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ASU's Lawrence on a mission to serve veterans
Sept. 15, 2009 --
You could say Herb Lawrence is on
The retired Army officer has been at the forefront of Arkansas Small
Business and Technology Development Center’s veterans project aimed at
active, retired, and reserve military personnel who are small business
owners or aspiring entrepreneurs. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Small
Business Administration’s Veterans Assistance and Services Program, the
year-long project wraps up in September.
"Herb Lawrence has brought great passion and expertise to this project,"
said Janet Roderick, ASBTDC state director. "As a certified business
consultant and military veteran, he is well qualified to discuss
business ownership with veterans."
Lawrence, director of the ASBTDC office at Arkansas State University
since 1996, spent seven years on active duty in the U.S. Army Signal
Corp and served 13 years with the Arkansas National Guard. He helped
develop ASBTDC’s Ready to Go business mobilization planning guide in
2008. Since January, he has participated in 13 reintegration meetings
across the state for more than 2,000 National Guard troops returning
from deployment and has been active in the Yellow Ribbon Task Force.
He estimates he has talked with more than 200 veterans and their spouses
interested in small business since the project began.
"As a retired officer and father of a currently serving Army officer,
our volunteer military holds a special place for me, especially our
National Guard and Reservists who have been called upon to provide
ongoing combat tours for extended periods of time away from family, jobs
and their normal lives," he said. "The strain on Guard members and
Reservists who are business owners or trying to start a business has
been extremely difficult for them. I want to do all I can to thank them
for their service and to help them acclimate back to civilian life as
much as possible."
ASBTDC has utilized cutting-edge communication technologies to reach
Arkansas veterans living in the state as well as those serving on active
duty in Afghanistan and other far-flung locations.
ArkansasVeteran.com, a Web
portal created by the ASBTDC, brings together in one place
veterans-related resources, news, information, and contacts for veterans
and their families. This summer, Lawrence led six webinars for veterans
on starting a business, writing a business plan and business financing.
In July, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to brief the SBA Veteran
Liaison Committee on the ways ASBTDC is assisting start-up and existing
The ASBTDC is a partnership of the SBA and the University of Arkansas at
Little Rock College of Business. In addition to the lead center at UALR
and office at ASU, other regional offices are located at Henderson State
University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas,
Fayetteville, and University of Arkansas at Monticello College of
Technology, McGehee. All services, which include consulting, research
and training, are available at low or no cost. Learn more at
--Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center News Release
Aug. 31, 2009