SBA Special Edition Newsletter - Small Business Awards Luncheon

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SBA San Diego District Office

SBA San Diego District Office 2017 Award Winners

SBA California & National 2nd Runner-Up
Small Business Person of the Year
Lars Herman, President, Herman Construction Group, Inc.

Photo: Lawrence McMahon; Lars Herman, Carlos Liu and Sudershan Shaunak


Photo above: (L to R) Nominator - Lawrence McMahon, Executive VP/Surety Manager, Construction Services Group, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.; Lars Herman, President, Herman Construction Group, Inc.; Carlos Liu, SBA Lead Business Opportunity Specialist, San Diego; and North San Diego SBDC Director Sudershan Shaunak.
(Lars' Acceptance Speech included below.)


Photo: Jill Andrews, Michael Bilodeau, Janalla Roberts, and Carlos Liu

 SBA Region 9 and National
Subcontractor of the Year
Michael Bilodeau, CEO
IO Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc.


Photo above: (Left to right) Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego; Michael Bilodeau, CEO, IO Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc.; Nominator - Janalla Roberts, Manager, Small Business Program, Tetra Tech EC, Inc. and Carlos Liu, SBA Lead Business Opportunity Specialist, San Diego.


Photo: Jill Andrews, Cynthia Harris, Victor Castillo and Jeff Silver

SBA Region 9
Small Business Exporter of the Year
Jeff Silver
President & Owner
Rough Draft Brewing Company


Photo above: (Left to right) SBA San Diego's Jill Andrews, Acting District Director, and Cynthia Harris, District International Trade Officer; Victor Castillo, Director & Deputy Sector Navigator, Global Trade & Logistics, San Diego CITD; and Jeff Silver of Rough Draft Brewing Company.


Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
Michelle Smith McLeod
President, Southwest Boulder & Stone, Inc.

Photo: Jill Andrews, Michelle Smith McLeod and Christine Hoy


Photo above: (Left to right) Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego;
Michelle Smith McLeod of Southwest Boulder & Stone, Inc.; and Nominator Christine Hoy, VP, Chase Bank.


Photo: Bernard and Frederick Mercurio, Carlos E. Figari and Sudershan Shaunak

Veteran-Owned
Small Business of the Year
Bernard Mercurio, Senior Advisor and
Frederick Mercurio, CEO
Storehouse Trading, Inc.


Photo above: (Left to right) Bernard & Frederick Mercurio of Storehouse Trading, Inc., Nominator Carlos E. Figari, Director, SOCAL VBOC; and Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC


Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Carol Neyenesch Bentley, CEO, Cliff Neyenesch, Chairman of the Board, &
Kandy Neyenesch, CFO
Neyenesch Printers

Photo: Kandy Neyenesch, Mike Snyder, Carol Bentley, Jill Andrews and Victor Castillo


Photo above: (Left to Right) Neyenesch Printers' Kandy Neyenesch, Michael Snyder, VP, & Carol Bentley; Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego; and Nominator Victor Castillo, Director & Deputy Sector Navigator Global Trade & Logistics
San Diego CITD


Photo: Sayed Ali

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
Sayed Ali
President, Interpreters Unlimited, Inc.

Photo: Shamus Ali, Sudershan Shaunak, and John Engstrom


Photo above: (Left to right) Sayed's son Shamus Ali; Sudershan Shaunak, Director
North San Diego SBDC; and John Engstrom, SBA Business Opportunity Specialist, San Diego. Nominator: Amanda Caraker, Proposal Writer, Interpreters Unlimited, Inc.
(not shown)


SBA Resource Partner of the Year Sudershan Shaunak
Director, North San Diego SBDC

Group Photo of North San Diego SBDC team receiving award


Photo above: (Left to right) North San Diego SBDC team Amy Balch, Secretary; Lynn Pittman, Outreach Specialist; Martin Kleckner III Ph D., Business Advisor; Cheryl Brown, Senior Business Advisor: and Linda Harasin, Senior Business Advisor; nominator - Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego; and Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC.


Photo: Lynn Pittman, Elaine Richardson and Sudershan Shaunak

SBA Director's Award for Her Commitment to
Helping Small Businesses Work with SANDAG Elaine Richardson
Manager, Small Business Development, SANDAG


Photo above: (Left to right) Lynn Pittman, Outreach Specialist, North San Diego SBDC; Elaine Richardson, Manager, Small Business Development, SANDAG; and nominator - Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC.


Financial Services Champion of the Year
Helen Johnson
VP/SBA Business Development Officer
Pacific Western Bank

Group Photo: Helen Johnson receiving her award


Photo above: (Left to right) Richard Nance, Executive VP, Pacific Western Bank; Helen Johnson, VP/SBA Business Development Officer, Pacific Western Bank; and nominators
Wes Paul, Business Advisor, and Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC.


Photo: Mike Sovacool, Paul Hollenbach and Jill Andrews

Director's Award for SBA Mission Support
Paul Hollenbach
Volunteer Counselor, SCORE San Diego


Photo above: (Left to right) Mike Sovacool, SBA Acting Lead Economic Development Specialist, San Diego; Paul Hollenbach, Volunteer Counselor, SCORE San Diego; and
Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego. Nominator: Sally Broff, President, SCORE, San Diego & Imperial Valley Chapter (not shown.)


Photo: Sudershan Shaunak, Dalcia Paramo, Anthony Vigil, Elizabeth Valenzuela Banker and John Engstrom

Anthony Vigil Award for Company Growth Despite Adversity
Elizabeth Valenzuela Banker CEO/President, Shore Solutions, Inc.


Photo above: (Left to right) Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC; nominator - Dalcia Paramo, VP of Operations, Shore Solutions, Inc.; Anthony Vigil, Retired, Former SBA Deputy District Director, San Diego; Elizabeth Valenzuela Banker CEO/President, Shore Solutions, Inc.; and SBA San Diego's John Engstrom, Business Opportunity Specialist.


Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
Anthony Singleton
Chief Small Business Officer, UC San Diego

Photo: Cheryl Brown, Anthony Singleton and Sudershan Shaunak


Photo above: (Left to right) Cheryl Brown, Senior Business Advisor, North San Diego SBDC; Anthony Singleton, Chief Small Business Officer, UC San Diego;  and nominator
Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC.


Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
Lilia Smith
Small Business Liaison Officer, ViaSat, Inc.

Group photo of Lilia Smith accepting her award


Photo above: (Left to right)  Sylvia Gaffney, Government Subcontracts Counsel, ViaSat, Inc.; Lilia Smith, Small Business Liaison Officer, ViaSat, Inc. and nominator - Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego SBDC.


Photo: Karen Linehan, Alma Banuelos, Cynthia Harris and Jill Andrews

Women In Business Champion of the Year
Karen Linehan & Alma Banuelos
Outreach Program Managers
San Diego Unified School District


Photo above: (Left to right) Karen Linehan & Alma Banuelos, Outreach Program Managers,
San Diego Unified School District; Cynthia Harris, SBA Women's Outreach Representative; and Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego. Nominator - Dr. Pamela Williamson, CEO, Women's Business Enterprise Council West (not shown)


Event Photos and Details

The event was held at the San Diego Marriott in La Jolla California and attended by 317 small business champions, advocates, winners and well-wishers. This year fifteen small businesses and advocates were recognized locally, of which three received state or regional awards and two received national recognition as well. The North San Diego Small Business Development Center and San Diego District SBA staff organize the event annually.

Photo Collage of Event - Cheryl and Ray Brown; Bill Gruber and Caz Taylor; Award Plaque; Chocolate Fountain and Floral Arrangement


Photos above: (Top - left to right) Cheryl and Ray Brown, North San Diego SBDC; Bill Gruber and Caz Taylor, BizVid Communications (San Diego, CA); (Bottom left to right) Award Plaques provided by GP Awards & Promotions (Brawley, CA); Chocolate Fountain provided by Yummie Fountains (Oceanside, CA); and Floral Arrangements provided by Cherry Blossom Floral Designs (San Diego, CA.) (Not shown) Event Programs were designed by Cynthia Harris, SBA and Sudershan Shaunak, North San Diego SBDC and printed by Ideas Cabrera (Vista, CA.)

Photo Collage of awards event - Jill Andrews at podium and winner poster photos


Photo above: (Top) Jill Andrews, SBA Acting District Director, San Diego, at podium providing opening remarks. (Middle and bottom rows) Winner posters.

Thank you to our event sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor - BizVid Communications
  • Gold Sponsors - MiraCosta College and Pacific Western Bank
  • Silver Sponsors - US Bank and Wells Fargo Bank
  • Bronze Sponsors - Chase Bank and Seacoast Commerce Bank
  • Registration Sponsor - Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
  • Reception Sponsor - Primary Funding Corporation

Table Sponsors:

  • Home Bank
  • Union Bank
  • Comerica
  • San Diego Regional Airport
  • CDC Small Business Finance
  • Shore Solutions
  • SBDC San Diego and Imperial Network
  • Southwestern College
  • SOCAL VBOC
  • Mid-Coast Transit Constructors
  • San Diego County Water Authority
  • The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Plaza Bank
  • Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
  • Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.
  • Pacific Commerce Bank
  • UC San Diego

 


SBA Small Business Person of the Year Acceptance Speech Transcript

Photo: Lars Herman at Podium

SBA Small Business Person of the Year
San Diego District, California, and National 2nd Runner-Up
Lars Herman, President, Herman Construction Group, Inc.

May 4th Acceptance Speech Transcript

I have three things I told myself when I found out I was to give an acceptance speech:

#1 - I would not get nervous.
#2 - Be on time, because the SBA told me that I had two minutes…so I’ll do my best to be under five.
#3 - To open with a joke to lighten the mood a bit…(forgot joke)

I had the incredible opportunity to meet with Vice President Pence, Administrator of the SBA Linda McMahon and Ivanka Trump this past week, along with the other state winners and winners from different award categories. It was truly an amazing experiencevery humbling as well. What I found interesting was the stories of all the different businesses that were in attendance. I picked up on a common theme that I’m sure each of you are familiar with… and as a result I gained a new perspective and appreciation for what this award means. The common thread I was hearing made me ask myself

“What makes small businesses special? And, what defines entrepreneurs?”

I can tell you that, at the end of the day, it’s not the successes…but the failures. It’s how we get back up when we get knocked down. It’s how we respond when we get “bloodied up in the arena.” It’s where our faith lays when things seem increasingly impossible day in and day out. … AND IT’S HOW WE LEAD THROUGH THOSE TIMES AND INSPIRE OTHERS TO GET BACK UP WITH US!

We live in a country of opportunity and we are all proof that the American dream is still alive…all you have to do is get back up!  We’ve got an administration right now that is championing small business through deregulation, tax reform and increased spending…this is exciting stuff!!” as Vice President Pence said…and the best is yet to come.

I’d like to thank my wife, Jenna, who during this time has not only been an incredible mother to our three children, but also the world’s best wife and my biggest supporter. Thank you for your incredible faith and I love you so much. My parents for all the support and time they’ve poured into the business and helping make it what it is today. Love you guys!

Thank you Bill for being an incredible Mentor and friend…and somehow convincing your wife that not retiring and coming to work for me was a good idea. Love you man! You still can’t retire!

Thank you to my business partner Steve Smidt and the entire Herman Construction team - this is really about the dedication each of them has to the company and to each other…truly special.

Thank you to my sponsor, who likely happens to be the only person in this room taller than me, Larry McMahon, with Alliant Insurance. Thanks for believing in me and giving me the support I needed when I was the ‘new kid on the block’.

Lastly, a BIG THANK YOU to the SBA. Your programs allowed me to get my foot in the door, your education seminars increased my knowledge of the market, and when I’ve needed help or grace…you all have been there for me!

May God continue to bless our country, our country’s leadership, our businesses and each other.

Please pray for our Service Men and Women and HIRE VETERANS when you have the chance.

Thank you!


2017 National Small Business Week Highlights Video

National Small Business Week 2017 has come to end, but you can catch all the highlights
in this video. For a full view of the events, visit SBA's YouTube channel. Celebrate
National Small Business Week again with us next year, April 29-May 5, 2018.