Waymon Armstrong, president and CEO of Orlando-based Engineering and Computer Simulations, Inc., (ECS) has been named the 2010 National Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Armstrong, who started ECS in 1997, experienced challenging times in the early years of business. After the 9/11 tragedy it became impossible for Armstrong to make payroll and he was forced to lay off employees. To keep ECS afloat, Armstrong deferred his salary for more than three years. To overcome the challenges he faced, Armstrong actively sought assistance from the SBDC at UCF in 2003 including participation in the Center’s six-part strategy planning workshop series. The six-part program, sponsored by Orange County Government, was designed to assist established business owners with analyzing the external environment and competition, building a unique brand, developing collaborative relationships to build a competitive advantage, determining capital needs, and evaluating and developing corporate resources and direction. Through his determination to succeed, Armstrong focused on developing long-term strategies. By 2008, ECS doubled its revenues and has seen a 640% sales growth over the past three years. Today, ECS is one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing private companies in the nation.
“Waymon Armstrong is truly deserving of this prestigious national award. He is an extraordinary entrepreneur and is an ideal role model for small businesses across the nation. Congratulations to Waymon and all the employees at ECS,” said Thomas L. Keon, dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. “I also applaud Eunice Choi and her staff at the SBDC for their continued success working with clients.”
ECS is a leading provider of gamed-based simulation systems and interactive performance assessment tools that train emergency medial personnel and emergency management teams from different jurisdictions to cooperate in the event of a natural disaster, and simulation training programs that teach unmanned vehicle operational personnel procedures to launch and operate unmanned vehicles. ECS currently employs 45 people and recruits from the Central Florida talent pool.
For more information on the SBDC at UCF visit their website.