Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads Wins U.S. Small Business Administrations Excellence and Innovation Center Award

Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads Wins U.S. Small Business Administrations Excellence and Innovation Center Award
The U.S. Small Business Administration Richmond District Office recognized small business owners and advocates that have made critical contributions to Americas entrepreneurs and small business owners as part of their Heart of a Champion Small Business Awards luncheon on June 13 at the Richmond Omni. Nearly 300 business men and women from all over the Commonwealth were in attendance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Richmond District Office recognized small business owners and advocates that have made critical contributions to America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners as part of their “Heart of a Champion” Small Business Awards luncheon on June 13 at the Richmond Omni. Nearly 300 business men and women from all over the Commonwealth were in attendance.

The SBDC of Hampton Roads staff from left to right: Bill Burford, Farley John, Jim Carroll, Lauren Small, Debra Farley and George Bryan

The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, (SBDC) an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, was honored with the Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award. Warren Harris, Director, Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development, nominated the SBDC for this award.  For nearly five years, the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development has partnered with the SBDC’s Early Education Small Business Mentoring Program to assist early education providers with the resources they need to evolve into well-functioning small businesses.  Harris explained, “As a result of this program, business participants have not only positively impacted over 3,400 children annually ages 0-5 years, but have also adopted best business practices, leading to an increase of revenue and decrease in employee turnover.  This program is a stellar example of the results that are possible when a Small Business Development Center takes an innovative and aligned approach to implementation of local economic development strategy.” 

Jim Carroll, Executive Director of the SBDC and Vice President of Small Business for the Hampton Roads Chamber, accepted the award. He said, “All of us at the SBDC are honored by the recognition of an outstanding program that was developed to meet the needs of the community. It is a fitting testimonial to Lauren Small and her team in the way they took a concept and developed it into a viable and successful program. We have taken this proven concept of operations and applied it to our Hampton Roads Retail Academy, as well as our Southeastern Virginia Contracting Institute, and are seeing similar successful outcomes.”

Lillian Lincoln Lambert served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. In 1969, she was the first African American woman to graduate with an MBA from Harvard business school. In 1976, she launched her own building services company, Centennial One, headquartered in Landover, Maryland. Starting with 20 part-time employees, $4,000 in savings and an office in her garage, she built Centennial One into a company that made more than $20 million in revenues, 1200 employees and has operations in four states. In 2003, Harvard Business School awarded Lillian the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest award bestowed on its alumni.

Other 2014 winners include:

Small Business Person of the Year: Devon M. Henry, CEO of Team Henry Enterprises, LLC in Newport News

Community of the Year: The City of Chesapeake, Mayor Alan P. Krasnoff

Contractor of the Year: Marcos Silva, President of M&F Concrete Inc. in Manassas

Sub-contractor of the Year: Roberto Ortiz, President and CEO of AVMAC LLC in Chesapeake

Exporter of the Year: Sara McCaleb Baldwin, CEO of New Ravenna Mosaics in Exmore

Minority Business Champion of the Year: Oliver Singleton, President of the Metropolitan Business League, Richmond

Women in Business Champion of the Year: Angela Barber, Small Business Development Coordinator for the City Of Chesapeake Economic Development

Veterans Business Champion of the Year: Fred Wellman, CEO of ScoutComms, Inc. in Stafford

Financial Services (Credit Union) Champion of the Year: Natasha Merz, Vice-President of Business Lending for Langley Federal Credit Union in Newport News

Financial Services (Bank) Champion of the Year: Marie Taylor Leibson, Senior Vice President, Sonabank in Warrenton

SCORE Chapter of the Year:Martinsville SCORE Chapter #540 in Martinsville, Bob Brown, Chairman

Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award: Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, Inc. in Norfolk, Jim Carroll, Executive Director

 

Virginia’s top small business SBA lenders recognized during the awards luncheon:

Top Certified Development Company: Tidewater Business Financing Corp, R. Patrick Gomez, President

Top 504 First Trust Lender: BB&T, Karen Pitman-Ayers, Senior Vice President

Top Credit Union: Langley Federal Credit Union, Natasha Merz, Senior Vice President

Top Community Bank:

Live Oak Banking Company Neil L. Underwood, President

Celtic Bank, Frederick W. Crispen, Senior Vice President

Top Intermediate Bank: Sonabank, Marie Taylor Leibson, Senior Vice President

Top Overall Lender: BB&T, Karen Pitman-Ayers, Senior Vice President

The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads is a non-profit affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Thomas Nelson Community College in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  It is part of a statewide network of business assistance headed by the Mason Center for Business and Public Policy at George Mason University, and funded primarily by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  The SBDC provides management counseling, information, technical assistance, education, and training to small businesses in the region’s 18 cities and counties.  It has been serving the greater Hampton Roads region and the Eastern Shore since 1990. (www.hrsbdc.org)

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