In 2013, after 25 years of working with small businesses, including 11 years with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), I was asked to step out of SBDC daily activity for a maximum of 18 months to assist Columbus State Community College with their workforce development efforts. During that time I worked on a number of grants and projects focused on enhancing workforce awareness and perception of industries struggling to recruit employees. In addition, I assisted large organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide, Cardinal Health and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to recruit and/or train their employees. I also had the opportunity to work with several academic areas at Columbus State to connect them to businesses that could assist in updating curriculum and in providing internships to students.
While this was very different and I learned a great deal, I clearly missed working with small business owners. As the 18 months became 24 then 30, I found myself getting involved in speaking and training engagements for entrepreneurs in my spare time. Over the winter I taught a group of high school students to build a business through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Union County , which was a tremendous experience that helped me realize that my passion was still in small business. So in May of this year, as many of my projects were winding down, I approached Columbus State to end my interim appointment and move back into day-to-day SBDC activity and operation.
I am very excited to re-engage with the SBDC team. I thank Ariana Ulloa-Olavarrieta, Ohio SBDC Latino Program Director for stepping in and doing a remarkable job as the Ohio SBDC District Director while I was away. She has the SBDC running at a maximum level and has positioned the program in many exciting new areas that are helping the small business base grow and be a powerful economic driver in Columbus and Central Ohio.
In the future look for the SBDC to continue to be your number one small business resource in Central Ohio. We are dedicated to bringing you new tools including new financing vehicles and innovative strategies that will help you build and grow your small business.