Success Stories

Moises Montanez

Many graduates of SBA’s “Emerging Leaders” classes talk about an “Ah Ha!” moment when the lessons, lectures and course work seem to suddenly light up a new path of understanding that will take student business to greater levels.

Moises Montanez, owner of Miami’s Alta Home Remodeling, knows that feeling.  As one of 13 students in SBA South Florida District’s inaugural Emerging Leaders Class, he is in the process of remodeling his general contracting business with the knowledge he gained from the class.

“Before the class, my business was four employees working on personal homes.  I knew I wanted to grow and I wanted to penetrate the public sector but didn’t know how to do it,” said Montanez.

Moises learned about Emerging Leaders from a Miami-Dade SCORE chapter newsletter.  Alta Home Remodeling fit the profile of businesses sought:  revenues in excess of $400 thousand; been in business for more than three years and had more than one employee besides himself.  He... Read More

Moses Harvin

When Moses Harvin retired from the U.S. Army at Patrick Air Force Base near Melbourne, Fla. in 1995, he joined the ranks of 1.6 million veterans who made Florida home.  He found work with a local contractor who did the best thing for him.

With less than one year on the job, Harvin was fired.

“I always wanted to run a big corporation and I shared my thoughts and dreams with my boss.  One Friday he called me into his office and told me I no longer had a job at the company.  But he told me that I could call him anytime for advice and guidance.  He was my boss but he became my mentor,” Harvin recalled.

Harvin started his own business, American Services Technology, Inc. (ASTI) in 1995.  Today, with the help of his wife Emma, he continues to serve both his community and clients with the same success and dedication as he did in the Army.  ASTI provides a wide spectrum of services to both government and commercial  businesses.  The laundry list of services include... Read More

Founder/President Bob Scaringe

Entrepreneur and President/Founder of Mainstream Engineering Robert Scaringe was provided more than $61 million in venture capital over the last 25 years. This investment allowed him to develop and manufacture approximately 26 products and launch three other companies.

Who is the venture capitalist that allowed Scaringe to start and grow businesses and create jobs? It’s Uncle Sam—the federal government—and financing is made possible through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Scaringe is one of south Florida’s most successful business owners among thousands nationwide who have taken advantage of the 30-year-old federal program.

“The U.S. government is a great venture capitalist,” said Scaringe. “They provide you with capital and they don’t want any control of your company. They help you develop a product if your product will help the government.”

The SBIR program encourages small businesses to handle federal research and development with an... Read More

Patricia Bonilla

Miami-based Lunacon Engineering Group has something in common with widely-successful businesses like Harley Davidson, Apple Computer, and Disney.

Like these ubiquitous companies, owner and President Patricia Bonilla started Lunacon Engineering in her garage.

“I was the head of the city of Fort Lauderdale’s Construction Management division and I decided to take a leap-of-faith and start my own business,” said owner Patricia Bonilla.

Lunacon engineering was formed in 2007 at the depths of a national financial crisis.  Bonilla’s vision for her company was to deliver a broad range of construction management and general contracting services.  The company’s overarching mission would be built on the principles of hard work, building trust and dedication to getting the job done on time and on budget.  This would ultimately translate to small business success.  Personal faith also guided Bonilla and her partner in creating the company.

 “From my time working in... Read More