Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Senate Confirms Marie Johns as SBA Deputy Administrator

Marie C. Johns [pictured], a longtime advocate for small businesses, was confirmed by unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate today as deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration [SBA].

Johns, who was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama, will be the second-ranking official at SBA, with major responsibility for management, policy development and program supervision.

"I’m thrilled to welcome Marie Johns as deputy administrator of the SBA," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "Over the past two decades, Marie has dedicated herself to creating great opportunities for small businesses and the local community in Washington, D.C. Marie’s strong leadership will help provide small businesses with the guidance, support and tools they need to grow, create jobs and continue to drive economic recovery throughout the country."

"I am grateful to President Obama for his nomination, and it is an honor to assume the role of SBA deputy administrator," Johns said. "I am excited to join Administrator Mills and the entire SBA team to serve the interests of small businesses across this country. The SBA mission is fundamental to the economic strength of our nation; that is, give small businesses the support they need to grow and create jobs."

Johns is a managing member of L&L Consulting LLC, an organizational effectiveness and public-policy consulting practice. Previously, she served as president of Verizon Washington. Under her leadership, Verizon Washington made significant strides in maintaining the company’s financial health during tumultuous times in the telecommunications industry. Johns retired from Verizon in 2004, after 21 years of service in the telecommunications industry.

Johns has a long record of business and civic leadership. She is the former chair of the DC Chamber of Commerce; founder of the Washington, D.C., Technology Council; former chair of Leadership Greater Washington; and founding chair of the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science [MS]².

While at Verizon Washington, Johns created the Students Educated for Economic Development Success [SEEDS] program. SEEDS prepared over 200 high-school dropouts for entry-level positions in the telecommunications industry -- many of whom were hired by small, local firms.

"Marie Johns comes to the SBA with an impeccable record of leadership and public service," noted Mary Landrieu [D-La.], chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. "At a time when this agency is undergoing enormous transformations, Marie will be an invaluable asset to Administrator Mills and her team as they continue to put small businesses at the forefront of our economic recovery. I look forward to working with Deputy Administrator Johns in her new capacity, and am glad to have her working on behalf of small businesses across the country."

Johns currently chairs the board of the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science [MS]²; serves on the Council for Court Excellence; and is a member of the board of Girl Scouts USA, the advisory board of the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, and the women’s advisory board of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital [GSNC].

She earned her BS and MPA degrees from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Trinity University in Washington, D.C. Johns has been married to Wendell Johns for 38 years.

Last month, the Small Business Committee held a confirmation hearing for the deputy administrator. To view more information from the hearing and testimony from Marie Johns, please visit: http://bit.ly/JohnsConfirmation.

GoodBiz113's Take
Once again, the Obama administration has added an extremely well-qualified candidate to its team. Our nation needs all the MVPs we can get, and Marie Johns clearly has the leadership and management acumen to keep SBA moving forward for the win-win-win good of small businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed folks from coast to coast.

SOURCES: U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Small Business Administration

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