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SBA’s 2016 Emerging Leaders Initiative Gets Underway in NJ

From an organic juice maker in Asbury Park to an elevator company in Pennsauken, the U.S. Small Business Administration introduced 17 New Jersey small business owners who were selected to participate in the agency’s (SBA) 2016 Emerging Leaders training program.

According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, the eight month intensive executive training program is focused on firms in underserved communities with a high ceiling for growth. “We received over 80 applications from small business owners throughout the state, who wanted to participate in this training program,” said Titone.  “We interviewed and selected what we felt were the 17 best firms that had the most growth potential.”

Titone, who presided over an introductory ceremony hosted by the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) and held at the Rutgers Business School in Newark where the classes will take place said, “This signifies the start of an important seven month journey for the companies that have been selected to participate in this program.  When all is said in done, I believe that the return on investment for each firm will have a significant impact on the local economies where they are located.”

The 17 candidates selected to participate in the program are from the following New Jersey communities: Asbury Park, Denville, Dover, Elizabeth, Freehold, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Lawrenceville, Newark, Nutley, Pennsauken, Sayreville, Somerset and West New York.

Entering its ninth consecutive year, the initiative has trained more than 3,000 promising small business owners from underserved communities in 51 cities across the country, and its impact continues to grow as nearly 70 percent of the graduates have achieved revenue growth, while 80 percent have created new jobs or retained all existing jobs. In addition, participants of the program have secured over $1 billion in government contracts and have accessed $73 million in new financing.

Titone added the program has no out of pocket expenses for participants, but has a significant time requirement that calls for approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant.  In addition to the training, small business owners will be given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.

The SBA criteria for participating in the Emerging Leaders Initiative require established small business owners and executives to: have annual revenues of at least $400,000; have been in business for at least 3 years; and have at least one employee, other than self.

While the program has been in existence for nine years, this marks the third consecutive year that New Jersey has participated in the program. “Providing the Emerging Leaders training program to New Jersey small businesses in underserved communities allows us to take a proven formula to these small businesses in order to help them expand and improve upon their existing business model, so that they may attain the next level of success.”

Joining the SBA as co-sponsors of the 2016 Emerging Leaders initiative in Newark are: the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers University; Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation; New Jersey Business & Industry Association; New Jersey Small Business Development Center; the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey; and UCEDC.

The following is a list of the executives and their companies selected to participate in the SBA’s 2016 Emerging Leaders training initiative:

Justin Gill

Allied Elevator

Pennsauken, NJ

Tel: 856-324-0621 – Website:


Arturo Garcia III

American Maintenance & Supplies, Inc.

West New York, NJ

Tel: 877-860-0004 – Website:


Bob Dale

Electronic Service Solutions, Inc.

Nutley, NJ

Tel: 877-359-5350 – Website: 


Raghvendra Sahai

EuTech Scientific Services, Inc.

Highland Park, NJ

Tel:  800-284-9245  – Website: 


Robert Acquaye

Fastsigns of Newark

Newark, NJ

Tel:  973- 273-1200 – Website: 


John Gaona

GTS Consultants, Inc.

Freehold, NJ

Tel: 732-409-0900 – Website: 


Oscar Vargas

Guscos Landscaping, LLC

Dover, NJ

Tel: 973-361-5715 – Website:


Jamil Brown

Hybridge Learning Group

Somerset, NJ

Tel: 908-917-2552 – Website:


Regina Flimlin

Juice Basin

Asbury Park, NJ

Tel: 732-481-4110 – Website:


Marilyn Schlossbach

Langosta Lounge

Asbury Park, NJ

Tel: 732-455-3275 – Website: 


Joan Marie Granato

New Jersey Adult Medical Day Care Inc.

Newark, NJ

Tel: 973-578-2815   – No website available


Mahesh Yadav

Optima Global Solutions, Inc.

Lawrenceville, NJ

Tel:  609-586-8811 – Website:


Carol Barfield

Precision Numerical Technologies

Sayreville, NJ

Tel: 732-591-4884 – Website:


Edward Roberts

Prepboyz/Buggin Out Pest Control

Elizabeth, NJ

Tel: 908-469-2719 – Website:


Jorge Henao

Sierra Coffee

Dover, NJ

Tel:  973-361-2999 –  No website available


Pritesh Patel

SPR Construction Corp.

Denville, NJ

Information currently not available


Srini Vaidy


Hillsborough, NJ

Tel: 908-874-4867 – Website:

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