Success Stories

Iris Cherng is the CEO of Honey Belle in Brea, CA. The business was started in 2015 by Cherng and her boyfriend, Calvin Hang, COO, when they were just 21 years old to provide clean, organic skin care products at an affordable price. In April of 2019, Cherng was accepted into the first Emerging Leaders cohort in Orange County where she has been building an actionable strategic growth plan along with 19 other local small business owners.

Raised by parents who are both holistic doctors of natural medicine, Cherng understands the benefits certain plants and herbs offer the skin. With the guidance of her mother, Cherng started experimenting with recipes to combat adult onset psoriasis she developed while attending college. The results were amazing, and she shared her products with friends. What started as a hobby quickly transformed into a business opportunity and Honey Belle was born.

Honey Belle is a natural and organic skin care company that sells products online and at... Read More

Stearns Product Development doing business as Proluxe opened in 1971 in Perris, CA. Forty-eight years later, the Raio family has built a legacy of success and innovation for three generations. The family-owned business originally opened as a job shop and focused on manufacturing automotive, construction, aerospace, and industrial products. In the 1980’s, an experiment using a shirt press as a pizza dough press worked so well the company decided to refocus their vision and change directions—talk about innovative! The job shop eventually transitioned to a food equipment manufacturing business and became a leader with patented pizza presses known as Proluxe.

Started nearly five decades ago by Gene Raio, the company is now led by second generation owner, CEO Steve Raio along with his son, Chief Marketing Officer Scott Raio.  Over the years, Proluxe has overcome challenges, expanded their operations, and taken advantage of international business opportunities. The Great... Read More

Mark Vaca started his business career in the limousine industry. By chance, he became the driver of choice for a successful general contractor. Eventually, that general contractor encouraged him to join the construction firm as a project coordinator. Mark spent two decades honing his expertise in the construction industry, while paying thoughtful attention to the opportunities available through the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. In 2015, he established OCS Construction Services, Inc. a full-service general construction 8(a) company specializing in tenant improvements, renovations, remodels and rehabilitations for federal and other government clients. 

In 2016, Mark entered into an SBA Mentor-Protégé Agreement that led to three successful 8(a) Joint Venture contracts. When the third JV contract was completed in April 2018, Mark and OCS were ready to move forward independently of their mentor. Unfortunately, he faced federal budget delays and a slow summer putting him... Read More

Cathy Volpe, owner of HB Staffing knows a thing or two about helping businesses of all kinds to staff the best people. Her company was started quite by accident 19 years ago while working for an international staffing university when she was asked to set up training and consulting. Connecting, serving and helping people is something Cathy is passionate about so helping other companies with staffing came easy to her. Her own company grew year over year but faced headwinds during the recession of 2008 where she found her successful and growing economy driven business slow to a walk. Hiring good internal salespeople was critical to her success and during this time they were hard to find. She found that the recession ultimately gave her opportunity to hire strong people and make some great corporate steals.

Always looking to improve the business, help develop her employees and herself, Cathy invested in all these areas and continues to do so. She certified her business with the... Read More