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ASU's SBDC sees two resource partners honored at
state awards luncheon
July 30, 2008 --
Arkansas State University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
saw two of its resource partners honored for their work in promoting
small business growth at the annual Arkansas Small Business Awards
Luncheon held Tuesday, June 3, in Little Rock. The luncheon, sponsored
by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Arkansas Chamber of
Commerce, is an annual event recognizing small business owners and
agencies for their contribution to the state’s economic growth.
Two of the SBDC’s nominated resource partners, Pam Alexander, business
development consultant, East Arkansas Planning and Development District,
and Barbara Lee, transition assistance officer for the Arkansas National
Guard, won awards: Alexander was selected as Financial Services Champion
of the Year, and Lee was selected as Veterans’ Small Business Champion
of the Year.
leads the EAPDD’s Revolving Loan Fund, partnering with many local
lenders to offer small business financing. Alexander is a member of the
Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and is past chair of the
Environment Committee. She serves on the ASU Regional Farmers’ Market
Advisory Board and is a member of the Arkansas Economic Developers. She
is past president of Altrusa International Foundation of Jonesboro.
Alexander was appointed to the Jonesboro Land Use Advisory Committee,
the Jonesboro Urban Forestry Council, and was instrumental in obtaining
the designation Tree City USA for Jonesboro. She is chair of the
Northeast Arkansas Continuum of Care and the Jonesboro Community
Services Committee, where she served as coordinator for a community
committee studying issues of homelessness in a four-county area.
Alexander was nominated by Laura Miller, business consultant for ASU’s
Barbara Lee coordinates small business assistance to deploying Arkansas
National Guard soldiers and airmen facing deployment and extended
absences from their businesses. Under Lee’s direction, the Arkansas
National Guard and the Arkansas Small Business Development Center
Network (ASBDCN) developed a detailed 32-page booklet, the
Arkansas National Guard Business Mobilization Planning Guide. The guide
was developed to assist business-owning or self-employed guardsmen
develop plans for their civilian businesses as they faced extended
deployment. Lee and the ASBDCN staff developed the guide and met with
more than 200 deploying soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard’s 39th
Infantry Brigade during the mobilization process.
Since the Arkansas National Guard Business Mobilization Planning Guide
was developed, more than 300 hard copies have been provided to Arkansas
military personnel, and the guide has been downloaded more than 900
times. Other entities, including several states and the South Dakota
National Guard, have since adopted the planning guide for their soldiers
Lee also incorporated the ASBDCN as part of the Arkansas National
Guard’s Transition Assistance team. That team worked with soldiers
returning from extended deployment who were either business owners or
interested in starting a business.
Herb Lawrence, center director, ASU Small Business Development Center
and lead author of the Arkansas National Guard Business Mobilization
Planning Guide, said, “Sergeant First Class (retired) Barbara Lee has
consistently demonstrated those qualities of devotion, professionalism,
and the ability to go above and beyond that is the hallmark of
Arkansas’s citizen soldiers. Her enthusiasm for the project, her love of
the military, and her strong desire to assist those soldiers and airmen
who are small business owners sets her apart from any other candidate
for this award.” Lee was nominated by Herb Lawrence.
To download a copy of the ASBDCN Business Mobilization
Planning Guide, visit the ASU SBDC website,
For additional information, call the ASU SBDC at (870) 972-3517.