South-West Texas Border SBDC's are Open for Business ** Details

Success Stories 2013

El Paso Community College sbdc


  • Business Expansion
  • Owner Investment: $32,633
  • Commercial Loan: $163,163
  • SBA 504 Loan: $130,530
  • Jobs Created: 10
  • Jobs Retained: 10
Nick Dominguez spent his entire career working in electronic communications. He worked for various cell phone telecommunications companies before he started Vertical 1 Communications along with his wife Cecilia, in 2004. Vertical 1 Communications specializes in communication tower construction, maintenance, and repair.

Cecilia first contacted the El Paso Community College SBDC in 2009 to look at the possibility of purchasing a new building. The Dominguezes had been running the business from their home, and after experiencing a steady increase in sales were ready to expand.

Business Advisor Joe Ferguson, was able to work with Cecilia in creating a feasibility analysis, business plan with financial projections, a formal loan proposal for the credit union and CDC, and with applying for an SBA 8(a) certification.

Vertical 1 Communications had a grand opening ceremony at their new location on February 22, 2013. The new building is located on approximately 1 acre of land, and has office space, a 3,600 sq. ft. warehouse, and a large yard for equipment storage. In addition to increasing their business space, they were able to hire ten new employees. Sales are forecast to increase by 42% by the end of 2013.

Thank you to the SBDC and Joe Ferguson in helping our company with the assistance and guidance in becoming 8(a) approved and getting our SBA loan. – Nick Dominguez”

Sul Ross State University Minority and SBDC


  • Business Startup
  • Owner Investment: $7,000
  • Commercial Loan:$75,000
  • Jobs Created: 5
Rebecca Lewis has over thirty-two years of experience in the healthcare industry. She has worked for a number of clinics and hospitals, in addition to owning her own practice for seven years. Lewis has dedicated her entire life to taking care of people. In early 2013, she was not able to give her patients the quality of care they deserved because of a lack of support personnel, so she decided it was best to shutdown her practice.

In September of 2013, Lewis found a relief doctor and a physician’s assistant, and was able to open a new practice called Big Bend Family Practice. Lewis contacted the

Sul Ross SBDC to create a business plan and loan proposal. With the help of the SBDC, Lewis was able to obtain a $75,000 commercial loan for business startup costs and working capital.

Lewis understands the importance of having a well-balanced and enthusiastic staff. She is excited about the potential Big Bend Family Practice shows, and is happy to have relief staff on hand so she can spend time with her family. Lewis plans on keeping in contact with the Sul Ross SBDC, and looks forward to bettering her practice and continuing to share her love of medicine with her patients.

I have worked with Loretta Garcia at the Sul Ross SBDC on two separate endeavors and find her assistance invaluable. – Rebecca Lewis”

Angelo State University SBDC


  • Business Expansion
  • Owner Investment
  • Contract Awarded: $1.1 million
  • Jobs Created: 12
  • Jobs Retained: 12
A common thread, “Made in the USA,” runs through Leggett Tactical Solutions (LTS), a manufacturing business in Eden, TX. Brother team, Blake and Bryce Leggett, along with lead designer, Juan Vasquez, launched LTS four years ago and White Wing Label two years ago.

Blake Leggett, an Air Force Veteran, enjoyed customizing accessory soft goods for himself and comrades while serving overseas, and thus the idea for LTS was born. Bryce Leggett fueled the fire with a determination to show the world his unique design capabilities, and has designed custom products for Special Warfare Groups within the Department of Defense. The brothers contacted the

Angelo State University SBDC for assistance, and began working with Rural Business Advisor Peggy Rosser. Rosser was able to help the entrepreneurial brothers with a business plan, human resource management, and government contracting.

After researching and identifying a void in “American Quality” in the men’s sporting gear and luggage market, LTS created White Wing Label. White Wing Label is now sold in over 250 retail outlets around the nation. LTS was awarded a $1.1 million dollar contract with the military, and the company is looking to expand into a women’s product line in the future.

The ASU SBDC and Peggy Rosser were instrumental in helping us negotiate obstacles in an efficient and positive manner. – Blake Leggett”

SRSU – Rio Grande College SBDC


  • Business Startup
  • Owner Investment
  • Commercial Loan: $450,000
  • Jobs Created: 4
Alejandro Esquivel grew up in Mexico, and after completing his education ran his own dental practice for five years in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. In 2008, Esquivel was accepted into a residency program at the University of Puerto Rico. Following his residency, he began working for a dental clinic in Texas.

In 2012, Esquivel moved to Eagle Pass, TX and approached the Rio Grande College SBDC for assistance in opening a new business. Soon after, Smile Factory Pediatric Dentistry was born. Business Advisor Cynthia Gomez, was able to help Esquivel create a business plan, and develop and package a loan presentation. She also provided technical

support for issues associated with the employment lifecycle, Quickbooks, and with licensing and permit information. With the support of the SBDC, Esquivel was able to obtain a loan to start his practice and hire three additional employees

Smile Factory is currently the only pediatric dentist in the Eagle Pass area, and Esquivel looks to keep that strong presence in the community by continuing to learn and improve business practices by attending training provided by the SBDC. The company is experiencing great success, and Esquivel looks forward to continued growth, and the possibility of expanding his business.

I am very thankful for the assistance provided by the SBDC. Their guidance led me in the right direction, and helped me start my business. – Alejandro Esquivel”

SBDC University of Texas at San Antonio


  • Business Expansion
  • Owner Investment: $250,000
  • Increased Sales: $7.5 million
  • SBA Loan: $1 million
  • Jobs Created: 20
  • Jobs Retained: 40
With over 35 years of management expertise in environmental, engineering and construction, Pat McMullen started an electrical contracting company in 2010. McMullen Global Services is a service-disabled, veteranowned small business providing electrical contracting services to three distinct markets – Federal, Commercial and Industrial.

Prior to starting the business, Pat sought the guidance of several experts including business advisors Crystal Darby, with the UTSA SBDC and Deirdre Pattillo in the Employer Services Program and the Veterans Assistance Program within the UTSA SBDC PTAC.

The advisors were able to help with refining the company’s business plan, developing an employee manual, coaching on how to secure a bond, the creation of an effective marketing message, and loan packaging assistance, which resulted in a $1 million SBA loan.

McMullen Global Services has experienced considerable success in government contracting, and is eager to further expand into the commercial sector. They were recently able to focus the company’s marketing efforts on pipeline and electrical installation, and acquired a commercial contract with the largest pipeline firm in the United States.

The help from the UTSA SBDC has been invaluable. The program is a full-service group and one of the best kept secrets in San Antonio. – Pat McMullen”

SBDC Texas Statue University


  • Business Expansion
  • Owner Investment: $600,000
  • Commercial Loan: $45,000
  • Jobs Created: 1
  • Jobs Retained: 6
Chris and Jen Forgey started Light Bohrd, LLC after many years of supporting their son Mason, a junior skateboarder, at competitive meets and tournaments around the nation. Light Bohrd was initially focused on skateboards with embedded motion-activated lighting technology, and has since branched out to include long boards, snowboards, skis, helmets and other sports-related gear.

The Forgeys met with the Texas State University SBDC in 2012 to refine a business plan and marketing pitch to attract lenders and investors. They have since worked with Business Advisor Peg Richmond to expand distribution, establish overseas manufacturing, and address operational and human resource issues. With the help of the SBDC,

the Forgeys were able to secure more than $650k in private equity funding and commercial lending. Light Bohrd is revolutionizing the industry with illuminated graphics and integrated light technology. The company won the Under Armour

Future Show in 2013 with a new shirt that uses an athlete’s own motion to activate a lighted front logo and back graphic. They competed against 4,000+ worldwide entrants, and walked away the winner with a $25,000 prize. The Forgeys are excited about the momentum the win provided, and look forward to the continued growth and expansion of their business.

Through our SBDC advisor Peg Richmond we have been introduced to all sorts of partners and businesses that have helped propel our business. – Jenn Forgey”

SBDC University of Houston – Victoria


  • Business Expansion
  • Owner Investment: $13,000
  • SBA Loan: $1.16 million
  • Jobs Created: 1
  • Jobs Retained: 10
Freund Funeral Home has been a family run business since 1924. After working for the home for several years, Eric and Dawn Draper decided to purchase the business to carry on the family legacy. Though not blood relatives, the Draper’s are like family, and the previous owners were excited to keep the “family” business going. Eric has worked in the funeral business for several years, and Dawn has over seven years of bookkeeping experience.

The Drapers first contacted the University of Houston-Victoria SBDC to help with valuing and purchasing Freund Funeral Home. Business Advisor Lisa Barr, was able to assist them with a business plan and loan packet to present to

the bank. Due to the assistance Barr provided, the Drapers were able to qualify for a $1.16 million SBA loan, which allowed them to purchase the business and perform some needed renovations. Barr was also able to help with refinance packaging, human resource management, and creating job descriptions for a new position at the funeral home.

After purchasing the business, the Drapers welcomed their first son, Dawson. Dawn is currently staying home with their child, but continues to work with Barr on the day-to-day operations of the funeral home.

Our advisor, Lisa, was so helpful and patient throughout our SBA loan process. She truly is a blessing to the SBDC and this community. – Eric & Dawn Draper”

SBDC Del Mar College


  • Business Acquisition & Expansion
  • Owner Investment: $140,000
  • Owner Financing: $155,000
  • SBA Loan: $357,700
  • Increased Sales: $2.6 million
  • Jobs Retained: 8
Seaworthy Marine Supply has been an institution in Fulton, TX for over a decade, and is recognized as one of the premier marine businesses in South Texas. Seaworthy Marine prides itself on being a full service marine supply, tackle shop, and outdoor outfitter that provides customers with the “goods and services they need, when they need them, all in one convenient place.”

Terry Brader served as the manager of the marine shop for twelve years before he decided he wanted to buy the business. Brader has developed a reputation for being one of the top marine equipment installers in Texas. After presenting a business plan to a local bank, Brader and his wife Shana were referred to the Del Mar College SBDC,

where they met with Business Advisor, Larry Ellis. Ellis was able to assist the Braders with bank coordination with Kleberg Bank, loan structuring, SBA loan requirements, business valuation, and financial projections.

Since purchasing the business, the Braders were able to hire eight more employees, and are looking forward to continuing to grow their business. Seaworthy is now an authorized Garmin installer and repair center, and plans to expanded product selections online and in store from Hobie, Wilderness Systems, Costa Del Mar, and Sea to Summit.

Working with the Del Mar College SBDC and our business advisor was the turning point that helped us buy our business. – Terry & Shana Brader”

SBDC TEXAS A&M International University


  • Business Expansion
  • Contract Awarded: $135,000
  • Jobs Created: 17
  • Jobs Retained: 2
Salvador Marquez, a licensed backflow and irrigations specialist, started Marquez Nursery in 2000. The business began by providing basic landscaping needs in Laredo, and has grown to include full-service landscaping, yard maintenance, and sprinkler system repair services.

Marquez has been a client of the TAMIU SBDC for over a decade. In that time, he has received assistance with employee record keeping, payroll, HUB certification, marketing, and government contracting. He has also attended several of the SBDC workshops on business planning, QuickBooks, and employee supervision. Since beginning to work with the SBDC, Marquez has earned contracts with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles,

Laredo Veteran’s Hospital, and Union Pacific. The nursery also provides services to state agencies in Carrizo Springs and Del Rio.

Marquez Nursery services a large part of South Texas, and looks to eventually expand to North Texas in residential and commercial sectors. Marquez will continue to work with the TAMIU SBDC to open a new machine shop that will specialize in fabricating building materials, such as steel beams and metal pipes for the construction and oil/gas industries. He also has plans to work with his TAMIU SBDC Business Advisor Tina Rodriguez to apply for an 8(a) certification in order to more effectively compete for federal contracts.

The TAMIU Small Business Development Center is an excellent program and I highly recommend their services. – Salvador Marquez”

SBDC THE University of texas – pan american


  • Business Startup
  • Owner Investment
  • Commercial Loan
  • Increased Sales: $1 million
  • Jobs Created: 9
Soleil Rehabilitation Services is owned and operated by Tomas and Sarah Moncivais. The company offers rehabilitation services to individuals with speech, language, and oral motor disabilities, in addition to the early identification and treatment of children with Autism. Sarah is a trained and educated Speech Language Pathologist, and Tomas graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Business.

The Moncivaises have extensive experience in the industry. New to small business ownership, they contacted the UTPA SBDC for assistance. Senior Business Advisor Janie Caballero, provided direction and advice to help the

Moncivaises obtain information on business startups, registration and licensing, and marketing research. Caballero also helped with a business plan, financial projections, and loan packaging support.

Thanks to the guidance of the SBDC, the Moncivaises obtained all licensing and permits required to operate the business and obtained funding to finish out the building and start the business. They were also able to hire nine additional employees. The couple plans on continuing to work with the SBDC on marketing and social media, and looks forward to improving and growing their business to help people in their community.

Our advisor, Janie, helped us develop a solid business plan and helped us package a loan proposal which ultimately led to our business startup. – Sarah Moncivais”



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