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The L.A. Small Business Academy is a multi-session course that is made possible by the collaboration of the Department of Water & Power (DWP), the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) including the Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA) and the Bureau of Engineering (BOE).

The Academy was initiated to engender the growth, sustainability, and success of small business enterprises through the provision of courses that provide direct information and insight about marketing, financing, insuring, and working on design-build, and other future projects.  The completion of an extensive program focusing on empowering and preparing small, women, minority, and military veteran-owned firms.
Its inaugural class in 2014 had 30 graduates in the fields of construction and engineering.  The class of 2015, which placed emphasis on women-owned businesses, had 27 graduates.  The 2016 class focus was on disabled veteran-owned businesses and had 33 graduates, six (6) of whom were certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises.
In its 4th  and 5th year, the Academy focused on professional/personal services firms.  The class of 2017 produced 38 graduates who were entrepreneurs involved in environmental, real estate, architecture, media, marketing, security, financial, information technology, human resources and consulting services. The 32 graduates of the class of 2018 were comprised of businesses in video production, social engagement, engineering, geospatial analysis, environmental services, information technology, security, safety management, auditing services, professional development, and translation/interpreting services.  For 2019, the 6th year of the Academy, the class focused on construction services.

Knowledge can mean the difference between failure and success in a small business--especially a new one. The Academy team believes that small business leaders can always learn something new that will benefit their organization. Through the Academy, entrepreneurs and small business owners will gain key insights, skills, and resources required to launch, manage, and expand their future contracting opportunities. The Academy aims to support the development of small businesses by providing them with relevant information and essential training that they could use to successfully adapt to a constantly changing world.


"Understanding the SBE/WBE advantages when bidding for city contracts is one of the many things I learned as an LA Small Business Academy scholar. This experience provided tremendous help in navigating our current contract with the LA Public Library and I will be forever grateful for the Academy’s leadership and guidance."  -- Dana, Class of 2017
“I started the academy with no idea how to navigate the complex labyrinth the City of LA represented.  The wonderful people who make up its departments welcomed all of us in, and gave us the tools to find our way.  The most valuable of these - their on-going dedication to our mutual success.”  -- Laurent, Class of 2017
“The opportunity to have time to talk to the heads of City Departments, small business liaisons and multi-national contractors, gives you another perspective on the way that they perceive your business.  Having the opportunity to talk and interact with them, helped me to understand the areas on my business that needed improvement and work on them. The Small Business Academy, provided me with tools related to marketing, finance and that so named "elevator pitch" that make a difference on that first face-to-face meeting, and helped me to growth my business.” -- Fabiola, Class of 2014.





Class of 2022
United Pipe and Steel Fabrication Alejandra Lopez 
Reliable Transport Systems  Brian Haro
Liberty Rebar Christian Meza
Honest Plumbing & Rooter, Inc Deana Garcia 
Earth Chattering Ideas DBA Earth Chattering Erika Dobensky
Montano Security Ezequiel Montano Jr
Summit Environmental Contractors Grace Aronne
Surti Accounting & Consulting Hamida Surti
America Construction, Inc Hua Wang
PAKO Idowu S Famuyiwa
U.S. Tech Nation Corporation Johnny Galvez
GAMA Contracting Services, Inc. Jose Duenas
Eagle Eye Demolition Inc Julio Pineda 
Acosta & Sons Sewer Contractor Marisol Montoya
DuckPunk Productions, Inc. Mellissa Tong
MDM Developments mlou guzman villanueva
Work Source Staffing Agency ngom Priso
Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services, LLC Nooshin Behroyan
GECTWO Inc Priscilla Pedro 
Pelletier Architects, Inc Raynald Pelletier
Down Under Inc. DBA Util-Locate Inc. Sylvia Novoa
Fehoko Concrete Inc Tim Fehoko
Advanced Communication & Technology Tim Jones
Marine & Valve Supply Yessenia Lemus
YH, Inc. dba Advanced Signs & Banner Yushea Surti


Class of 2021
Architect LA Damir Rahman
Brenda A. Palmer (BAP Consulting) Brenda A. Palmer
Catalyst Environmental Solutions Corporation Megan Schwartz
CERES Corporation Lowell Gerardo Kessel
CIP CORPS Karl Perman
Compiler LLC Vyki Englert
K Buildz LLC Anna Papazian
K2S Studio Kathryn Hampton
LaCiura Consultants Nahid LaCiura
Midian LLC Sheila Miller-Nelson
Tatami Han Lo
Zamini Consultants Zara Plasencia

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Small Business Academy was cancelled.


Class of 2019
Aaxis Construction Clay Reed
B&D Construction Co., Inc. Courtney Gratz
C. J. Stafford Construction Cornelius J Stafford
Claw and Hammer Trevor Whitcomb
Diverse Trucking Ruben Cedillo
Elegance construction Inc. Mohammadali Rafiei
Falkon Construction, Inc Val Mataele
FS Builders Group, Inc. Fernando Sandoval
GECTwo Fernando Monay
Green EconoME Marika Erdely
Green Garden Inc. George Chavez
Horizon Underground Inc Daniel Fair
Huron Construction Inc. Khalid Manzoor
L.A. Drill James Mellinger
L.E.D.R. CORP. Fanny Pena
Maintco Corp. Michael Nottoli
NH Environmental, Inc. Carmen Hurtado
Osmart General Construction Inc Sandra Marroquin
Pacific West Construction Services, Inc Adrian Hernandez
Picture Painting & Decorating, Inc. Ollie B'lanton
Satcom Service John Franklin
Sterling Construction Co. Andrew Sterling
Synergys Construction Services Claudia Karzen
Urban Construction & Design Solutions Inc Elias Gonzalez
Vitoli Builders Inc. Kevin Marc Benhaim
Westpac Construction Inc. Michael Coschigano


Class of 2018
Adept Human Resources Leslie Freeman
Alas Media Inc. Elizabeth Ruvalcaba Mendez
AllSafe IT Bones Ijeoma
Alpha Mega Security Gary Ching
Aslan Consulting LLC Renee Denise Young
Blu Fable LLC Adam Isaac Ebert
Busionari LLC Shaun Anderson
City Design Studio LLC Farooq Ameen
Data 360 Marie Smith
G Interpreting, LLC Jocelyn Garibay
Hamilton Ward, LLC Sherrie Pickens
HVN Environmental Service Co., Inc. Kenneth K. Hekimian, Ph.D., RCE
KAMPS Consulting and Technologies Peter Tshimanga
Kotuku Inc. Jimmy Kim
Leadership Keys Unlimited Rosalind Henderson
Lux Virtual Robert DeCou
MCGHEE Broadcasting / Realtor Thomasina Lawrence
MugenKioku Corporation Naomi Stone
Murakawa Communications Trisha Murakawa
Okapi Architecture Inc. Chin Lin Li
Pactriglo, Inc Benjamin Pezzillo
Proactive work Health Monika Covarrubias
Purple Ink Jane E. Tierney
Seviniti Olyvyan Lattea
Socal Stormwater Runoff Solution Services Inc. Rambod Mohseni
Sonia Sorensen, P.E., PMP Sonia Sorensen
Sui Generis Safety, LLC Deontaye Chisholm
The Imagen Group Angelica Urquijo
The Gadite Group Inc. Nune M. Gipson
TheGregGroup, Inc. Gregory Sirbu
TLC Interpreting & Translation Services, LLC Johanna Aguayo
TrueAsset Business Consulting Bryntte Gray


Class of 2017
Accelerated Appraisals Errol Todd Jacobs
Air Technology Laboratories, Inc. Val Mallari
Apex Ira Klein
Ascorpi, Inc. Laurent Delsol
CAFEtech Los Angeles Charles Fleming
Computer 1 Products of America Inc. Julius Argumedo
Conduit Consulting LLC Jillian Alexander
Crystallogy Consulting, Inc. Crystal Xie
DEG Enterprises, Inc. Drake Goosby
Digi-VUE Advertising Joshua R Ginsberg
Dynamic Team Solutions Candice Gottlieb - Clark
ETR Consultants, LLC Michelle McElroy
Fire Starter Studios Rachel Klein
Higgins Works, LLC Keniya Moore
InclusiveTEch, LLC John Agsalud
InterACT Computing Enterprise Otis Walker
INYA, Inc. Mary Schneider
IT CURA Babak Ardalan
KNL Support Services Lois James
MARK Enterprises, Inc. Adam Koran
Meaway Security Services, Inc. Paul Ivan Meaway
Mercado & Co. Luz Mercado
Mofrad Financial Solutions Ed Mofrad
New Digital IT, Inc. Mike Pithawalla
O2EPCM, Inc. Omoné O. Livingston
Peregrine Realty Partners Michael Chappell
Rambo House Dion Rambo
Ramirez Partners Al Ramirez (formerly of Broadvoice)
S3 Safety Solutions, Inc. Eryca Strong
Salinas Consulting, LLC Maria S. Salinas
Sam Scully Staffing Samantha Scully
Stewart Consulting, LLC Shannon Stewart
UGE & ECS, Inc. Nancy Underwood
Vasquez & Company, LLP Roger A. Martinez
Webb Group Leadership Development, LLC Vernon Webb
Wicked Bionic Dana C. Arnett


Class of 2016
A&E Construction & Painting Everts Alas
Absolute Security International, Inc. Val Martinez
ADP Engineering Richard Worster
Advanced Chemical Laboratories Maryam Azad
Alliance Construction Services, Inc. Jaclyn Rivera 
The American Engineers Ramon Edrick Hilario
Anytime Dumping Bobby Evans Jr.
Breen Engineering, Inc. Joshua Sowa
(formerly of Brierley Associates) Kristine Durand
Colbert Environmental Group, LLC Kimberly Colbert 
David Engineering, LLC Shawn Coleman
David Ke|Design Collaborative Studio David Ke
Delta Commercial Roofing  Alexander  Lopez
ENOR Traffic Control David Frelow
Housekeepers N Action Cookie Jean Simpson
Ibarra General Engineering, Inc Arturo Ibarra
Imagescape360.com Francis Yee
Jus Dumping, LLC Renee Cleveland
K.J. Aro & Associates, Inc. Kayode Arowosegbe 
Kana Subsurface Engineering Erick Castro
Lynn C. Kronzek & Associates Lynn C.Kronzek 
MAUD Architects Jae Chung
Muni-Fed Energy, Inc. Clay Sandidge 
OCA Electrical, Inc. Nayeri Mikailian 
OHR Energy Kenneth Rosentreter 
SEC, LLC Jay K. Tourgoutian
Servitek Solutions, Inc Joseph Kokrak 
T&G Construction Services, Inc. Ana Villalobos
TADIARchitecture Dino Tadiar
The Creager Corporation James Creager 
Value Sustainability Salem Afeworki 
Yung Architects Janet Rhee 


Class of 2015
Absolutely Solar, Inc Elizabeth A. Rollins
Archimorphic (formerly Amphibian Arc) Luoya Tu
ASWB Engineering Christie Kjellman
Blue Ocean Civil Consulting Jessica Cassman
CrossConcepts, LLC. Eugene L. Cross
Cyber Audio Visions, Inc. Darryl A. Smith
Energy Managers, Inc. Tahseena Kahn
Energy Solutions Consulting, Inc. Cresente G. De los Reyes
FM General Engineering, Inc. Elisa Rey Perez
HD Geolosolutions Sanjay Bawan
Independent Cx Consulting James D. Anderton
Intellegent Fire Systems & Solutions Queen Galamb
J.L. Moody Construction & Development Angela Williams
Jin Sheji, Inc. Tang Lee
Kewo Engineering Corporation Brian B. Kewo
Land Design Services, Inc./ dba Cesco Engineering Mauricio Jaramillo
LB & K, Inc. Alejandra Garay
Lumas Air, Inc Rakiyah Le Beau
Mr. Fix It Plumbing, Inc. Mark Meng
OFRS, Inc. Chip Anzalone
PartFour Architects Carolyn L. Charles
Performance Analytical Laboratories, Inc. Marycarol Valenzuela
Power Scaffold Sam Marshall
Sacred Garden Designs, Inc. Denise Buchanan
SWA Architects Suzan Edwards
Target1 Instruments, LLC Suzette Kilgoar
Valley Sewer Gilbert Carbajal


Class of 2014
Aleksa Simich Construction Inc. Richard A. Hanner
Allied Paving Enterprises, Inc. David Mendoza
Baryeh Construction Engineers Kofi Baryeh
California Testing & Inspections, Inc. Fabiola Jaque
Comfort & Hays Electric, Inc. Michael Hays
CWE Vik Bapna
Defence Company Rudy Gutierrez
Dynamic Painting Co. Reynaldo Aguilar
Electrical Management Systems, Inc. Rick Webb
Flex Connection Inc. dba Joints Michael Bea
Garay Construction Inc. David O Garay
Gateway Science and Engineering George A. Castillo
Geo-Advantec, Inc. Violette Sedagat
Hoffman Management & Construction Corp Rafael Tavera
Hongjoo Kim Landscape Architects, Inc. Sunmin Lee
iCann CM Charletta R. Gipson
Integral Engineering Services, Inc. Darren Azarian
Maroko & Shwe, Inc. James H. Shwe
Max Out Inc. Rod Edison Sr.
National Construction and Development Inc. Wayne Cox
Orochena Construction Services Inc. Raquel Orochena
RAB Electric Services Rebecca Flores
Roman Demolition & Deconstruction Co. Luis M. Roman
Soulful Palisade Todd L. Snow
Superlative Construction, Inc. Moses Soudipour
TALO Management Group, Inc. William Lowery
Telecom Pacific Bobby Jones
The "G" Crew (TGC) Armine Menemshyan
Trade Group Construction Darnell Hendricks
TY Engineering and Design Tolga Yaprak

The Lighting The Way video series was created as a way to keep information available and accessible during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This series offers knowledge and guidance on how to do business with the City of Los Angeles.  Lighting the Way's objective is to provide a platform where essential and relevant information that small and diverse businesses could utilize to navigate the various elements of City contracting can be easily accessed.  Visit the Lighting the Way YouTube Channel to view all the videos. https://www.youtube.com/c/LightingTheWayToBusinessLA/featured