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Success Stories

  • Submitted on 26 July 2012

    A large portion of MBDA's work involves partnering with minority business owners and those who serve them—state and local governments, civic organizations, professional associations, and more. We help facilitate contracts and capital in a wide range of industry sectors.

    During Fiscal Year 2011, by total dollar value of awards, the leading industries assisted by MBDA were construction at 35 percent, services 25 percent, information 12 percent, manufacturing 11 percent, and finance 10 percent.

    Construction Industry Success Stories

  • Submitted on 20 October 2011

    Marseyas FernandezLife in the Big Easy has improved greatly for Marseyas S. Fernandez. His integrated digital solutions company, MSF Global Solutions, survived Hurricane Katrina and is rapidly growing to move beyond a regional focus to a global one.

    A native of New Orleans, Fernandez is the founder of the company which specializes in Geospatial Information Services (GIS) and Information Technology development, implementation and management.

    Started in 2003, MSF Global was established to provide local governments, universities, businesses, and charities with cost effective GIS and related IT services. Since its inception, the company has used GIS as a key technology in land records management, infrastructure management and economic/community development.

  • Submitted on 19 September 2011

    David Segura

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    David Segura is a man on a mission to not only create jobs, but to also help to keep them in the United States.  His company, VisionIT was developed out of his community activities, which included volunteering weekly to teach youth in Detroit about the field of technology and the growing Internet trends.

    His deep commitment to the community and to using the talents of diverse populations in the field of information technology is an integral part of his company’s success.

    The Detroit, Mich., based company was founded in 1997 by Segura. VisionIT delivers consulting and technology services to corporations and government agencies. Among the many accolades VisionIT has received, this year it was ranked in Hispanic Business Magazine's Hispanic 500 as the 27th largest Hispanic-owned business in the U.S., and for the ninth year in a row it was ranked in the magazine’s annual list of the 100 fastest growing Hispanic businesses in the U.S.

  • Submitted on 25 August 2011


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    American Steel Placers Assisted by MBDA California NABEC

    Russell E. RobertsonAs a second generation owner of a steel company, some might say that entrepreneurship flows through Russell E. Robertson’s blood. His company, American Steel Placers, Inc. is located in San Bernardino, CA and has contracts with city, county and state agencies to supply and place rebar (reinforcement steel) for concrete structures.

    Created in 2004, American Steel Placers specializes in bridge construction, community public works and commercial buildings.

    As a child, he watched his mother’s strength raising four children alone and managing the company she worked for in the male-dominated steel industry. By the time Robertson was 14 years old, his mother had bought out the stock to become majority owner at Puget Sound Steel after the owner died. She operated the company for 12 years in Seattle, where Robertson worked in the evenings after school for four years. He later moved to Los Angeles continuing in the steel business building bridges.

  • Submitted on 27 July 2011

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    David Melton with Sacred Power NASCARRenewable energy is one of the nation’s fastest growing business sectors, and MBDA has helped Sacred Power Corporation expand its reach, stimulate the local economy, and create jobs for a diverse population including Native-American workers.

    “MBDA has always assisted us. They’ve helped with marketing the proposals that we bidded on, finding funding and bonding since we are half manufacturing and construction. MBDA has helped us all along our timeline of business development,” said Sacred Power CEO David Melton.  

    Melton describes his work as more than just operating the company, but one that is changing lives while improving the environment. As a Lugana Tribal member, he brings electricity to isolated homes and facilities on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and across the nation in rural-remote areas, using wind turbines and photovoltaic modules.

  • Submitted on 29 June 2011

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    For Mariana Oprea failure is not an option. After being laid off due to company restructuring, she founded Interavia Spares & Services (ISS) Inc. in 2003 building on what she knows best – selling aircraft parts.

    Her company is a distributor and reseller of aviation parts and materials to an international market of airlines, repair stations and other brokers abroad, with 95 percent of her business in exports. As an international supplier, she communicates in six languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian.

    “I organized it, and built it up based on my previous experience in sales and after models of companies I wanted to emulate,” Oprea said. “I had to create everything myself and sustain myself along these years.”

    Oprea started her career in aviation parts working for British Aerospace in 1981 as a contract administrator for Project BAC-111 aircraft built in Romania until 1989. In the U.S., she has worked in the sales of aircraft parts since 1994.

  • Submitted on 26 May 2011

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    Eugene Y. XiongEugene Y. Xiong was determined to get a piece of the American dream despite an extremely limited command of the English language and even less understanding of U.S. small business financing. But against the odds and with assistance from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), his company – Foxit Corporation – was born 10 years ago.

    He recalls five years ago making less than $1 million. Today, the Foxit Corporation has $7 million in revenues due in part to the help of MBDA. Foxit now has offices in the U.S., China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and France.

    Xiong was referred to MBDA after failed attempts to obtain bank loans and financing.

    “Our banker recommended MBDA to us,” Xiong said. “MBDA has been working with us on banking and financial services.” 

  • Submitted on 26 April 2011

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    Coastal Environmental Group Improving Lives and Communities

    Coastal Environment GroupIn the aftermath of America’s darkest hours, Coastal Environmental Group has been called on to assist in some of the world’s toughest and most sensitive remediation and hazardous material removal.

    From Ground Zero, Post Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the EPA Superfund site in Omaha, Coastal Environmental has had to deliver its best under some of the most challenging conditions.

    The father and son owners have developed a remarkable working relationship, with Richard C. Silva Sr. taking the helm as CEO in charge of the overall organization, while his namesake serves as President and manages the day-to-day operations.

    “I find it both rewarding and satisfying to lead the individuals of our organization as we improve the quality of our lives and the communities that we are a part of,” said Richard C. Silva Jr. “Spearheading dangerous environmental cleanups, building new and improved public infrastructure, restoring national historic treasures while employing a diverse local workforce are all aspects of my position that truly denote who we are.”

  • Submitted on 28 March 2011

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    Monica Simeon and Marina Turning-RobeMonica Simeon and Marina Turning-Robe have accomplished what many have said is impossible – working together as sisters in constant contact and still remaining best friends.

    “There is great comfort in working with a business partner that you can be brutally honest with and not jeopardize the relationship. In reality that type of relationship is very advantageous to the business,” Monica said. “We balance each other out with our individual strengths and we collaborate very well and those two elements are extremely critical to our company’s success.”

    Creating Jobs

    The siblings are members of the Spokane tribe, located in rural Eastern Washington, where unemployment is hovering around 50 percent. While there is very little private sector development in the area, Sister Sky is one of the few small businesses on the reservation and it is committed to creating jobs and economic diversification beyond casinos.

    Staying true to their mission of giving back, the small company uses tribal youth as employees in the summer.

    “Wealth building in our tribal communities through entrepreneurship is critical if we are going to improve our conditions and solve our own problems,” Marina said.

  • Submitted on 24 February 2011

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    Gist of MIGA strong competitive drive is what keeps Andre Gist thinking about how to parlay his success with Manufacturers Industrial Group (MIG), LLC into new ventures. Gist has the largest minority-owned business in the state of Tennessee. Today, he is considering how to diversify his $300 million business while branching out into foreign markets.

    His daily routine includes monitoring opportunities emailed through MBDA’s Phoenix Opportunity System. “I signed up a few years ago, and I have gotten involved again. Since then, I go through the opportunities on a regular basis,” Gist said.

    With MBDA’s help, he is also hoping to participate in one of the upcoming U.S. Department of Commerce trade missions. While he has 1,400 employees and six locations in Tennessee – three in Lexington, two in Athens, and one in Chattanooga – he is exploring the possibility of opening a facility in Mexico.

    MIG is a contract manufacturer of welded assemblies and fabricated metals for the automotive and construction industry. The company specializes in automated welding processes, assembly and fabrication.

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