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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.

Lt. Col. Cary Shillcut, Joint Force Headquarters for the Arkansas National Guard, Linda Nelson, Arkansas district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SFC (retired) Barbara Lee, transition assistance advisor, Office of the Adjutant General, Army National Guard, and Herb Lawrence, center director, ASU Small Business Development Center, at the annual Arkansas Small Business Awards Luncheon.

Pam Alexander 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 SBDC.

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 and airmen.

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.




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