Success Stories

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Andrew “Andy” Harold, President, A. Harold and Associates (AHA) has grown from a one-man operation to a multi-million dollar business with over 260 employees in 13 years.  AHA is a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVOB), 8(a)/Small Disadvantaged Business certified firm which provides training, logistics, support services, and construction products or solutions for government and other entities. Harold received his B.A. in Piano Performance from Oberlin College, but he couldn’t have guessed that his calling would be as a business owner at that time.  He later served in the United States Navy as helicopter pilot after attending flight school.  He was stationed in Jacksonville as part of his final tour of duty and eventually began to work for a defense contractor specializing in multimedia training for helicopters in 2001.

Harold started his own small business on the side in 2003 when the contract he was working on was set to expire. The business was... Read More

Photo of Kelly Munoz

Jacksonville, FLA. -  Kelly Munoz, President, Central Southern Construction (CSC), has grown the company from a 2-person operation to a multi-million dollar business with 72 employees within 7 years of starting. CSC is a heavy civil federal contractor and a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program since 2012.

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses, designed to help them compete in the federal contracting arena. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Visit the SBA website for more information on the 8(a) Business Development program.

Many firms start out selling their services at the local or state levels, but Munoz started CSC with the intention of serving the federal Government as the primary client.  Munoz is a Civil Engineer... Read More

Sarah Blake Elipsis Engineering and Consulting

Orlando, FLA. -  Sarah Blake, President, Elipsis Engineering & Consulting, recently won the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) State of Florida Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. Blake attended George Mason University, and was interviewing with one of Orlando’s largest employers after graduating in 2002 but she accepted a position with a large engineering firm because the interview process was so lengthy. 

Armed with a business degree and a drive to succeed, Blake rapidly climbed the ranks at the company. Blake was promoted to project manager, over contracts worth several million dollars within a year of being employed.  Blake felt that she reached her career growth potential after 5 years at the large engineering firm and accepted a position at a smaller engineering firm as the service operations manager responsible for the day to day business operations as well as project/contract management and oversight.  In 2009, Blake found herself like many others in... Read More

National Exporters

Gainesville, FLA. -  David P. Bello, Sr., founder and CEO of Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc.  (ERPI) started the business in 1997. ERPI is a full-service precision manufacturing facility of 15 employees based in Newberry, Florida. Prior to opening his own business, he worked and eventually became a partner in his father’s manufacturing business in South Florida. The company served as a general machine shop for Motorola and several aerospace companies in South Florida. Bello was recently named the National Small Business Exporter of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration. He shared the title with John Hartnett, Vice President of Global Business Development and David Bello, Jr., General Manager.

Bello started ERPI after he learned of an opportunity to serve companies that needed a reliable supply of third party endoscope repair and replacement products.  ERPI manufactures aftermarket products for repairing rigid and flexible endoscopes. Traditionally, endoscope... Read More