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SBA Emerging Leaders program graduates 2018 participants

By Eric Reinhardt


The owners and leading officials of 18 area companies have graduated from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emerging Leaders program after its 2018 session. (PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Small Business Administration)

SYRACUSE — Owners and leading officials of 18 area companies participated in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emerging Leaders program in 2018.

The SBA honored the group during a graduation ceremony held Oct. 15 at the Gateway Center at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). 

The Gateway Center is located east of Syracuse University’s Sadler Hall and across Forestry Drive from the Carrier Dome.

“Our graduates have just spent months analyzing their business financials, identifying sales trends, leveraging resources, learning new management skills, and planning how to sustainably expand their business. I am positive that each graduate stands better prepared to face new challenges and opportunities for their small business,” Bernard J. Paprocki, director of the SBA Syracuse district office, said in a news release.

The Emerging Leaders Initiative provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, “poised-for-growth” companies that are “potential job creators,” the SBA said. 

The “intensive” executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. It also provides opportunities for small-business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

The SBA program is made possible through support from local cosponsors that include Blackstone LaunchPad; CenterState CEO; CNYTDO; City of Syracuse Office of Neighborhood and Business Development; Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship; Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY); Onondaga County; Onondaga Small Business Development Center; SUNY ESF, Syracuse SCORE chapter; the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc.; the Tech Garden; and the WISE Women’s Business Center, the SBA said.

Participants, SBA officials

The accompanying photo includes this year’s participants.

Back row from left to right: Steve Bulger, SBA region II administrator; Nicholas Mir, co-owner of Snow Ridge Resort, LLC in Turin; Matt Notaro, president of Sun Environmental Corp. of Clay; Nicholas Ryan, co-owner of Strong Hearts Café, LLC of Syracuse; Douglas Arena, partner and project manager at Bell & Spina Architects in Syracuse; Scott Colbert, owner of Paul Davis Restoration of North Country NY in Hastings; Thaddeus Lovett, president of Lovett Mechanical Contractors Inc. of Syracuse; Chris Keevil, president of the Copy Centers of Syracuse; Paul Kocur, VP of government sales at Oneida Business Enterprises, Inc.; and James Thew, principal with Thew Associates PE in Marcy.

Front row from left to right: Jenn Beach Brillante, VP of business development at C&D Advertising of Utica; Laura Cueva, president & CEO of Interior Innovations of Utica; Natalie Evans, co-owner of The Sweet Praxis in downtown Syracuse; Nabil Rab, CEO of Altenew of Syracuse; Paul Vinciguerra, business development manager at Upstate Printing Inc. in Syracuse; Michael Weisel, managing partner of Galaxy Brewing Company of Binghamton; Mary Celletti, CEO of Golden Spike Pub in East Syracuse; Thomas Brown, a partner in Blue Water Capital Management, LLC of Syracuse; Andrew Cambria, owner of the Cambria Agency of Cicero; and Bernard J. Paprocki, SBA Syracuse District Director.

The participants work in sectors that include manufacturing, food service, and technology. 

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