Carlos Mendoza

Carlos Mendoza, left, poses with Ron Heskett of Borga Steel and SBA Administrator Linda McMahon in Fresno in May. Photo by Gabriel Dillard

published on October 23, 2017 - 12:52 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Carlos G. Mendoza, the U.S. Small Business Administration Fresno district director, will close out a 42-year career in federal service when he retires Nov. 3.

Mendoza has directed the 15-county district office in Fresno since 2002, overseeing lending, contracting and counseling programs in Central California and the Central Coast.

He began his career of service in federal government in 1975 as an architect at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard after graduating from Princeton University. After assignments in Pennsylvania and California for the Navy, he was transferred to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. After moving up the HUD managerial ranks, he started his tenure with SBA in 1992 as deputy district director of the Los Angeles district office, then as district director in El Paso, Texas and then Fresno.

“Carlos Mendoza has been a strong leader and advocate for small businesses across the country,” said SBA Region IX Administrator Michael Vallante, in a statement. “His dedication to people who start and grow businesses, and his commitment to the community has made a difference in the lives of many. Carlos has made many significant contributions to the Small Business Administration, and entrepreneurs during his tenure, and he will be missed.”

During Mendoza’s 15 years in Fresno, he served as an advocate for Central California and Central Coast small businesses, bringing additional resources to the Valley including the Emerging Leaders mini MBA program, several PRIME grants, a Women’s Business Center, and the Small Business Development Center. When the Recession occurred in 2008, Mendoza led the Fresno office in becoming one of the first in the country to offer a dedicated technical assistance phone line to respond to small businesses’ calls for help and shifting the focus of the office’s lending workshops since no loans were being made to “Small Business Survival Skills” from “How to Obtain a Business Loan.”

For the last 15 years, Mendoza has volunteered as a board member of the local Combined Federal Campaign, the federal government’s official philanthropy employee-based program which has raised millions of dollars for local nonprofit and community based organizations.  

Highlights of Mendoza’s 42 year career with the federal government include

  • Fresno hosting the conclusion of SBA’s National Small Business Week in May featuring SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. This was the first time this national SBA flagship event has taken place in California outside of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • In 2014 Mendoza received US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Bronze Medal for Commendable Service in recognition of his leadership in delivering technical assistance in Fresno.
  • In 2014, the Small Business Administration bestowed the Eisenhower Award for Mission Support, SBA’s highest honor, on Mendoza in recognition of his exemplary contributions to SBA’s mission.
  • In 2015, Mendoza led the SBA team which created SBA’s peer-to-peer intranet based employee recognition program called Kudos to You. To date over 1,000 recognitions have been submitted, and OPM is considering the program as a Government wide Best Practice.
  • Received recognition in 1987 as HUD’s “Region 9 Employee of the Year”.  

Following Mendoza’s retirement, an interim director will be appointed while SBA conducts a nationwide search for a new district director. Mendoza plans on staying in the San Joaquin Valley.



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