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South Florida District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

Pciture of Luisa Santos, owner of Lulu's Nitrogen Ice Cream standing in her shop

Ice cream has long been one of Luisa Santos’ favorite things.  As the nitrogen-frozen ice cream trend intensified, she made her first batch during her last semester at Georgetown University.  In November 2014, she also incorporated nitrogen into a business pitch, winning the Startup Hoya Challenge Rocket Pitch, along with a cash prize, just days after whipping up that first batch.  That cash prize kick-started the first stage of her business.  Santos sold the nitrogen-frozen ice cream outside her dorm at Georgetown, served it at events she catered there, and even hosted an ice cream stand at a local farmer’s market.

“I learned about using liquid nitrogen to freeze ice cream and saw an opportunity to use this method to bring ice cream back to the basics,” said Santos. “But I needed someone to give me advice, to help with the challenges of getting an idea off the ground.” That happened when Santos returned home to Miami.

In a move she describes as “serendipitous,” she... Read More

Natalia Vorozheykin began her business because she realized there was a growing demand for a construction company that would consistently stay on the top of high quality performance and yield on-time delivery by providing added value, solutions and strong results. Wishing to capitalize on this opportunity, she quickly identified target markets, secured working capital, and advanced to incorporate a full construction operations enterprise, Atlantic Icon, Corp. in 2005.

Natalia admits that she faced multiple challenges entering into the construction industry; although she takes pride in navigating as a successful female CEO in an industry where there were few peers, she offers that it is not an insurmountable achievement.

Natalia determined early on that in order to be accepted in this highly competitive male dominant industry she would have to bring a strong mindset, talent, knowledge and a hard work ethic to the table.  She also strongly believes that the remedy to... Read More

Sally Villalba and Pete De la Torre,  “Pete De La Torre Business Hour

There are people who are all talk and no action.  Pete De La Torre isn’t one of them.  You can truly say he is all talk and action.

As the host of Miami, Fla.’s only daily business news radio show, Pete’s business is helping people get and stay into business.   He is a one-of-a-kind communicator who takes a great deal of pride in reinventing small businesses through communication, training and professional speaking services.  He was awarded the 2015 State of Florida and SBA South Florida Small Business Media Advocate of the Year.

“Before I started my radio show, I was the executive director of the Doral Business Council where I helped grow our membership from 45 members to more than 700 in just six years.  Many of our members were small business owners with dreams and goals of success,” said Pete.

Raised in Miami from the age of five, the son of Cuban immigrant parents, Pete considers himself a hometown boy.

“This city is representative of everything... Read More

Lisa Crites, Founder and President of The Shower Shirt

Lisa Crites never set out to save the world but she is making it her business to help breast cancer survivors and other surgery patients recover feel a little better about themselves.

Lisa is the owner of Melbourne, Fla.’s “The Shower Shirt Co.” and creator of the first (and only) water-resistant mastectomy garment on the US market.  She fought breast cancer and with her business, obviously isn’t done fighting.

“The fact of the matter is, The Shower Shirt product was never created for me.  It was created for my friends, family members, your friends, your family members, and all of those individuals who will be diagnosed with this devastating disease titled breast cancer,” Lisa said about her product.

The idea for her Shower Shirt came at possibly the toughest and lowest point in her life.  It was the summer of 2009 and having lost her mother in an automobile accident two years previous, Lisa lay in a hospital bed following double mastectomy surgery.  She felt... Read More