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Success Stories

  • 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.

  • Submitted on 31 January 2011

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    Terry MarionAs the only Federal agency with the sole task of promoting the growth and global competitiveness of the minority business community, MBDA takes great pride in its mission. With 46 centers nationwide, MBDA has a direct impact on businesses throughout the country, with a particular focus on those that are poised to expand.

    Over the past 40 years, MBDA has helped thousands of minority-owned businesses grow and has increased contracting and capital access opportunities for MBEs by more than fifteen percent from a year ago. MBDA also has helped to create nearly 6,000 new jobs while saving thousands of existing jobs.

    MBDA Director David A. Hinson is challenging MBDA centers and clients to think outside of the norm in order to expand businesses and create new jobs.  Hinson stated, “I deeply believe in these principals. Today, we have a window of opportunity to change the world. We can create an entire generation of $100 million and larger minority-owned businesses across industries.”

  • Submitted on 10 November 2010

    Pablo Del VallePablo Del Valle has made it his personal mission to improve the lives of Puerto Ricans through constructing quality projects. Founded in 1988, the Del Valle Group, is a recognized leader in road construction, pavement rehabilitation, bridge construction, marine structures, and buildings and site development.

    The Del Valle Group currently has 350 employees and completed more than 197 projects to date. The company’s net worth is more than $878.6 million.

    Pablo’s hard work as company president has not gone unnoticed. He has attracted numerous accolades, including selection as the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) 2010 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Minority Construction Firm of the Year.

  • Submitted on 21 October 2010

    Funk Linko Vicky Linko with awardsViola Victoria Linko worked her way up from cleaning offices to CEO in the male-dominated world of steel manufacturing. Better known as Vicky, she and her husband and three children are keeping the legacy alive at the 85-year-old company located in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

    After marrying into a family of steel manufacturers, it was only a matter of time before Vicky climbed the corporate ladder to become a dominant figure in the industry. While the oil and rail industries weren’t always readily welcoming to her, she says persistence is her secret weapon. “Offering a good product and perseverance are the keys,” said Vicky, who is president and CEO. “It’s difficult being the woman out front in two of the hardest markets, oil and rail.”

    Formerly Funk Forging Company, the operation underwent a name change to Funk Linko, Inc. in 2004 to highlight the family name that has been operating the company since 1925. Vicky has been leading the company for more than 28 years, after marrying into the family in 1967.  Funk Linko is a certified, minority- and woman-owned business.

  • Submitted on 01 October 2010

    Photo of Public-Private Broadband Partnership Copyright by Wille E. Tucker WET MEDIA

    Minority firms partner to win a highly competitive $59 million Department of Commerce grant to provide broadband communication service to a substantial portion of the rural, eight-county region in central Alabama.

    A team of African-American owned telecommunication businesses in Atlanta pulled together to win a contract that will not only create jobs, but expand access to services to  communities through broadband connections.

    The team made up of primary partners Trillion Communications Corporation, A2D, Inc. and A-Plus Community Solutions competed for the opportunity to increase broadband in unserved and underserved communities.


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