From left, David Salter with Salter's Distributing, Didier Vivies of Central Valley Ag Exports, Arthur Moye with Full Circle Brewing Co. and Marina Martinez with Manitas de Amor pose with their "Businesses of the Year" awards. Photo by Frank Lopez
Written by Frank Lopez
In honor of National Small Business Development Center Day (SBDC), Valley Community SBDC at Clovis Community College hosted an awards luncheon Wednesday to recognize outstanding organizations in the community.
SBDCs — such as Valley Community SBDC — provide aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners free counseling, training and tools to build sustainable businesses.
Valley Community SBDC Director Rich Mostert emceed the event, held at The Painted Table in Fresno. The keynote speaker was Kurt Clark, executive director of Central CA SBDC Regional Network based at UC Merced.
Valley Community SBDC presented several awards to businesses in its coverage area of Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings counties.
Its “Businesses of the Year” awards went to Salter’s Distributing in Madera County, Central Valley Ag Exports, Inc. in Tulare County, Full Circle Brewing Co. in Fresno County and Manitas de Amor Preschool and Childcare, Inc. in Kings County.
There were other awards for organizations and business leaders in the Central Valley.
Stakeholder of the Year went to Beneficial State Bank, Partner of the Year went to the Tulare Chamber of Commerce and the inaugural Dr. Lori Bennett Leadership Award was presented to Andy Haussler, assistant city manager of Clovis.
The award was named for Bennett, who served as the second president of Clovis Community College for nearly seven years before retiring in January. In addition to her leadership in elevating Clovis Community College’s educational offerings, she also was responsible for the campus becoming host to the Valley Community SBDC.
The Center Impact award went to Valley SBDC business consultants Olga Martinez and Cy Cerro. The Legacy Award went to Kurt Clark.
Mostert said the success of Valley Community SBDC’s clients is possible only with continued support.
“It’s all about the follow up,” Mostert said. “It’s all about the counseling and technical assistance that is ongoing.”