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Los Angeles District Office
330 North Brand Suite 1200
Glendale, CA 91203
United States
Phone: 818-552-3201

SBA Business Matchmaking Conference Helps Women Owned Enterprise

Approximately, 1,000 small business men and women participated in SBA’s Business Matchmaking Conference at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. The 3 day event, February 9th -11th, 2004th, was geared toward small businesses, either currently active with respect to procurement contracts, or aspiring to establish a relationship with various buying arms of much larger private and public sector companies. The uniqueness of this event involved prescheduled meetings matching small business sellers to corporate and government purchasing
departments during the actual event. In addition, an on site re-schedule booth allowed for an aspirant to add one or more of these 1-on-1 meetings to their pre-scheduled meeting slate, predicated on availability and time. In addition, counselors from the SBA and SBA partnership organizations were available to consult on key small business issues, including access to capital, effective business planning, and other technical and procurement assistance needs.

This event was so successful, that it will be replicated in other major U.S. cities. 3,200 appointments were scheduled, plus a significant number of impromptu match-ups. Several contracts were negotiated on site. More successful purchasing deals are pending.

One of the attendees that benefited directly from the Business Matchmaking Expo was Barbara Bickham, President of TechGenii, Inc. The company name springs from Ms. Bickham’s comprehensive knowledge of two high tech areas, computer security and wireless data communications. Subsequent to attaining both a baccalaureate and a masters degree in computer science, Ms. Bickham garnered significant hands-on experience working for wireless firms as well as companies involved in computer security. TechGenii reflects her genius in combining both aspects to achieve the core competencies that drive her Los Angeles based corporation.

Founded in August 2002, TechGenii provides technology to offer customers cost effective security and mobility for wireless fidelity networks. “As we become more mobile with respect to the types of portable devices for data input and access, security and protection of information become issues of substantial concern”, posits Ms. Bickham. Smart Phones, Tablet PCs, and hand held devices allow users to move from office to office and still be capable of accessing their networks. However, utilization of these tools may render the user at risk from a security standpoint.

Barbara Bickham identified three major problems inherent in the workings of the wireless local area network (LAN) marketplace and set her company in motion to specialize in dealing with them. Whether, it is Product Research & Development, Management Consulting, Wireless Application Development, Wireless Feasibility Studies, or Wireless Installation & Development that is performed by TechGenii, the focus is never diverted from the 3 problem areas: 1.) securing end-users by protecting data transmissions across networks, 2.) mobility by allowing a wireless end-user to move seamlessly between networks, and 3.) billing enhancement by providing an accounting of users who are on the networks. This consistent focus has set in motion the forces necessary to establish the propitious niche that permits TechGenii to compete in its market segmentation.

The invitation to attend the Business Matchmaking Expo was very timely for Ms. Bickham. She responded with expectations for a successful Expo. At a minimum, the event would prove a good venue for networking. Even more significantly, Barbara saw it as a wonderful opportunity to access a plethora of potential clients under one roof. Also, the fact that appointments were being made for TechGenii in advance and with contractors within the desired NAICS codes, promised valuable marketing opportunities.

The outcome exceeded her expectations. “This was a very successful Business Matchmaking event for me as a small business owner”, commented Bickham. “Tech Genii met some buyers and we had the opportunity to speak with the actual decision makers.” In addition, her company was also able to mingle with many small companies in need of systems security. Also a pleasant surprise came from her unplanned encounter with Marlyn Garcia, a business development officer from CHARO-SBA Women’s Center, which had a booth at the Expo. This center, headquartered in East Los Angeles and funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides business and technical assistance, plus capital access (SBA loans) to women- owned enterprises.

Through her involvement with Ms. Garcia and the CHARO-SBA Women’s Center, Barbara Bickham received assistance with general business planning issues. The Center is currently
working on marketing strategy with the updated promotional approach expected soon. But most impressive is the fact that Marlyn Garcia was able to get TechGenii processed for an SBA guaranteed Express Loan and get it funded within a month of the actual Matchmaking Expo. SBA Business Matchmaking was a successful event for small business, for women-owned businesses, and for Barbara Bickham in particular!

Los Angeles SBA District Director, Alberto G. Alvarado echoed that same sentiment in his praise of Barbara Bickham. “The SBA is proud of the assistance received by TechGenii. Ms. Bickham, in true entrepreneurial fashion, fused her technical acumen with her understanding of the marketplace to create her own enterprise and, thus, she merits any SBA assistance to help her achieve an appropriate return commensurate with her risk.”

For more information on TechGenii visit its web site at or contact the company as follows:

     TechGenii, Inc.
     6709 La Tijera Blvd, Suite 216
     Los Angeles, CA 90045
     Phone (323) 299-3516
     Fax # (323) 417-5066

For information on the CHARO-SBA Women’s Center please call Anita Rodriguez, Vice President- Corporate Development at (323) 269-0751.

To find out more about SBA Loan Programs and Services visit the Agency’s user friendly web site or call one of the following Economic Development Specialists at the SBA’s Los Angeles District Office:

  • Sandra Buck (818) 552-3308
  • Chuck Edgington (818) 552- 3241
  • Barbara Madel (818) 552-3314
  • Fernando Olivares (818) 552 -3256
  • Juan Urbina (818) 552- 3244

SBA Loan Organizes Cash Flow of Woman Owned Small Business

Dorothy Breininger is the quintessential organizer of corporate, university, home-based, and personal office and work station environments. She has written numerous articles and a book on goal planning and organization. In short, she makes her living by helping others get organized or to reduce the clutter in their business and personal lives. It seems we can all make use of Dorothy Breininger’s talents. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times attests to Dorothy’s abilities to help us clutter-bugs overcome our habit of hoarding.

Ms. Breininger is the founder and driving force behind the Center For Organization. Her firm has performed workplace wizardry for approximately two decades, during which she has physically worked inside corporations to successfully organize space and work systems for CEOs and other high-profile individuals.

Lack of organization, mixed with hoarding fever, moves beyond the realm of mundane business issues to often warrant significant consideration by management. If the issue is not remedied, serious efficiency denigration may evolve. Disorganization can prove debilitating to a large organization. If found in a small business, it can be lethal. To help create an awareness of the need for effective work systems and to combat the waste of resources due to poor organization habits, the National Association for Professional Organizers (NAPO) was formed. And guess who serves on the Board of Directors? Yes Dorothy Breininger!

It was at a recent meeting of that very same organization, NAPO, that Dorothy Breininger and the SBA connected. Natalie Orta, Chief of Business and Economic Development for the Los Angeles District Office of the SBA, was invited to address the attendees on SBA Loan Programs and Services. Ms. Orta, a self proclaimed neat-nik in her own right, was warmly received by the NAPO members. “Natalie’s presentation was so informative,” mused Breininger, “she convinced me that I could qualify for SBA assistance.”

For some time after the meeting, Natalie’s words on SBA programs kept resonating in Dorothy’s ears. Soon words became action and Dorothy contacted Natalie. The two exchanged ideas and information about business planning, cash flow and access to capital. As a result of the business assessment, Natalie referred Dorothy to an SBA intermediary and the rest was “uncluttered” history, as Dorothy Breininger was approved for an SBA Express Loan!

Los Angeles SBA District Director, Alberto G. Alvarado expressed his elation at Dorothy Breininger’s success story saying, “Ms. Breininger’s scenario underscores how smooth the SBA
loan process can be, if the entrepreneur is organized and well prepared. Kudos to Dorothy for having her business in order and for helping to get the rest of us in order”. To obtain additional information on the Center For Organization visit the web site at or contact Dorothy Breininger at (818)718-0611.

To find out more about SBA Loan Programs and Services visit the Agency’s user friendly web site or call one of the following Economic Development Specialists at the SBA’s Los Angeles District Office:

  • Sandra Buck (818) 552-3308
  • Chuck Edgington (818) 552- 3241
  • Barbara Madel (818) 552-3314
  • Fernando Olivares (818) 552 -3256
  • Juan Urbina (818) 552- 3244

Small Business Owner Finds Success and Growth with 8(a) Program

Family-Oriented Service Maintenance Company Makes Due on its Promise

Two friends Lew Parker and Mitch Caron sought a better way to do business by putting their employees first. In 1991, they founded PC Mechanical Inc. to do just that. Fast forward 19 years to 2010 and Parker, the president and CEO and Caron, the vice president and general manager, are busier than they have ever been primarily because of the loyalty and respect they have earned of their fellow employees and secondly through the assistance of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.

“We knew that we could treat employees better than we had been treated,” said Parker. In 1990, after Caron completed a grueling 30-day tour in the Republic of Angola for his previous employer - Caron and Parker launched their own full service, multi-disciplined mechanical repair and service company from Parker’s garage.

Using Caron’s pickup truck as the first “company” vehicle, Parker, Caron and a hand full of their previous coworkers crisscrossed Santa Maria, San Ardo and Bakersfield serving oil field equipment. Within a short period of time they moved out of Parker’s garage and into an 8,000 square foot facility in Santa Maria where they operated for 14 years.

In 1996, PC Mechanical applied for the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program to assist in securing government contracts. Parker, a Native American who grew up on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho was accepted into the rigorous 9-year program.

Using their extensive experience within the service and maintenance industry and their 8(a) certification, they continued to secure numerous government contracts including their largest-to-date a $140 million multi-year military contract they won over competitors worldwide. In June 2009, they began to repair, recondition and maintain thousands of pieces of military equipment including the Navy Seabee’s bulldozers, cranes and generator sets. “The first contract we did like this large one was done seven or eight years ago through the 8(a) program,” said Parker.

Looking back on the success and growth of PC Mechanical, Parker said, “We started a company that caters to employees and that has been the backbone of our company – it worked.” Currently, PC Mechanical has over 50 employees, and offers extremely competitive benefits including a 100% premium paid for employee medical and dental insurance, a lucrative 401K with a 4% match of gross and a cafeteria plan. “Family comes first here, if a family member becomes sick, we let our employees stay home and take care of them and keep them on payroll.”

Parker also attributed PC Mechanical’s success to their 8(a) Business Development Specialist, Catherine Clark, who worked with them during the 9-year program. “Catherine was with me 100% of the way and led me all the way through it. She is very personable, helpful and upfront. The 8(a) program was valuable – it opened the door to get involved in government contracting,” said Parker. PC Mechanical graduated from the 8(a) program in 2005.

In March 2005, PC Mechanical moved out of its previous facility and into a new 67,000 square foot facility in Santa Maria, which they bought. They have also continued to receive numerous awards along the way and recently won Boeing’s “Performance Excellence Award” for gold level performance for their work during 2009 at Vandenberg Air Force Base where they have maintained the launch facilities for 15 years. The award is given to Boeing’s Top 100 Contractors worldwide for meeting and exceeding performance standards for all 365 days of any given year.

Also, they are being recognized as an Outstanding Business at the upcoming Spirit of Small Business Awards held in August by the Pacific Coast Business Times and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Los Angeles District Office.

The company supports community activities with donations to the Highway Patrol Widows and Orphans, Santa Maria Police Department, the Boys and Girls Club and Food Bank Drives. The owners also sponsor along with their employees local sports and activities.

“PC Mechanical is one of our most successful graduates of recent memory and a great example of what the 8(a) Business Development Program can do for small businesses. We are proud to have helped them find their way both as a business and as an extended member of the SBA 8(a) family,” said Stephen J. Olear, acting district director for the Los Angeles district office.

Recently, PC Mechanical was recognized as an outstanding business in North Santa Barbara County at an awards luncheon titled - Spirit of Small Business on Thursday, August 12, 2010 hosted by U.S. Small Business Administration and Pacific Coast Business Times.

Should you require any additional information regarding the SBA’s 8(a) program, please contact Glen Constantino at (818) 552-3235.

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