SBA Region 4 News To Share

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November 2012

SBA Region 4 News To Share

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administratio's Region IV Office

Cassius Butts, RA

Cassius Butts

Regional Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration

Region IV

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow, November 24th! !  I encourage each of you to please visit your local small businesses and show them your support.  We have a lot to be thankful for; especially in the small business community.  Each small business owner contributes greatly to our comminities, states and to this region.  They supply jobs and access to goods and services and that are in demand.  Small businesses create the foundation of our economy.  I ask that each of you support your local small business community tomorrow, November 24th for Small Business Saturday and encourage your family and friends to participate as well.  Shop Small!

Small Business Saturday 2012

Check Out This North Carolina Success Story!

Highland Brewing Co., Asheville NC

2012 North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year

Oscar Wong, President of Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC has been named the 2012 North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year. After selling his engineering business and retiring to the North Carolina Mountains, he opened the first brewery in the Asheville, NC area in 1994. Highland Brewing Company now employs 34 people. Wong recently built a new state of the art production facility and tasting room. With the help of an SBA 504 loan of $813,000 from Avista Business Development Corporation, Oscar was able to purchase needed equipment for the business.

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What is Happening in YOUR State?

Tom Todt

 Tom Todt, District Director

News From the SBA Alabama District Office:

 L.D. Ralph, Lead Lender Relations Specialist at the Alabama District Office participated in the Huntsville Business Expo at the Von Braun Center on November 8, 2012. The Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce puts on the one-day business trade show that features over 90 vendors and attracts local business professionals and includes seminars held throughout the day. Mr. Ralph set up and manned the SBA booth and discussed SBA programs and services with attendees. For future similar events, please visit

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez

Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, District Director

News From the SBA North Florida District Office:

Rosalind Bryant, Lender Relations Specialist, attended the Export Finance Solutions training conference on October 24, 2012, part of a training program developed by the Florida District Export Council to assist Florida companies further their export initiatives.  This conference focused on how to finance the growth of export sales and mitigate payment risks for Senior Financial Executives of companies actively involved in exporting.  Topics included working capital, export credit insurance, international methods of payment, and best practices from local exporters. Mary Hernandez, Regional Manager, SBA Export Solutions Group, made a presentation on export finance programs available through the SBA. Also presenting were representatives from the U.S. Ex­port-Import Bank, Florida Export Finance Corp., and several financial institutions offering export financing. 

Coming Soon: V-WISE is coming to Jacksonville (residency is not a requirement for this program). V-Wise is a premier training program that helps veteran women find their passion and learn the business savvy skills necessary to turn an idea or start-up in to a growing venture. For more information on the V-WISE program visit

Pancho Marrero

Francisco "Pancho" Marrero, District Director

News From the SBA South Florida District Office:


SBA South Florida On Nov. 5, the South Florida District welcomed its newest business opportunity specialist to our Miami office, Mr. Ray Lewis.  Ray comes to us from just across town where he was previously employed by the U.S. Coast Guard’s Civil Engineering Unit.  Before joining the civil service four years ago, Ray had an impressive career with the U.S. Air Force where he attained the rank Master Sergeant. 

With November’s proclamation as National Entrepreneurship Month by President Obama, it seems only fitting the South Florida District reflected that spirit by signing three new strategic alliance memoranda (SAM) on Nov. 14.  Deputy District Director Jonel Hein welcomed the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, St. Leo University, and Pinellas County Urban League to the growing list of SBA strategic partners that are helping us with our mission to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and succeed in business.   Robert Chavarria and Charles Long from the district’s Tampa office will work with these organizations. 


November also marks the time of the year when we salute our nation’s veterans.  The South Florida District Office participated in events targeting veteran-owned businesses.   Althea Harris spoke to veteran business owners at an NBCUniversal-Telemundo Matchmaker and Vince LoPresti and Aimee Suarez participated in the second annual Battlefield to Business Expo at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton. 

Terri Denison

Terri Denison, District Director

News From the SBA Georgia District Office:

We are pleased to introduce Mark D. Gibson, Public Affairs Officer, for the Georgia District Office.  Mark comes to us with an esteemed background as a Public Affairs Officer in the United States Air Force.  He is relocating back to the United States from living in Costa Rica.  He is joined with his 12 year old Jack Russell terrier “Gena”. 

Mark Gibson
John McClure 2

Team GA warmly welcomes Mr. John T McClure, III as our Lead Lender Relations Specialist.  John is joining us from the Kentucky District Office.  A 20 year U.S. Air Force veteran with lending experience at Chase Bank as the branch manager and business relations manager.  John and his wife Tonya have three children; Garry, Tasha and Sydney.  Accompanying the McClure’s to the great State of Georgia are their two Yorkshire Terriers, Socrates and Olivia.  Welcome aboard John. 

Ralph Ross

Ralph Ross, District Director

News From the SBA Kentucky District Office:

Kentucky SBA Lenders Conference

The Kentucky SBA Lenders Association held its annual Reception and Conference on November 9-10, 2012.  There were over 125 attendees, including SBA lenders from across Kentucky, SBA Resource Providers (SBDC, SCORE and Women’s Business Center), credit unions, economic development organizations and SBA employees.  Lender awards were presented for SBA lending to the most active community and national/regional banks, certified development company/504 lender and microlender categories.  We also acknowledged eight individual loan officers responsible for these achievements and named them to the SBA All-Star Team.  Featured speakers for the event were Ralph Ross, SBA Kentucky District Director; Phil Danhauer, Chief of Finance for the Kentucky District Office; Dr. Becky Naugle, Kentucky SBDC State Director; Don Keller, SCORE Kentucky District Director; and Joel Sellers with The Baily Group, which expedites the life insurance process for SBA lenders.  Breakout sessions and roundtable discussions were offered by representatives from the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), the SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center, the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), and experts on micro lending. More information on the event will be available soon on the SBA Kentucky District Office website   


Janita Stewart

Janita Stewart, District Director

News From the SBA Mississippi District Office:

Working with the Town of Smithville, the SBA Mississippi District Office held a Small Business Workshop for Monroe County.  The workshop was held on Saturday, November 17th in Smithville. The Town of Smithville was devastated during the April 2011 tornadoes, and SBA provided disaster assistance to help the town recover from this natural disaster.  The town’s Mayor was recognized during the 2012 National Small Business Week Celebrations for Outstanding Disaster Recovery Assistance by a Public Official. The November 17th workshop was held to provide information on SBA’s regular business programs to small businesses, entrepreneurs and people who want to start a business.  The workshop highlighted a variety of SBA programs including loans, business development, and government contracting.  For future workshop and training opportunities, please visit

Lynn Douthett

Lynn Douthett, District Director

News From the SBA North Carolina District Office:


The North Carolina District Office is working with the Fayetteville State University Veteran’s Business Outreach Center as they host the Boots to Business training for resource partners in Fayetteville in December 2012. The Boots to Business program uses a multi-phased approach to introduce transitioning service members to the fundamentals of small business ownership and to the SBA tools and resources available to them. Building on lessons learned from the Boots to Business pilot program launched in the Spring of 2012, SBA aims to ultimately provide entrepreneurship awareness and opt-in training nationwide to service members from all branches of the military. SBA wants to help even more veterans grow their businesses and create jobs. We are working with our expert network of resource partners including Small Business & Technology Development Centers, Women Business Centers, SCORE chapters,  and Veterans Business Opportunity Centers, Syracuse University, the VA, and DOD to provide transitioning service members the knowledge, tools and resources they need to evaluate opportunities and become successful entrepreneurs.  For more information on the SBA Veteran’s Business Outreach Center which serves the Southeast visit:

Elliott Cooper

Elliott Cooper, District Director

News From the SBA South Carolina District Office:

On Wednesday, November 14,  local entrepreneurs engaged with business loan professionals and contracting experts at the SBA South Carolina District Office.

This event was part of the South Carolina District Office’s regularly scheduled free seminar, known as Small Business Resource Day.

Small Business Resource Day is held bi-monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at the South Carolina District Office in downtown Columbia. During the Resource Day, participants learn about the SBA’s loan guaranty programs and financing best practices/requirements in the first half of the session, and they learn about SBA’s contracting programs and general government contracting requirements in the second half of the session. Participants also meet counselors from the SBA’s resource partner organizations, including SCORE and the Small Business Development Center.  

Interested in attending? Call the SBA South Carolina District Office at 803-765-5377.

Small Business Resource Day

2013 dates: January 16, March 20, May 15, July 17, September 18 and November 20

Time: 9 a.m. to Noon (financing segment runs until 10:30 and contracting segment runs from 10:45 to Noon)

Location: SBA South Carolina District Office training room, 1835 Assembly Street, Suite 1444, Columbia, SC

Walter Perry

Walter Perry, District Director

News From the SBA Tennessee District Office: 

Graduation and Outreach in Tennessee

 On October 24th the SBA’s e200 initiative graduated 14 distinguished entrepreneurs in Memphis.  This graduation marks the fifth consecutive e200 class, bringing the total number of graduates to 74.   This entrepreneurial development initiative is like a mini-MBA where established business participants receive 100 + hours of professional specialized training & peer-to-peer counseling delivered over the course of 7 months. Steve Pitcairn, class instructor, and guest speakers, taught participants about development and expansion strategies for their businesses, options for accessing new capital, and opportunities for securing government contracts.

 The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) was named one of eight chambers in the U.S in the recently announced SBA partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to jointly provide outreach events to the Hispanic small business community.  On November 14th the NAHCC and the SBA conducted their first Access To Capital event in Nashville as part of the nationwide partnership agreement.  A panel of bankers from Regions Bank, U.S. Bank and Fifth Third Bank, moderated by NAHCC CEO Yuri Cunza and SBA’s Walter Perry, discussed such topics as Financial Literacy, the Five C’s of Credit, Business Planning, and SBA Loans & Programs with more than thirty attendees invited by the chamber, SBA and its resource partners.



Find out what is happening across the region!  Click here for theSBA Calendar!

Small Business Saturday 2012

SHOP at your favorite small business locations all day Saturday, November 24th!

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