HUBZone 101: A Wild Look at an Underutilized Program February 28, 2018, Jennifer Kusiak

Wildflower is proud to maintain our certification as a leading HUBZone IT contractor for the Federal Government. But what does “HUBZone” mean? Unlike other socio-economic categories, which point to the size or ownership of the business, HUBZone’s definition isn’t self-evident. It often requires explanation, especially to somebody new to Government contracting. So what is it? HUBZone stands for Historically Underutilized Business Zone. It refers to an area with a documented economic disadvantage, such as a county with no metropolitan area or a community affected by a base closure. By identifying these areas and committing to awarding contracts to them, the Federal Government is helping small businesses and their communities grow. The program was started in 1997 (Small Business Reauthorization Act) and further bolstered in 1998 (HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program). It falls under the direction of the SBA (Small Business Administration) to assist small businesses and ensure compliance. The SBA is responsible for certifying that a business qualifies as a HUBZone, and they maintain a list of eligible businesses. HUBZone businesses like Wildflower must meet all the following criteria to be certified: 1. Be a small business 2. Be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, or by one of the groups listed as acceptable by the SBA 3. Have a principal office located within a HUBZone 4. Have 35% of employees reside within a HUBZone But what does all this mean for our customers? Why should HUBZone be part of the conversation when you’re looking for a quote? Because HUBZone businesses are awesome. First, they’re all small businesses. It’s the first SBA requirement for certification! And a small business will work harder and better for their customers, forging personal relationships that large businesses often can’t. Second, supporting HUBZone means supporting community. The core of the HUBZone program is to provide opportunities to areas that need them – and many HUBZone businesses give back in turn. Wildflower has supported our Northern New Mexico home in many ways, working particularly with groups like Kitchen Angels and the Esperanza Women’s Shelter in Santa Fe. And finally, using HUBZone businesses is a requirement for Federal agencies. The Federal Government is committed to awarding 3% of contracting dollars to designated HUBZone businesses. This goal stands alongside other set-aside goals for awards to groups such as Women-Owned Small Businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. Unfortunately, the goal for HUBZone awards isn’t being met. The FY2016 Small Business Procurement Scorecard lists HUBZone awards at only 1.67%. HUBZone businesses are being used, but it’s clear that there is still more work to be done. The 3% goal can be met. Wildflower is ready and eager to help.

FORBES Credits Wildflower for making Santa Fe, NM a great place -March 13, 2015

Santa Fe, NM March 13, 2015 – Wildflower Intl. is recognized for being one of the reasons that makes Santa Fe, NM a great place. FORBES Magazine notes the top 10 cities in the US for Women-owned businesses, and at the top of the FORBES list is Santa Fe, New Mexico, scoring big for its high percentage (33.7%) of women-owned businesses and attractive cost of living. The city is also HQ to IT services provider Wildflower International, which is the largest woman-owned business in New Mexico.

Wildflower International Selects New Director of Finance -June 13, 2014

Santa Fe, NM June 13 2014 – Wildflower is pleased to announce that Brian Shelton, MBA, has been selected as the new Director of Finance. Brian joins Wildflower’s executive management team from the State of New Mexico, where he most recently served as Bureau Chief of the Financial Distribution Bureau. “Brian brings years of experience in the government sector, which comes at a perfect moment in Wildflower’s growth and the exciting state of the marketplace,” states Kimberly deCastro, Wildflower’s Chief Executive Officer. “His focus on budget analysis and process development will be beneficial in helping us strengthen our infrastructure as we continue trending upward.” Brian will partner closely with each of the company’s business units to streamline processes and enhance performance. Mr. Shelton received his MBA in Marketing Management from the Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business. He graduated from Miami University, and went on to serve in the Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cote D’Ivoire. His previous positions include Finance Manager at the City of Santa Fe Buckman Direct Diversion Water Treatment Plant, Senior Budget Analyst at the County of Los Alamos, and Business Analysis Manager at Ricoh Company Ltd. A longtime resident of Santa Fe, Brian is a member of the Association for Financial Professionals, and Certified Treasury Professional (CTP). When not directing financial affairs, Brian loves spending time outdoors, swimming and competing in triathlons. For more information, please contact our office you may reach us at (505) 466-9111.

Wildflower Int'l Leaps Forward in Cloud-based Efficiency -December 3, 2013

Santa Fe, NM July 22, 2013 – IT provider, Wildflower International - New Mexico’s largest woman-owned business - will launch their new Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) today: SAP Business ByDesign. Wildflower has always been unique in the small business community. While most businesses its size use Quickbooks-style accounting programs, Wildflower was among the first in its class to run a sophisticated, on demand, end-to-end infrastructure: SAP Business One. The power and flexibility afforded by running SAP Business One has brought structure and controls to business processes that are essential for managing relationships and operations commensurate with large Fortune 500 Companies. And now, Wildflower is taking a leap forward in the cloud. As of today, Wildflower is changing their ERP software solution to SAP Business ByDesign. This is a real-time, cloud-based, fully integrated solution that will harmonize all key business functions: finance, HR, customer relationship management, supply chain and procurement. Moreover, Wildflower customers have access to the same real-time information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a web-based interface to customer data. “Maintaining the trust of our Eagle Contractors has always been so important to us,” states Kimberly deCastro, president and CEO of Wildflower International. “Making the leap to SAP Business ByDesign allows us to increase our efficiency, our functionality and our reliability for our customers. Even though we offer boutique-style personalized service, our infrastructure is a veritable power-house.” The implementation of SAP Business ByDesign into the Wildflower infrastructure has been a months-long journey, and a costly investment. “It’s worth it,” notes Kimberly. “We’re taking real-time insights and timely analytics to a new level. Our improved integration and collaboration between our partners, coupled with our flexible and personal relationships, changes the game for us and raises the bar in the entire industry.” For more information, please contact Andre Chang at or you may reach him at (505) 466-9111.

Wildflower International Certified to be ISO 9001 Compliant -July 22, 2013

Santa Fe, NM July 22, 2013 – IT provider, Wildflower International - New Mexico’s largest woman owned business has earned the prestigious ranking of ISO 9001:2008. Since 1991, Wildflower has been providing IT, Project Management, and hardware & software solutions for the Federal Government and Healthcare Providers. They are located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with offices in Oak Ridge, TN and Washington, DC. Wildflower partners with IT providers like Dell, HP, Motorola and Cisco Systems, to name a few. “We are so proud today,” states Kimberly deCastro, president and CEO of Wildflower. “Fundamentally, there are threads that have been woven through our fabric from the beginning that are present with us every day. Making sure our customers are completely satisfied has always played a key role in Wildflower’s success. It’s part of our relationships, our culture, our DNA and our day-to-day operations. It’s who we are.” The stringent requirements set forth by the International Standards Organization or ISO and audited by the external third-party auditor are based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. “Once we put the ball in motion,” says deCastro, “we could immediately see the effectiveness of implementing international standards.” The independent auditors saw the effectiveness of their operations, too. With zero non-conformances, zero findings, and zero observations, Wildflower passed the often-times lengthy certification and audit process with uncommon success. The ISO is an International Quality Management System Standard that specifies requirements within which an organization demonstrates its ability to consistently provide products or services to meet customer and legal requirements, enhancing customer satisfaction and opening the way to continual improvement. Though globally more than 1 million organizations have implemented ISO 9001 Management Systems, only about 5% of those organizations are located in North America. “It’s so important to us because we are also a HUBZone employer,” comments deCastro. “We bring quality jobs to people in the Santa Fe area that otherwise would not be available here. Not only are we raising the status quo in the IT industry, we’re raising the standard for people here in Santa Fe. It’s a really big deal.”

Wildflower Int'l Chosen as Hewlett Packard Approved Supplier -February 18, 2011

Santa Fe, NM February 18, 2011 – Hewlett Packard has just announced that Wildflower International has been awarded as a supplier for HPES’ U.S. Public Sector HW Reseller Approved Supplier List (ASL). Wildflower Intl. was selected from a “select and competitive group” according to HP’s Global Procurement Officer, Lynn Vittetoe. The new contract will enable Wildflower to support the US Public Sector Programs that Hewlett Packard is actively involved in. Wildflower will be among a limited group of quality companies providing hardware teaming services to HP. “We are especially pleased with our ever-expanding partnership with Hewlett Packard,” said Wildflower’s CEO, Kimberly deCastro. “This new award represents the results of our intentional efforts to provide maximum value added services with our products.” Wildflower is pleased to name Hewlett Packard among their prestigious and growing list of Fortune 100 Suppliers. For more information, please contact Jim Montoya at or you may reach him at (505) 466-9111.


Top 100 DHS Contractors, January 2011


Integrated Contractor Purchasing Team

Verizon Government Contracting Team Fed List Women Owned businesses Wildflower International #22

Top Contractors, February 2010

Diverse 100, August 2010


GE Captital Distribution Finance Credit

Wildflower Selects VPMI SaaS Project Management Software

Wildflower Awards

25 Government Contractors, November 2009

Top 100 DHS Contractors, January 2009


Top 100 DHS Contractors, January 2008


Conference Board Executive Action Series (pg 6)

Largest Hispanic Owned Businesses, March 2006

Top 25 Women-Owned Businesses, April 2006

500 Largest U.S. Hispanic-Owned Companies, June 2006

100 Fastest-Growing Companies,J uly 2006


Wildflower earns the No1 spot

NAWBO NM Woman’s top 25 in Business

Top 500 Women Owned Businesses in the U.S., March 2005

Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in The U.S., March 2005

The Top 500 Companies, June 2005


Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the U.S., January 2004

Top 500 Woman Owned Businesses in the U.S., January 2004

Top Diversity Owned Businesses in TN, January 2004

500 Largest U.S. Hispanic-Owned Companies,June 2004

50 Hispanic-Owned Businesses,October 2004


Jefferson Lab News Release 2003

50 Hispanic-Owned Businesses, August 2003