Local Susan O’Conner appointed to Florida SBDC Advisory Board

February 8, 2014

The Florida SBDC Network announced the appointment of its new State Advisory Board. With over 40 offices and nearly 250 employees, the Florida SBDC Network State Advisory Board will play an instrumental role in the continued success of Florida’s largest provider of assistance for small and medium-sized businesses.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature passed HB 7007 to amend FL. Stat. 288.001. The change enhanced the Florida SBDC Network’s designation as “the principal business assistance organization for small businesses in the state” by aligning the efforts, interests and investments of the Florida SBDC Network with those of state economic development and higher education. A key component of the amended law defined the composition of the Florida SBDC Network State Advisory Board.

Primarily appointed by legislative leadership, the Board encompasses a diverse network of experienced business owners and key leaders from organizations representing small business interests. The board will consist of 19 members, of which to date include:

Karen Brayboy, Owner/CEO, Alltrust Insurance, Inc.
Elizabeth Burch, President/CEO, Dignitas Technologies, LLC
Leslie Dougher, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
Amy L. Evancho, President/CEO, Florida Economic Development Council, Inc.
Tami Fitzpatrick, President/CEO, ThunderBolt International, Inc.
Sandra (Sandi) Foland, Owner/CEO, Baron Sign Manufacturing
Cheryl Gonzalez, Director, Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity at University of North Florida
Bill Herrle, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business
Francisco “Pancho” Marrero, South Florida District Office, District Director, U.S. SBA
Susan O’Connor, President, O’Connor Management Group
David Rodriguez, Manager, Capital Programs, Enterprise Florida, Inc.
Thomas Stahl, Executive Director, Florida United Businesses Association
Nancy D. Stephens, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida
Brad Swanson, VP of Strategic and Corporate Partnerships, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Earl H. Young, Executive VP, Florida Traditions Bank

“We are thrilled with the make-up of our new board,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC Network. “The diversity of members from organizations from around Florida who share in the passion about supporting the growth of Florida’s greatest economic asset will be invaluable to our organization and business community. Their collective knowledge and advocacy will be essential that we apply the right strategies to ensure we continue to support Florida’s economic growth.”

The Florida SBDC Network State Advisory Board is responsible for advising, counseling and conferring with the CEO and Network State Director, Mr. Myhre, to ensure the interests of small businesses are represented in the Florida SBDC Network’s coordinated efforts and investments in small business development and entrepreneurial support services.

The board will meet bi-annually, with the first meeting on February 10, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida. In addition to the meeting, board members will participate in the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s premier annual event, Board of Governor’s Capitol Days, scheduled for February 11, 2014.

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