FSBDCN State Office: The Florida SBDC Network is pleased to announce the appointment of its new State Advisory Board. With more than 40 offices and nearly 250 employees, the Florida SBDC Network State Advisory Board will play an instrumental role in the continued success of Florida’s largest provider of assistance for small and medium-sized businesses.
Meet the New FSBDCN State Advisory Board
During the 2013 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature passed HB 7007 to amend FL. Stat. 288.001. The change enhanced the Florida SBDC Network’s designation as “the principal business assistance organization for small businesses in the state” by aligning the efforts, interests and investments of the Florida SBDC Network with those of state economic development and higher education. A key component of the amended law defined the composition of the Florida SBDC Network State Advisory Board.
Primarily appointed by legislative leadership, the Board encompasses a diverse network of experienced business owners and key leaders from organizations representing small business interests. The board will consist of 19 members, of which to date include:
- Karen Brayboy, Owner/CEO, Alltrust Insurance, Inc.
- Elizabeth Burch, President/CEO, Dignitas Technologies, LLC
- Leslie Dougher, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
- Amy L. Evancho, President/CEO, Florida Economic Development Council, Inc.
- Tami Fitzpatrick, President/CEO, ThunderBolt International, Inc.
- Sandra (Sandi) Foland, Owner/CEO, Baron Sign Manufacturing
- Cheryl Gonzalez, Director, Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity at University of North Florida
- Bill Herrle, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business
- Francisco “Pancho” Marrero, South Florida District Office, District Director, U.S. SBA
- Susan O’Connor, President, O’Connor Management Group
- David Rodriguez, Manager, Capital Programs, Enterprise Florida, Inc.
- Thomas Stahl, Executive Director, Florida United Businesses Association
- Nancy D. Stephens, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida
- Brad Swanson, VP of Strategic and Corporate Partnerships, Florida Chamber of Commerce
- Earl H. Young, Executive VP, Florida Traditions Bank
“We are thrilled with the make-up of our new board,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC Network. “The diversity of members from organizations from around Florida who share in the passion about supporting the growth of Florida’s greatest economic asset will be invaluable to our organization and business community. Their collective knowledge and advocacy will be essential that we apply the right strategies to ensure we continue to support Florida’s economic growth.”
The Florida SBDC Network State Advisory Board is responsible for advising, counseling and conferring with the CEO and Network State Director, Mr. Myhre, to ensure the interests of small businesses are represented in the Florida SBDC Network’s coordinated efforts and investments in small business development and entrepreneurial support services.
The board will meet bi-annually, with the first meeting on February 10, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida. In addition to the meeting, board members will participate in the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s premier annual event, Board of Governor’s Capitol Days, scheduled for February 11, 2014.
About the FSBDC Network
For over 35 years, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state.
In 2012, the Florida SBDCs served approximately 38,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 47,845 jobs created, retained and saved at a significantly low cost of $112 per job; $6.3 billion in sales growth; $235.2 million in capital accessed; $588.4 million in government contract awards; and 744 new businesses started. For every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in the FSBDC program, $40 was returned to the state in tax revenue.
A statewide service network of over 40 centers with 60 outreach locations, the Florida SBDC Network is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is state designated as Florida’s principal provider of business assistance and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.