November 2, 2021

Visionary Consulting Partners, LLC was selected to participate in the 2014 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Emerging Leaders (formerly e200) Executive-level Intensive Entrepreneurship Training Initiative for Small Business Owners across the Country. This Initiative provides federal training that specifically focuses on Executives of businesses that are poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative provides Executives with the necessary organizational framework, resource network, and motivation that is required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities.

Michael D. Thornton Sr. Graduates from SBA’s Emerging Leader Program

  Image caption: (l to r) Antonio Doss, Director of the Washington Metropolitan Area District Office;Tameka Montgomery, Associate Director for the SBA Office of Entrepreneurial Development; Natalia Olson-Urtecho, SBA Region III Administrator; Michael Thornton, Sr., COO of Visionary Consulting Partners; Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator, US Small Business Administration; and Tim Kerin, Emerging Leaders Course Instructor.

Congratulations to Michael D. Thornton Sr. (Visionary Consulting Partners, LLC) for graduating from the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative program. The program is an executive-level series intended to accelerate the growth of high-potential businesses. Only 20% of firms that applied for the program were accepted. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, was the keynote speaker at the graduation and also penned this letter to each graduate.

Letter from the Administrator to Graduates

Congratulations, 2014 Emerging Leaders Graduate! I know how hard you have worked to reach this point of completion. Your time spent on the many hours in the classroom, in peer counseling, and networking over these past several months will inevitably pay off. The lessons learned about the various growth strategies, securing financing, and competing for government contracts will prove to be invaluable to the future of your company. Now comes the important part – applying everything you’ve learned to your business and adapting your growth plans as your business continues to develop its unique niche and value proposition. Above all, I hope you are poised now to do what America’s small businesses do best – create jobs! I look forward to hearing about your progress as your business evolves and always consider the U.S. Small Business Administration as your partner in success.

Again, congratulations and wishing you the best of luck!


Maria Contreras-Sweet
Small Business Administration (SBA)

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