Success Stories

Juan Carlos Lopez, President of NEMA Associates

LINDEN, NJ--- Imagine driving along the highway, when all of a sudden traffic comes to a complete standstill. You are stuck, with no place to go.

That’s exactly what happened to small business owner Juan Carlos Lopez.  Only he wasn’t in his car.  He was in his office when he noticed his business was at an impasse. 

You see, for over 20 years the founder and owner of NEMA Associates, with his wife Claudia, had carved out a niche market by providing advertising and marketing services to major Hispanic companies like Goya, Condal, La Fe, La Flor and many others.

In 1993, he walked away from a successful corporate career with a coffee roaster company in Hoboken to start NEMA Associates. “I had the corporate privileges, but I wasn’t satisfied,” said Lopez.  “I saw firsthand in my previous job that the ethnic market was much underserved.  So I started with the idea of focusing on the Hispanic market.”

So he set up shop in the basement of his Old Bridge home. ... Read More

Leonard Moon of US Organic Group Corp

PASSAIC, NJ---Leonard Moon will tell you that a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration was the remedy for his itch for success.

Moon, who worked for Fortune 100 companies managing hedge and mutual funds left it all behind in 2011 to start US Organic Group Corp. a Passaic-based company that started with an organic anti-itch balm and has since expanded its product line to include organic repellents, organic body oils and organic baby oils.

“I was looking for a challenge,” said Moon.  He found it when his friend told him about an organic anti-itch balm she developed for her son, who had a serious itching problem and eczema.  After trying several over the counter products on the market, her home remedy quickly made her son’s itching much better and eventually cured. 

 After hearing her story, Moon thought there was a business in the making.  “My friend and I formed a partnership,” said Moon.  “She focuses on product development and I take care of the day... Read More

Milton Herrera, owner of Milherton Commercial Flooring of Fairview, NJ

FAIRVIEW, NJ---As far as Milton Herrera is concerned, when it comes to success his flooring company has no ceiling.  Herrera is the owner of Milherton Commercial Flooring a Fairview–based company that specializes in supplying and installing commercial flooring to customers in the New York metropolitan area.

For Herrera, his journey to entrepreneurship started back when he was a young boy growing up in El Salvador.  “I inherited my entrepreneurial spirit from my grandmother,” said Herrera.  “She taught me never to make excuses and that you can basically survive with anything you can imagine, create or fix.  I remember going into the woods and chopping trees and selling the wood.”

When he immigrated into the United States 14 years ago at the age of 23, he brought that same entrepreneurial spirit with him. “I came here not knowing how to speak a word of English, but that didn’t deter me from pursuing my dream of owning a business.”

He started working for a... Read More

Christina Dorando, owner of Cresthill Academy

EAST HANOVER, NJ---Christina Dorando knows something about the ABCs of success.  As the owner of two child care facilities, Ms. Dorando likes to say, “We’re changing the way people look at early education.”

For Ms. Dorando, it has become her passion and a labor of love.  Before embarking on a career as an entrepreneur in early education, she had set her sights on conducting policy work for the UN or a NGO.  “Initially I was interested in a career in Policy & Management and International Relations, which is what I earned my undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon,” said Ms. Dorando. “However, while at Harvard University, where I earned my Masters in International Educational Policy, my focus changed.”

She was working as a consultant for an industry leader in higher education that provided its clients with research, data, consulting, and advisory services.  About the same time, the recession hit hard and Ms. Dorando asked herself, “What do I do now?”

“My... Read More