Nine Florida SBDC Network Clients, Nominees Win SBA Small Business Awards

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

“National Small Business Week is a chance to honor the more than 2.3 million small businesses in Florida who have helped drive down one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates to one of the best we enjoy today,” said Michael Myhre, Florida SBDC CEO and Network State Director. “Congratulations to this year’s SBA Small Business Week Award winners. This honor serves as a testament to their hard work, efforts, and dedication to their local, regional, and state economies.”

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. Clients and nominees of the Florida SBDC Network recognized as national, state, and district level award winners include:

National Exporter of the Year

National, State of Florida, and North Florida District Winner

David P. Bello Sr., CEO; John Hartnett, Vice President, Global Business Development; and David A. Bello Jr., General Manager/VP;

Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. – Newberry

Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year

State of Florida and North Florida District Winner

Peter Wilking, President of A1A Solar Contracting, Inc. – Jacksonville

South Florida District Winner

Brian Butler, President of Vistra Communications, LLC. - Tampa

Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year

State of Florida and North Florida District Winner

Sarah Blake, President of Elipsis Engineering & Consulting – Winter Garden

South Florida District Winner

Tailleen Arias, President of the Doral Conservatory & School of the Arts - Doral 

Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year

State of Florida and South Florida District Winner

Francisco Semsch, President of FSA, Inc. - Tampa

North Florida District Winner

Gabriel Ruiz, LTC, USA (Ret.), President and CEO, Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. – Winter Springs

Small Business Financial Advocate of the Year

State of Florida and North Florida District Winner

Kristen Tackett, Vice President of Business Services, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation - Jacksonville

Small Business Person of the Year

North Florida District Winner

Sunil Tarneja, President of C.T. Windows, Inc. d/b/a Architectural Aluminum Techniques – Orlando

For more than 50 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week to celebrate and recognize the achievements of entrepreneurs and innovators across the county.

National Small Business Week will occur May 1-7, with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix, San Jose and Oakland. National Exporter of the Year and Florida SBDC at the University of North Florida (UNF) client Endoscopy Replacement Parts will join other national award winners from across the country at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. May 1-2.

Florida SBDCs are hosting a number of special events across the state to honor winners: