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The UTSA Small Business Development Center congratulates 15th graduating class of business excellence program

The 2018 BBE Cohort included 14 graduates from 10 growth companies that will join an alumni base of more than 150 entrepreneurs who have graduated from the Building Business Excellence (BBE) program.

The UTSA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) welcomed its 15th class of Building Business Excellence (BBE) graduates into its alumni base of more than 150 entrepreneurs. BBE trains entrepreneurs on Values Based Leadership; a strategic model that supports growth in thriving businesses around the country.

This year’s graduating class consisted of Wendy O’Kane (Always Best Care Senior Services); Ben Castruita (Wave Healthcare, LLC); Linda Lopez de Roman and Javier Roman (Worldwide Languages & Communication, LLC); Debbi Bevens, Lillie De La Garza, Albert Muñoz, and Lucy Rodriguez (Dixie Flag and Banner Company); Robin Shiflett (Wave Health Services, LLC); Bree Kieke (Sail Healthcare, LLC); Melinda Garcés (Garcés Waterjet); Mayela Ramos (Vida Mia Mexican Cuisine); Yevgeny Levitov (Facekey Corporation); and Lorraine Martinez (Loma Behavior and Training LLC).

“This program totally exceed(ed) my expectations. I feel so empowered right now and motivated to do the right moves in the business and inspire excellence,” said Mayela Ramos, 2018 BBE graduate and Vida Mia Mexican Cuisine owner.

The UTSA SBDC joined forces with Holt Development Services, Inc., a division of Holt CAT, to offer BBE over the course of seven weeks. During the program, facilitators share practices in integrating Holt’s widely celebrated Values Based Leadership principles into the participant’s companies. BBE topics include the Values Based Leadership Approach, DISC Model, Situational Leadership II, Influencing Skills, Conflict Resolution, Hiring and Ethics.

“This is a joint effort to receive what we need and share what we know,” said Melinda Garcés, 2018 BBE graduate and Garcés Waterjet president. “I was inspired by so many, in so many ways. I walk away from this value(s) based leadership class with a completely different insight. The real commitment begins. Today I begin to practice what our amazing leaders have shared. This was the best investment I could have made for myself and the company I lead. What is even more amazing is to see the younger group hear it, get it and practice it,” Garcés continued. “This was definitely an engaged group who shared openly. I am eager to stay connected and observe how we will build and grow as leaders.”

To find out more about the program, please visit, or contact UTSA SBDC at 210-458-2460.

Click here to read the full press release