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Janice Lucero was convinced people would pay a little more to renew their driver’s license or car registration if they could do it quickly from a convenient location with friendly service. Lucero turned her conviction into MVD Express, a $5 million company that serves 22,000 customers a month from its 11 New Mexico locations.
Lucero’s success and community involvement led the U.S. Small Business Administration to name her the New Mexico Small Business Person of the Year. The award earned Lucero a trip to Washington D.C. where she’s in the running for national recognition.
The New Mexico district of the U.S. Small Business Administration will honor Lucero and other small-business leaders from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. June 2 at the state’s Small Business Week Award Celebration luncheon at Embassy Suites Albuquerque Hotel, 1000 Woodward Place N.E.
Other award recipients include Carlo and Paul Lucero of Sparkle Maintenance Inc., Leroy Pacheco of The Loan Fund, Sandy Schargel of Sandy Schargel Interiors, Jennifer Craig of WESST, Daniel Curado of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Small Business Program, Frances Lujan of Los Tapatios and Ballet en Fuego Dance Companies, Jim VanDeGrift and Steve Trutna of Faith Enterprises Inc, and lenders Century Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and Ironstone Bank.
The award celebration will be in conjunction with the Small Business Jobs Act Tour, one of 13 events around the country to introduce business owners to new tools and resources in the recently-enacted Small Business Jobs Act. Breakout sessions will address contracting, lending and exporting. SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns and SBA Regional Administrator Yolanda Garcia Olivarez will hear firsthand from small business owners about concerns and suggestions for participating in federal contracting work. Resource providers will be available to answer questions at booths in the exhibition area.
The daylong event is co-sponsored by the SBA New Mexico District Office and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network. Attendance at the awards luncheon is $35 per person. Small Business Jobs Act Tour sessions are free, but pre-registration is requested. Register at www.sba.gov/jobsacttour/albuquerque or by calling 505-428-1624 or 800-281-7232.
Janice Lucero gives credit to MVD Express workers for helping her grow her business and achieving this award. “My goal has been to have a business where everyone enjoys – on most days – coming to work as much as I do,” said Lucero. “This award is only possible through their diligence every day to get it right for our customers.” MVD Express employs more than 100 people.
Lucero, whose parents taught her to face life without fear, believes operating a business is not for the faint of heart. “Always double the expenses and triple the amount of money that you think you’ll need,” she advises. Lucero said her business really took off when she finally had enough money to advertise.
Lucero had this advice for business owners: “Listen more, talk less,” she said. “Good advice… not always easy.”
John C. Woosley, district director, U.S. Small Business Administration New Mexico District
Finance New Mexico is an initiative of the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation (NMSBIC) and its partners to assist individuals and businesses in obtaining skills and funding-resources for their business or idea. To learn more, go to www.FinanceNewMexico.org.