Friday, April 03, 2009

Karen Gordon Mills Unanimously Confirmed as SBA Administrator By U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed late last night President Barack Obama’s nomination of Karen Gordon Mills [pictured] as the 23rd Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Small business is the backbone of the American economy,” Mills said upon her confirmation. “The SBA has a vital role to play in supporting our nation’s small businesses, so that they can be the key driver in getting our economy moving again. I look forward to leading this critical agency at this important time.

“I want to thank President Obama for this opportunity to serve as a voice for our nation’s small-business owners and entrepreneurs. I would also like to express my appreciation to Darryl Hairston for his leadership as Acting Administrator during this transition, along with everyone at the SBA, for the hard work they are doing to implement the important programs of the Recovery Act.”

In testimony on April 1 before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Mills discussed her hands-on experience managing and helping to grow small businesses.

“I was there on the factory floor in Arkansas and Ohio, working to weather the recession of the early ‘90s,” she said. “Those experiences give me a deep understanding of what our small businesses need today to survive this downturn and to prosper in the years ahead. Since then, I have helped grow companies in organic food and women’s media, and spent time in rural Maine working with our boat builders and composite technology to help them compete throughout the globe.

“The sum of my experience is this: I am a believer in American small business. I am a believer in America’s ability to manufacture goods and services that are world-class, and I am a believer in America’s spirit of entrepreneurship. This spirit is one of our country’s greatest assets, and we need to cultivate it today more than ever.”

“The unanimous confirmation of Karen Mills to serve as SBA Administrator further shows that she is the right person to lead the agency at this crucial time,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-La.], chair of the Small Business Committee, which unanimously reported Mills' nomination to the full Senate. “Ms. Mills’ background as an entrepreneur and community leader, coupled with her vast experience and education, put her in the right position to assume the reigns of the SBA. I am confident that, under her leadership, the agency will be better equipped to assist small businesses throughout the country.”

“I am thrilled that the Senate has approved Karen Mills’ nomination unanimously,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe [R-Maine], ranking member of the Small Business Committee. “Karen is a talented and intelligent entrepreneur, and she will bring her vast experience, remarkable intellect, and exceptional creativity to the SBA as a strong and passionate advocate for America’s 27 million small businesses.

“I was so proud to have recommended to the President that Ms. Mills, a fellow Mainer, serve as our next administrator of the SBA, and I look forward to partnering with her on bold initiatives to tackle America’s economic problems.”

As Administrator of the SBA, Mills will direct a federal agency with more than 2,000 fulltime employees, with a leading role in helping small-business owners and entrepreneurs secure financing, technical assistance and training, and federal contracts. SBA also plays a leading role in disaster recovery by making low-interest loans.

Mills, of Brunswick, Maine, was president of MMP Group and has a 25-year career of investing in, and growing, small businesses. In 2007, she was appointed by Maine Gov. John Baldacci as chair of the state’s Council on Competitiveness and the Economy, where she focused on attracting investment in rural and regional development initiatives. She also co-authored a Brookings Institution paper on competitive clusters.

Mills is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as vice chairman of the Harvard Overseers. She holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. Mills and her husband, Barry Mills, president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, have three sons.

More information from the confirmation hearing of Karen Gordon Mills as SBA Administrator is available online at:

You can link to Mills’ written statement to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship here:

GoodBiz113's take: Indeed, having a Harvard Business School alum, venture capitalist, and thoughtful and compassionate visionary at SBA's helm is just what America -- and the world -- needs right now. We wish SBA Administrator Mills the very best.

SOURCES: Harvard Business School [photo], SBA Press Office, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Get the One Key Tool That Boosts Your Bottom Line: Proposal Kit Delivers Fast and Accurate Quotes, Proposals and Contracts That Increase Your Profitability and Professionalism. Easy and Downloadable!

No comments: