SBA Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office announces 2017 Small Business Week winners


The U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office announced today the winners of the 2017 Small Business Week Awards.  This year marks the 54th annual proclamation of National Small Business Week, April 30 to May 6, 2017.

 “It’s truly an excellent time to recognize the importance of small business ownership and to celebrate model entrepreneurs whose enterprises contribute to the commercial prosperity of the Lower Rio Grande Valley District,” Angela R. Burton, district director, Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office stated.

The District’s 2017 Small Business Persons of the Year are Leodegario Neave, Elizabeth Neave, Abraham Neave and Abisai Neave of JDG Jewelers in Mission, Texas.  JDG Jewelers is a second generation family business that specializes in custom jewelry as well as professional jewelry and watch repair. The company has been in business since the 1980’s in Mexico and opened its first location in the United States in 2002. Mr. Leodegario Neave and Mrs. Elizabeth Neave were the initial co-founders and in 2015, sons Abraham and Abisai Neave become partners.  JDG Jewelers are clients of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Small Business Development Center and are graduates of the very first Scale Up Rio Grande Valley cohort.

 The Mission Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon at the Cimarron Country Club in celebration of Small Business Week on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and have invited all awardees to be recognized for their small business achievements at the event. For reservations to the luncheon contact Zoe Molina at (956) 585-2727 or via email at before April 24, 2017.  Single seats and sponsored tables are available.

Additional Small Business Week Awardees include:

Jose Luis Muñoz, Guzman & Muñoz Engineering and Surveying, Inc., Mercedes, Texas; 8(a) Graduate of the Year

Pedro Valdez, Export Distribution & Consulting Services, Inc., Mercedes, Texas; Small Business Exporter of the Year

Dr. Juan D. Villarreal, Harlingen Family Dentistry, Harlingen, Texas, Entrepreneurial Success Award

Peggy C. Ramon, PR Nutrition Consulting, PLLC, McAllen, Texas; SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Elvia B. Lozoya, Brownsville, Texas; Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year

Suzanne E. Muñoz, The Numbers Company, LLC, Pharr, Texas; Financial Services Champion of the Year

Christian D. Ibarrola, Productos Winnuts LTD Co., McAllen, Texas; Minority Small Business Champion of the Year

Lou Crain Gracia, Valley Trophy Services Company, Brownsville, Texas; Women in Business Champion of the Year

Kim Novak, K9 Conditioning and Rehabilitation Services, Corpus Christi, Texas; (Branch) Women in Business Champion of the Year

Ricardo De Luna, Journey Charters & Tours, LLC, McAllen, Texas; Home Based Business Champion of the Year

Aaron L. Gonzalez, Edinburg, Texas; SBDC Advisor of the Year

Additionally, lending partners BBVA Compass Bank, Texas Certified Development Company, Inc. and LiftFund, Inc. will be recognized for their support of small businesses.

About the Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office

The SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office (LRGVD) is located in Harlingen, Texas with a branch office in Corpus Christi, Texas.  The district covers 14 of the 254 counties in the State of Texas and is comprised of a diverse landscape to include international ports of entry, beaches, deep sea ports, ranch land, and metropolitan cities.  Its geographical and demographical mixture is greatly reflected in its entrepreneurial spirit and economic outlook.  To learn more about SBA’s programs and services, visit or call the LRGV District Office at (956) 427-8533.