San Diego SBA Announces Local and Regional Award Recipients

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SBA San Diego District Office

San Diego SBA Announces Local and Regional Small Business Week Award Recipients

 The SBA San Diego District Office is proud to announce its 2014 Small Business Week Award Recipients:

Small Business Team of the Year
John Tyszka, CEO; Chip Prescott, CFO & Steve Patterson, COO
Precision One Medical, Inc. (Oceanside)
Nominator: Shane M. Randall, VP/Sr. Relationship Manager, JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Small Business Exporter of the Year (San Diego District Winner and SBA Region IX Winner)
Paul Thomas, President/Founder
Julian Hard Cider (Julian)
Nominator: Carrie Brooks, Sr. International Trade Specialist, U.S. Dept. of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service
Sponsor: Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center 

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
Deborah Hamilton, President
Teehee Engineering, Inc. (Oceanside)
Supported by: American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year
Michael Bilodeau, Owner/President/CEO
IO Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. (San Diego)
Nominator: Vivian Shimoyama, Regional Executive Director, Southern CA Region Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses 

Women-Owned Small Business of the Year
Annie Aguilar, President/Principal Engineer
San Dieguito Engineering, Inc. (Encinitas)
Nominator: Linda Harasin and Cheryl Brown, Business Advisors, North San Diego Small Business Development Center  

Financial Services Champion of the Year
Dominique Molina, CPA, Co-Founder and President
The American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches (San Diego)
Nominator: Kacey Miller, Child Protective Services Specialist III, Arizona Department of Economic Services 

Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
Elaine Richardson, Manager of Small Business Development
SANDAG (San Diego)
Nominator: Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego Small Business Development Center 

Small Business Journalist of the Year
Neil Senturia & Barbara Bry, Entrepreneurship Columnists
San Diego Union-Tribune, U-T San Diego (La Jolla)
Nominator: Cliff Boro, CEO, The Team Group 

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
Karen Linehan
San Diego Unified School District (San Diego)
Nominator: Michael Sabellico, VP, San Diego DVBE Alliance Board and
Gregg Torwick, President, Elite SDVOB Network San Diego Chapter

Women In Business Champion of the Year
Felena Hanson, President and Founder
Hera Hub, Inc. (San Diego)
Nominator: Dominique Molina, CPA, President, American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches 

Region IX Small Business Subcontractor of the Year
Christopher Pohle, CEO
Tactical Edge, Inc. (San Diego)
Nominator: Chris Sauceda, Senior Project Manager, IBM 


George Chandler Leadership Award
Jeanette Alessio-Way, Founder
The History Lady (La Mesa)
Sponsor: Rod Means, District President, SCORE 

Anthony Vigil Small Business Advocacy Award
Sudershan Shaunak, Director
North San Diego Small Business Development Center (Oceanside)
Sponsor: Anthony Vigil, Retired Deputy District Director of SBA's San Diego District Office

District Director's Environmental Excellence Award
J. Eric Taylor
Enalasys Corporation (Calexico)
Sponsor: Carlos E. Figari, Director, Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center

Director's Award for 8(a) Early Graduation
Samuel Flores, President
PKL Services, Inc. (Poway)
Sponsor: Rosa Rodarte, Lead Business Development Specialist, SBA San Diego District Office

Director's Award for Business Creativity & Growth
Steven Raketich, Co-Founder
Backyard X-Scapes, Inc. (San Diego)
Sponsor: Paul Hollenbach, Counselor, SCORE San Diego 

Director's Award for SBA Mission Support
Rod Means, District President
SCORE (San Diego)
Sponsor: Monty Dickinson, Chapter President, SCORE San Diego 

“As America celebrates the 51st Small Business Week, this is an excellent opportunity to honor the small businesses that have helped make our nation great,” says SBA San Diego District Director Ruben Garcia. “SBA has helped well over 30 million Americans start, grow and expand their businesses, placing tens of billions of dollars in loans into the hands of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy.” 

Business organizations, lending institutions, chambers of commerce and trade associations typically nominate candidates. Local nominations are judged, on specific criteria and a winner is selected in each category. District office nominees, for select categories are sent to SBA’s regional office in Los Angeles for judging, and the regional office then submits nominations for national consideration. The regional office covers California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam. The San Diego District had two regional winners this year, Paul Thomas – Julian Hard Cider and Christopher Pohle - Tactical Edge, Inc. 

This year's Small Business Awards Breakfast, sponsored by SBA and the North San Diego Small Business Development Center, will be held June 11, 2014, at the Town and Country Resort and Conference Center, in Mission Valley to publicly honor our local small business owners and advocates. More information and registration is available at Contact Teresa Skrepenski regarding sponsorship at 760-554-1763; Wendy Antonetti regarding registration at 760-795-8740 or Jill Andrews at SBA regarding event arrangements 619-727-4885.

Aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners and others are invited to attend the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week events held May 12-16, 2014.

Every year since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week. This year, events will take place across the country to engage the small business community and highlight their importance as innovators and job creators who strengthen the nation’s economy.

Activities include forums and panels discussing trends in small business, business innovation, financing, growth, matchmaking events, as well as networking opportunities and award ceremonies. National Small Business Week will culminate in Washington, D.C., where the 2014 National Small Business Person of the Year will be named. Candidates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico will be competing for the award. Small business owners and their employees who attend will interact with federal government officials, local elected leaders, representatives from national businesses and other small business experts.

Webinars and other live events are happening throughout the week. Interested individuals can register online at Events are also being live-streamed on SBA’s website at

For more information on National Small Business Week 2014 events, including award winner bios, visit