Bekele Demissie, Senior Community & Business Relations Specialist, Orange County Transportation Authority, to Receive Honors as 2016 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year

Works with minority business associations, elected officials, public agencies to help diverse small businesses enter government and corporate supply chain
Release Date: 
Friday, April 15, 2016
Release Number: 
16-07
Advisory Date: 
Friday, April 15, 2016
Advisory Number: 
16-07
Contact: 
Doug Dare, (714) 560-7467 or Christopher Lorenzana, (714) 560-7453

Santa Ana, CA – The U.S. Small Business Administration, Santa Ana District Office has selected Bekele Demissie, Senior Community & Business Relations Specialist, Orange County Transportation Authority as the recipient of the 2016 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year Award.  Demissie was nominated for the award by Reuben Franco, President & Chief Executive Officer, Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Demissie has been a supporter of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and many other minority business associations throughout his life.  Demissie is currently a member, board member, or advisory board member of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce; Inland Empire Asian Business Association; Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Orange County; Asian American Business Women Association; Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County; Asian Business Association of Orange County; Korean Chamber of Commerce of Orange County; and the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce of Orange County. Demissie is also a past board member of the Black Business Network of Orange County, Orange County Presidents Council, and was director of the Southern California Public Agencies Business Outreach Association.

Demissie possesses over 30 years of international management, leadership and business experience to the business community.  A native of Ethiopia, Bekele holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management/Administration and a Master’s degree.  During the past 30 years, Demissie has worked with various government and non-government agencies.  In his present capacity as Business Relations Administrator for the Orange County Transportation Authority,  Bekele serves as a liaison with public and private organizations, community groups, elected officials, and other public agencies.

Demissie has organized events for community and business leaders that have drawn the participation of senior leadership, business and community leaders, and elected officials.  He has worked with nonprofit organizations in developing relationships with business and community organizations to secure funding, including Food for the Hungry International, World Vision, Irish Concern, Southern California Evangelical Association, and faith based organizations.  Demissie is also the founder of the Ethiopian Christian Church and Ethiopian-American Council of Orange County.

Demissie will be recognized and receive his award as 2016 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year at the local Small Business Week Awards program which will be held Tuesday, May 3 from 10:30 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m. at the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom.  The event is being hosted by the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  For more information on the event or to register, email events@ochcc.com or call 714.953.4289.

About Small Business Week

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.  As part of National Small Business Week, the agency takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners and others at local events around the country.  Every day, these individuals are working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.  For more information, please visit www.sba.gov/nsbw/nsbw

###