Rita Vigil-Ferguson, President of G&F Concrete Cutting, Selected as 2014 Small Business Person of the Year Finalist
Specialty subcontractor leverages concrete experience to create technologically innovative product, manufacturing company
SANTA ANA, CA – Rita M. Vigil-Ferguson, President of G&F Concrete Cutting, Inc. and Merit Engineering & Equipment Company, has been selected as a Finalist for the 2014 SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award. Vigil-Ferguson was nominated for the award by Vivian Shimoyama, Regional Executive Director for Southern California Region Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, in recognition of her accomplishments growing her businesses and leadership within her community and industry.
Begun in 1980 by Rita Vigil-Ferguson and husband Greg, G&F Concrete Cutting, Inc. has grown from a home-based business with two trucks to a company that employs 41 and operates a fleet of trucks from a 45,000 square foot office, warehouse, yard and shop. G&F Concrete Cutting, Inc. is a specialty subcontractor based in Santa Ana, California providing concrete saw cutting, coring, drilling and non-explosive demolition services for over 34 years to the greater Southern California marketplace, with clients ranging from large general contractors, public & government agencies, utility companies, Fortune 1000 corporations, to small business accounts. Drawing on their decades of specialized experience, in 2011 Rita M. Vigil-Ferguson and her husband Greg launched Merit Engineering, based in Prescott, Arizona, which manufactures a line of technologically innovative flat saws. Merit Engineering employs 12 individuals full time and its products are distributed worldwide.
Due to the company’s small size, owners Rita and Greg had to be innovative from the start. “When G&F opened its doors, we took jobs no other company would take,” says Vigil-Ferguson. “Greg had the skills and expertise to bid and perform the work, while I had the business, marketing and public relations expertise.” The company maintained its innovative spirit throughout its startup and growth phase, such as when its client Southern California Edison needed to modify its transformer pads, which required cutting 2 1/2’ thick concrete slabs. At the time, according to Vigil-Ferguson, “there wasn’t a flat saw on the market that could hold a blade that size. Greg modified a skid-steer so we could mount a 72” blade and we were able to complete the project and save SCE thousands of dollars.”
Owner Rita Ferguson, a resident of Orange and graduate of California State University, Fullerton and the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Program, has leveraged her knowledge to become a strong voice for minorities in the community. Among her awards include various Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from the Latin Business Association, Southern California Regional Purchasing Council, and Southern California Minority Business Development Council. She serves as the board Treasurer and Chair of the Community Outreach Committee for the Southern California Contractors Association as well as the DBE Task Group/B Utilization.
“G&F Concrete Cutting demonstrates the innovative spirit of America’s small businesses. Leveraging their decades of experience in concrete cutting, owners Rita and Greg have started a second business manufacturing specialty saws that give more options to their clients and their industry,” said J. Adalberto Quijada, District Director for the SBA’s Santa Ana District. “We congratulate them for their management ability, insight, and continued success growing revenues and creating jobs.”
Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, in order to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. As part of National Small Business Week, SBA takes the opportunity to highlight their impact, working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.
Vigil-Ferguson will be recognized and receive the 2014 Small Business Person of the Year – Finalist Award at the Small Business Awards program produced by the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel on May 21, 2014 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. For information about the event and to RSVP, please contact Jessica Salcedo at 714-953-4289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.