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McAllen Engineering Firm Owners Named 2018 SBA’s LRGV District Small Business Persons of the Year

Brothers Saul and Samuel Maldonado of SAMES, Inc. take Top Honors as the 2018 Lower Rio Grande Valley District’s Small Business Persons of the Year
Release Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018
Release Number: 
Angela R. Burton

HARLINGEN – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2018 Lower Rio Grande Valley District Small Business Persons of the Year are Saul and Sam Maldonado of Sam Engineering & Surveying Inc. (SAMES Inc.), in McAllen, Texas.  Founded in 2008, SAMES, Inc. specializes in design, land surveying and construction for federal, state and local government agencies as well as private sector businesses.

SAMES’ transformation from startup, to a complete and knowledgeable professional firm, has allowed them to develop an understanding of all the small steps it takes to complete a full-size project. Their history has made them who they are and SAMES is proud of servicing clients throughout Texas, including the City of Pharr, Starr County, the City of Edinburg, Duval County, and numerous other public and private entities.

“It’s truly an excellent time to recognize the importance of small business ownership and to celebrate model entrepreneurs who use innovation to solve problems, create jobs and whose enterprises contribute to the growth and prosperity of the Lower Rio Grande Valley District,” Angela R. Burton, district director, Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office stated.  “National Small Business Week is one of my favorite events.”

The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week April 29-May 5, 2018 – recognizes small business owners who demonstrate staying power and substantiated history as an established business with at least three years of business operation. Winners must also show growth in net worth and business expansion, increase in jobs and sales, innovativeness of products or services, response to adversity and contributions to community-oriented projects.

“We have never turned down an opportunity.  The comfortable decision is to not consider moving forward with a project or with an opportunity because it is considered too challenging.  We don’t believe in that.  Every great opportunity must be one that is created not one that is available.”

Maldonado and his brother Saul are both graduates of Texas A&M-Kingsville with degrees in civil engineering. Through their experience in working for both large and small engineering firms, the Maldonado’s gained knowledge about the development in the area.

A celebration honoring all winners from the Lower Rio Grande Valley District will be hosted by Rio Grande Valley Partnership on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Double Tree Suites by Hilton Hotel in McAllen.  Please contact Sandra De Los Santos at (956) 968-3141.  Additional Small Business Week awardees include:

SBA Disaster Awards

  • National Winner Charles Bujan, City of Port Aransas, Phoenix Award - Public Official
  • Corpus Christi Branch Winner Amy Montgomery, Rockport, Phoenix Award - Volunteer

District Director Awards

  • Michael De Leon, Apex Premium Paint, Inc., Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, nominated by JP Morgan Chase Bank
  • Marlene R. Rodriguez, LiftFund, Inc., Financial Services Champion of the Year, nominated by the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Brian John and Mary Elizabeth Schalk, Grace Heritage Ranch, LLC., Home Based Business of the Year, nominated by the Raymondville Chamber of Commerce
  • Christopher de la Cruz Wycoco, Wycotax Free E$timax , Minority Small Business of the Year, nominated by the Women’s Business Center of Cameron County
  • Dr. Dennis Van Maren, DDS, USAF, Colonel, Ret., Bay Area Denture & Dental Center, Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year, nominated by East Meets West Productions
  • Milagros Chirino, Mchirino Group, LLC dba Millys, Women Owned Small Business of the Year, nominated by LiftFund, Inc.
  • Kathleen and Sara Cavazos, Sara's Lemonade 4 A Cure, Young Entrepreneurs of the Year
  • Sylvia Robles de Viera, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Women Business Champion of the Year
  • Aaron Gonzalez, Senior Business & Innovation Advisor, UTRGV SBDC Advisor of the Year
  • Elizabeth Charles, Business Counselor, Women's Business Center of Cameron County Business Counselor of the Year
  • Dr. Rosemond Moore, Mentor, SCORE Chapter 220, SCORE Mentor of the Year
  • Marcus Villagran, Business Outreach Specialist, UTRGV Veteran Business Outreach Center Business Outreach Specialist of the Year
  • BBVA Compass Bank, Highest Volume of 7(a) Loans in FY 2017
  • Texas Certified Development Company, Inc., Highest Volume of 504 Loans by a Community Development Corporation in FT 2017
  • Vantage Bank Texas, Rising Star Award, For Increased 7(a) Guaranteed Lending in FY 2017

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.  For more information about National Small Business Week, visit

About the SBA Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office:

The SBA Lower Rio Grande Valley District serves the 14 of the 254 counties in Texas with locations in Harlingen and Corpus Christi. SBA Lower Rio Grande Valley District staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit or follow @SBA_LRGV for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help business start, grow and succeed.

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