Paying Tribute to America's Veterans

November 12, 2012

SBA South Central Region - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

SBA South Central Region News

SBA South Central Region - Serving AR, LA, NM, OK, TX

Paying Tribute to America's Veterans

A Message from the Regional Administrator

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez

   I am so proud of the work we do at SBA to support the men and women who commit themselves to keeping our country safe.  Each year, over 250,000 service members transition out of the military into civilian life.  These veterans are natural entrepreneurs, possessing the trainng, experience and leadership skills to start a business and create jobs.  Supporting veteran-owned small businesses is an important part of SBA's mission.  In Fiscal 2012, the 10 District Offices in SBA's South Central Region supported $104 million in loans to service disabled, Vietnam-era and other veterans looking to start or expand their own business.  See charts below. 

    If you're ready to find out how SBA can help you, contact one of our District Offices below.  You can also contact one of the Veterans Business Outreach Centers for information on entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans who own or, are considering starting a small business.  There are three Veterans Business Outreach Centers that service the South Central Region: University of Texas-Pan American Veteran Business Outreach Center, the New Mexico Veterans Business Outreach Center, and the Louisiana Veterans Business Outreach Center. 

   SBA recognizes the contributions that veterans make by owning and running businesses that employ millions of Americans.  This year SBA partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to develop a national entrepreneurship training program for transitioning service members as part of the new Transition Assistance Program -Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup was piloted with all four branches of the services in summer and fall 2012.  The program will be rolled out during 2013 providing exposure to entrepreneurship training to service members who transition from active duty to civilian life each year.  SBA is here to serve you!

South Central Fiscal 2012 Loans to Veterans by District Office

South Central District Loans to Veterans - FY 2012Region VI Fiscal 2012 Veterans Loans by District

Hurricane Sandy Update: SBA Standing Ready to Help Businesses, Homeowners and Renters Recover

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South Central  District Offices

Events will be held throughout the region to highlight the assistance SBA provides veteran entrepreneurs.  Please call or visit the district office below for a list of events in your area.

Linda Nelson, Arkansas District Director

Arkansas District

Linda Nelson, Director


Herbert Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth District Director

Dallas/Ft Worth District

Herb Austin, Director


Sylvia Zamponi, Lower Rio Grande Valley District Director

Lower Rio Grande Valley District

Sylvia Zamponi, Director


South Central  District Offices

Phil Silva, El Paso District Director

El Paso  District

Phil Silva, Director


Manuel Gonzalez, Houston District Director

Houston District

Manuel Gonzalez, Director


Mike Ricks, Louisiana District Director

Louisiana District

Mike Ricks, Director


South Central  District Offices

Calvin Davis, Lubbock (West Texas) District Director

Lubbock (West Texas) District

Calvin Davis, Director


John Woosley, New Mexico District Director

New Mexico District

John Woosley, Director


Dorothy "Dottie" Overal, Oklahoma District Director

Oklahoma District

Dottie Overal, Director


Pam Sapia, San Antonio District Director

San Antonio District

Pam Sapia, Director


Veteran-Owned Small Business Success Stories

SBA Helps BTL Technologies, Inc. Create Jobs in 8 States

William Clark Kent

William Clark Kent, pictured at left, opened San Antonio-based BTL Technologies, Inc. in 2005 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force and serving his country for over 22 years.  BTL provides medical and management services/staffing as well as IT management technologies.  With one employee and after the first contract award in 2006, the company has grown by 200% creating approximately 70 jobs in eight states. Certifications through the SBA‘s 8(a) Business Development Program and small disadvantaged business and the Veteran’s Administration’s service disabled veteran program has opened doors for BTL in the federal contracting arena.  READ MORE....

SniperHill Internet Services Expands with SBA 504 Loan

Wallace Davis and Jerry Hartless

    Houston based SniperHill Internet Services, LLC was started in 2007 by Wallace Davis and Jerry Hartless.  An approved U.S. government contractor, SniperHill provides unlimited commercial Internet solutions to U.S. and Coalition Armed Forces, civilian contractors and international businesses operating on U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.  SniperHill began providing internet services in Iraq in 2007 and in 2010 became the first fiber optic internet provider for the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq.  In 2011, SniperHill outgrew their corporate headquarters and expanded their company with an SBA 504 loan through Bank of Houston.  The SBA 504 Loan Program provides long-term, fixed-rate, subordinate mortgage financing for acquisition and/or renovation of capital assets including land, buildings and equipment.  READ MORE...

Paws-n-Hooves Mobile Pet Clinic Gets Rolling with SBA Patriot Express Loan

Amy Starr

After serving her county for three years in the U.S. Army and then serving as a civilian veterinarian at Fort Bliss Veterinarian Treatment Facility in El Paso, Texas, Dr. Amy Starr, pictured at right,  decided she wanted to start her own business.  She had an idea to start a unique mobile veterinary clinic that could serve many pet owners. Dr. Starr could envision the success of her idea but required the funding to make her dream become a reality.  This is when she called on United Bank of Paso Del Norte, an SBA top lender in El Paso.  She presented her plan and as a veteran, she was able to obtain an SBA Patriot Express loan from United Bank. READ MORE...

Operation Iraqi Freedom War Veteran becomes own boss

Jerome and Michelle Garcia

Jerome C. Garcia completed 23 years of military service, multiple overseas tours and one combat deployment, before deciding to retire. When the economy took an economic downturn, Jerome and his wife, Michele, pictured at right, took control of their own destiny and started Southwest General Construction (SGC) in February  2009. Jerome had already obtained his general contractors license.  He is a civil engineer, a U.S. Army Engineer Officer and Operation Iraqi Freedom War Veteran with substantial experience in military construction and federal service.  In 2010, Jerome and Michele sought to become certified in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program.  Jerome has received further assistance from SBA by participating in SBA’s 7j Training program in 2011 and he attended and graduated from the SBA’s 2012 e200 Emerging Leaders Program.  READ MORE...

Veterans Business Outreach Center Aids Archer in Business

David Garza, owner of Mid Valley Archery

David Garza, pictured at left, served in the National Guard in Iraq in 2010 and is also a former employee of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office in Edinburg, Texas. In July 2012, he and his wife Noelia opened their own business, Mid Valley Archery,  located at 205 E. Business 83, Ste. B, Weslaco, Texas, with the help of the local University of Texas-Pan American Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC).  Mid Valley Archery, an archery instruction and recreation business has become a big hit with the local community youth market.  Garza received counseling and mentorship from VBOC, an SBA  resource partner located in Edinburg. He received start-up counseling as well as assistance in preparing a business plan.  READ MORE...

South Central Region VI

4300 Amon Carter,

Suite 108 

Fort Worth, TX 76155 



South Central Staff Directory

Yolanda Garcia Olivarez, Regional Administrator


Darla Booker, Regional Communications Director


Virginia Geary, Administrative Resources Coordinator