Success Stories

Bob and Renee with Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Coreena Conley in the Lab

          Bob Vermillion, Founder and CEO, and Renee Mitchell, President, own and run RMV Technology Group, an electrostatic discharge (ESD) lab located on the NASA Ames campus, Moffett Field, California.  According to NASA’s website, ESD is a forty billion dollar problem annually.  Because of improper handling, packaging, storage and shipment of ESD devices, validation is a key prerequisite for mitigation of damage to electronics. The RMV test laboratory conducts materials and system level testing and performs research and development for various industry sectors that include aerospace, defense, medical devices, semiconductors, and pharmaceuticals. 

            RMV provides recommendations to minimize ESD damage or failure in all types of environments that range from cleanrooms to harsh environments. Moreover, RMV research improves processes from robotics manufacturing to transporting satellites.

          RMV Technology Group is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned... Read More

Mike Hannigan, President, (left) Sean Marx, CEO (right)

            Long before “sustainability” and “corporate responsibility” became buzz words, Sean Marx and Mike Hannigan brainstormed a way to merge their business savvy with their desire to give back. Already partners in the office supply world, the "Aha! Moment" came as Mike cooked dinner one night. Opening a jar of Newman's Own spaghetti sauce, he thought, "Hey if Paul Newman can do it, so can we!"

            As a result of their ideals and collaboration they have given millions to local nonprofits since 1991.

            Sean Marx began his career in 1988 as a territory sales representative for Ricoh copiers in San Francisco. He quickly became a top performer and was promoted to sales management. Soon after, he was approached by Mike Hannigan with the idea of starting Give Something Back.

            Says Marx, “As a sales manager, I was very successful financially, but I was disillusioned with the priorities of my peers. Focus on material wealth and a lack... Read More

Claudia Folzman and Dave Edgar, Iron Construction, Inc.

Founded in 2001 by Claudia Folzman and Dave Edgar, Iron Construction, Inc. began with the vision of creating a non-traditional commercial general contracting company where executive management was actively involved with projects and clients. It is this vision that has shaped the core values of Iron Construction, placing the highest importance on client relationships.

As demand for Iron Construction’s services increased, Folzman and Edgar decided to build a permanent home for their company instead of continuing to rent a facility. Partnering with Bay Area Development Company and Wells Fargo Bank, they purchased a 27,000 square foot space in Sunnyvale in 2013 and began extensive renovations that include utilizing geothermal energy built to LEED Gold standards. In addition to being extremely energy efficient, the new location gives Folzman and Edgar the room they need to double their workforce over time.

Iron Construction places high importance on caring: being socially... Read More

Nancy Charraga

            Nancy Charraga is passionate about fair trade imports, preserving Mexican traditions, and working with indigenous artisans.  Nancy came to the US from Chiapas, Mexico. It shows in her business, a Mexican folk art store.  She sells folk art, jewelry, clothing, and party decorations. 

            Nancy started selling Casa Bonampak merchandise at street fairs in 1996. Her business evolved into a storefront at 24th and Mission streets, en el Corazon de la Mision (in the heart of the Mission) in San Francisco. She outgrew the space, and moved her business to a bigger space on Valencia Street.  Her clients have ranged from wedding parties to tech startups.  She offers custom orders, retail, wholesale, and online.

            Nancy got help to improve her business through the Women's Initiative for Self Employment, a Women’s Business Center supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She started in flea markets but it wasn’t until she went through the... Read More