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2018 National Small Business Week Winners named for South Florida

MIAMI - U.S. Small Business South Florida District Office recently announced the winners of the SBA’s 2018 District and State of Florida Small Business Week Awards.

Rockledge, Florida-based SeaDek was named the SBA 2018 Small Business National Exporter of the Year. The company, nominated by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida, will be travel to Washington D.C to receive their award during the 2018 National Small Business Week Awards Ceremony.

“This is a celebratory announcement for the entire South Florida region,” said Lynn Douthett, interim district director for the South Florida District Office. “First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire SDBC at UCF team for their contributions towards SeaDek’s success. Rewarding this company on a national stage for their hard work and dedication will help to inspire other entrepreneurs considering expanding their business into the international trade marketplace.”

Exporter of the Year (National, Region IV, State of Florida and South Florida District)

Serenity Gardner, chief operating officer and Jason Gardner, vice president of marketing for SeaDek in Rockledge, Florida

Women's Business Center of Excellence (Region IV, State of Florida and South Florida District)

weVENTURE at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida

Small Business Person of the Year (South Florida District)

Anais Badia, chief medical officer and owner of Florida Skin Center in Fort Myers, Florida

Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)

Brian Butler, president and chief executive officer of Vistra Communications– an 8(a)-certified and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) in Tampa, Florida

Community Partner of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)

The Miami Bayside Foundation in Miami, Fla.

Small Business Advocate of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)

Orlando Espinosa, co-founder of Emineo Media and 2016 SBA State of Florida Advocate of the Year, located in Miami, Florida

Young Entrepreneur Small Business Person of the Year (State of Florida and South Florida District)

Luisa Santos, founder of Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream in Miami, Florida

Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year (South Florida District)

Moises Montañez, owner of Alta Quality Builders and SBA Region IV Regulatory Fairness Board member, located in Miami, Florida

Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year (South Florida District)

Karen Viera, owner of The Med Writers and 2016 SBA Emerging Leaders graduate, located in West Palm Beach, Florida

Winners will be presented with their NSBW awards during various ceremonies throughout the District.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 30 – May 5 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, Florida; South Carolina; and North Carolina.

For more information about local winners or programs available through the Small Business Administration, please visit the agency website at www.sba.gov/southflorida or call 305.536.5521.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.