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Success Stories


  • Submitted on 11 April 2016

    Minority-owned Company Leads Successful Renovation of Vista Restaurant

    Betty Price, CARBRA’s President and CEOCARBRA Construction and Design, Inc., a minority- and woman-owned general contracting company, recently completed the successful renovation of a new establishment in Columbia’s bustling downtown entertainment district, the Vista. In addition to CARBRA, three other minority-owned businesses provided services for the project, bringing the minority participation rate to more than 50 percent.

  • Submitted on 03 March 2016

    In October 2015, several days of torrential rains caused major flooding in metropolitan Columbia, South Carolina. The region’s sewer and water-control infrastructure was over-whelmed.  Dozens of dams ruptured or were over-run, sending massive amounts of water coursing into residential and commercial districts, threatening lives and businesses.

    In the midst of the fast-moving disaster, Jimmy Chao, founder and president of a Columbia-based engineering and surveyor firm, Chao and Associates, sprang into action. Mr. Chao and his team determined that a temporary rock dam constructed across the canal would have to be used to stop the canal from draining and they successfully staunched the breach.  This is just one of the company’s many accomplishments over the years that highlight their continued growth.  

  • Submitted on 28 October 2015

    Minority businesses are playing an integral part in keeping the ‘Made in America’ product strong as the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to rise.  Minority-owned manufacturing firms employ 342,000 workers and have recently grown faster than their non-minority counterparts in three areas—number of firms, employees and gross receipts.

    The Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) increased focus on manufacturers over the past few years is producing results. Just in the last three years, MBDA has facilitated more than $3.3 billion in contracts for minority-owned manufacturing firms, making manufacturing one of the top industries for MBDA clients.

    One example of this success is Hanzo Logistics, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hanzo Logistics operates a state-of-the-art warehouse and provides fulfillment management, distribution, and transportation services. Nate Ghaim, President and CEO of Hanzo Logistics, attributes the success of the manufacturing company to the collaboration with the MBDA Indianapolis Business Center.

  • Submitted on 28 October 2015

    Minority businesses are playing an integral part in keeping the ‘Made in America’ product strong as the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to rise.  Minority-owned manufacturing firms employ 342,000 workers and have recently grown faster than their non-minority counterparts in three areas—number of firms, employees and gross receipts.

    MBDA’s increased focus on manufacturers over the past few years is producing results. Just in the last three years, MBDA has facilitated more than $3.3 billion in contracts for minority-owned manufacturing firms, making manufacturing one of the top industries for MBDA clients.

    A glowing example is MVP Plastics.  Since 2012, the company has worked with our Cleveland and San Antonio Business Centers to identify partners and resources for growing their business domestically and abroad.  The Centers were instrumental in helping the Cleveland based supplier open a new plant in Brownsville, TX as well as engage international buyers in Dongguan, China. 

  • Submitted on 26 September 2014

    Fortis Logo and Clarence and Reyna McAllisterOne of the most successful clients of the Phoenix MBDA Business Center is Fortis Networks, Inc., which was founded by Clarence McAllister and his wife, Reyna.  McAllister started the company in 2000 after working as an engineer for Alcatel Lucent and Verizon Wireless. Starting out in telecommunications infrastructure, the firm’s qualifications included the design and installation of fiber optics, smart meters, mass transit communication, and traffic and security control systems. When McAllister sought the services of the Phoenix MBDA Business Center in 2005, revenue totaled $5 million per year5. Three years later, his firm was 8(a) certified and able to expand by opening a construction division to include general construction, environmental controls, design build construction, and underground construction.

    Today, Fortis Networks has more than 120 employees with annual revenue over $23 million5, which is expected to reach $30 million in the next two years5. Part of Fortis’ projected growth is possible because the MBDA Business Center helped McAllister secure surety bonding for $20 million single and $60 million aggregate for projects5. Unable to find a financial institution to secure the amount Fortis required in Arizona, MBDA financial consultant David DeLeon sought proposals from larger institutions in California. McAllister received several proposals, which he and DeLeon evaluated to select the one that best met Fortis’ needs.

  • Submitted on 11 June 2014

    In 1997, minorities made up only 17 percent of all women-owned businesses in the U.S. Today, “women of color” own one-in-three of all women-owned businesses in America – that’s nearly a 100 percent increase! Minority women-owned businesses are also the only businesses besides publicly-traded companies which have seen a net-increase in employees over the last six years.

  • Submitted on 25 April 2014

    Our goal is to help organizations fill their human capital pipeline with highly qualified and motivated leaders at all levels of the organization. We provide strategic solutions to deliver an organization’s short- and long-term recruitment and staffing goals. –Ken Taunton, President & CEO, The Royster Group

  • Submitted on 19 February 2014

    Michael Pearson started Union Packaging at the encouragement of his father who migrated north from the south, after World War II. Pearson created Union Packaging with the primary goal of bringing jobs and greater opportunity to the greater Philadelphia region.

    Drawing on his experience as a previous Fortune 500 company director, Pearson identified a specific niche in the food packaging market—FDA control packaging. He was able to successfully create a unique path for Union Packaging in the quick service restaurant market by using the connections he made through his former position. Some of his customers include Burger King, Wendy’s and Whole Foods.

  • Submitted on 20 November 2013

    Rick Lucio
    Family, faith and education have been the beacons guiding Rick Lucio’s life.  He was born in Brownsville, Texas, and is the youngest of 10 children. He said throughout his life he was blessed with tremendous examples from his parents and siblings of humility, never giving up on your dream and understanding right from wrong.

    Lucio’s ability to heed advice has paid dividends. Today, the Texas A&M mechanical engineer graduate is the CEO and owner of Hallberg Engineering, Inc. in White Bear Lake, Minn. The electrical and mechanical engineering firm, licensed in 49 states, designs mechanical and electrical systems for all kinds of commercial buildings such as schools, office buildings, healthcare facilities, retail stores and restaurants.

    “Early in my life, my inspiration came from my parents,” he said. “My parents definitely taught me right from wrong. Unlimited guidance also came from my older siblings who stressed that education was a necessity and one can be anything if educated. Today, my immediate family is my inspiration. My wife and I instill the same values we grew up with on our children.”

  • Submitted on 04 November 2013

    At the age of 21, Elliott Davis set out to launch a successful business...mission accomplished!  Having learned the construction industry from his father, Mr. Davis founded DCD Construction in 1998 and within eight years of operation grew the business to $1 million in annual revenue. By 2012, DCD was landing contracts up to $3 million, respectable earnings by any standards, but nothing compared to what he would achieve after becoming a client of the Mobile MBDA Business Center.

    Within one year of becoming a client, DCD Construction (under a joint venture with Yates Construction) secured a $41 million contract with the Army Corps of Engineers. What happened during that year? The Mobile MBDA Business Center provided business planning, procurement strategy, and marketing guidance from construction expert, Lloyd Hughes and project director, Pamela Ramos.

    MBDA provided consulting services with the goal of positioning the firm for continued growth beyond its 8(a) eligibility, which ends in two years. With a strategy in place, partnerships with other firms became the tactical maneuver that would put DCD on the map and keep them there. Beginning with a mentor/protégé agreement with a major construction firm in the southeast; followed by expansion into the Mobile, AL market (from Ocean Springs, MS); and ending with a joint venture with Yates Construction and $51% of the deal, DCD Construction is well positioned for continued growth.

 

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