San Diego Small Business Association Honors Southwestern College Director

San Diego Small Business Association Honors Southwestern College Director
San Diego Contracting Opportunities Director Also Makes His Mark

        The Small Business Association San Diego District Office has awarded Victor Castillo the Minority Small Business Champion of the Year. Castillo is the Director of the San Diego Center for International Trade Development (CITD) at Southwestern College and has been serving the College and the CITD communities since 1988. 
        With Southwestern College and the CITD, Castillo has overseen operations of the center and the coordination of small businesses and international trade programs while serving as a consultant to small and international businesses. 
        Castillo has been instrumental in bridging business opportunities locally and in Mexico. Last summer, Southwestern College signed a cross-border agreement with the Consejo Empresarial Mexicano de Comercio Exterior (COMCE) to provide services to small businesses on both sides of the border. The agreement was made possible through the strong partnerships Castillo has developed here and in Mexico. 
        In announcing the awards last month, SBA San Diego District Director Ruben Garcia said that honoring local, small businesses is a great reminder of what helped make our country great. 
        “SBA has helped well over 20 million Americans start, grow and expand their businesses, placing tens of billions of dollars in loans into the hands of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy,” said Garcia. 
        SBA also honored local businesses in the Southwestern College community.
Alejandro Galicia, President and CEO of BPI Plumbing in Bonita was awarded Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year and Ramon C. Castillo, President & Joseph M. Fernandez, Executive Vice President of CMF Global, Inc. in Chula Vista were awarded Small Business Exporter of the Year.
        The honorees will be publicly honored at the annual Small Business Awards Luncheon & Conference on June 12, 2013 at the Scottish Rite Event Center in Mission Valley. More information on the awards ceremony can be found at
        In other workforce development news, Gunnar Schalin completed his term as the National President of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC). Schalin handed over the gavel at the APTAC award ceremonies in Atlanta, Georgia on April 24 and administered the oath of office to APTAC’s new board of directors. Schalin also serves as the Director of the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center, a program of Southwestern College. The contracting center provides procurement counseling and technical assistance to small business in San Diego County, enabling their business clients to bid and win government contracts.