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SBA Names Eastern Pa. 8(a) Graduate of Year May 4 at noon

Urban Harvest Partnership, LLC dba UHP Wireless Networks leverages SBA programs to grow, succeed
Release Date: 
Friday, April 28, 2017
Advisory Number: 
20170428-001
Contact: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 | robert.goza@sba.gov

EASTERN Pa.– U.S. Small Business Administration Director Antonio (Tony) Leta officially introduces the Eastern Pennsylvania 2017 8(a) Graduate of the Year, Urban Harvest Partnership, LLC dba UHP Wireless Networks with firm principals John Cureton and Jonathan Ford May 4 at noon.

WHO:     Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director

                 John Cureton, Principal, Urban Harvest Partnership, LLC dba UHP Wireless Networks 

                 Jonathan Ford, Principal, Urban Harvest Partnership, LLC dba UHP Wireless Networks

                 Invited: Local, state and federal officials

WHAT:   Urban Harvest Partnership, LLC dba UHP Wireless Networks introduced as 2017 Eastern Pennsylvania 8(a) Graduate of the Year; interview and photo opportunities

WHEN:    May 4 at noon

WHERE: 6050 Osage Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143-1122 

“It’s an honor to recognize the accomplishments of our small business communities,” Leta said. “The successes John and Jonathan have had provide an excellent example of a small business that starts, grows and goes on to great things. Leveraging SBA programs, for example using the 8(a) program as a springboard into government contracting, is one of the many ways SBA is proud to be a part of small business successes stories that drive our nation’s economy.”

Technology services firm Urban Harvest Partnership, Inc. is a formidable contender in the ever-advancing technology services industry, courtesy of its traditional computer networking expertise, focus on next-generation technologies and wireless networking, as well as its strong connections to its West Philadelphia neighborhood. With decades of combined industry experience between the firm's two principals, the Urban Harvest team delivers clients innovative technology solutions supported by a detailed project analysis setting it apart from the competition.

“As trained technology professionals with abundant practical experience, our team members take control of their own career paths, advance our company’s professional mission, and fuel the local economy,” Ford said. “Many of the firm’s successes over the years are closely linked to taking part in SBA programs and services, including the 8(a) and Emerging Leaders programs.”

SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training initiative specifically focusing on executives of businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The initiative provides these executives with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities.

UHP has had two SBA-backed loans and regularly participates in seminars held by SBA and the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers at Temple University and Burlington County College in New Jersey. Cureton and Ford, who are also graduates of the Emerging Leaders program (formerly known as E-200), feel those courses led to their successful GSA Schedule 70 and 8(a) Business Development Program applications.

SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses offering a broad scope of assistance to firms owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.

 “Our core business is in the design, deployment and maintenance of IT network infrastructure for private and public entities. Our niche is in identifying new growth technology, training and getting in front of projects quickly,” Cureton said. “Attending SBA courses in government contracting and the peer-to-peer mentoring structure of the Emerging Leaders course was a great, positive experience.” 

Ford was born and raised in Philadelphia. He attended Central High School, where he was class president for two consecutive years and an all-star football athlete. After graduation he attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he participated in the varsity football program and helped the Penn Quakers win an Ivy League Championship. After graduation, he began his professional career in New York City at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specializing in information technology for financial services companies. Ford was then hired by one of his clients, Chase Manhattan Bank, and after a stint on Wall Street returned to management consulting and the Philadelphia area. Ford was director of Payments Consulting Services for one of the nation’s leading providers of commercial lending systems and solutions to the banking industry. He remains closely tied to his community and leads financial matters and government relations for UHP.

Cureton was raised in Connecticut, attended Fairfield College Preparatory School and the University of Pennsylvania. Deciding to use his technical skills for a career in IT professional solutions, he began database marketing with The Mills Corporation and later with Comcast Corporation. His technical skills led to a position as a business analyst tasked with managing a sales team and improving processes and procedures through technology to create more efficient operations. At Canon USA, he managed technology projects and support for various clients including the City of Philadelphia and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He is a WLAN specialist for indoor and outdoor wireless projects and is certified in wireless solutions. He has implemented solutions from Cisco, HP ProCurve, Aruba, Meru and others and is the technology and project implementation lead for UHP.

As a regional and local recognition of the Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week award winners, this event recognizes the achievements of small business and its advocates in eastern Pennsylvania,” said Leta. “Every year award winners, like John and Jonathan are honored because they have truly distinguished themselves. Firms like theirs, UHP Wireless Networks, represent the very best that the eastern Pennsylvania small business community has to offer.”

SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania 8(a) Graduate of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties. These events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta will present the Small Business Week Awards at the annual “SBA Awards” event May 24. The event is open to the media. The “SBA Awards” recognition event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on May 24 with the awards ceremony followed by dinner and networking at the Manor House at Prophecy Creek Park, 205 West Skippack Pike (Rte. 73), Ambler, Pa. 19002. SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania. These events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy.

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To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or robert.goza@sba.gov.Cosponsorship Authorization #17-0303-67. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact: Patricia Kratz, 610-382-3081 or patricia.kratz@sba.gov.