The Ohio University Small Business Development Center, part of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, earned recognition and multiple awards at the annual Ohio SBDC Statewide Conference in November.
Ohio University SBDC was recognized as one of the top performers in the network in businesses launched, job creation, overall performance by a center and customer satisfaction rating. In addition, two university SBDC staff members received individual recognition: Erin Gibson, certified business advisor, received the Peer Award in advocacy, and Trenia Twyman, administrative support, received the Peer Award in marketing.
Gibson’s service area covers Athens, Hocking, Perry, Meigs and Fairfield counties. Her award was based on her efforts in Fairfield County. She holds office hours in the Lancaster-Fairfield Chamber to support new and existing businesses. Gibson works closely with economic development organizations, such as the Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, Fairfield County Economic Development, Destination Downtown Lancaster, and local lenders. As a result, businesses are encouraged to work closely with the Ohio University SBDC. Since the university SBDC expanded into Fairfield County, Erin has been integral in assisting numerous businesses to start and secure financing.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized by your peers because they know the hard work you put into reaching out to businesses in the area on a daily basis,” Gibson said. “And we couldn’t have won this award without our partners, who make our jobs so much easier by ensuring that businesses are aware of the value of our services.”
Twyman manages not only the SBDC’s grants budget and expenditures, but also its online presence. She coordinated the development, design and launch of the new SBDC website; developed email marketing campaigns for all SBDC training events; and assisted with strengthening SBDC’s social media presence.
I have lived here for 13 years and this is my home as well, so it’s my honor to help the businesses in the region become aware of how we can provide help,” Twyman said. “It’s nice to be awarded because the acknowledgment helps market us further.”
Ohio University SBDC Regional Director Lissa Jollick nominated Twyman and Gibson for the awards.
“As one of the largest SBDC centers in a geographically large, economically depressed area, we have to overcome a lot of challenges to help our clients,” Jollick said. “This award reinforces the hard work all my staff puts in every day to overcome those obstacles so that we can continue to provide impactful assistance to our Southeastern Ohio business community.”
SBDC’s certified advisors provide no cost, confidential assistance, one-one-one advising and training to businesses in 12 counties: Athens, Meigs, Hocking, Perry, Fairfield, Washington, Morgan, Noble, Monroe, Muskingum, Guernsey and Belmont.