September 24, 2021

Local businesses win Valley small business awards

Two companies in the Central Valley have been recognized for their achievements.

Last week, it was announced that Fresno’s J.I. Garcia Construction had won the “2020 Exporter of the Year” and Visalia’s Central Valley Ag Exports won the “2020 Outstanding Business of the Year” Award from the Central CA SBDC network for their achievements. They were nominated for the National Small Business Award by the Valley Community Small Business Development Center (VCSBDC), which serves Tulare, Fresno, Kings and Madera counties.

Didier Vivies


“This yearly event recognizes the critical impact small businesses have on our local economies and celebrates the outstanding accomplishments made by each of our award recipients,” stated Central CA SBDC Regional Director Kurt Clark. “Their achievements exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that is a hallmark of the U.S.”

The VCSBDC is hosted by Clovis Community College.

Founded in 1982, J.I. Garcia Construction is a general building and general engineering contractor that specializes in commercial and institutional building construction, with an emphasis in design build, while operating in the private and public areas of work. With an extensive array of certifications, they serve clients not only in California, but also Oregon, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. Their list of projects includes airport runway renovations, squadron operations facilities, battlefield recreations for training, apartment complex and shopping mall renovations, and new retail buildings.

Central Valley Ag Exports, Inc. ( was founded in 2005, by CEO Didier Vivies, an immigrant from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. He established the business in the most fertile agricultural area of the San Joaquin Valley and began by going door-to-door to establish relationships with farmers who would supply him with high quality commodities at a good price and with customers willing to give him a chance and start buying from him. Today, CVAE serves both domestic and international companies, offering a variety of options, from bulk deliveries direct from farmer to customer, to packaging for international and domestic locations, to private label packaging.

“We were honored to have both these companies win awards,” stated VCSBDC Director Rich Mostert. “The lead SBDC consultant on our team, Olga Martinez helped both of these businesses grow and succeed during these unprecedented times. She is a valued member of our team of expert consultants providing a broad range of no-cost services and workshops to companies across a diverse array of industries, and our mission is to help companies grow, thrive, and succeed.”

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