On May 15, 2024, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will join the Florida SBDC at USF recognizing area businesses at the 2024 Florida SBDC at USF Business Awards Luncheon. The 2024 Business Awards Luncheon recognizes Florida SBDC at USF and U.S. SBA business award winners for their work during 2023. In addition, Florida SBDC at USF team members are recognized for their outstanding work.

The keynote speaker is Andrea Gonzmart Williams. Andrea is the great-great-granddaughter of Casimiro Hernandez Sr., founder of the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City in 1905. Her grandparents were Cesar and Adela Gonzmart, and her parents are Richard & Melanie Gonzmart. Her father, Richard is the President of the Columbia Restaurant Group. Andrea is a member of the fifth generation of the Hernandez-Gonzmart family. She is a 4th generation native Floridian and was born in Tampa.

She began her career at the Columbia Restaurant at the age of 10, by doing filing in the corporate office. By the time she was 12, she was working as a hostess at the Ybor City restaurant and continued working there through high school.

Andrea is a graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names High School in Tampa.

She graduated from the University of South Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science from the College of Business Administration. While she was at USF, she was an active member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.

Andrea joined the family business full time after graduating from USF. Upon graduation, she worked at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City for six weeks of hands-on culinary training in the kitchen; she was the first female to ever work in the Ybor City kitchen.

Andrea works at the corporate office in Ybor City and is actively involved in the operations of all of Columbia Restaurant Group’s restaurants, which include five Columbia Restaurant locations, the Columbia Café at the Tampa Bay History Center and Columbia Restaurant Cafe at Tampa International Airport, Ulele, Goody Goody and Casa Santo Stefano. She is also Director of Operations for Cha Cha Coconuts, a tropical bar and grill in Sarasota also owned by the Columbia Restaurant Group.

Tentative Agenda

11:30 am: Doors Open & Networking

12:00 pm: Event Starts

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm: Florida SBDC Performance Awards, SBDC Business Awards, SBA National Small Business Awards

12:45 pm – 1:05 pm: Keynote

1:05 pm – 1:10 pm: Closing Remarks

1:10 pm – 1:30 pm: Final Networking


USF Marshall Center

4103 USF Cedar Circle

Tampa, FL 33620

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor Suncoast Credit Union and our Silver Sponsors BankUnitedCentral Florida Development Council, TD Bank, SMARTstart A Pasco EDC Program & USF Corporate Training and Professional Education for sponsoring this event.

Interested in sponsoring? Find details now.

2024 Florida SBDC at USF Annual Business Awards

  • Wed, May 15, 2024, 11:30 AM ET
  • Wed, May 15, 2024, 1:30 PM ET

USF Marshall Center
4103 USF Cedar Circle
Tampa, FL 33620