Baltimore, MD—Taylor Made Transportation Services, Inc., formed on July 8, 1996, is a full-service transportation provider located in Baltimore, Md. Allen Taylor, CEO, opened his business to provide a much-needed service for his community, providing door-to-door transportation services for children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Over the past fifteen years, he has grown the business beyond traditional door-to-door transportation services. Allen now also offers transportation consulting, logistical and courier services and recently added ambulance and emergency management technician services.
Some may wonder how Allen has achieved so much in such a short time frame. His answer is simple; he used the many free, government-based resources available to the small business community. In particular, Allen applied for and became certified as an SBA 8(a) firm, Small Disadvantaged Business and received HUBZone certification. Each of these programs is designed to assist socially or economically disadvantaged small business owners with procurement opportunities, tax credits and more. Taylor Made Transportation has since graduated from the 8(a) program, but is grateful for the opportunities it presented. Through the program, Allen received several contracts with the Veterans Administration and other government agencies. Taylor Made is very proud of their assistance transporting America's heroes to their medical appointments and other obligations.
Allen’s solid reputation and exceptional service have earned him the respect of his clients and neighbors. He refers to his company as a “sensation in transportation” and strives to live up to that slogan, by remaining flexible and treating each client with dignity and respect.
For more information on the 8(a) Business Development Program or other government contracting assistance, contact the Baltimore District Office at (410) 962-6195.
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" – living by that credo has helped make Ginny Williams the 2011 Maryland Small Business Person of the Year. Williams, Managing Partner and Founder of archSCAN, LLC in Annapolis, Maryland, became a business owner out of necessity. She was just five years away from her planned retirement when her position as Regional Sales Manager at a blueprinting company was eliminated. She had enjoyed a successful career in the construction industry where she had done everything from wallpaper hanging and interior design to reprographics and electronic archiving. She was anticipating a slower pace and more recreation with her pending retirement but suddenly, she wasn't sure what her future held. Then the phone rang.
She received a call from a former client, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, asking for her assistance in turning all of their traditional paper construction plans for their parishes and schools into electronic documents. Four months and 12,000 documents later, Williams had completed the archiving project, creating 12 digital copies of all of the church's records. This process led Williams to the realization that certainly many other institutions, companies and organizations must be in a similar situation. Unfortunately, 9/11 had shown a spotlight on the need to be prepared for any emergency and in those crucial situations, quick and easy access to vital records is critical. From this simple fact, archSCAN was built.
Williams started archSCAN in 2002 from her home and spent much of her time during the company's early stages pitching the concept of document archiving to prospective clients. It was a new concept, but one she was sure would take off. Williams was secure in her skills as a professional organizer and document archivist, but not so sure about running her own business, so she turned to SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business. SCORE assisted her with business planning and various financial matters. Through the years, her counselors have changed, but she has always received valuable, sound guidance on how to grow her business.
The archSCAN concept is elementary, but essential, for anyone who needs to preserve unique historic documents, have access to floor plans and to consolidate large volumes of fragile paper. Essentially, archSCAN organizes the client's documents, sorting similar files and eliminating duplicates. They then begin the process of scanning each document into user friendly, easy access software, bookmarking each item to quickly locate it when needed. The digital files are then delivered to the client on external hard drive, flash drive or CD-ROM. Williams's clients include the Smithsonian Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine, American University and numerous private corporations. She also donates her services to Habitat for Humanity and other civic organizations.
By 2009, archSCAN had shown a 69% increase in gross sales. Through her steadfast commitment to high quality products and excellent customer service, she has grown archSCAN to a company that now employs 10 people, working in a 4,500 square foot facility.
Ms. Williams will be honored at the 27th Annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards Breakfast on Friday, May 20, 2011. Awardees include the Maryland winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week Awards Program and the Baltimore District Office's Top Ten Lenders from fiscal year 2010 and Top Certified Development Company from fiscal year 2010. Visit the event website for more information on the award nominations process and this year's event.
Lily Bengfort, CEO and President
Consulting and Engineering Next Generation Networks (CenGen, Inc.)
9250 Bendix Road, North
Columbia, MD 21045
“Think big, move fast and implement smart!” That’s the mantra by which Lily Bengfort, President of Consulting and Engineering Next Generation Networks (CenGen, Inc.) in Columbia, Md., has achieved entrepreneurial success through a combination of innate business savvy, exceptional leadership and intense determination.
Ms. Bengfort’s business philosophy encapsulates CenGen’s approach to its mission of creating communication network solutions and evaluating emerging technologies. Their mission is to save lives by providing the best communications possible to the men and women serving their country, from First Responders to the First Infantry Division. CenGen is in the business of building bridges: between radios, networks, legacy and leading edge. They are experts at connecting what is and what can be.
Born in Guyana, South America, Ms. Bengfort’s family journeyed to the United States, drawn by the land of opportunity. Here her entrepreneurial spirit flourished; initially purchasing a service business and tripling its revenue. In 2000, Ms. Bengfort created CenGen, now a multi-million dollar company specializing in tactical wireless communications networks for national defense and intelligent transportation systems. The company began as a home-based business with only five employees. They now employ 45 and have offices in Maryland, California and New Jersey. Growth has been steady; with an average sales increase of 14% annually. Clients include the U.S Armed Forces, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the State of Maryland.
Ms. Bengfort has built CenGen’s national reputation for providing decision-makers in government and industry with leading-edge expertise in network planning, design and implementation. CenGen provides custom solutions to advanced communication situations, independent evaluations of technology and end-to-end network testing. This is no small task, as each contract requires a new approach, a different answer. For the first nine years in business, CenGen functioned primarily as a defense contractor, supplying communications solutions to the Department of Defense and the military. Over the past year, CenGen has begun seeking out other clients in need of advanced communications, including the Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol.
Growth has been steady and carefully planned out; however not without setbacks. Ms. Bengfort spent three years pursuing a major defense contract only for it to ultimately be cancelled. It was a crushing blow. She picked up the pieces, accepted a loss that year and set her sights high for the future. It was a hard lesson learned, but she managed to acquire the necessary financing to retain all of her employees and reformulate the company’s long-term goals. The company is now more financially secure and technologically advanced. They have been called “the best” at Phase I Testing. This praise is both an honor and a charge. While proud of their ability to provide rapid response prototyping and testing, CenGen continually strives to improve the communications situation for our military men and women.
Success is not lost on Ms. Bengfort. She is grateful for the many opportunities presented her and the positive impact that entrepreneurship has had in her life. She is a passionate about women’s business ownership and is a frequent speaker encouraging other women to pursue their dreams of self-reliance and independence. CenGen is a huge proponent of local community organizations, contributing to a variety of local and national organizations, including the Girl Scouts of America, Howard Community College and the Northwest Center Foundation.