The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) announced the 15 nominees for the inaugural FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Awards program. The awards will celebrate the success, growth, business acumen, and community involvement of FSBDC at UCF’s clients from across its 8-county region.
The 15 distinguished and remarkable Small Business Excellence Awards Entrepreneur of the Year nominees are:
|Darrell Williams, Dexter Williams and Donovan Williams||3D Tire Company, Inc.|
|Gary and Judy Lemay||Bedtops, LLC dba Bedtops Mattress Clearance Center|
|Serge Sorese||Florida’s Finest French Bakery Inc, dba Mon Delice French Bakery|
|Tonya and Tony Oxford||Global Technology Integrators, LLC|
|Nate Thornton||IQ Painters|
|Kelly and Scott Seidl||Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream|
|Yanet Herrero||Kings Service Solutions, LLC|
|Balouch “Aleem” Muhammad and Tariq Iqbal||Kissimmee Granite and Marble, Inc|
|Vitor de Oliveira Cortes||Kissimmee Produce, Inc|
|Chris Baeten||Knight Federal Solutions|
|Amanda Yarbrough||MamaBare Sugaring Studio, LLC|
|Victoria Messina||Messina & Associates, Inc|
|Shannon and Janice Talty||Olde Hearth Bread Company|
|Pam Rothenberg||Tuckaway Shores Resort|
The FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Award program recognizes local small business owners for their innovation, determination and resilience as demonstrated in the growth of their business and in their contribution to their communities with the designation as the FSBDC at UCF’s 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year. Nominations from across Central Florida were made by FSBDC at UCF consultants to acknowledge their clients’ significant growth; their resourcefulness in overcoming the challenges presented by small business ownership; and their involvement in their communities.
Small businesses are the engine that drives the Florida economy. According to the SBA, there are roughly 2.8 million small businesses in Florida. They make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state and employ 3.6 million workers, about 41.1% of the state’s private-sector workforce.
As the list illustrates, the Nominees for the FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Awards represent a broad cross section of Central Florida small businesses operating in multiple industries. Fully 60% of the Nominees are women- and/or minority-owned businesses. All are valued clients of the FSBDC at UCF who have benefited in some way from its no-cost, expert consulting; business training; and/or market research resources.
The finalists and award winner will be selected by the FSBDC at UCF’s Executive Board which is made up of local small business leaders and stakeholders committed to supporting the FSBDC’s mission to help small businesses launch, grow, and thrive through expertise, resources and advocacy. The nominees and award winner, and second and third place finalists will be recognized at an invitation-only Awards Luncheon on November 16, 2022, at the Citrus Club in Orlando, FL. This will be the first time this award will be given and the FSBDC at UCF Small Business Excellence Award program will become an annual event moving forward.
“We are pleased to recognize these nominees for their achievements with our new Small Business Excellence Award program,” said Eunice Choi, FSBDC at UCF Regional Director. “Small businesses are the key drivers of our local economy, creating prosperity, generating jobs and improving the quality of life in our communities. It is an honor to be able to celebrate them.”
The awards ceremony is made possible through the generous support of sponsors Orange County, Lake County, the Osceola Chamber of Commerce and TriNet.