Florida SBDC at USF Announces Regional 2017 Award Winners

Florida SBDC at USF (Tampa) – The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida held its annual Performance Awards luncheon Friday, June 1. Award winners include Pat Gordon, Janette Blanco, Denise Clemence, the East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area program, and Ferrill Construction.

Pat Gordon

Pat Gordon

Employee of the Year – Pat Gordon
During 2017, Gordon supported Sarasota County Hurricane Irma disaster recovery efforts with the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program despite her own home being impacted by the storm. She completed 18 emergency bridge loans totaling $575,000. Gordon also planned and executed an outreach plan that resulted in a healthy pipeline enabling her to surpass her consulting hourly goal, utilizing partnerships with CareerSource Suncoast, Venice Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota – Community Entrepreneur Opportunity, Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Business Network International, Venice/North Port Bar Camp, North Port Chamber of Commerce, Cowork Hive Center, BankUnited, Sabal Palm Bank, and City of North Port Economic Development. Gordon is a business consultant dedicated to helping Sarasota County businesses.

Janette Blanco

Janette Blanco

Consultant of the Year – Janette Blanco
Blanco earns Consultant of the Year honors for the second consecutive year. She is the senior business consultant for Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County. Knowledgeable in many areas, Blanco’s primary expertise is within the construction and contracting area, having been a civil engineer by trade. Her skills and knowledge enable her to work with clients to navigate contract bids for which she has been successful in helping her clients obtain over $3 million in contract awards during the reporting year end fiscal period, and nearly $2 million in business capital.

Denise Clemence

Denise Clemence

Volunteer of the Year – Denise Clemence
Denise Clemence is a lending professional who specializes in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. To date she has helped fund more than $100 million to entrepreneurs in all stages of business. She has volunteered with the Florida SBDC at USF for more than 10 years. since 2010 Clemence has been part of the Florida SBDC at USF Bridge Loan Committee, reviewing loan applications for State of Florida emergency funds after disasters are declared in our region.

Outstanding Resource Partner – East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area (ETCRA)
The East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area (ETCRA) is a program of City of Tampa’s Economic and Urban Development department, which includes the coordinating and directing of citywide redevelopment initiatives.
Working in partnership with the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, the ETCRA provides office space, a training room and funding in support of small business and entrepreneurial services within its area. ETCRA has been an invaluable partner to the FSBDC at Hillsborough County through its agreement with Hillsborough County’s Economic Development Department for more than 10 years.

Student Project of the Year – Ferrill Construction
Ferrill ConstructionIn 2017 a student team with five members came together to provide Ferrill Construction Company, LLC with a strategic report that would look at the area’s economic, sociocultural, and competitive environments and their impact on the client. The team dedicated 461 hours to their research and report creation that concluded with a presentation of the 71-page report by the team to the client.

Award winners now advance to the state-level competition. Final state winners will be announced later this month at the annual Florida SBDC Network annual conference, in Ft. Lauderdale. For more information about the Florida SBDC at USF, visit us online at SBDCTampaBay.com.

About the Florida SBDC Network:
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained and saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; $1.4 billion in capital investments; and 4,159 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s headquarters. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.