FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

FSBDC at UCF Celebrates 2022 National Small Business Week

FSBDC at UCF to Honor Clients as U.S. Small Business Administration Award Winners and Local Advisor as Regional Volunteer of the Year

May 11, 2022

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

Orlando, FL – In recognition of the significant contribution to a healthy economy made by the entrepreneurs and small business owners of Central Florida and the nation, the Florida Small Business Development Center 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 17th at the 2022 Small Business Awards Luncheon, an invitation-only event being held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. The luncheon will feature remarks by representatives from the Florida SBDC and the U.S. Small Business Administration who will present the following awards to the local FSBDC at UCF and state and district SBA awards recipients in attendance:

  • Woman Business Owner of the Year
    2022 North Florida District Winner
    Ms. Chaitali Prajapati, Member/Owner
    PI Consulting Services, LLC – Longwood
  • Minority Business Owner of the Year
    2022 State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
    Ms. Indira Vega, President and CEO
    Indy Interpreting Inc DBA CCI Group – Orlando
  • Regional Volunteer of the Year
    2022 Central Florida / Florida SBDC at UCF Winner
    Kurt E. Thalwitzer, Esq., Shareholder
    Mateer Harbert, Attorneys at Law — Orlando
  • Small Business Advocate of the Year
    2022 State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
    Mr. Jerry Ross, President
    National Entrepreneur Center – Orlando

“It gives the FSBDC at UCF great pleasure to honor our valued clients Chaitali Prajapati of PI Consulting Services and Indira ‘Indy’ Vega of CCI Group as U.S. Small Business Administration Award winners as part of its Small Business Week,” remarked Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at UCF. “We are also indeed pleased to congratulate and applaud Kurt Thalwitzer as the Central Florida / FSBDC at UCF Regional Volunteer of the Year for his longstanding support and dedicated volunteer work supporting the FSBDC at UCF’s clients in our Advisory Board Council program. Finally, we take great pride in recognizing our colleague Jerry Ross of the National Entrepreneur Center as Small Business Advocate of the Year for his tireless activism on behalf of the entrepreneurs and small businesses of Central Florida.”

“PI Consulting Services and CCI Group are outstanding examples of small business success stories, each one built upon the vision, energy and determination of their entrepreneurial founders,” shared Choi. “The FSBDC at UCF works to provide consulting, business training, and access to market research that allows companies like these to excel. We are gratified to have assisted them in their achievement in some small way,” Choi continued.

PI Consulting Services (PICS), LLC is an engineering consulting firm serving Central Florida and surrounding areas. It offers significant experience in multiple areas of construction engineering from contract administration through inspection including consulting from pre-construction through project closeout.  At PICS they practice Honor, Integrity, & Respect and stand by their motto “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!”

As an interpretation and translation services company, CCI Group provides linguistic solutions for businesses in a globalized world. Originally founded to offer certified legal interpreters for the court system, today it offers its services to the government; schools, colleges and universities; collection agencies; meetings and conventions; and many more. CCI Group is an SBA certified 8(a) small business and a Minority / Woman Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE)  that believes breaking barriers across languages and cultures is possible every day.

Mateer Harbert is a full-service law firm offering counsel on a wide range of legal matters. Passionate about the law and relentlessly committed to client service since its founding in 1960, the firm serves clients across the entire spectrum of law with a particular focus on litigation, real estate, construction and tort law. They pride themselves in responding with agility  and acting decisively to deliver solutions that best meet their clients’ needs.

The National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) is a world leader in active and effective economic development and is dedicated to the growth and success of small business. Through a cooperative effort of a diverse group of service organizations including the FSBDC at UCF, it offers easy access to professional business assistance, quality educational programming and practical industry expertise that has kept Orlando as one of the best places in America for starting and growing a small business for over a decade.

“Both PI Consulting and CCI Group have built themselves from start-ups into impressive businesses by meeting the needs of their customers, employing our neighbors, and serving our community, thereby contributing materially to our local economy and the wellbeing of Central Florida,” said Choi.

“Kurt Thalwitzer of Mateer Harbert has distinguished himself through his significant contribution to the FSBDC’s award-winning Advisory Board Council (ABC) program. As a dedicated volunteer advisor since 2004, Kurt generously served as an invaluable subject matter expert for each of the FSBDC clients he worked with, sharing best practices from his specialized construction law background that is not typically affordable or accessible for small business owners. For that and more, we are deeply grateful,” stated Choi.

“As one of the National Entrepreneur Center’s founding business support organizations and a primary contributor to the NEC’s mission and economic impact, the FSBDC at UCF is keenly aware of the leadership and contribution that Jerry Ross has provided while establishing Orlando and Central Florida as a mecca for small businesses. He is highly deserving of recognition as the SBA’s State of Florida and North Florida District Small Business Advocate of the Year,” Choi concluded.

“Florida’s 2.8 million small business owners work tirelessly everyday to launch and grow their businesses, and the Florida SBDC Network is proud to stand alongside them to help make their dreams a reality,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network. “We are proud to be able to celebrate the success of some of our highest achievers, and acknowledge all our small businesses do to help make Florida the best state in the nation to work, live and play.”

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. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. This year’s week-long celebration ran May 1 – 7 with events being held in multiple cities from coast-to-coast throughout the month of May that are designed to help small businesses start, grow and succeed.


About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of UCF’s Office of the President and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 9 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2020, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $59.1 million in capital formation; $53.4

million in government contract awards; and 86 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com .

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2020, Florida SBDCs provided 162,519 hours of professional business consulting to more than 24,100 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $488 million in government contracts acquired; and $553.5 million in capital accessed.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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