SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS FOCUS OF 15th ANNUAL GROWTH AWARDS EVENT
America’s SBDC New Jersey Pays Tribute to Small Business Owners and State Legislators
December 18, 2017 (Monroe Township, NJ) – The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network, America’s SBDC New Jersey, held its 15th annual Small Business Growth Success Awards luncheon on December 15th at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ. Prime financial sponsors include PSEG, PNC Bank and Bank of America. Other financial supporters include City National Bank, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, and UPS. The network’s key stakeholders, partners and supporters joined together, recognizing the achievements and economic impact of the clients’ success on the regional and state economy.
Small business clients of the NJSBDC network’s 12 regional centers and Specialty Programs, were officially recognized for their success. “This is the highlight of this celebratory gathering,” said Brenda B. Hopper, chief executive officer and state director of the NJSBDC network. “Seeing how our clients have grown with our experts’ assistance and recognizing them for these achievements due to their perseverance is the real reward.”
“We congratulated our 15 business award winners and were glad that state legislators joined in the recognition,” said Deborah Smarth, NJSBDC network chief operating officer and associate state director. “Due to the Legislature’s continued efforts at ensuring state investment in the program to match federal funding that is received, we further leverage greater resources to maximize assistance for small businesses and entrepreneurs across the state.” Smarth stressed that the support of the Legislature was crucial over the years during different gubernatorial administrations. She called upon the new Governor-elect, Phil Murphy, to restore increased state funding for this business creation and jobs producing program to where it was a decade ago.
The event drew more than 300 individuals from the small business sector, higher education, and economic development arenas. In addition, Senator Christopher (“Kip”) Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski received honorary legislative acknowledgements for their support of NJSBDC’s mission. Both Bateman and Wisniewski received NJSBDC’s Small Business Advocate award in 2004 and 2008, respectively.
The SBDC client success award winners from different industries with varying revenue and employment levels, included:
–KDW Partners, owned by Eric Kainer, features Ambedded Technology advanced storage systems and Modulan cabinets and containment systems for large data centers and smaller environments. The company is located in Princeton, NJ. NJSBDC’s Procurement Program assisted in helping negotiate commercial procurement contracts worth more than $900,000.
–Consolidated Packaging Group, LLC, led by Executive Vice President Gary Kaufman, manufactures flexible packaging solutions at its facility in Ridgefield Park, NJ. At the forefront of utilizing sustainable business practices, the company is one of NJSBDC’s Sustainability Program Business Registry members. The company has customers in diverse food industries as well as lawn and garden, household chemicals, pet foods, and medical packaging, employing 125 employees.
–Arable Labs, Inc., founded by Adam Wolf, Ph.D., is a data and analytics company in Princeton, NJ that helps farmers and agribusinesses to better assess crop status, forecast growth and make better decisions relating to managing food production systems. The NJSBDC Technology Commercialization program assisted the business to obtain large Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to leverage venture capital in furthering its technology.
–Aikido Center of Manasquan, directed by owner and chief instructor Tim Vazquez, provides training opportunities for self-defense; Vazquez is a NJ State licensed Security Instructor and is a retired police officer. The NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College assisted the business owner with social media and online marketing, etc.
–Integrated Learning Center, Inc., established by Dulce Ramos – an immigrant from the Dominican Republic- provides language instruction for corporate clients. Ramos also started a new consulting business called Zunzun House, Inc. assisting non-profits and for-profit companies on achieving their goals. The NJSBDC at Kean University assisted this client with management and finance issues.
–Maria Mentiras Bar & Grill, LLC, owned by Maria Gutierrez – an immigrant from Columbia – opened up her premier restaurant specializing in Latin fusion specialty dishes with the assistance of the NJSBDC at NJ City University. Since opening, she was able to create 20 restaurant jobs.
–Massage Heights of Morristown, owned and operated by David Shawger and Dale Carmody, decided to open a day spa. NJSBDC of Northwest Jersey helped them to identify the best potential franchise model and assisted with the property lease arrangements and business agreement. While recently opening in 2017, the spa already has 15 employees.
–Hafco Foundry and Machine, Inc., run by Basil and Billy Fornaci, is a family-run business located in Midland Park, NJ. The company, with $6 million plus in annual revenues, distributes metal castings and machined parts to the rail industry and industrial pneumatic vacuums and dust equipment for the coal mining industry. The NJSBDC of Ramapo College of New Jersey assisted the company with succession issues, business planning, and other vital strategic business tools.
–Great American Sealcoating, established and operated by Tim Smeltz, is located in Bridgewater, NJ. Smeltz bought a Christmas Décor franchise business which has expanded beyond Somerset County and into Hunterdon/Morris counties and Bucks County, Pa. His dual-business operation has grown to over $1 million in sales with 11 employees. NJSBDC at Raritan Valley Community College assisted the client on an array of development issues.
–DoveLin Enterprises, Inc., owned by Mary Lindsay and Franklin Dove, Jr., provides commercial flooring services to general contractors, hospitals, colleges/universities, retail stores office buildings and multi-family dwellings. Located in West Berlin, NJ, the company came to the NJSBDC at Rutgers-Camden in pursuit of financing; their sales have increased by up to 60%.
–Greycell Labs, Inc., established by Dharmesh and Shweta Vachhani, offers a suite of IT technology based services and solutions. The company is located in Edison, NJ. The NJSBDC at Rutgers-New Brunswick assisted the client. The company was ranked #139 among the fastest growing firms out of 500 in New Jersey and is expanding presence in other countries, also.
–Minuteman Press of Newark, owned and operated by Holly Kaplansky, focuses on marketing and printing services. Kaplansky used her corporate advertising and marketing experience to open her business. A client of the NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark, Minuteman Press has grown to nearly a million dollar business annually, with 3 full-time employees and 1 part-time employee.
–Cardinal Bistro, owned and operated by father-son team Thomas and Michael Brennan, opened in Ventnor, NJ. The NJSBDC at Stockton University assisted the client which received financing through M & T Bank. They decided to open up the Ventnor restaurant together and in a short period of time the business has received rave reviews and large crowds.
–Stout’s Transportation, a family-run operation for two generations, employs 100-plus workers. Tim Stout is company president and Harry Stout is the safety director. The company is located in Ewing, NJ and provides motor coach travel for tour and charter excursions, shuttle transport, and school and transit buses. The NJSBDC at the College of New Jersey assists the client on a variety of business matters.
–Dingman’s Dairy, owned by Ann Marie Belasco and son Anthony, employs 50 employees in an array of positions. The Belasco family purchased the business in 2007. Located in Paterson, NJ, the company is a distributor of ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen desserts, cones, toppings, and other related products. Some of their customers include restaurants, shops, catering facilities, schools, hospitals, convenience stores, etc. The NJSBDC at William Paterson University assisted the client with product, market and geographic expansion issues.