Success Stories

Enterforce: SBA's 2014 Small Business Person of the Year Runner-up 

Marie O’Brien was working at an engineering staffing firm in 2001 and saw an opportunity.  Most staffing decisions were influenced more by the proximity of vendors than by the benefit to the clients’ bottom line. Could she create a model that better served clients?  The answer became yes. O’Brien established Enterforce in 2001. As she was preparing to start her business, she turned to SCORE to help lay the groundwork, consulting extensively with SCORE mentor John Patzke. He helped her in all aspects of developing the business, including structure, bylaws, financial issues, developing a business plan and more. He also connected her to her accountant and banker as well as other professionals. Marie attributes her tremendous success to the early work she did with SCORE.

Ultimately, Marie developed the “Enterforce Advantage”, a business model that creates value for her customers by providing a vendor-... Read More

Jagemann Stamping Company is a third-generation family-owned manufacturing business founded in 1946 by the grandfather of CEO Tom Jagemann. It is a leading maker of deep drawn, progressive, and fine blanked stampings. In September 2000, Jagemann Stamping moved to a 172,000 square-foot, state of the art manufacturing facility in Manitowoc. It was able to improve efficiency and diversify its product offerings to its growing customer base by expanding and upgrading its presses.

Like many manufacturers, Jagemann experienced challenging times during the recent recession and found the debt associated with the new facility a burden in light of decreased sales. In 2012, Tom Jagemann and company President Ralph Hardt saw an opportunity to refinance the existing real estate and equipment debt and restructure the company's balance sheet through use of the SBA’s Temporary 504 Refinance program.

This crucial step enabled the firm to access significant working capital and further... Read More

Debbie Hamedi, Owner Electro-Connect Inc

Electro-Connect Incorporated benefits from hard work, unique strategy and SBA counseling.  When it comes to running her company, Debbie Hamedi is not afraid of a little competition.

“We shine best with projects others shy away from tackling,” Debbie said.

Debbie and her husband, Hassan, are the owners of Electro-Connect Inc., a contract manufacturing company that specializes in complex medical and industrial electronic assemblies. Electro-Connect began more than 25 years ago with a single order.  Production took place in the basement of the Hamedi’s home.

That single order spawned an innovative company that has produced products for NASA’s space station and developed anesthetic gas monitors for use in operation rooms.

“In a nutshell, we’re reinventing the product development process,” Debbie said.

In order to better complement Electro-Connect, Debbie and her husband founded an engineering firm: D&H Global Enterprises. Through D&H, the... Read More

Region V Administrator, Markowitz at Anguil

Anguil is the 2013 SBA Wisconsin and Region 5 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business Award winner. Anguil Environmental Systems is a family-owned business that has transitioned very successfully to second-generation management.  Gene Anguil started the business in the 1970s, and with his eldest son, Jeff, developed a line of air pollution control products to help manufacturers meet EPA-mandated emission standards.  With Gene’s manufacturing and engineering acumen and Jeff’s sales vision, the company flourished and had reached $10 million in sales when it hit a crisis point.

Jeff’s tragic illness and death in 1992 brought the firm to a time of transition and difficulty as sales slumped. Gene turned again to his family, daughter Deb and son Chris, to ask for their help in re-focusing the business. Both were well suited to the challenge, with Deb drawing on her MBA and sports competition background to take on operating the business; while Chris was made Vice President of... Read More