OCIE SBDC Annual Awards and Kick-Off Event

By Aleesia Benkey

Last month, the Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Network (OCIE SBDC) gathered to celebrate the successes of 2023 and the future of 2024. The network gathers bi-annually to connect, exchange ideas, and plan for what’s to come. With a geographic area of more than 80,000 miles, bringing together the whole of the network is no small feat. 

The OCIE SBDC offers business consulting, training, and access to resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties at no cost. As the go-to resource for small businesses, the OCIE SBDC provides solutions and opportunities for small businesses throughout the region to become successful.

In 2023, OCIE SBDC served over 7,000 clients and dedicated more than 36,000 hours to one-on-one consulting with local business owners. The network of expert consultants helped facilitate 584 business starts.

Each center shared a success story about a client, event, or training program in 2023. The positive stories across the network showed the diversity and multifaceted services OCIE SBDC provides. In addition, the network internal advisory board hosted a roundtable of questions, sharing their expertise and experience as leading consultants in the network. 

Looking ahead, Network Director Mike Daniel and Chief Operating Officer Katrina Smith presented the strategic plan through 2025. With the overarching goal to be the leading driver of economic impact in the region, the network will focus on engaging stakeholders, expanding its reach, and establishing a level of excellence at all levels of the network. 

“The OCIE SBDC is full of talented individuals that create a community of business experts across three counties,” said Daniel. “You can see the impact our work has on individuals, families and communities, and that’s what makes it worth it. Our success is a reflection of the businesses we get to help build, support and grow.”

The success of OCIE SBDC couldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of consultants and staff. Director Mike Daniel presented 54 awards to celebrate individual successes and achievements throughout the network. Full list of awards below. 

State Star
Kathleen Swift
Network Star
Sarita Jackson
Kathleen Swift
Laura Beken
Hugo Loyola
Nathaniel Quinn
Scott Brovsky
Fred De La Riva
Michael Faraj
Total Client Success Award
Angela Polito
Hang Harper
Kathleen Swift
Kyu Kang
Natalie Murphy
Alicia Brayboy
Anna-Lena Gruendler
Greg Bell
Alain Chu
Michelle Chuang
Spirit Award
Angela Janus
Shaun Sanders
Samantha Flores
Karla Gonzalez
Fred De La Riva
Sarita Jackson
Alexa Pidwell
Craig Russom
Capital Infusion by Number of Clients
Joaquin Tijerina
Natalie Murphy
Robert Usher
Greg Bell
Kathleen Swift
Laura Beken
Capital Infusion by Dollar Amount
Karla Gonzalez
Scott Brovsky
Michael Faraj
Robert Usher
Carla Panzera
Laura Beken
Business Starts
Kathleen Swift
Greg Bell
Kyu Kang
Angela Polito
Carla Panzera
Change in Sales by Number of Clients
Greg Bell
Kyu Kang
Kathleen Swift
Frank Plasso
Carla Panzera
Change in Sales by Dollar Amount
Karla Gonzalez
Robert Usher
Lupe Ramos Watson
Ace Tarakchian
Stephen Sharp

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