New York SBDC Honors Entrepreneurs of the Year

June 1, 2017

Albany – The New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) announced its statewide Entrepreneur of the Year award winners, selected from more than 21,000 clients. The NY SBDC Entrepreneur of the Year awards are given to business owners whose efforts and contributions stand out as having enabled their business to grow and thrive during the past academic year to a leadership position in one of eight categories, with the assistance of SBDC Business Advisors, research and services.

This year’s winners include:

Hartman Enterprises Inc., client of the Mohawk Valley SBDC, was named Manufacturer of the Year. Hartman Enterprises is a precision machine parts manufacturer located in Oneida that employs more than 45 people. The business’ facility consists of over 25,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Started in 1973, current CEO Jaime Sweet took over the family business in 2014.

Susan Jablon of Susan Jablon Mosaics, LLC, client of the Binghamton SBDC, was named Exporter of the Year. The company was founded by Jablon in 2000 and since then has grown to be a world-class manufacturer-supplier of high-quality mosaic tiles throughout the United States, Canada, France, and United Arab Emirates.

Doris Ulysse, client of the Brooklyn SBDC, was named Growth Company of the Year. Doris specializes in network design and administration and is adept at configuring and integrating hardware and software for a full spectrum of client types. After years of working as an IT professional she consulted the Brooklyn SBDC to test the waters of entrepreneurship, and soon became an MWBE subcontractor.

Laura Cueva of Cueva Contract Inc., client of the Mohawk Valley SBDC, was named Minority Entrepreneur of the Year. Cueva and her staff help businesses, educational facilities, and medical facilities enhance employee productivity through creative space planning and cost-effective furniture solutions designed to promote employee well-being in the workplace.

Ben Primicias of School Daze, client of the Watertown SBDC, was named Procurement Entrepreneur of the Year. He opened his first school supply store in 1991, selling a variety of educational items for teachers and parents.

Eli Smith of So Gone Trash Removal, client of the Onondaga SBDC, was named Bonded Contractor of the Year. The company, which includes 24 employees, provides trash hauling, demolition, post clean-up on job sites, and estate clean-outs. In 2016, Smith was awarded one of the first Carey Gabay Excellence and Innovation Awards for Minority-and Women- Owned Business Enterprises by NYS.

Gloria Lovece of Infrastructure Unlimited Inc., client of the Rockland SBDC, was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year. The company specializes in the installation and remediation of public infrastructure - notably bridges, railroads and power lines.

Mark Dyson of Spinland Studios, LLC, client of the Mohawk Valley SBDC, was named Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year. Spinland Studios, LLC is a 3D-modeling and computer animation service started in 2010 by U.S. Air Force veteran Dyson. The company’s primary focus is on broadcast media and advertising, but also supports areas such as instructional and/or educational messages.

"We are extremely proud of all of the honored Entrepreneurs of the Year for their remarkable achievements in the spirit of small business and entrepreneurship," said SBDC State Director James King. "Their commitment and perseverance have guided them to the forefront of their respective fields, and each one has made a positive impact on the State and the economy, and to hundreds of employees associated with their success."

About the New York Small Business Development Center

The NY SBDC, administered by SUNY, has 24 regional service centers located throughout the New York State on SUNY, City University of New York (CUNY) and private university campuses. Since inception in 1984, the SBDC has provided small business advisement services to more than 374,000 New Yorkers. The SBDC also provides training and business research to existing business owners and entrepreneurs. SBDC clients have invested more than $6 billion in NY, impacting more than 165,000 jobs.

The SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, local communities, and host campuses. As a result of this leveraged support, the SBDC staff provides confidential one-on-one business advisement services at no direct cost to the citizens and entrepreneurs of New York. For more information about the SBDC, visit

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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