Categorized | Breaking News, JAX Briefs

Thirty-Seven Small Businesses Selected to Receive Education and Growth Assistance from ScaleUp North Florida

scaleup north flScaleUp North Florida, the new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) growth acceleration program based at the University of North Florida, has selected 37 small business owners to be in the inaugural class.

More than 60 applications were received for the program, which is designed to impact the local economy by helping small businesses scale up, create jobs and grow their bottom lines in 2015. There is no charge to participate.

Community First Credit Union has partnered with ScaleUp North Florida as the program’s local sponsor. This sponsorship fits with Community First’s focus on serving local small businesses. “Small business, entrepreneurship and innovation are core focuses of our services at Community First,” said John Hirabayashi, president and CEO of Community First. “We are proud to support projects like ScaleUp North Florida, which give small businesses a leg up in our market. We are looking forward to seeing the success that education and partnerships like ScaleUp will have in our region.”

The ScaleUp North Florida inaugural class includes:

Emad Abduljaber, Prime Paper Distributors; Erica Benson, Green Dog Spa; Peter Booras, Bravo School of Dance and Theater; Joshua Cordle, Cordle Masonry; Florence Diapo, Allergen Free Shop; Gary DiStefano, Rhino Pro Floors and Garage Living; Bobby Dooley, Precision Cleaning & More; Dana Edmonds, The Tutoring Club of Jacksonville; Marco Fortini, Optimum Spring; Joanna Frantz, In Motion Physical Therapy; Michael Griffiths, Any Lab Test Now; Andrea Hart, BrightStar Care of the Beaches & Ponte Vedra; James Johns, Solid Rock Engineering Consultants; Rosalind Marshall Jones, Jacksonville’s Best Caregivers; Curt Kinder, Greener Solutions Air Conditioning Services; Nikki Lewis, Advanced Cardiac Training; Kirt Lynch, Lynch Cycles; Jeremy MacDonald, First Coast Industrial; Doug Mueller, Circle Japan; Mark Murphy, Murphy Chiropractic Health Center; Wayne Nolan, Nolan Plumbing and Irrigation; Cynthia O’Neal, U.S. Flag Supply; Patti Peeples,; Robert Richendollar, R&R Distributors; Ramesh Seerangan, Digital Capstone; Saundra Jones, Alpine Air; Janeen Sara, LuLi’s Cupcakes; Mike Serig, Earthscapes Design Build; Michael Sharpe, Eye Envy Optical; Greg Sheppard, I-On Logistics; Bruno Silva, Illuminearth Lighting and Controls; Eric Summers, Underwater Mechanix; Sheryl Taylor Thompson, Comprehensive Therapy Center of Jacksonville; Cathy Thomasson, Sidney Cardel’s; Darly Thoppil, Revive Rehab; Shai Tzabari, Olive My Pickle; and Vicky Zelen, Zelen Risk Solutions.


About ScaleUp North Florida: ScaleUp North Florida is a small business growth program funded through a contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration and hosted by the University of North Florida. To learn more about ScaleUp North Florida, visit our website at

About Community First Credit Union: Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the 10 largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 108,000 members and with assets of $1.3 billion. Community First has 18 locations and 300 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses throughout the First Coast. For more information, visit

Leave a Reply