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SBA Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office announces 2014 Small Business Week winners

Release Date: 
Friday, April 11, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Advisory Number: 
Angela R. Burton (956) 427-8533 Ext. 223


Awardees to be Honored at Ceremony

HARLINGEN  – Today the U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office announced the winners of the 2014 Small Business Week Awards.  This year marks the 51st annual proclamation of National Small Business Week, May 12-16, 2014. 


To recognize and salute the achievements of the awardees a Small Business Awards ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 9th, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will hosted by The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  The event will be held at the UTPA CESS Building, 1407 E. Freddy Gonzalez Drive, Suite 1.200, Edinburg, Texas.  The ceremony will honor the importance of small business ownership and recognize the model entrepreneurs whose enterprises contribute to the commercial prosperity of the South Texas District.


“For more than 20 years the SBA and SBDC have partnered to create an environment of small business growth in the Rio Grande Valley,” Sylvia Zamponi, District Director, Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office stated.  “Many of our winners started with nothing more than a dream and a strong desire to succeed.  Some received guidance and technical assistance from the SBDC and with or without an SBA loan guarantee to launch their business, are now seeing the rewards of their investment of hard work.  We are very proud of all our winners and champions,” Zamponi said.


This year’s award winners include:


The District Small Business Person of the Year award is presented to a pair, Angelo Papakostas  and Louis Sissamis, owners of the Texas Flame Steakhouse, Corpus Christi, Texas.  Founded in 1989, a full service restaurant serving the finest cuts of Texas Angus Beef steaks, Gulf Seafood, burgers, sandwiches, gourmet salads, homemade soups, Mexican and Greek specialties.  Papakostas  and Sissamis  believe their guide to success is in a great team of managers, wait and kitchen staff.  The longevity of their staff is a testament to their managerial skills and willingness to promote from within.  Their success is shared with local non-profit organizations to include Corpus Christi Metro Ministries who provides shelter, meals and medical and job assistance to the homeless.  The District award entails 14 counties.


The Area Small Business Person of the Year award is presented to Sarah Sagredo-Hammond, Atlas Electrical, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Services, Inc., Alton, Texas.  Atlas prides itself on its top service, energy efficiency of service and installation of HVAC, Duct, Electrical, Generators and Solar Powered products.  Sarah’s parents started the company more than 30 years ago.  Her mother who started the business with her father suffered a stroke in 2010 and was paralyzed.   This is when Sarah took a fulltime leadership role in the company; skills she says, she learned from her parents and her legal background.  Additionally, Sarah contributes her success to the ability to network and get involved in the community.   The Area Award includes counties within the Lower Rio Grande Valley.


Other Small Business Champion winners:


District & Regional:  SBA Young Entrepreneur:  Perla E. Tamez-Lozano, Dynamic Rehab Group, LLC. , Pharr, TX.  Perla won the District award which covers 14 counties as well as a Regional Award which includes five states and 10 district offices.


District Environmental “Green” Conservator: Raciel Juarez, Texas Green Solar & Wind Solutions, LLC, Alamo, TX


District Family-Owned Business of the Year: Neil Westerman, The Man Shop Inc. of McAllen


District Small Business Journalist of the Year: Rick Diaz, KRGV-TV 5, San Juan, TX


District Financial Services Champion of the Year: Armando Arnulfo Martinez, Kingsville Community Federal Credit Union, Kingsville, TX.


Area Financial Services Champion of the Year: S. David Deanda, Jr., Lone Star National Bank.  The Area Award includes counties within the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Mission, TX.


District Minority Small Business Champion of the Year: Cynthia M. Sakulenzki, RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, McAllen, TX.


District Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: Bartolome “Bart” Naciancenov, South Texas Afghanistan Iraq Veterans Association, Harlingen, TX.


District & Regional Women in Business Champion of the Year: Giselle Mascarenhas-Villarreal, Indigo PR, Rio Grande City, TX  Giselle won the District award which covers 14 counties as well as a Regional Award which includes five states and 10 district offices.


District SBDC Advisor of the Year: Janie Caballero, Senior Business Advisor, UPTA-SBDC, Edinburg, TX


District 8(a) Graduate of the Year:  Thelma & Russell Canales, Advantage Electrical Contracting & Maintenance, Inc., Corpus Christi, TX.


SCORE Advisor of the Year: Bill Ranganath, SCORE, McAllen, TX.


Reservations for the Small Business Awards ceremony scheduled for May 9th can be made with Mariana Hernandez at (956) 665-7535.  Reservations are $25 per person.  For sponsorship information, please contact Esperanza Delgado at (956) 665-7537.


Events for National Small Business Week celebration in Washington, D.C., are scheduled for May 12-16, 2014.  For more information and to register, go to www.sba.gov/nsbw.


To find out more information on SBA’s programs and services, visit www.sba.gov or call the LRGV District Office at (956) 427-8533.

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