Florida SBDC at UCF Announces 2022 Small Business Excellence Award Program Winners and First Runners-Up
November 16, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, FL – The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) today announced its2022 Entrepreneurs of the Year and two First Runner-Ups in the culmination of the inaugural FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Awards program which celebrate the success, growth, business acumen, and community involvement of FSBDC at UCF’s clients from across its 8-county region.
Named as the 2022 FSBDC at UCF Entrepreneurs of the Year were:
|Shannon and Janice Talty||Olde Hearth Bread Company|
In a tie, two (2) companies were named First Runners-Up:
|Tonya and Tony Oxford||Global Technology Integrators, LLC|
|Yanet Herrero||Kings Service Solutions, LLC|
The FSBDC at UCF’s Small Business Excellence Award program recognizes local small business owners for their innovation, determination, and resilience as demonstrated in the growth of their businesses and in their contributions to their communities with the designation as the FSBDC at UCF’s 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year. Nominations from across Central Florida were made by FSBDC at UCF consultants to acknowledge their clients’ significant growth; their resourcefulness in overcoming the challenges presented by small business ownership; and their involvement in their communities.
In total, 15 distinguished and remarkable small business owners were nominated for the award. The 15 honorees were selected from a pool of more than 2700 entrepreneurs served by the FSBDC at UCF in 2021.
The 13 other honorees included:
|Darrell Williams, Dexter Williams and Donovan Williams||3D Tire Company, Inc.|
|Gary and Judy Lemay||Bedtops, LLC dba Bedtops Mattress Clearance Center|
|Serge Sorese||Florida’s Finest French Bakery Inc, dba Mon Delice French Bakery|
|Nate Thornton||IQ Painters|
|Kelly and Scott Seidl||Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream|
|Balouch “Aleem” Muhammad and Tariq Iqbal||Kissimmee Granite and Marble, Inc|
|Vitor de Oliveira Cortes||Kissimmee Produce, Inc|
|Chris Baeten||Knight Federal Solutions|
|Amanda Yarbrough||MamaBare Sugaring Studio, LLC|
|Victoria Messina||Messina & Associates, Inc|
|Pam Rothenberg||Tuckaway Shores Resort|
Small businesses are the engine that drives the Florida economy. According to the SBA, there are roughly 2.8 million small businesses in Florida. They make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state and employ 3.6 million workers, about 41.1% of the state’s private-sector workforce.
As the list illustrates, the nominees for the FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Awards represent a broad cross section of Central Florida small businesses operating in multiple industries. Fully 60% of the nominees are women- and/or minority-owned businesses. Their qualitative and quantitative results are impressive, as well. For the group, average annual sales were about $3.6 million, with average sales growth of 36% compared to the Florida average of 6.8% for the same period. Their average employee count was 52 with a 42% growth rate. All are valued clients of the FSBDC at UCF who have benefited in some way from its no-cost, expert consulting; business training; and/or market research resources.
The award winners were selected by the FSBDC at UCF’s Executive Board which is made up of local small business leaders and stakeholders committed to supporting the FSBDC’s mission to help small businesses launch, grow, and thrive through expertise, resources, and advocacy. The announcement of the award winners took place during an invitation-only Awards Luncheon today at the Citrus Club in Orlando, FL. This was the first time this award has been given and the FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Award program will become an annual event moving forward. The awards ceremony was made possible through the generous support of the event’s sponsors: Orange County, Lake County, the Osceola Chamber of Commerce, and TriNet.
“We are pleased to recognize the award winners and the nominees for their accomplishments and success through our new Small Business Excellence Award program,” said Eunice Choi, FSBDC at UCF Regional Director. “Small businesses are the key drivers of our local economy, creating prosperity, generating jobs, and improving the quality of life in our communities. It is an honor to be able to celebrate them.”
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 2021, Florida SBDCs provided 157,841 hours of professional business consulting to more than 18,379 client businesses. Based on the results from the network’s latest economic impact analysis, the FSBDC’s services resulted in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $7.4 billion in sales generated; $381.6 million in government contracts acquired; and $528.4 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, U.S. Department of Defense, 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.