Success Stories

Brian Walser started his plumbing business with a load of ambition and a pickup, working out of his house.  Today, Brian’s Plumbing is one of the largest plumbing companies in Wichita Falls, Texas, thanks in part to the advice and encouragement from America’s Small Business Development Center at Midwestern State University (MSU SBDC) in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“It has been exciting to watch Brian’s Plumbing grow and to assist them throughout the years with advice and encouragement,” said Vanda Cullar, Regional Director, MSU SBDC.

Brian and his wife Diane started Brian’s Plumbing in 1984 with a truck full of tools, a pager and a roll of quarters.  Brian would drive to a pay phone, call Diane and get directions to the next job.

Communication has progressed from the pay phone to cell phones for each plumber.  Each job is sent via text message by the dispatcher in the office to the plumber. 

Back in the day, Brian worked day and night and never turned down a... Read More

Marcus and Eddilisa Martin, owners of 2M Research

Dr. Marcus Martin, owner and CEO of 2M Research Services, is in the right zip code for business.  It was seven years ago when he sat at his kitchen table and created the perfect recipe for a thriving business that today has created 56 jobs and has been awarded federal contracts in excess of $10 million dollars. In addition to the high quality work he and his staff perform, his success has a lot to do with his company’s zip code.

A former college professor, Dr. Martin has a knack for research. His investigation uncovered the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  In 1997, Congress put SBA in charge of this program to help high-unemployment and low-income areas by funneling three percent of all federal contracts to small businesses in these locations. Bingo.  

Now in the right zip code, Martin mixed in his company’s unique products to produce a business that is in hot demand for at least 13... Read More

Triple B Foods in Richardson

Rob Gokey of Triple B Foods in Richardson, Texas was named 2016 Dallas/Fort Worth Exporter of the Year. His father established the company in 1981 as a meat trading business. Rob joined Triple B following an early career in the construction industry. He runs the company and handles all of the day-to-day operations. In December of 2014, Triple B Food received a $3.5 million SBA-guaranteed Export Working Capital loan to export American beef, pork and poultry products to food processors and distributors in Mexico. Currently, exports to Mexico make up approximately 60 percent of Triple B’s business and during the last 10-plus years, Mexican export sales have increased on average 20 to 30 percent per year for the company. Triple B Foods now has grown to 7 employees. Small businesses like Triple B Foods are the unsung heroes of America.

Gene Ponder

Gene Ponder is the founder of Master WoodCraft Cabinetry in Marshall, Texas. Ponder started his first business with only 10 employees in 1974. Ponder later sold the business in 2004 to Republic Industries, which made the company the sixth-largest kitchen cabinet manufacturer in the U.S. going from 10 to 2,200 employees expanding in three states and Canada. Ponder chose to retire at 68. He then started Master WoodCraft Cabinetry. His new company has about 450 employees. Ponder said that through the years, he was able to rely on the SBA with loans to help start his company and make it grow. "We are one of the few who repaid fully each of these loans before they were due. SBDC Kilgore was instrumental in the last loan, where most banks with so many troubled assets were of little help" said Ponder. Ponder was named the D/FW District’s 2015 Entrepreneurial Success of the Year.

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