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Success Stories

From Plastics to Corn and Bamboo Made Products

As the founder and CEO, Virginia P’an has a long term global vision for Yumi EcoSolutions, Inc. That is to create a healthier world now and for future generations by replacing the plastics with eco-friendly natural green products made from corn and bamboo.

In 2010,  Virginia P’an incorporated Yumi  EcoSolutions , Inc. and started the houseware and tabletop products business with her husband Albert P’an in Norwalk, CT. Yumi means  “corn” in Chinese and “beautiful” in Japanese. In July,  2012, Yumi EcoSolutions, Inc.  received the Small Business Express Loan of $250,000 with a matching grant of $100,000 from the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Working with partners in China, P’an developed two main products of new innovative materials of corn and bamboo, that are sold now in more than a thousand retail stores in 26 states across the country and abroad.

The 1st main product line is called Yumi Return®. It is a replacement for... Read More

Heather Conley

Like millions of other business people in 2009, Heather Conley found herself fielding the brunt of the Great Recession.   As a corporate operation professional at Stanley Works, in New Britain, Connecticut for five years and another 20 in the marketing field, Conley was hit with the news of an impending layoff.    Viewing this as a chance for career reset, she reactivated a long-held desire to work for herself, skipped the usual panic, and handled the would–be crisis with a strategic plan, and unconventional implementation.

 A hint about her future surfaced after befriending a freelance commercial photographer, whom she had met at Stanley, when they collaborated on a photo shoot.    She was attracted by his creative experience and the variety of his work.  Conley, a photography enthusiast, hooked since getting her first point and shoot camera in 2005, began wondering if she could convert her hobby into a freelance career.  

Shortly after their initial conversation,... Read More

One can certainly say that Kelly Fisher is determined when it comes to taking her business - Kelly Construction Services, Inc., to the next level. Ms. Fisher started her business exactly ten years ago in Enfield, CT as a sole proprietor. Kelly Construction Services Inc. specializes in tanks, buildings, and custom construction. 

Approximately two years ago, Ms. Fisher went through the application process for 8(a) certification and her application was declined.  She did this process on her own,  as she did not work with the SBA CT District Office at that time nor was she a client of Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Program (CT-PTAP) yet. One of the programs rules are if a firm’s 8a application is declined, the firm can reapply but has to wait a full year before doing so.

Thus begins the complex navigation into the world of federal contracting. In February of 2015, Ms. Fisher reached out to CT-PTAP’s Nicole Melville and SBA’s CT District Office’s, Lisa Powell... Read More

Small Biz Success After Leaving the Military

Walt Medina and Associates was established in August 2003 and is owned and operated by Walt Medina, the company’s is guided by its creed, Building Companies, One Placement at a Time.

For over 20 years Walt Medina served his country as a member of the United States Air Force. During his time in the Air Force he was trained to be a recruiter in the Medical field specializing in recruiting Doctors, Nurses, and other medical professionals looking to serve in the Air Force. Medina has  been acknowledged as one of the top recruiters in the United States Air Force as he went on to serve for over 20 years before retiring. After his retirement Medina went on to work for a personnel firm in Connecticut, where he was also honored as a top recruiting executive. After working for the Air Force and other personnel firms, he decided to start his own small business and he and a fellow Air Force recruiter established a company called Lighthouse Recruiting Group. As the company moved forward... Read More