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October 2012

SBA Region IV Monthly Newsletter

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration Region IV Office

Cassius Butts

Cassius Butts

Regional Administrator

In Celebration of Veteran's Day 2012

Every SBA District Office across the SBA Southeast Region is participating in an event to highlight our nation's Veterans and in honor of Veteran's Day.  The SBA prides itself in assisting the thousands of returning veterans in getting started in entrepreneurship as well as those veterans who are retiring or leaving the military early who have a desire to start their own small business.  We encourage all veterans to contact your nearest SBA District Office and learn about the small business counseling and loan programs such as Patriot Express that exist for you.  Thank you to America's Veterans.  The SBA stands ready to assist you in reaching your entrepreneurial dreams.  To locate the nearest SBA District Office to you, please visit SBADirect or download the SBA App onto your smart phone today.

News From SBA's Office of Advocacy

Mark Berson

Mark Berson, Regional Advocate

Advocacy Visits Jacksonville, FL Small Business That is Set To Hire Nearly 60 People

Mark Berson, Regional Advocate and Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Winslow Sargeant, had the opportunity to visit with the founders of the Jerome Brown Barbecue Sauce Company in Jacksonville, Florida.  Read More HERE from Advocacy's Small Business Watchdog Blog....

News From Across The Southeast

What's Happening in Your Area?

Tom Todt

Alabama District Office

Tom Todt, District Director

New Region IV Export Manager Visits Alabama District

On Friday September 21, Alabama District Office officials recognized MCM Vehicles with the 2012 Exporter of the Year Award at The Innovation Depot in Birmingham. Assisting in the presentation were  Tom Todt, Alabama District Director (2d left), Mr. Sandro Murtas, (CGBP) Regional Manager, Export Solutions Group, SBA Office of International Trade (far right), and Mr. Bill Cummins, Executive State Director, Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, (2nd from right). Also shown in the photo are officials from MCM Vehicles, Inc.  


AL Photo

Wilfredo Gonzalez

(North)Florida District Office

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director

SBA Administrator Karen Mills visited Jacksonville on Oct. 2 to participate in the National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Day event for North Florida.  Administrator Mills welcomed the 200 attendees and shared personal insights about business ownership.  She also provided one-one-one counseling to several local aspiring and existing Encore Entrepreneurs and she served as a guest panelist during the “Ask the Expert” session. The Administrator stressed the importance of having a mentor for success.  She also encouraged participants to follow up with the District Office and maximize the opportunities available to them through resource partners.

SBA Administrator Karen Mills in Jacksonville participating on the "Ask an Expert" Panel during 2012 National Ecore Entrepreneur Mentor Day.

Admin in Jax

Pancho Marrero

(South) Florida District Office

Francisco "Pancho" Marrero

The SBA South Florida District Office welcomes Mr. James Brooks to the office as the new Public Affairs Specialist.  James has more than 25 years of public affairs experience in his prior federal and military service.  His prior civil service includes work at the U.S. Naval War College, Naval Air Station – Key West, FL, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Additionally, he served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy and garnered numerous medals and citations during his service to our country.  We are excited to welcome him to the SBA South Florida District Office.    

Terri Denison

Georgia District Office

Terri Denison, District Director

The SBA Georgia District Office now offers a monthly workshop “Doing Business with the Federal Government". Topics covered include finding federal contracting opportunities, small business certifications, marketing,  getting paid, offer preparation tips and additional procurement assistance resources.  For firms interested in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, this training is strongly recommended as a prerequisite to the 8(a) Eligibility and 8(a) Step-By-Step workshops. For more information and registration, go to the Georgia District Office website at

Ralph Ross

Kentucky District Office

Ralph Ross, District Director

SBA Administrator Karen Mills visited the SBA Kentucky District Office in Louisville on October 5.  While at the district office, she met with the SBA Kentucky Team as well as district resource partners.    The Administrator then attended the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) national conference in Louisville, where she participated in a Q & A session with Ms. Diane Tomb, President and CEO of NAWBO® National, during a luncheon session.   Over 500 woman business owners attended the two-day conference, and SBA had a booth at the event. 

Ralph Ross, the SBA Kentucky District Director, stated, “According to the recent American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, women in the U.S. are starting new businesses at about 150% of the national rate. However, most of these women-owned small businesses remain below the 100-employee and/or $1 million revenue threshold.  That is why organizations such as NAWBO are so important.  There is also a new Women's Business Center of Kentucky, which helps level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the world of business.  



SBA Administrator Karen Mills (left) with Ms. Diane Tomb, President and CEO of NAWBO® National

Administrator Mills

Janita Stewart

Mississippi District Office

Janita Stewart, District Director

Mississippi Encore Entrepreneur Mentoring Day Conference was held at the Orange Grove Community Center in Gulfport where vital business information was shared by SBA, SBDC, SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance and SCORE.  Partner AARP gave the audience tips on services offered to their membership. Highlights of the event were dialogue with two “entrepreneur mentors.” Entrepreneur/mentor James E. McClain with Management Development Specialists, Inc. and Louis J. Finkle, Ph.D., with School and Carnival Stores shared information to the audience on becoming successful business owners. Both Mr. McClain and Dr. Finkle are active SCORE Counselors with the Gulfport Chapter. 

National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Day

Lynn Douthett

North Carolina District Office

Lynn Douthett, District Director

 The 2012 North Carolina SBA Lenders Conference and Awards Luncheon will be held on November 13-14 at the Crabtree Valley Marriott in Raleigh. This is a great opportunity to learn from industry experts, network with North Carolina Lenders and SBA District Staff.

Activities include two panel discussions, one with delegated lenders and another with directors of NC Certified Development Companies. Also, there will be a training session on business valuations by a certified business appraiser. 2012 Top SBA lenders in NC will be honored during the awards luncheon.

Click here to register and to view agenda:

Elliott Cooper

South Carolina District Office

Elliott Cooper, District Director

The SBA South Carolina District Office is proud to participate with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and eight other government agencies and non-profit organizations to present the Small Business-Lender Matchmaker on Thursday, November 29 in Charleston. The matchmaker event will connect entrepreneurs seeking financing with various lenders and other business resources through one-on-one, “speed dating style” sessions. The Charleston event will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Trident Technical College. For more information or to register, contact Greg Davis of the South Carolina Department of Commerce at 803-737-0601 or 

Walter Perry

Tenessee District Office

Walter Perry, District Director

Small business opportunities in biotechnology was the focus of the Regional Administrator’s keynote marks at the Memphis BioWorks Foundation’s SBA FAST conference on September 19.  Over 150 participants attended the two-day event geared toward helping early-stage and medium-sized bioscience businesses in the Memphis region connect to resources that can help accelerate their growth.  Break-out sessions included topics such as: acceleration strategies for a bioscience business; expanding into international markets; regulatory requirements; biologistics and bioservices; sustainability best practices; funding opportunities; and commercializing new technology.


Additionally, On October 11th, SBA and the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month and highlighted the SBA nationwide partnership with eight Hispanic chambers, including the NAHCC.  District Director Walter Perry, as well as Nashville Mayor Karl Dean congratulated the NAHCC and its president and CEO, Yuri Cunza, on the SBA-NAHCC partnership, part of the memorandum of understanding SBA has with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  Among the future events to be presented by the SBA-NAHCC partnership is a workshop, “Access to Capital in Middle Tennessee” planned for late October. Nearly one hundred persons attended the evening reception and awards event at the law offices of Waller-Landsden in Nashville. 

Walter Perry, SBA District Director speaking in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

Walter Perry Speaking


Check out the National Small Business Calendar of Events HERE

SBA Dogtags

SBA Celebrates Veteran's Day 2012

Recent SBA Lending Activity- Search By lender HERE

Are You a Small Business Owner Interested in Exporting?  Read about Export Opportunities HERE