Pennsylvania SBDC welcomes Mark Madrid to statewide meeting
KUTZTOWN, Pa .– The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) were honored to welcome Mark Madrid, associate administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurship Development of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Thursday , in Berks County, where he heard firsthand testimony. pandemic relief programs helping small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madrid spoke with representatives of Pennsylvania’s 16 SBDC centers during a meeting at the Kutztown University campus, which houses the organization’s main office. Madrid, the former CEO of the Latino Business Action Network, praised SBDC’s work in a tough business environment and touted President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Charles “Tee” Rowe, President and CEO of the US SBDC, and Dave Patti, Chairman of the PASBDC Advisory Board and Vice President of Marketing at Customers Bank, also spoke at the event.
The Pennsylvania SBDC also celebrated an important recent achievement at the event: obtaining full, unconditional accreditation from the Association of Small Business Development Centers.
Bookending The Madrid stop at Kutztown University was a visit from two successful examples of SBDC clients from Pennsylvania.
In the morning he spent time at Radius Corp. in Kutztown. The consumer goods maker, a second-generation family business, received loans and technical assistance from the SBA before and during the pandemic. In 2020, SBA named Radius Exporter of the Year in Eastern PA. The oral care manufacturer recently moved into the historic Kutztown Silk Corp building. to help meet the growing demand for its products, which are now sold in Walmart stores.
Sonya Smith, associate state director of programs and policy at the Pennsylvania SBDC, was also visiting Radius; Martin Brill, Pennsylvania SBDC Commercial Agriculture Consultant / Mentor; Kelly Hunt, director of the SBA Pittsburgh district office; Angel Marschik, SBA Supervisory Lender Relations Specialist; Stephane Dixel, district director for the SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania district office; and Michael T. Kane, deputy director of the Eastern Pennsylvania district office.
In the afternoon, Madrid, Smith, Dixel, Kane and Josephina Encarnacion, director of the Kutztown University Latino Business Resource Center, stopped by Mi Casa Su Casa in downtown Reading. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, owner of the café and Reading City Councilor, has received support from the Kutztown SBDC and assistance from the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund, allowing it to remain open in tough business environments.
“The Pennsylvania SBDC Network was honored to welcome Mark Madrid to celebrate the recognition of many leaders in our network for exemplary leadership in their program area during COVID,” said Ernie Post, State Director of the Pennsylvania SBDC . “Sir. Madrid was able to deliver remarks to our PASBDC leadership team in person and to our entire network of consultants. His personal understanding of the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs face as a result of COVID demonstrates that we have a very knowledgeable and experienced leader of our national SBA contractor technical assistance programs His remarks to our team were inspiring and visionary.
“As the needs and markets for small businesses evolve, the SBDC program will change to position our team of business advisors, mentors and consultants to meet the emerging needs of our Commonwealth entrepreneurs. “