2018 SBLA Winners (L to R): Byron Bexley, Maryanne Guido, Leslie Komet, Kimberly Britton, Jane Pauley-Flores, Karen Friese, Mona Helmy, Joe Fisher, Fred Casillas, and Dr. William Gonzaba


On October 10, 2018, the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce honored 10 exceptional business leaders for their positive contribution to San Antonio and leadership in their respective industries at the 22nd Annual Small Business Leaders Awards dinner at the McNay Art Museum.  Of the 10 awardees, one was selected as the 2018 Small Business Leader of the Year.  This year, the award went to Mona Helmy, CEO of Helmy Associates & Co., a San Antonio-based plastics thermoforming manufacturing company.  The award ceremony dinner also presented the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Maryanne Guido, CEO of Guido Construction Company.  Guido Construction Company began as a small business 91 years ago and has since provided $3 billion in construction to San Antonio.  More than half of this year’s awards went to women-owned businesses.




Hallmark University was born in San Antonio as Hallmark Aero-Tech almost a half-century ago in 1969.  Since then, the institution has built on its passion for students and excellence, adapting to the changing landscape of the community and its workforce needs.  Hallmark University now distinguishes itself as a private, non-profit university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in high-demand fields including aeronautics, information technology and cybersecurity, healthcare, and business.

Students at Hallmark University move through Associate and Bachelor programs almost twice as fast, completing an associate’s degree in 14 months and bachelor’s degree in 28 months. Using compressed, objective-driven courses, relevant industry relations, and leadership development programs, Hallmark University holds one of the highest graduation rates in San Antonio and the #1 highest Income Mobility Index — moving students up two or more income brackets.

Hallmark University continues to innovate and adapt its curriculum to produce highly qualified leaders that meet the needs of our workforce.  Hallmark partners with major companies, such as Microsoft, Cisco, and Boeing, and together define the technical and economic landscape of San Antonio.

Joe Fisher has served Hallmark University for almost 20 years, first as the President for 15 years and as Chancellor since 2014. His passion is focused on innovation in education and creating methods for producing excellence and character in the future workforce. Hallmark’s emphasis on character development and mandatory Character 360 Training, further the mission to change individual lives by developing superior skills, knowledge, and character.



Byron Bexley serves as Chairman and CEO of TexStar National Bank, a locally owned and operated community bank that began serving the San Antonio community in 2004. TexStar has grown from $32 million in assets and four branches in 2004, to $260 million in assets and six branches today. TexStar is well-capitalized and has grown from an initial capitalization of $10 million to $28 million today.

Before following in his father’s footsteps as a banker, Bexley received his ungraduated degree from Baylor University while playing football and went on to get his MBA from Sam Houston State. Byron has served as the CEO of community banks for over 33 years.  He began his banking career in Houston until he moved to San Antonio in 1988.  Bexley became the President of Converse National Bank, which later changed its name to TexStar National Bank.  When the bank sold in 1999, he helped charter Mission National Bank and served as their President and CEO until 2004.  In 2004 Bexley went back to Universal City and helped reestablish TexStar.

Bexley currently serves on the Regional Bank Council for the Federal Reserve Bank in San Antonio. In recent past he has served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Bankers Association, the Baylor Bear Foundation and is the past Chairman of the Deacons at First Baptist Church.

Byron and his wife, Debbie have been married for 39 years.  They have a daughter and three sons and six grandchildren.



Gonzaba Medical Group founder, Dr. William Gonzaba, started his family practice in 1960 on South Flores Street, not far from the neighborhood where he was born and raised. In the early 1980s, he brought in additional doctors to help him with a growing patient population. Soon, the doctors outgrew their South Flores clinic. Dr. Bill Gonzaba looked a few blocks down the street to the old Pan American Restaurant building and decided to give the landmark building a new life in the healthcare industry. After nine months of planning and renovation, Gonzaba Medical Group reopened in 1986 as a state-of-the-art medical complex.

The growing group practice provided all diagnostic and laboratory services and, at one time, even included an out-patient surgery center. To serve different areas of San Antonio, the Northwest and Woodlawn clinics were opened and quickly became integral parts of the neighborhoods they serve.

In 2000, Dr. Bill Gonzaba’s two physician sons joined the practice. Dr. Tom Gonzaba serves as the group’s Medical Director for the urgent care centers and practices internal medicine at the Main Clinic on Pleasanton Road. Dr. Greg Gonzaba practices internal medicine at the Northwest Clinic and serves at its Medical Director.

Today, Gonzaba Medical Group includes an outstanding team of physicians who share the same commitment to quality care and customer service as the group’s founder. Led by Dr. David Padilla, Chief Medical Director, the group includes a team of more than 90 physicians, hospitalists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners serving in seven locations throughout the city. With a support staff of hundreds of individuals, expanded and updated facilities as well as the latest diagnostic capabilities, Gonzaba Medical Group continues to change the way healthcare is delivered while staying true to its core principle: “the patient always comes first.”

From his humble beginnings to becoming one of the nation’s premier medical practices, Doctor Bill has done a lot for the people of San Antonio; and, with a comprehensive network of clinics has ensured his place among San Antonio physicians.  More than six decades ago, Doctor Bill began a small, one-room clinic on San Antonio’s south side. Now boasting three primary care medical care centers, four neighborhood clinics and more than 600 employees, Bill Gonzaba is a pioneer-practitioner who has never forgotten that medicine is, foremost, about caring for patients’ needs at all stages of their lives.



Mona Helmy serves as the CEO of Helmy Associates & Co.  She founded the company alongside her late husband, Abe, in 1988.  Together, along with an excellent team, they transformed the company into a plastic forming industry leader. Mona served as Vice President until Abe’s untimely passing in 2009 when she became CEO.  2018 marks 30 years for Helmy and Mona’s success – a culmination of love, persistence, and vision that defines her as a role model for today’s leaders.

Helmy specializes in plastic thermoforming, both thin and heavy gauge, with an in-house industrial design, and CNC tooling divisions.  Helmy manufactures custom heavy gauge structural, industrial, and decorative components as well as disposable thin gauge trays, clamshells, and blisters.  Helmy is honored to list many industries, including small innovative companies and Fortune 500 companies as clients.

Mona was born in Syria and immigrated to the United States with her family in her adolescence. She attended The University of Texas San Antonio and graduated in 1987 with a BFA in Architecture.

Mona Helmy was awarded the Family Business Leader Award by San Antonio Business Journal in 2014 and the Women Business Owner of The Year Award by National Association of Women Business Owners in 2018. Today, in addition to her leadership at Helmy Mona serves on the board of SAMA (San Antonio Manufacturing Association) and SAWCC (San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce) and serves on committees of SA100 and NAWBO (National Association Women Business Owners).



Fred Casillas capitalized on his knowledge of the federal government, leadership experience, and customer service philosophy to found Adjuvant Consulting, Inc. in 2005.  Adjuvant Consulting, Inc. is a Small Disabled Veteran Owned Business headquarted in San Antonio, TX delivering network and conferencing systems, as well as help desk and project management support for the federal government. Adjuvant Consulting, Inc. has an unwavering pledge and drive that focuses on experience, integrity, and innovation supporting the mission of its customers that help them succeed.

Mr. Casillas leads a team of senior staff rich with the same experience and knowledge of his customers and workforce. He continues to lead and challenge the team to use their technical experience, work with integrity, and infuse innovation in their everyday service to their customers. When he started the company, Adjuvant Consulting, Inc. provided services to the Veterans Administration and has since expanded providing support services to Navy Medical Health, Navy Medical Clinic in Charleston, South Carolina.

As a Vietnam Veteran, he gives back to his community by providing other Veterans with the similar support he received.  Furthermore, Mr. Casillas cares about his employees and shows his gratitude.  Team members look forward to Adjuvant employee and family events. To quote Mr. Casillas, “Our employees are our family.”

Through Mr. Casillas’ leadership, Adjuvant Consulting, Inc. continues to grow and in 2011, was named one of the fastest growing companies in San Antonio, TX.



In 2008, the city restored and opened the Main Plaza Conservancy celebrating San Antonio’s revitalization, blending music, events, history, and culture in the heart of the city and linking government, culture, and business with San Antonio’s spiritual heart, San Fernando Cathedral.

Jane Pauley-Flores serves as the first Executive Director for Main Plaza, tasked with autonomous operations and programming. Her focus is to preserve the historical significance of this majestic plaza through education and activities for what is also known as The People’s Plaza; referring to her position that she calls her “mission to give back.” Through innovation and commitment and using her many years of expertise and skills in property management, negotiations, and business management, Jane brought forth the evolution of this vibrant historic plaza.

Jane serves on many boards and committees such as El Mercado Zona Cultural Steering Committee and personally serves as the Stone Oak HOA’s board president. She also held roles as a Certified Environmental Inspector and Commissioner on the Environment. Her philosophy that, “one can never know enough,” encourages her pursuit of higher education through mariachi music scholarships for San Antonio’s youth with recent recognition and Pinnacle Award for Best Educational Program.

Exceeding expectations, Jane begins a second five-year term with the City and under her direction, Main Plaza continues to lead, being called “One of the Top Ten Great Public Spaces in America” and receiving many awards, including the International Grand Pinnacle Award for San Antonio|The Saga.



Leslie Komet Ausburn is the Founder & CEO of Komet Marketing Communications, an award-winning strategic public relations marketing firm launched in 2007. Leslie has more than 20 years of experience leading public relations campaigns and crisis communications initiatives for clients in a broad range of industries.

A San Antonio native, Leslie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Following a 15+ year career as a television news reporter and anchor, Leslie has developed a reputation for excellence in the public relations industry, working with businesses and nonprofits in the US, Canada, Sweden and Mexico.

Leslie is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Texas Travel Industry Association. She is certified in Non-Profit Social Media Management from the San Antonio Area Foundation, and is a Certified Tourism Ambassador through Visit San Antonio. Leslie was recently honored with the 2018 Texas Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Antonio Chapter.

Leslie currently serves on the boards or advisory councils for a number of organizations including South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless, Assistance League of San Antonio Advisory Council, Bexar County Partners for Youth Equine Advisory Council, San Antonio Botanical Garden and Les Dames d’escoffier.



EPIcenter is a private, nonprofit organization created in 2015 by CPS Energy, OCI Solar Power, Itron and Lyndis+Gyr.  EPIcenter was formed to encourage innovation, community engagement, and new energy ideation by turning a historic power plant into a world-class center that will serve as a cradle for invention and a catalyst for new energy innovation and advancement.  EPIcenter’s unique approach leverages existing local tech ecosystem resources with a focus on the energy industry making it an economic generator for San Antonio.

Kimberly M. Britton was named CEO of EPIcenter in 2016.  She leads a small but mighty organization fostering and promoting energy industry advances and San Antonio’s reputation as an innovation city.  Kimberly leads, develops, and advances San Antonio’s energy industry by hosting regional summits, engaging with EPIcenter Neighbors, building a “Power Network” membership program, opening the New Energy Incubator and Accelerator (NEIA), completing the schematic design phase for the transformation of the historic Mission Road Power Plant, building strategic partnerships across the country, and launching a $53 million capital campaign.  EPIcenter has quickly been recognized for its thought leadership and its collaborative culture.

Kimberly’s career spans the fields of energy, government, nonprofit and healthcare.  Previously, she was the Director of Development for the San Antonio Museum of Art as well as the Director of Community Relations for the Barnett division of Chesapeake Energy where she led the company’s outreach activities in North Texas. Prior to Chesapeake she headed a hospital foundation in Fort Worth that she co-founded and served as a member of the executive team of the hospital.  Kimberly is a founder of Leadership San Antonio’s Alumni Association, member of the Board of Visitors of the College of Education at Texas Christian University where she is also an alumna, as well as several other professional and charitable organizations.



K Friese + Associates (KFA) is a 50 person woman-owned consulting firm specializing in engineering and planning solely for public sector entities. KFA offers management, design and planning capabilities in the areas of water, wastewater, transportation, and drainage. K Friese has more than 30 licensed engineers on staff, with women holding almost 50 percent of those positions.

Karen Friese received her civil engineering degree and began work at a national engineering consulting firm based in Austin where she became a licensed professional engineer (PE) in 1989. At the time she received her PE, she was one of only 8 women in Texas who took the exam that round. After 19 years working on the development of large water and wastewater infrastructure projects throughout the region, she began K Friese + Associates (KFA) in 2003, winning significant design contracts with clients such as the San Antonio Water System and Alamo Regional Mobility Authority.

Karen spent the last 15 years devoted to organically growing her firm and developing a KFA Team focused on client service and quality design. K Friese + Associates is the recipient of the 2017 Employer of the Year Award from the Women’s Transportation Seminar, 2011 Engineering Excellence Award from ACEC Texas, Consultant of the Year from the City of Austin Small and Minority Business Resources, and the National Recognition Award for Water and Wastewater from the American Council of Engineering Consultants.



Founded in 1927 and incorporated in 1942, Guido Construction Company is a privately held construction management, contracting, and commercial construction firm.  Maryanne Guido joined Guido and Companies in 1993 and was appointed CEO and Chairman of the Board in 2005.

Just nine years shy of its 100th anniversary, Guido Construction is a staple in San Antonio, and their work can be seen in all directions.  Guido’s portfolio includes private residential construction, The Doseum, San Antonio Museum of Art, the Shops at Rivercenter, Alamo Brewery, Hardberger Park, the iconic San Francesco di Paola Church, and in 2018, Guido was awarded the design-build for San Antonio City Hall.  It’s hard to turn anywhere in San Antonio and not see Guido’s influence.

Under Maryanne’s leadership, Guido has had dynamic growth and positioned themselves in the top tier of South Texas builders. Recognized as a leader in the industry, with an unwavering commitment to integrity, 91 years and $3B worth of construction experience; Guido built its reputation for excellence through unwavering commitment to clients.  Offering a full range of construction services – from conceptual estimating and scheduling to quality assurance and safety, Guido Construction distinguishes itself in the construction industry. Guido was awarded the prestigious Build Magazine’s 2018 Contractor of the Year, San Antonio Business Journal’s C-Suite Award, and Construction Today’s 2016 Top Landmark Builder award and received 150+ building excellence awards, including 2014 Safe Contractor of the Year, 12 National Excellence in Safety awards, and at last count Guido Construction has garnered 33 Outstanding Project of the Year Awards from Associated General Contractors of America.

Maryanne Auray Guido was raised in Upper Saddle River, NJ.  She received her BS in Mathematics and Economics with a minor in Statistical Analysis from the University of Virginia, Magnum Cum Laude. Maryanne met her husband, Tom Guido, during her second year in college.  After Tom graduated from Princeton University and returned to San Antonio to begin work, they continued a long distance relationship while Maryanne completed college. After graduation, they married and moved to San Antonio permanently.

Maryanne began her career with USAA as an Actuarial Analyst while receiving her MBA from UTSA. She then earned a Residential Real Estate license and Interior Design certification from St. Mary’s University.  After receiving her ASID designation, Maryanne founded and operated Guido Interiors Inc. for ten years, specializing in commercial office, kitchen, and bathroom renovations.

Maryanne and Tom Guido have been married for 40 years and have four adult children and four grandsons. They enjoy and participate in many volunteer activities in their community, church and industry. Maryanne spends her leisure time biking, practicing yoga, skiing, reading, cooking, traveling, and drinking great wine.

Guido Construction’s commitment and vision are made a reality through the Corporate Belief Statement: “We believe that people with a vision and passion for what is possible build the exceptional.”