UPDATES FROM OUR DIRECTOR
January 6th, 2022

Sadly, two of our advisors (Jeanne Keenan and Cyndi Miller) have stepped away from counseling.  Jeanne has retired and Cyndi is working on other projects and not able to dedicate time to our Center.  Both of them will be missed as they were two of our longest tenured contractors.  They had the knowledge and passion that our clients appreciated and found invaluable.

 

The good news is that we have added or will be adding shortly several new advisors to our team that I would like to welcome:

  • Brian Crim

  • Megan Adams

  • Kyle Adams

  • Victor Pavona

 

Our web page will be updated soon to include these new advisors ( https://www.sbdcksut.org/our-advisors ) and you can learn first-hand the reason behind these recent additions!

The entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive clients to our doors.  We have seen a steady request from individuals that want to start and operate their own business.  The support they receive from our Center helps to validate their “idea.”  As they work through the planning process, they are challenged to continue to test the viability and sustainability of their business.  They are provided numerous resources to assist them in the process but none more effective than the one-on-one counseling they receive.  Not all of the ideas turn into a “business” but the client does get the education, support and advising that they would not have received on their own.

One of our center’s proudest moments was receiving the State’s Customer Service Award in November at the Annual Conference.  This is a further testament to the support and responsiveness a client receives from the assistance of one of our very talented advisors.  Client surveys indicate that they find value in working with us and more importantly would recommend us to others!  This is the goal and priority of any “service-oriented” business.

Our board representation with the Stark County Minority Business Association (SCMBA) will continue. Maintaining this tradition of a board seat, allows us to assist “in the development of minority-owned businesses through training, networking and expanding business opportunities.”

Our Center had the opportunity to introduce the SBDC and offer our services to a newly formed "women entrepreneurial membership group" in Tuscarawas County.  The response was positive and the attendees appeared pleased to learn more about what the SBDC has to offer.

A recent client success included our active involvement in an ownership transition of a fifteen year old business.  Thirty plus jobs were created/retained as a result of this successful ownership change.

Activity remains brisk as we transition to our new fiscal year and absorb the additional counties (Stark and Wayne). Our team of advisors are prepared to assist small business owners with the resources needed to start, operate and grow their businesses.

 

News of note: The Ohio Department of Development is offering two new loan programs to help businesses that may have difficulty obtaining financing through traditional lending sources. More information on these loan programs is available in "Business Resources" or by clicking the links below!

October 1, 2021 saw some significant changes to our Center. The retirement announcement by Victor Pavona, the Director at Stark, and the decision by that campus to no longer serve as a host, offered us the opportunity to expand our service area. It was bittersweet to see Victor leave but we were able to welcome Holly Bolinger to our Center. She has been with the SBDC for over 15 years and brings a great background that prospective entrepreneurs and existing business owners have come to appreciate.  The plan is to continue offering a high level of assistance in the fashion that Stark and Wayne counties have come to expect.

To connect with Steve Schillig, Holly Bolinger, or any of the other advisors at the SBDC at Kent State Tuscarawas, fill out our Advising Form by clicking below!