SBA emerging leaders graduation ceremony honor entrepreneurs

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration honored entrepreneurs who’ve completed the 2019 SBA Emerging Leaders Program at a graduation ceremony on Sept. 19 at the University of Charleston.

Emerging Leaders honored at the 2019 graduation ceremony included Cathie Barrios, Rocco’s Specialty Food – Huntington; Dawne Boukhemis, Property Connection – Huntington; Richard Gay, A Total Solution – South Charleston; Daniel Hardwick, AKL Security Solutions – Huntington; John Hubbard, Hubbard Family Dentistry – Clay; Mike Mullarky, Lattas Furnishings & Playgrounds – Huntington; Jessie Parker, S&S Engineers, Inc. – Charleston; J.P. Phillips, Mountain State Waste – Weston; Jennifer Randolph, Randolph Construction Company – Spencer; Joseph Re, ReInvestments, LLC – Fayetteville; Michael Ruffing, Problem Solver’s Consultants, LLC – Buckhannon; Jill Scarbro-McLaury, Bright Futures Learning Services – Winfield; Matthew Welsch, Vagabond Kitchen – Wheeling; and January Wolfe, Academy of Arts – Charleston and Hurricane.

SBA identifies businesses across the nation demonstrating high growth potential and provides them free, intensive business education in the form of an in-depth, six-month course in organizational management, growth strategies and management, and market development. This intensive executive entrepreneurship series, often referred to as a mini-MBA, includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time, and opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners who have created over 6,500 new jobs, generated over $300 million in new financing, and secured over $3.16 billion in government contracts.

For more information about SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program, visit:

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