SBA Administrator Names Texas Top Small Business Person

Texas winner to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 30 – May 1
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Release Number: 
SCR 17-27
Ahmad Goree (817) 684-5500

DALLAS/FORT WORTH – Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced today this year’s Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, which includes the Texas Small Business Person of the Year, Deborah Paris, president and manager of StraCon Services Group, LLC.

“It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and its territories,” McMahon said. “These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”

Deborah Paris, President and Manager of StraCon Services Group, LLC (StraCon) has over 20 years’ experience supporting the government as an Integrated Product Team (IPT) member while working for various government services companies as well as with Bell Helicopter providing flight simulators for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft for Marine Corps and Air Force clients.

In 2010, Deborah faced multiple challenges in obtaining capital for her business but forged ahead by pursuing an SBA loan and was subsequently approved for $125,000. That same year, Deborah, became certified to engage in the federal contracting arena by being accepted into the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program. This is a 9 year program that allows socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses to obtain set-a-side contracts with federal agencies.

“StraCon has benefited from the mentorship provided by Mr. Kevin Sloan a SBA Business Opportunity Specialists (BOS) in the Dallas/Fort Worth SBA office. His advice and counseling with developing long-term business strategies has and continues to be outstanding. Mr.
Ahmad Goree, StraCon’s first SBA specialist was also instrumental in encouraging Deborah to apply for a unique opportunity called the e200 Emerging Leaders Program. ” said Deborah.

SBA’s Emerging Leaders Executive Training Program is a free course that is taught over a period of six months that trains small business executives to become stronger and more profitable business owners. As part of a comprehensive curriculum, Deborah was required to develop and present a three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan (SGAP) with benchmarks and performance targets to a guest panel. Deborah spent well over 100 hours of classroom and CEO mentoring time and was provided the opportunity to learn new strategies and forge important relationships with other business owners. She graduated from the program in 2011.

This course greatly enabled Ms. Paris to develop successful business execution strategies that resulted in consistent and significant growth for StraCon over the next 4 years. StraCon has shown consistent increases in revenue between 2012 and 2016, despite a limited funding environment within the government. This plan was instrumental in helping StraCon grow from 8 employees in 2010 to over 100 today. This valuable training helped StraCon take the company to the next level.
“I am proud to recognize Debra Paris of StraCon Services Group, LLC on her selection as Texas Small Business Persons of the Year. As the this year’s top entrepreneur in the state, Deborah characterizes strong, courageous and creative leaders who help build our communities and create jobs,” said South Central Region Acting Regional Administrator Dottie Overal, who leads the delivery of SBA programs in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

“We are proud to have two top Texas small businesses representing the Dallas/Fort Worth District. Deborah Paris of StraCon for being the Texas Business Person of the Year and Ms. Reginalea Kemp, of Kemp and Sons for being named 8 (a) Graduate of the Year for SBA’s Region 6, which consist of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas” said Herbert Austin, SBA’s Dallas/Fort Worth District Director.

The following are a complete list of winners from D/FW district:

2017 Small Business Person of the Year
Deborah Paris, President and Manager
StraCon Services Group, LLC
Fort Worth, TX

2017 Small Business Exporter of the Year
Gassam Massi, Owner/President
Amallis, Inc.
Dallas, TX

2017 8 (a) Graduate of the Year
Reginalea Kemp, CEO and President
Kemp and Sons
Fort Worth, TX

2017 Woman in Business Champion of the Year
Royalyn B. Reid, President & CEO
Consumer and Market Insights (CMI)
Dallas, TX

2017 Entrepreneurial Success of the Year
Prabhu M. Patil, CEO
PROLIM Global Corporation
Plano, TX

2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Nichole Kirk, Owner
Dear Heart Designs
Henrietta, TX

2017 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
Zarin D. Gracey, Executive General Manager
City of Dallas
Dallas, TX

2017 Financial Services Champion of the Year
Millie J. Garcia, Senior Loan Officer
Accion NM
Dallas, TX

2017 SCORE Chapter of the Year
Terry Toomey, President
Dallas SCORE Chapter 22
Dallas, TX

2017 Small Business Development Center of the Year
Tim Wilson, Director
Northeast SBDC
Mt Pleasant, TX

The SBA will honor these outstanding small business owners and champions of business at The Spirit of America: 2017 Salute to Small Business Ceremony on Thursday, May 4th at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the luncheon contact the Henry Lewczyk with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce at 817-275-2613.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 30 – May 6 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Arlington, Texas, and Fresno, Calif.

All of the state and national winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on April 30 – May 1 where they will be presented with their individual award along with the naming of the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Contact information and photos of each winner is available by contacting