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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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