Florida SBDC Regional Director Appointed to South Florida District Export Council

Florida SBDC Network State Office (Pensacola, Fla.) – The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, is pleased to announce that Dr. Sandra Marin Ruiz, regional director of the Florida SBDC at Florida Atlantic University, has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the South Florida District Export Council (DEC) effective March 6, 2024. 

Through this appointment, Dr. Marin will contribute her leadership and business experience in support of the nation’s joint industry/government export expansion efforts. The board is made up of 30 members appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who have knowledge and expertise in international business and international trade. Her term will run until December 2027. 

We are happy to have Dr. Marin Ruiz join the council to bring a connection to our regional partners in South Florida,” said Mr. Eduardo Torres, director of the South Florida U.S. Commercial Service.

"This appointment to the District Export Council is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to U.S. initiatives that promote international cooperation and economic growth”, said Dr. Marin. “I am truly honored to work alongside the other esteemed SF DEC members and my peer regional directors at Florida SBDC at FIU and Florida SBDC at IRSC in this important mission.”

The purpose of the South Florida DEC is to support the U.S. Government’s export promotion efforts by increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of exports to the U.S. economy through education, legislative outreach and engagement with stakeholders. The South Florida DEC serves Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie & Indian River counties. 

Dr. Marin has worked for the Florida SBDC Network since 2020 and has an extensive background in international trade and exporting. In her previous roles, she has helped Midwest manufacturers enter Latin American markets and assisted technology-based entities in global exporting. Dr. Marin has collaborated with the U.S. Department of State and the Organization of American States to develop country export strategies and business assistance services. Her contributions have been vital in promoting economic growth and facilitating international trade.

We are thrilled to have Sandra be part of the South Florida District Export Council representing the Florida SBDC Network,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network. “Her background in international trade and exporting makes her an excellent candidate to represent our network across multiple counties and regions including our FIU and IRSC regions.

Under Sandra’s leadership, the Florida SBDC at FAU has maintained a successful track record of assisting pre-venture and established business owners in successfully navigating the obstacles that come with the stages of the business life cycle,” said Gregg Fields, Ph.D., Interim Vice President for Research at Florida Atlantic University. “We are so pleased that Sandra can lend her expertise with international markets and also represent Florida Atlantic’s support of economic development on the South Florida District Export Council.”

Dr. Marin kicked off her appointment to the DEC by attending the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s International Conference in Washington D.C. She was selected as one of four panelists to discuss ways that SBDC networks facilitate internationalization of micro, small and medium enterprises.