U.S. Small Business Institute

 Volunteers serving small businesses and charitable foundations...since 1985!        

Testimonial from and SBI

Charter Member 

Dear Mr. Pisani,

"As the founder and owner of Hendel's Market Cafe in North County and the Director of the Small Business 'Continuing Education Programs' at St. Louis Community College I want to thank the Small Business Institute for 21 years of support.

Photo: 2008

Mr. Edward D. Bennett

St. Louis Community College

Director: Small Business &

Continuing  Education

Founder: Hendel's Market Cafe

(1951 - 2009)

Also, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be one of the Founding Charter Members in 1985 when SBI launched and was building momentum as a small business advocacy group and volunteering their time to help local non-profits in the St. Louis Region...both great causes!

Additionally, since 1987 it has been an absolute pleasure to work with you and your SBI 'Business Advisors'  who are

professionals and considered'experts in their own field' of business or charity. SBI has been their to help St. Louis

Community College  promote our 'elective entrepreneurial 

studies courses' in our night and weekend curriculum that is offered to the public so that everyone has the ability to continue their education and learn about the American Dream, which is to own and operate their own business one day, as well as how volunteering their time in their local

community to help both a local charity and their own firm. Plus, SBI has always provided our college campuses and off-site venues with special instructors and guest speakers when we needed assistance in specific course topics and especially at the last minute. 

Finally, the SBI team has been able to promote our colleges entrepreneurship programs to your very own diverse group of members and many of them became students, as well as educators and lecturers at our three college campuses, as well as 'off site' locations.

Again, thank you for your support and I look forward to a continued relationship with your organization in 2009.

Ed Bennett

Founder - Hendel's Market Cafe

Director - SLCC Continuing Education

Charter Member - Small Business Institute

~ 2008 ~

Other Testimonials

"My partners and I decided to franchise our Italian 

restaurant concept and needed help. We met the three principals of American Marketing Group, Inc. and by August of 1983 and they helped our firm get properly packaged to market our franchises legally and  

professionally. AMG helped secure proper funding for all of our new franchise units using bank financing and the support of the SBA 7 (a) loan guarantee program in the early eighties. 

During this journey in 1985 I decided to help AMG

form the St. Louis Small Business Coalition (SBC) to volunteer my time to serve small businesses and charitable foundations in the local area. Most every one of the individuals we assisted - at no charge -

were customers of our new and rapidly growing restaurant chain."

John P. Ferrara, President

The Pasta House Co. Franchises Inc. 

Charter Member - Small Business Institute

~ 1986 ~

"I had experience in the catastrophe restoration industry, which is disaster clean-up of commercial buildings, apartments and homes after a major fire, flood or disaster...like Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to leave the family business to strike out on my own, but I didn't know who to turn to in the early 1990's. 

Because I was a Founding Member of the Small Business Institute I knew that I could count on other members to help me with my idea...at no charge. SBI was able to assist me in both a 90 Day Action Plan, plus a 5 Year Business Plan that was realistic and very conservative. We covered all of the bases for Missouri State Bank & Trust and was able to secure a loan with an SBA guaranteed loan. Once I became profitable, my company was given a sizable line-of-credit to take us through cash flow challenges that my industry deals with." 

Jim Thompson, President & CEO


CATCO Restoration Co.

Charter Member - Small Business Institute

~ 1988 ~

"My brother and I owned a firm called St. Louis Data Destruction (SLDD), which I launched in 1985 when I was only 23 years old. In 2000 I enrolled in a St. Louis Community College (SLCC) 'Continuing Education Course' titled Professional Selling Techniques to hone my marketing skills, which was facilitated by our professor, Rich Pisani. He worked with the SLCC Director of Continuing Education through the Small Business Institute (SBI), which was founded by Rich's company, American Marketing Group, Inc. (AMG) in 1985. 

Our firm engaged AMG to help us improve the overall health and financial stability of our firm, grow our client base and expand our market scope by being the first of 140 IPSA Licensees across the USA. I had the distinct pleasure of assisting IPSA's CEO, 
Tom Thompson, and his consultant, Rich Pisani, with the expansion effort of IPSA so our independent shredding firm could compete with large chains on a national level. 

Also, I had the opportunity to work with Rich as an SLCC guest speaker for several years after we sold SLDD to a Fortune 500 company in 2006 with the assistance of AMG."

                           John P. Walsh, President & COO 

St. Louis Data Destruction
SLCC Guest Speaker 
~ 2006 ~

"We owned and operated one document shredding and product destruction firm in downtown Chicago in 2004 named Information Protection Solutions of America (IPSA). In order to compete with our national-chain competitors we decided to launch an expansion effort so we could bid on large regional and national business. We then contacted the Small

Business Institute in St. Louis and they put us in touch with American Marketing Group, Inc. who specializes in business brokerage and franchise consulting. With AMG's guidance and direction we brought St. Louis Data Destruction (SLDD) aboard as our first IPSA licensee. 

With help from AMG and SLDD we launched our co-operative effort at our the Annual National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) conference in 2005 in San Diego, which is an organization for independent shredding firms in the United States. Once the conference ended IPSA had twenty eight 'Letters of Intent' that helped launch us from one location in Chicago to over 140 IPSA Licensees across the country. 

In 2011 our stockholders sold out to a Fortune 500 Company and I was able to retire, plus my investors were very happy with the return on their original investment."

                      Tom Thompson, Chairman & CEO

             Information Protection Solutions of America

Sponsor: Small Business Institute

~ 2009 ~


The testimonials above have been digitized and the year of receipt by SBI is an approximation.