The defense industry has a passionate small business advocate in Benito Hobson.
Hobson, director of business development for Integrits Corp., spends the work day promoting the company and any free time he can find helping and promoting all small businesses through his role as vice president of small business for the San Diego chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.
"I work for a small business. My boss, whom I love and respect, he built this business," Hobson said. "And so when you start to meet the entrepreneurs and the people and understand their vision and the sweat equity they put in, you can't help but want to be on a team like that."
After being promoted from corporate relations, Hobson jumped right into the business development world, working to make a name for Integrits in emerging interest areas.
Though he does not have a background in technology, Hobson makes it a priority to understand new technologies and subsequent opportunities out there for the company.
"I just find it terribly interesting," Hobson said. "I read about this stuff on the weekend."
He shares his experience in the business world with others to help them achieve success.
Through the AFCEA small business community, Hobson helps create opportunities for companies to be seen, such as the "spotlight" option during the association's monthly meetings.
And Hobson introduced the first small business financial forum that brought together businesses with panelists of experts in an interactive environment.
The TechMatch event in 2009 also was a success, Hobson said, helping to connect businesses with SPAWAR program managers.
On top of the structured events, Hobson uses some of his precious spare time to meet with small businesses in one-on-one counseling sessions.
"I will probably meet with two or three small businesses a month just to answer any questions they might have," he said. "I'm more than happy to give 30 minutes of my time to talk to the company representative about what's available here."
But his outreach to business leaders does not end there.
Hobson also teaches business classes at Southwestern College. Though juggling his time can be difficult, Hobson typically teaches one or two classes per semester.
Moving into 2010, he said he hopes to see more done for small businesses on the local, state and federal level.
Hobson will continue advocating for small businesses -- a group in which he believes and one he is motivated to help. He embraces small business for its role in the greater business community and wants to do his part to ensure strong companies can survive.
"We understand that if this thing doesn't work, there's not another department we can move this employee to," he said. "Their ability to provide for their families is directly related to how I treat this customer and different advocacy I do in the community for small business.
"And it's not a burden for me, it's a privilege. I truly believe the things I've experienced and all the different things I've gone through really help me do things for the small business community."