Success Stories

Nominated by: Sharon Stratton, WV Small Business Development Center

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Director, Karen Friel is excited to announce Ralph and Amelia Garcia, owners of Garcia’s Latin Market (GLM), as the SBA West Virginia 2016 Encore Entrepreneur of the Year.  The Garcia’s were nominated for the award by Sharon Stratton, Business Coach for the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.

Ralph Garcia, one-third of GLM’s ownership team and West Virginia native, found entrepreneurship later in life. He started his career in Texas as a teacher and coach. West Virginia brought him home when his daughter enrolled at West Virginia University and he landed a vice principal position in the Albert Gallatin School District. The other two-thirds of the ownership team, his wife Amy and daughter Jennifer presented Ralph with an idea that would drastically change his career.

The Garcia family regularly hosted WVU international... Read More

Nominated by: Sam Payne, WV Small Business Development Center

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Director, Karen Friel is excited to announce Nesha Sanghavi, founder of University Girls, as the SBA West Virginia 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year.  Sanghavi was nominated for the award by Sam Payne, Business Coach for the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.

Sanghavi, born and raised in Charleston where her company is located, founded the company immediately after graduating Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University where she majored in Finance and Economics. She followed the traditional post college path and took a job in Pittsburgh as a financial analyst. After realizing her true passion she left her full-time job and enrolled in Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City and received an AAS degree in Fashion Marketing. She graduated and interned in Germany with PUMA, a sports and lifestyle brand. Following her... Read More

Nominated by: Shannon Proud, Agile5 Technologies Inc.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Director, Karen Friel is excited to announce Lisa Fritsch, President and CEO of Agile5 Technologies, as the SBA West Virginia 2016 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.  Fritch was nominated for the award by Shannon Proud of Agile5 Technologies.

Agile5 Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2011 and is a systems architecture and software development firm that specializes in enterprise software system for the US Government. Their base office is located here in Fairmont and they have nearly 20 employees.

Fritsch was in awe of her mother’s career growing up. She saw how having a career and being a mother made her a strong woman that could take care of herself and her family financially. This is what she strived to be like when she grew up.

Mission accomplished – Fritsch is now the CEO of a growing company that is meeting and exceeding their... Read More

Nominated by: Susannah Higgins, WV Small Business Development Center

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Director, Karen Friel is excited to announce Francisco Guerrero, Owner of El Rey Mexican Restaurant, as the SBA West Virginia 2016 Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year.  Guerrero was nominated for the award by Susannah Higgins, Business Coach for the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.

Guerrero opened the restaurant in 2010 and prides his business in offering authentic Mexican food with outstanding customer service.   He moved to Los Angeles about 22 years ago from Mexico. While in Mexico he was a leather craftsman by trade. He found an opportunity to work in the restaurant business and moved to north central WV 13 years ago. He was successful in making his dream to own a business a reality.

“The best part of owning a small business is the friends I get to make along the way,” states Guerrero.

Guerrero... Read More

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