North Florida District News

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October-December 2012

North Florida District Office Newsletter

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration

Encore Entrepreneurship in North Florida

Administrator Mills on a group panel

SBA Administrator Karen Mills in Jacksonville participating on the "Ask an Expert" Panel during 2012 National Ecore Entrepreneur Mentor Day.

SBA Administrator Karen Mills visited Jacksonville on Oct. 2 to participate in the National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Day event for North Florida.  Administrator Mills welcomed the 200 attendees and shared personal insights about business ownership.  She also provided one-one-one counseling to several local aspiring and existing Encore Entrepreneurs and she served as a guest panelist during the “Ask the Expert” session. The Administrator stressed the importance of having a mentor for success.  She also encouraged participants to follow up with the District Office and maximize the opportunities available to them through resource partners.

Deputy Administrator Marie Johns shops small business!

District Director, Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, Councilman Jim Love, Design Additions Owner, Chris Hardison, and Deputy Administrator Marie Johns

Pictured left to right: Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director, Councilman Jim Love, Chris Hardison, Owner, Design Additions, and Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator SBA

Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), was in Jacksonville on Friday, December 14, 2012, and highlighted the importance of supporting small businesses during the holiday season. She was joined by City Councilman Jim Love and Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, North Florida District Director for the SBA.

The trio visited Design Additions, The Green Alligator, and The Florida Creamery, all of which are located in the Avondale area of Jacksonville.

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2013 Emerging Leaders/e-200 Graduates

Group Picture of e200 graduation


The Emerging 200 (known as e200) is an intensive training initiative to accelerate high-potential small businesses’ growth in select cities. Congratulations to the following 2013 e200 graduates:

Vanice Serrano – ASAP Towing

Dana Stallings – Kilwins Jacksonville

Reginald Richardson – Blade Buster, LLC

Julian F. Cardona – Environmental & Labor Solutions, Inc.

Gina Hill – G.M. Hill Engineering, Inc.

Melinda H. Malone – Malone AirCharter, Inc.

Alvaro A. Varela – A. Alex Varela, Inc.


SBA partners with the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund (HBIF)

The U.S. Small Business Administration North and South Florida District Offices will be signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund (HBIF) on November 14, 2012.

The Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) stresses the importance of the SBA and HBIF uniting to strengthen and expand small business development across the State of Florida.

Under the formal partnership agreement, the HBIF and SBA will agree to hold joint training and outreach activities for small business owners as well as work closely with one another’s resource partners to assure small businesses receive the maximum benefit from both organizations.

New SBA Team Members

Welcome to new North Florida SBA Team Members! The 8(a) Business Development Team added three new team members.

Thaddeus Hammond has recently transferred from the Washington D.C. field office.

Derrick Willoughby joins us from the City of Jacksonville.

Carmen Gonzalez joined the SBA after a short break from Federal service. She previously worked with the Department of Defense.



are due by January 11, 2013!

North Florida District Office to participate in the Jacksonville Acquisition Conference and Trade Show hosted by the SBDC at the University of North Florida.



Andy Harold of

A. Harold and Associates, an 8(a) firm, was selected to be 1 of 15 small business owners to sit down with President Obama in November.

B3 Solutions, also an 8(a) firm, was mentioned in the annual INC. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.