Staff members recognized for 2015 contributions to regional success
TAMPA (June 30, 2016) – The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida announced its 2015 Regional employee award winners on Thursday, June 30. The award winners qualify for the Florida SBDC Network awards. State winners will be announced in September 2016 at the America’s SBDC National Conference, to be held in Orlando. Award winners are:
Consultant of the Year – Javier Marin
Javier Marin has been with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for three years. He specializes in growth acceleration and finance consulting services.
In 2015, Javier exceeded his consulting hours goal, with a total of 1,011 total hours. In addition, 774 of those hours were spent with SMEs, for a 76 percent segmentation. He consulted in the areas of start-up assistance, business plan, market/growth, capital access and financial management.
Javier participated as the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) Fellow for the state. He worked in Merida, Mexico, for two weeks and hosted the Mexican Fellow in Tampa for two weeks, while exceeding his billability goals.
He continued assisting the international team by leading the export risk/finance class as well as getting more familiar with export financials and export finance.
Javier established and maintained the FSBDC at USF’s presence with various Lakeland/Polk County stakeholders.
Employee of the Year – Natalie Matches
Natalie Matches is the liaison between the Florida SBDC at USF and host institution, Muma College of Business. Natalie takes care of all travel paperwork and as the PCard approver, she works her magic to process all forms with diligence to send through the USF financial systems.
With 10 counties and more than 20 staff members, she is instrumental in keeping the paperwork flowing for reimbursement. She meets with the staff monthly to keep them updated on proper policy changes and protocol and is always lending a helping hand with new staff members to fill out forms.
Natalie served as part of the QIP Team in 2015. Her knowledge of USF procedures and processes was essential during the review of sub-center documents. Her attention to detail in her notes and financial review was instrumental in the final write-up of our QIP reports.
Although Natalie works on campus, her dedication to the team has been remarkable. Her financial background and experience with travel and PCard processes has been crucial to Florida SBDC at USF’s success.
Volunteer of the Year – Greg Sikosek
Greg Sikosek started supporting the Florida SBDC at USF in 2006 during the 20th Annual Government Small Business Conference. His commitment then, and now, is to help make this event the best. His engagement with the FSBDC at USF has been key in securing annual conference sponsorships and he has spent countless hours helping make the annual government conference a success.
He acknowledges the value FSBDC at USF represents to area small businesses. As Supply Chain Compliance Officer for Raytheon, he knows that FSBDC at USF consulting is of great impact. He supports other organizations that encourage and build minority-owned businesses as well. He’s been a great partner during the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council’s annual conference.
As an Army Veteran and procurement professional of over 25 years, Greg knows the value of teamwork, cooperation, leadership, and involvement.
Outstanding Resource Partner – USF CONNECT
USF CONNECT is part of the business and economic initiative for the University of South Florida that provides support for technology start-ups.
With Incubator Director Stephanie Ashley’s understanding of the value provided through Florida SBDC at USF consulting and her experience as a long-term economic development professional, she was able to support this partnership by providing access to two offices at USF CONNECT. One of these offices is sponsored by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council Inc. With ongoing presence at USF CONNECT, FSBDC at USF consultants are able to support incubator members through their development stages.
In 2014 the Entrepreneurial Certificate Program (ECP) was introduced. This training program took the Start-up Series and adapted some of its content to meet the special needs of technology incubator members. Today, all new student incubator members must participate of this training as part of their acceptance into the program. USF CONNECT provides new student incubator members with scholarships to attend the program.
Student Project of the Year – Volt-Air Consulting Engineers
The Florida SBDC at USF assisted a USF MBA student team to find a client company in the Fall semester of 2015. This team was led by Hilary Lehman, a Muma College of Business employee in her last semester of her MBA. The student team immediately engaged with VoltAir Consulting Engineers and owner, Julius Davis, and began their work.
Over a period of 16 weeks, the student team spent 449.25 hours meeting with Julius and working on his strategic plan. The students interviewed not only Julius, but his executive staff and employees.
The team was comprised of several individuals who excelled at marketing and Matt Fehr, who excelled in finance. The team reviewed operations as well as financials, and formulated action plans based on their findings. They came up with interesting and new perspectives on what markets to target, namely healthcare and entertainment. “They did an awesome job with researching our industry and developed some great strategic planning ideas for VoltAir! I have been referencing their findings as I update our business plan and marketing strategies,” Julius said.
About the FSBDC Network
The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.