13 Local Entrepreneurs Graduate from the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program in Capital Region

Release Date: 
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Release Number: 
20-06
Contact: 
Rachael Stanton 315-471-9393

ALBANY, N.Y. - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) honored the owners of 13 participating companies in its Emerging Leaders program at a graduation ceremony in Albany on November 20, 2019. The SBA program is made possible through support from local partners including the Albany Small Business Development Center, Arsenal Business & Tech Partnership, Capital Region Chamber, New York Business Development Corporation, and Northeast NY SCORE Chapter.

“Our graduates have just spent months analyzing their business financials, identifying sales trends, leveraging resources, learning new management skills, and planning how to sustainably expand their business. I am positive that each graduate stands better prepared to face new challenges and opportunities for their small business,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District director, at the graduation ceremony.

Emerging Leaders provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators.  This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. It also provides opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

John Curtin, owner of The Albany Distilling Company, shared his experience at the ceremony as the SBA Capital Region Emerging Leaders Class of 2019 speaker: “Running a small business can be a daunting task, and it can also be very isolating. Not only did this program offer incredibly valuable training and education, but it also gave us the opportunity to connect with other small businesses to work together on common issues."

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts.

SBA Capital Region Emerging Leaders Class of 2019:

  1. Edward Berger, OD, OnSite Vision Plans Inc. – East Greenbush
  2. John Curtin, The Albany Distilling Company - Albany
  3. Matthew DeFazio, DeFazio's Pizzeria/DeFazio's Italian Imports - Troy
  4. Dan Fisk, Park Building and Millwork - Schenectady
  5. Miki Fretto, Fretto Industrial Cleaning - Albany
  6. Demetris Fullard, Infinite Care - Albany
  7. Andrew Gutman, Bennett Contracting - Albany
  8. Kelly Klopfer, Envision Architects - Albany
  9. Lloyd Marks, Window Modes LTD - Durham        
  10. Douglas Nadeau, RAN Fire Protection Engineering, PC - Albany
  11. Nick Patterson, Dig Deep Chiropractic & Massage - Clifton Park
  12. Sandra Rivera, Rivera Law PLLC - Albany
  13. David Sowinski, Miss Steel LLC - Mechanicville

 

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Photo caption back row from left to right: Steve Bulger, SBA Regional Administrator; Douglas Nadeau, RAN Fire Protection Engineering, PC – Albany; Edward Berger, OD, OnSite Vision Plans Inc. – East Greenbush; Andrew Gutman, Bennett Contracting – Albany;    Kelly Klopfer, Envision Architects – Albany; Lloyd Marks, Window Modes LTD – Durham; and David Sowinski, Miss Steel LLC – Mechanicville.

Photo caption front row from left to right: Demetris Fullard, Infinite Care – Albany; John Curtin, The Albany Distilling Company – Albany; Sandra Rivera, Rivera Law PLLC – Albany; Miki Fretto, Fretto Industrial Cleaning – Albany; Dan Fisk, Park Building and Millwork – Schenectady; and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District Director.

Not pictured: Matthew DeFazio, DeFazio's Pizzeria/DeFazio's Italian Imports – Troy; Nick Patterson, Dig Deep Chiropractic & Massage - Clifton Park.