Florida SBDC Network Clients, Nominees Win SBA Awards

Awardees honored for achievements during National Small Business Week

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

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.

“We are thrilled to recognize the accomplishments of our clients and advocates,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network. “The National Small Business Week Awards are some of the most distinguished in the country, and we are honored that so many of our clients were recognized for their outstanding contributions to our state’s economy.”

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

Small Business Person of the Year

State of Florida & North Florida District Winner
Dennis Chan, owner of Blue Bamboo Canton and Bistro, Jacksonville
Client of the Florida SBDC at UNF

Small Business Exporter of the Year

State of Florida & North Florida District Winner
Viv Helwig, owner of Vested Metals International, St. Augustine
Client of the Florida SBDC at UNF

South Florida District Winner
Carmine Colarusso, CEO of Ultrachem, LLC., Doral
Client of the Florida SBDC at FIU

Minority Business Owner of the Year

State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
Indira Vega, president and CEO of Indy Interpreting, Inc. DBA CCI Group, Orlando
Client of the Florida SBDC at UCF

Woman Business Owner of the Year

State of Florida & South Florida District Winner
Wanda Barton, founder and managing member of Xtremely Clean Janitorial Services, LLC
Client of the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County

North Florida District Winner
Chaitali Prajapati, member and owner of PI Consulting Services, LLC
Client of the Florida SBDC at UCF

Veteran Business Owner of the Year

State of Florida & South Florida District Winner
Mack Sasser, owner of 11 Series Energy, Melbourne
Client of the Florida SBDC at UCF

North Florida District Winner
Randall Shepard, CEO and founder of RSAE Labs, Panama City
Client of the Florida SBDC at UWF

State of Florida Small Business Development Center of the Year

Florida Atlantic University

Small Business Advocate of the Year

South Florida District
Stuart “Stu” Smith, Cocoa Beach

National Small Business Week runs May 2-5. 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.

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

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