FSBDC, UCF, Business Consulting

Performance Excellence Contributes to Business & Economic Prosperity

Release Date: October 17, 2013
Contact: Cheryl.Kirby@FloridaSBDC.org


FSBDCN State Office: In September, over one hundred Florida SBDC Network members gathered to recognize and thank colleagues, volunteers and partners who contributed above the norm in the success of the FSBDC’s mission to help businesses grow and succeed, create positive impact for the economy, and provide value to its stakeholders. The awards were presented by Michael Myhre, State Director (Interim), at a special celebration held during the America’s SBDC Network National Conference in Orlando, Florida.

“It is an honor to recognize the dedication and commitment of our employees and partners,” said Myhre. “They are the best of the best and our record success is a tribute to their passion to ensure that Florida businesses receive the knowledge resources they need to contribute to our state’s continued growth and prosperity.”

Florida Awards

The Florida Star of the Year, Pauline Davis, Certified Business Analyst at the FSBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF), was selected as the employee whose contributions were exemplary for new program development, innovative special projects, client impact and overall Network performance. Throughout her tenure with the FSBDC at UCF, Davis has helped her clients achieve an impressive level of economic impact. From 2000-2012, Davis’ clients have created 676 jobs; retained 309 jobs; started 255 businesses; increased sales by $51.3 million; secured $29.3 million in capital; and obtained $2.6 million in government contracts. Davis was also recognized at the national level as the America’s SBDC Network State Star for Florida.

The Florida Outstanding Resource Partners of the Year, Dr. Rick Harper, Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and Engagement at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, and Janice Perkins-Gilley, Assistant Vice President of Government and Community Relations at UWF, were selected for their collective energies and efforts in the passage of new legislation on behalf of the Florida SBDC Network. The new law, Florida Statute 288.001, enhances the Florida SBDC Network position as “the principal business assistance organization for small businesses in the state.” Their hard work contributed to new performance-based investments for the Florida SBDC Network to expand business development services and support small business growth.

The following Florida Award recipients were selected as the individuals that made the greatest contribution as per the Regional Award categories:

The Florida Volunteer of the Year is Barbara Melvin, nominated by the FSBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. Melvin is the Vice President of Business Lending at Wells Fargo Bank. In 2012, Melvin volunteered more than 100 hours with the FSBDC at FGCU. She also served as a guest lecturer, member of the FSBDC at FGCU Advisory Board, president and member of the Small Business Resource Network’s SW Florida Chapter, and she facilitated assistance with financial support from Wells Fargo Foundation.

The Florida Certified Business Analyst (CBA) of the Year is Nerine Elattar, Certified Business Analyst and international trade specialist with the FSBDC at UCF in Orlando. In 2012, Elattar provided 966 consulting hours to over 147 businesses, resulting in her client businesses creating and retaining 166 jobs, accessing $1.9 million in capital and increasing sales by $7.4 million. Elattar completed an Executive Certificate in Global Finance by the Thunderbird School of Global Management and became a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) through the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators, scoring in the top 7% nationwide. She also enthusiastically assumed a leadership role in establishing the FSBDCN’s Export Marketing Plan Services.

The Florida Employee of the Year is Dr. Cheryl Kirby, Associate State Director of Marketing and Development at the FSBDCN State Office in Pensacola. Since joining the FSBDCN two years ago, Kirby implemented a network-wide human capital reward and recognition campaign; led the development and implementation of the state level social media strategy and programming; led the development of the FSBDCN’s dynamic Intranet site; directed the development and launch of the network’s online orientation program; and instituted a new monthly marketing strategy system. During this time, Kirby finished her dissertation, defended it and graduated earning a PhD in Human Capital Development.

The Florida Innovative Service and Best Practice of the Year is the CEO XChange, nominated by the FSBDC at UCF. Led by Regional Director Eunice Choi, the CEO XChange was developed and launched in 2010 to provide peer coaching and advising support to the leaders of established second-stage companies. Taken from the educational approach of leading graduate business schools such as Harvard, Stanford and Columbia, the CEO XChange enables its members to solve real world, major business issues together based on actual facts, figures and circumstances. In 2012, the CEO XChange helped 13 client companies generate $8.9 million in revenue growth, create and retain 663 jobs, access $5.8 million in capital, and secure $9.9 million in government contracts.

Regional Awards

Regional Outstanding Resource Partners, recognized for outstanding contributions to the regional FSBDC with respect to advocacy, financial support, partnership building and/or advising, are Mayor Jon Netts, City of Palm Coast, nominated by the FSBDC at UCF, Orlando and Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, FSBDC at USF, Tampa.

Regional Volunteers of the Year, recognized for the greatest contribution to the regional FSBDC with respect to advocacy, consulting, training, program development and/or special projects, are Kolleen Chesley of Northwest Mutual, nominated by the FSBDC at UWF, Pensacola; Linda Hosey of USA General Service Administration, FSBDC at UNF, Jacksonville; Edward Alexander, ESQ. of Entrepreneurship Law Firm, FSBDC at UCF, Orlando; Walter McKnight of Shim Enterprise, Inc., FSBDC at USF, Tampa; and Barbara Melvin of Wells Fargo Bank, FSBDC at FGCU, Fort Myers.

Regional CBAs of the Year, recognized for demonstrating the greatest enhancement of scope, quality and/or impact of consulting services to the regional FSBDC, are John Miller, FSBDC at GCSC, Panama City; Christine Urban, FSBDC at FAMU, Tallahassee; Cathy Hagan, FSBDC at UNF, Jacksonville; Nerine Elattar, FSBDC at UCF, Orlando; Martin Zients, FSBDC at USF, Tampa; Cathy Haworth, FSBDC at FGCU, Fort Myers; Phil Scruton, FSBDC at PBSC, Boca Raton; and George Gadson, FSBDC Broward, Fort Lauderdale.

Regional/State Office Employees of the Year, recognized for the greatest contribution to operations and/or special projects of the regional FSBDC/State Office, are Angela Grant, FSBDC at UWF, Fort Walton Beach; Len Eichler, FSBDC at GCSC, Panama City; Constance Thomas, FSBDC at FAMU, Tallahassee; Cheryl Lynch, FSBDC at UNF, Palatka; Nancy Franssen, FSBDC at DSC, Daytona Beach; Rick Janson, FSBDC at Hillsborough County, Tampa; Darina Nikolov, FSBDC at FGCU, Fort Myers; Natasha Salley, FSBDC at IRSC, Fort Pierce;Debbie Lanford, FSBDC at PBSC, Boca Raton; Anil Chang, FSBDC Broward, Fort Lauderdale; and Cheryl Kirby, FSBDCN State Office, Pensacola.

Service Awards

Florida SBDC Network members reaching continuous yearly service milestones were also recognized for their dedication and loyalty.

25 Years Thawanna Keaton, FSBDC at UWF, Pensacola

20 Years Cathy Hagan, FSBDC at UNF, Jacksonville; Teri Takahashi, FSBDC Broward, Fort Lauderdale; Kelly McLeod, FSBDCN State Office, Pensacola

15 Years Eunice Choi, FSBDC at UCF, Orlando; Eileen Rodriguez, FSBDC at USF, Tampa; Lucy Davison, FSBDCN State Office, Pensacola

10 Years Kilty Spoke, FSBDC at UWF, Pensacola; Dawn Taylor, FSBDC at FAMU, Perry; Millie Class, FSBDC at FGCU, Fort Myers; Dan Telep, FSBDC at FGCU, Fort Myers; Connie Gifford, FSBDC at IRSC, Fort Pierce; Ted Kramer, FSBDC at PBSC, Boca Raton; Jackie Rule, FSBDC at PBSC, Boca Raton; and Dr. Dianne Barlar, FSBDCN State Office, Pensacola

5 Years Brent Peacock, FSBDC at GCSC, Panama City; Nina Gonzalez, FSBDC at UCF, Orlando; and Bob Keltie, FSBDC at PBSC, Boca Raton

About the FSBDC Network

For over 35 years, the Florida SBDC 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.

In 2012, the Florida SBDCs served approximately 38,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 47,845 jobs created, retained and saved at a significantly low cost of $112 per job; $6.3 billion in sales growth; $235.2 million in capital accessed; $588.4 million in government contract awards; and 744 new businesses started. For every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in the FSBDC program, $40 was returned to the state in tax revenue.

A statewide service network of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, the FSBDC Network is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, hosted by the University of West Florida and nationally accredited through the Association of SBDCs.

To learn more about the Florida SBDC Network or to find a FSBDC near you, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

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