Four businessmen graduate SBA program

Published Nov 7, 2017 at 4:00pm

Four local business owners were among the 16 graduates of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program this week.

Now in its seventh year, Syracuse is one of 51 Emerging Leaders locations nationwide. With the 2017 class, 109 Central New York entrepreneurs have completed the program since it launched in Syracuse. The program targets small companies that have the potential for rapid expansion and job creation, the SBA noted.

“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,” said district director Bernard J. Paprocki, at the graduation ceremony.

Nationally, Emerging Leader graduates have secured more than $1 billion in government contracts and accessed $73 million in new financing. Graduates also reported having created nearly 2,000 full-time jobs since the program’s inception. The local graduates are:

  • Nate Beck, chief of operations, Rollingstar Manufacturing, Barneveld. He started working in the family business in 1999.  The company manufactures custom trailers and truck bodies for police and fire departments as well as the military. He is in charge of engineering, manages production and oversees operations of the company. He manages a team of 14 employees to provide clients with incident command and training units so they are prepared for emergencies.
  • Viktor Klyachko, founder and chief executive officer, Green Ignite, Utica. The LED lighting company was founded in 2013. The company specializes in the distribution of Green Ignite brand LED lighting products mostly for commercial and industrial applications. Green Ignite stocks, catalogs and supplies branded products to a distribution network of mostly electrical wholesalers, who in turn supply them to contractors, architects, designers and end-users. The Green Ignite team of eight people offers a free six-year warranty.
  • Ken Morse, president, North Point Defense, Rome. The business is located near the Air Force Research Laboratory. Morse spent over 25 years in research and development of technologies for the defense industry and other government interests prior to teaming with others to start North Point Defense over five years ago. The firm develops and offers software solutions applied to communication and audio signal applications for the federal government. The majority of the 60 plus full-time employees at the firm hold advanced degrees in computer science and engineering.
  • Jaime Sweet, president and chief executive officer Hartman Enterprises, Oneida. HEI is a precision machine parts manufacturer with 25,000 square feet of manufacturing space and over 40 employees. This family-owned and -operated business was purchased in 1972 by Sweet’s grandparents, who ran the business until their retirement. Since 2014 HEI has obtained AS9100 certification, HUBZone certification and state Minority and Women Owned Enterprise certification is pending approval.