VIRGINIA BEACH — Jeri Prophet has come a long way from his small Colorado hometown with five paved roads and a graduating high school class of 21 students.
Prophet, CEO of IntellecTechs headquartered in Virginia Beach, has been named the 2022 Small Business Person of the Year for Virginia by the US Small Business Administration.
“There are so many businesses in Virginia…winning is surreal,” Prophet said. “The most important thing is knowing that I’ve helped people along the way and hopefully made a big difference in some of their lives.”
This year’s theme, “Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship,” focused on winners from all 50 states; Washington D.C.; Porto Rico; and the Virgin Islands.
SBA Director Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a press release that the winners represent the vibrancy and resilience of the country’s 32.5 million small businesses.
“Entrepreneurs are grassroots innovators and creators, delivering the products and services we depend on and making our neighborhoods, towns and cities more vibrant places to live and work,” Guzman said. “They are giving it their all to achieve their American dream of business ownership and in doing so, advance the American economy and global competitiveness.”
Prophet, a Navy veteran, founded the professional software development and managed IT services company in 2008. Rooted in the Hampton Roads community, the company has grown from one employee to approximately 300 with multiple locations in 28 states. and five countries.
In the early years, Prophet did not envision himself as a business owner. Today, nearly 15 years later, IntellecTechs supplies and supports all US Embassies and has a worldwide customer base.
The mother-of-two Samuel Spayde, 27, and Michael Prophet, 17, said she was busy going to college to get her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration while raising her sons as as a single mother and building it. company. Spayde has been involved with the company since he was 15 years old and is IntellecTech’s Chief Financial Officer.
Eager to help her fellow veterans, Prophet said more than 70% of her employees are ex-military.
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In 2009, she launched the initiative, Mentoring of our veterans towards tomorrow (MOVIT) to assist transitioning veterans and wounded warriors with education and employment opportunities. That same year, she also created NowHiringVeterans.com where employers can post career opportunities for veterans for free.
“Employers will come and tell me they want to hire veterans, but they just don’t know how to do it,” Prophet said. “I tell them, ‘There is no system. Just hire them.
Wanting to help other small business owners, Prophet hosts seminars and speaking engagements on a variety of topics, including social media and cybersecurity issues.
Each summer, interns join the IntellecTechs at Norfolk State and Old Dominion universities. The company sponsors annual holiday toy drives and church baskets.
And it was this work and more that led to Prophet’s selection for the award.
“That’s what IntellecTechs does for the community and especially for veterans,” Guzman said. “Small businesses do a lot for job growth and the economy, but it’s the impact in the community that is their business legacy.”
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-652-5836, [email protected]