Monday, April 2, 2018

2018 Annual SBA Awards Luncheon - Winner's Announced!

The U.S. Small Business Administration San Diego District Office and the North San Diego Small Business Development Center will celebrate and recognize successful local small businesses and small business advocates at our Annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

To purchase single tickets to attend: CLICK HERE!

To purchase a table (8 seats): CLICK HERE!

Questions or requests, please email Cheryl Brown at

Award winners include:

SBA Jody C. Raskind Microlender of the Year (National Award)
Kurt Chilcott, President/CEO

CDC Small Business Finance (San Diego, CA)

Small Business Person of the Year
Eddie Silverberg, President and Aaron Silverberg, Vice President

Flexible Assembly Systems, Inc. (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: Rob Buckner, VP, SBA Business Development Officer, City National Bank

Family-Owned Small Business of the Year
Amanda Davis, President and Verna Mueller, Chief Operating Officer

Widefield Technology, Inc. (WTI) (Scottsdale, AZ and Carlsbad, CA)
Nominator: Sudershan Shaunak, Director, North San Diego Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
Elizabeth Valenzuela Banker, President & CEO

Shore Solutions, Inc. (Chula Vista, CA)
Nominator: Dawnie Green, Vice President, Business Relationship Manager SD,
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year
Brian Wilson, President/Owner

Altitude, Inc. (Carlsbad, CA)
Nominator: Christine Hoy, Vice President/Senior Business Relationship Manager, Chase Bank

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
Kerry Lewis, CEO/Secretary

MC Painting, Inc. (Vista, CA)
Nominator: Susie Friedman, Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager, Chase Bank

SBA District Director's Award for Growth in the Technology Sector
Stacey Anfuso, President/CEO and Karina Arushanyan, Director of Business Development & Strategic Operations

La Jolla Logic, Inc. (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: Brett Housholder, Deputy Director Contracting Opportunities Center,
Procurement Technical Assistance Center

SBA District Director's Award for Growth through Licensing Agreements
Felena Hanson, Founder

Hera Hub (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: Silvia Mah, Executive Director, Hera Hub

SBA District Director's Award for Growth through Acquisition
Sayed Ali, President

Interpreters Unlimited, Inc. (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: Laura Harolde, Director of Client Relations, Interpreters Unlimited, Inc.

Anthony Vigil Award for Staying Power
Over 50 Years in Business

Gayle Mestel, CEO

CCS/PR, Inc. DBA: Creative Communications Services (Carlsbad, CA)
Nominator: Joanie James, Business Manager, CCS/PR

SBA District Director's Award for SBA Mission Support
Cheryl Brown

North San Diego Small Business Development Center (Carlsbad, CA)
Nominator: Michael Sovacool, Lead Economic Development Specialist, SBA San Diego

Financial Services Champion of the Year
Tim Robertson, President

Robertson Working Capital, Inc. (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: North San Diego SBDC Team

Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
Eric Meisgeier, Deputy Project Manager

Mid-Coast Transit Constructors (MCTC) (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: North San Diego SBDCTeam

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
Stephanie Brown, CEO and Founder
The Rosie Network (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: Leona Sublett, Chief Operating Officer, The Rosie Network

Women In Business Champion of the Year
Gita Murthy, CEO

RORE, Inc. (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: Self-nominated

Jill Andrews Special Appreciation Award
for Her Efforts to Increase Contracting Opprotunities
for Veteran Small Businesses
Rita Ohaya, Program Manager

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (San Diego, CA)
Nominator: North San Diego SBDC Team

 “As America celebrates the 55th Anniversary of 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, manage and grow 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.  A panel is convened at the San Diego District Office to review local nominations and select a winner in each of the categories. 

This year's Small Business Awards Luncheon, presented by SBA, the North San Diego
Small Business Development Center and the MiraCosta College Foundation, will be held Thursday, May 3, 2018, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, to publicly honor our local small business owners and advocates. 

Every year since 1963 SBA takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week.
SBA will honor America’s top entrepreneurs at this year’s National Small Business Week events during the week of April 29 – May 5, 2018. Details for national events will be posted at

After the national awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. McMahon will continue National Small Business Week with a bus road show starting in Jacksonville, Fla. and then continue on to South Carolina and North Carolina.  Each stop she will meet with small business owners, visit small businesses and hold roundtable discussions. Additionally, virtual events, recognition and educational opportunities throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the week.  
NOTE: Detailed information for each small business winner is available and interviews may be requested.  Please call Cynthia Harris, SBA, at (619) 727-4884 or email your request to


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