Small business has been referred to as the backbone of America—rightfully so; small business entrepreneurship is one of the closest realities to the American Dream a person can experience.

Host, Paige Malenock, sat down with Karen Friel, District Director of the SBA; John Fleming, Regional Administrator of the SBA; Jill Scarbro, CEO of Bright Futures Learning Services; Kenneth Thompson, CEO of Valtronics Solutions; Kim Mack, Owner of Cyclops Industries, Liz Riffle, Owner of Riffle Farms, and Julie Zurcher, Owner of Sparkle Janitorial Supply.

The panelists are among a number of highly-trained specialists in their respective fields and are hoping to cultivate a stronger small business economy in the future of West Virginia.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses.

SBA was created in 1953 as “an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.”

Of the panelists, Jill Scrabro was the recent recipient of the 2022 West Virginia and National Best Business Person of the Year Award.

“It was never my goal to be a business person,” said Scarbro. “My goal was, ‘How do I help kids?’”

Bright Futures was founded in 2007 with a vision that every child can and has the right to learn. They achieve this vision through Applied Behavioral Analysis—the application of behavioral science to help make the world a better place.

With an almost 90% success rate in study and application, early intensive behavioral intervention for autistic persons has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General.

“I was about what I could do to help children,” continued Carter. “But now I recognize what a privilege it is [to be an entrepreneur] and have a team of people who have dedicated their lives to it.”

West Virginia hasn’t had a national award winner in 60 years.

To follow the panelists’ stories and learn more about each company, visit,,,,, and