December 7, 2015 | By: Roberta Meisel

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center recognized its staff members for their achievements at the annual fall conference held at The Campbell House.

KSBDC state director Becky Naugle presented the year’s biggest awards. Top honors went to the University of Kentucky center at Elizabethtown, named 2015 Center of the Year. This award is bestowed upon the Small Business Development Center posting the highest results based on the annual goals.

The Morehead District SBDC received the Spirit Award for 2015. This award recognizes the center that demonstrated the SBDC spirit of service to the network and clients during the year.

The Northern Kentucky University center was awarded the Michael Rodriguez Traveling Trophy to acknowledge the largest goal increase achievement during the final six months of the fiscal year.

Lois Decker, of the Owensboro SBDC, was named 2015 Team Player of the Year for exhibiting extraordinary leadership and willingness to assist others. During her tenure, Decker has gone above and beyond in upholding the KSBDC’s mission of creating economic growth and aiding others in achieving success.

Tamela Darnell, of Murray State University SBDC was named 2015 Administration Person of the Year. Darnell was recognized for her diligent work on behalf of clients and fellow co-workers.

David Stevens, of the central office, was recognized as the 2015 Sutton Landry State Star. This honor is presented to an individual who is considered an example of excellence, makes a significant contribution to their center’s program and exhibits dedication to assisting small businesses.

Marge Berge, of the UK Central Office SBDC, was presented the first KSBDC Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 32 years of exemplary service and dedication to the betterment of the organization as a whole.

In addition, 11 staff members were inducted into the exclusive Kentucky Small Business Development Center Million Dollar Loan Club. This honor is reserved for management consultants who help business clientele secure $1 million or more in loans to start, expand or purchase their companies. Statewide, KSBDC consultants aided entrepreneurs with more than $32 million in loans during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The 2015 inductees were:

Fausto Sarmiento, UK Bluegrass SBDC

Steve Heil and Patricia Krausman, UK Elizabethtown SBDC

David Oetken and Toni Sears, UK Louisville SBDC

Kim Jenkins and Mark Murphy, Morehead SBDC

Lois Decker and Chris Wooldridge, Murray SBDC

Rebecca Volpe, NKU SBDC

Miller Slaughter, Western Kentucky University SBDC

Gordon Garrett, UK SBDC Central office

KSBDC presented 11 staff members with service awards. Five years of service recipients were: Becky Marefat, UK Bluegrass SBDC; Vallorie Henderson and David Oetken, UK Louisville SBDC; and Miller Slaughter, WKU SBDC. Marking 10 years of service were Shirie Hawkins, UK Bluegrass SBDC; Gordon Garrett, UK Central Office SBDC, and Janet Flaugh and Toni Sears, UK Louisville SBDC. Celebrating 15 years were Dee Dee Harbut, UK Central Office SBDC and John Preston, Eastern Kentucky University SBDC. Hitting the 30-year milestone was Mike Morley from the Morehead State University at Pikeville SBDC.

Dee Dee Harbut, director of the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center, presented the first annual Three Cheers award to Debbie McKnight. This award is chosen by the clients to recognize a consultant’s hard work with government contracting assistance. 

“The impact of KSBDC staff’s hard work reaches every county in Kentucky. I am so proud of the contribution SBDC and PTAC staffs make to our ‘Common Wealth,’ and it is an honor to recognize their accomplishments,” Naugle said.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 17 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/.

Contact: 

Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104