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Anita Ron ‘88 named 2024 Small Business Person of the Year

Twenty-eight years ago, Anita Ron (’88) was raising two young children when she was laid off from a corporate food service position due to downsizing.  

So with only three vacuum cleaners, $700, and a lot of determination, Ron launched BriteWorks Inc. in 1996.  Today, the Covina-based business includes about 200 associates, who provide commercial and janitorial services throughout the US, including for high-profile events like the Super Bowl (2022-24) and clients like Coca-Cola and Disney. The all minority business also boasts a community service footprint throughout the region and beyond. 

Ron has now been honored with the 2024 SBA Los Angeles District Small Business Person of the Year award, which recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate exceptional leadership and create sustainable, thriving businesses in their communities. 

BriteWorks adopts select schools each year to receive funds for education. Every employee is also challenged to take on their own service projects to share with the team. Past projects have included food kitchens, fundraising for medical equipment for the needy and volunteering at local churches. They also provide tours and mentorship for students in the ULV international business program.  

Sean Snider, director of the University of La Verne Small Business Development Center, said the center nominated Ron for her tenacity.

“When I think of Anita, I think of someone who is incredibly hardworking, smart in business and engaged in the community,” he said. “She really gives her all in all she does.” 

“She exemplifies business success and is a wonderful role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.  She created a business out of necessity, but her dedication, passion, resiliency and determination made BriteWorks a success,” said Julie Clowes, SBA Los Angeles director. “Anita maximizes opportunities, takes advantage of resources, mentors other business owners and gives back to her community.  We are honored to present her with this award.” 

The SBA award is among the latest honors and distinctions Ron has earned. Last month, she received the Diversity Professionals Magazine Women of Excellence award. She has received recognitions from elected officials, regional and state Hispanic chambers of commerce, the Latin Business Association, and several publications including the Los Angeles Business Journal and Latina Style Magazine.  

Ron is an active member in business networks, advocating for diversity, women empowerment. and entrepreneurship. She is currently a member of the ULV College of Business advisory board and vice president of the board of directors for the National Latina Business Women Association Inland Empire Institute, a regional nonprofit organization with the purpose of strengthening the success of Latina entrepreneurs in the Inland Southern California region. She is always looking for opportunities to network and make communities stronger.