and forth with them, with Stan at her side throughout, her application was approved and Bridgette received her $250,000 SBA-guaranteed loan, with a healthy piece for working capital.

“I’m very grateful for the assistance of the FSBDC,” Bridgette commented. “They were an invaluable resource in helping me get my business into a much stronger position. For all of you business owners out there, I say ‘Just do it; it’s a no brainer,’” Bridgette went on. “The Florida SBDC at UCF will take you through the process, help you meet your business challenges and become your accountability partner for achieving success.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

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SBDC Lake County, Polyglot

Florida SBDC in Lake County Assists In Planning and Launch of Polyglot Analytics LLC

Keith Breedlove and his wife Cheryl had both recently retired from government service and they had an idea. They felt that, with their backgrounds, they would be able to operate a successful consulting and training business.

Merit Fastener, SBDC, Business Consulting

Florida SBDC at Seminole State College Assists In Reinvention of Merit Fasteners

Advisory Board Council Program Serves as Catalyst Supporting Growth

March 12, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Merit Fasteners is an industrial distributor, providing quality fastener products and supplies to a diverse group of industries including: residential construction, maintenance, repair companies, and original equipment manufacturers.

The company was started right here in Central Florida over 36 years ago, literally in the family garage. It has grown slowly and methodically. Donna Best, President, leads the second generation, behind her father who began the compa-ny in 1977. And she has faced her share of challenges and had to call on her entrepreneurial spirit.

When she faced declining demand for her products and severe contraction in the marketplace, Ms. Best and Merit Fasteners sought assistance from the Florida SBDC at Seminole State College, a sub-center of the FSBDC at UCF. In addition to taking advantage of the no-cost, expert consulting offered by the FSBDC, Ms. Best signed on with the Advisory Board Council (ABC) program at FSBDC at Seminole State.

The Advisory Board Council is a next-level, business support service, assisting established businesses by matching them with experienced business professionals with a diverse range of skills who work together as volunteers on a “custom-fit” advisory board. An Advisory Board is a powerful management tool that provides dynamic talent and expertise at no-cost, helping businesses solve problems and create opportunities.

Today, Merit Fasteners is working hard to maintain its competitive edge. Recently designated as a Certified Women-Owned Business, the company has locations in Longwood and Tampa and has proudly participated in several high-profile projects in Central Florida: The Amway Center; SunRail; Dr. Phillip’s Performing Art Center; Orange County Convention Center; and many of the Disney and Universal attractions.

When asked about her experience with the FSBDC at Seminole State College and its ABC, the entrepreneur in Ms. Best came to the fore and she responded with enthusiasm about the work that has been accomplished thus far. “We decided to reinvent Merit Fasteners and redefine our second generation business”… and with the “help and expertise of our Ad-visory Board Council, have seen significant results!”

Since April of 2013, the group has been working diligently on putting a Strategic Plan in place. Throughout the process, like any good entrepreneurs, Donna Best and her team have remained focused and determined. “We have held our-selves accountable… and have wanted to work that much harder to show our appreciation to our dedicated Advisory Board and those who have assisted us at Seminole State College.” Donna added, “With the help of our Board, we have been able to get back on track… and stay on track!”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programming, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862 sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Osceola County’s Growth Creates Opportunity For Allied Professional Services

Accounting Firm Opens with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF – Kissimmee

March 3, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chuck Wheeler, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF Kissimmee/Osceola County, 407-847-2452 or Charles.Wheeler@ucf.edu
Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Kissimmee – Osceola County, Florida has been enjoying double digit population growth in recent years. In fact, according to the 2010 U. S. Census, Osceola County’s population grew at a rate of 55% from 2000 to 2010. And that growth is creating opportunities for all type of businesses from car repair to lawyers and other service- related businesses. And that rate of growth did not go unnoticed by Maria Slyman.

Mrs. Slyman recently relocated from Howard Beach, New York to the City of St. Cloud in Osceola County, a community which had grown 13% itself in population between 2010 and 2013. Mrs. Slyman and her husband moved to the area seeking a job opportunity for her husband in the growing medical community just north of St. Cloud known as the Lake Nona Medical City. The Medical City includes the University of Central Florida’s Health Sciences Campus (comprised of the university’s College of Medicine and Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and the future home of UCF’s College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine, and a planned teaching hospital) and such renowned medical institutions as the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital, M.D. Anderson Orlando Cancer Research Institute, a University of Florida Academic and Research Center, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All these organizations have been established within the past six years.

With the growth of the Lake Nona Medical City came a high rate of residential home building that itself triggered an increase for new business expansion to accommodate the County’s double digit population growth. All this growth and her vast accounting industry experience awakened Maria Slyman’s entrepreneurial spirit. She made the decision to open her own accounting practice, specializing in tax preparation and bookkeeping services. Having spent most of her career as an accountant in the New York City area, working for firms like J.P. Morgan Chase Bank NA and Bear Sterns & Co., Maria was confident she had what it takes to be successful.

But where to start? New to the area, there was much she didn’t know about the Osceola County community and the State of Florida requirements to start a new business. Maria wisely turned to a proven resource for entrepreneurs and business owners and contacted the Florida SBDC AT UCF’s office in Kissimmee, Florida. Maria took advantage of the many services offered by the FSBDC, including their training courses; confidential, no-cost, one-on-one business consulting; and extensive market data resources.

Maria put her all into getting her business started in the right way. She attended workshops on starting a business, writing a business plan and IT for the small business. She worked with her FSBDC consultant to develop her business plan and to navigate through the maze of local business regulations and requirements. And her consultant provided her with the FSBDC’s secondary research from IBISWorld on the Payroll & Bookkeeping Services and Tax Preparation Services, as well as helping Maria on business location selection by identifying competitive locations in the market with research from Reference USA. Maria also utilized the FSBDC’s Small Business Resource Network to locate a lawyer to review her commercial lease.

With all this assistance from the FSBDC, Maria was on her way. And she was vocal in her appreciation, expressing her high level of satisfaction with the FSBDC when she stated ,“The FSBDC was a great source of information and support, especially my consultant Mr. Charles Wheeler, who was very instrumental in the development of the right marketing strategy that led to the creation of my business road map.”

Maria’s hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and the assistance of the FSBDC at UCF – Kissimmee Office paid off. She registered her business Allied Professional Services, LLC in December of 2013. The business opened its doors to the public in February of 2014 in leased space, located at 1955 S. Narcoossee Road, St. Cloud, FL 34771, next to a Publix Supermarket, at the intersection of two major roadways, which provide her business with excellent drive-by visibility. Her business is doing very well and, with the upcoming tax season, it will exceed revenue and growth expectations. And Maria has become an active contributor in her new community; she is a member of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce, Osceola Business Partners, and GoBigg Team leads groups.

–FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862

 sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com