Florida SBDC Network Clients, Nominees Win SBA Awards

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, is pleased to announce that 18 small business clients and nominees have won awards for their outstanding performance, advocacy, and economic contributions from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) during National Small Business Week.

Florida SBDC client Stephanie Vitori, owner of Cheeseburger Baby in Miami Beach, accepts the 2019 National Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery at the Small Business Week Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

National Small Business Week is being held May 5-11, 2019. The celebration commenced Sunday with a special awards ceremony at the U.S. Institute of Peace, during which Cheeseburger Baby, the oldest burger retaurant in South Beach and a client of the Florida SBDC at Florida International University, was awarded the 2019 Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery for their efforts to rebuild and serve their community following Hurricane Irma.

As part of National Small Business Week, the SBA annually recognizes small business owners, entrepreneurs, and advocates from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Jeff Turbeville, CEO of Jacksonville-based Sunshine Peanut Company and client of the Florida SBDC at the University of North Florida, was also invited to Washington, D.C., whereby he was honored as the State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year and was in the running for the 2019 National Small Business Person of the Year.

Clients and nominees of the Florida SBDC Network recognized as national, regional, state, and district-level award winners are:

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Small Business Disaster Recovery
National Winner
Stephanie Vitori, President – Cheeseburger Baby, Miami Beach
Client of the Florida SBDC at Florida International University (FIU)

Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
Region 4 Winner
Jacquin P. Gilchrist, Esq., President/Managing Attorney – The Gilchrist Law Firm, Coral Gables
Client of the Florida SBDC at FIU

Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and North District Winner
Jeff Turbeville, CEO – Sunshine Peanut Company, Jacksonville
Client of the Florida SBDC at the University of North Florida (UNF)

North Florida District Winner
Jonathan Brinkman, Owner – BlackSky Technologies, Homestead
Client of the Florida SBDC at FIU

Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
Wendy Romeu, Founder/Owner – Alluvionic, Melbourne
Client of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF)

North Florida District Winner
Laurie Morgan Lee, President – Elevate Business Law, Jacksonville
Client of the Florida SBDC at UNF

Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
Courtney Powell, President – AceApplications, Orlando
Client of the Florida SBDC at UCF

South Florida District Winner
Timothy Dunlap, Director – CEPODS, LLC, Miami Beach
Client of the Florida SBDC at FIU

Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
Frank Brewer, President – Alpha Omega Global, LLC, Jacksonville
Client of the Florida SBDC at UNF

South Florida District Winner
Hayes Fountain, CEO, and Donald Williams, COO – Widescope Consulting and Contracting Services, Largo
Client of the Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida (USF)

Rural Business Owner of the Year
State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
Dallas Hart, President – Hart 2 Hart Academy, Inc., Lake City
Client of the Florida SBDC at UNF

Exporter of the Year
State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
Gloria Martinez, Owner – Neo Broadband, Inc., Doral
Client of the Florida SBDC at FIU

Young Entrepreneur Small Business Person of the Year
State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
Mari Angeles Rubio, Owner – Casa Gioia, Miami
Client of the Florida SBDC at FIU

North Florida District Winner
Brandon Stallings, CEO – SmartBox, Jacksonville
Client of the Florida SBDC at UNF

Community Partner of the Year
State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
Accion East – Miami
Nominated by the Florida SBDC at FIU

North Florida District Winner
City of Jacksonville, Small and Emerging Business Program (JSEB)
Nominated by the Florida SBDC at UNF

Small Business Advocate of the Year
State of Florida and South Florida District Winner
Samuel Blatt, CEcD, Economic Development Manager of the City of North Miami
Nominated by the Florida SBDC at FIU

North Florida District Winner
Sue Miller, Business Development Officer, Navy Federal Credit Union, Jacksonville
Nominated by the SBRN, an affiliate of the Florida SBDC at UNF

“We are very proud to recognize the accomplishments of our outstanding clients and advocates,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “The National Small Business Week Awards are one of the most prestigious in the country. We are honored to have so many of our clients and advocates recognized for their contributions to their local and state economy.”

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of the country’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The Florida SBDC Network will join the national celebration to honor winners and showcase the role Florida’s more than 2.5 million small businesses play in the state’s economy by hosting a number of events:

  • The Florida SBDC at FGCU held its 8th Annual Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida Event on April 30
  • The Florida SBDC at Indian River State College hosted its 7th Annual Entrepreneurship and Small Business Conference at the Kight Center for Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce on May 7.
  • The Florida SBDC at USF honored Tampa-area winners at the 2019 Business Awards Celebration Luncheon on May 7 at the Westshore Grand
  • The Florida SBDC at UWF will hold a series of free events during the week, including the SBA Mentor-Protégé Connection Event May 8 at the UWF College of Business. To learn more, please click here.
  • The Florida SBDC at FIU will honor Miami-Dade area winners at the National Small Business Week Celebration on May 9 at the Doral Police Training and Community Center
  • The Florida SBDC at UNF will honor Jacksonville-area winners at its 27th Annual Small Business Week Event May 10 at the UNF Herbert University Center.
  • The Florida SBDC at UCF will honor Orlando-area winners at its 2019 Small Business Awards Luncheon and awards ceremony on May 21 at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando.

To learn more about National Small Business Week, please visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.

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