Noemi Prado has been in the woodworking industry since 1979, when Southwest Moulding was just a small picture frame manufacturer that employed 12 people. Through the years she was recognized as a hard worker with the drive to succeed, and in 1994, Ms. Prado was named the Operations Manager of the company, overseeing the work of over 100 employees.
In the year 2006 the owners of Southwest Moulding decided to retire and the company was to close its doors and be liquidated. Noemi was not inclined to let her life’s work vanish, or the livelihoods of her employees suffer. After exploring all her options, and receiving the encouragement and support from both her customers and vendors, she decided to take the big step and purchase the assets of the company. Ms. Prado realized her dream of owning her own company, and in the process saved the jobs of over 50 employees.
VEDC recognized Prado’s passion, professionalism, and business acumen, and provided her with an $825,000 loan she needed to put Southwest Moulding back on track. She succeeded in preserving the woodcrafting business and employs 40 people. Prado says that protecting and growing jobs at her company gives her great satisfaction. “If it wasn’t for VEDC, it wouldn’t have happened,” Prado says.
Southwest Moulding is now a wholesale wood moulding manufacturer that also crafts picture frames, stretcher bars, and beautiful custom wood products and special orders. In 2016, VEDC honored Noemi Prado with the Entrepreneurial Vision Award at its 40th Anniversary Gala in Los Angeles.