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Miami, Oklahoma– Leadership from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center joined together with local stakeholders to celebrate the funding announcement for an Oklahoma SBDC office in Miami, Oklahoma, on the NEO campus.

In addition to NEO, the partners include the Shawnee Tribe, the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, the Wyandotte Nation, the City of Miami, Arvest Bank, and Welch State Bank. The event was held to recognize the new partnership, allowing for the SBDC to better assist the northeastern corner of Oklahoma, and to introduce the new Oklahoma SBDC Business Advisor, Sandra Pierre, to the community.

A graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Master’s Degrees in Psychology, Education, and Business Administration, Pierre is the new business advisor for the SBDC that will operate on the NEO A&M campus. During her career, she has helped to establish a professional reputation for leveraging entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen to achieve departmental objectives and organizational growth aspirations. With a strong blend of education and business management skills, Pierre is a great addition to the SBDC team, the NEO campus, and to northeastern Oklahoma.

“I am very excited about this partnership with SBDC and thankful for the stakeholders who have contributed to bring this service to our community,” said NEO President, Dr. Kyle Stafford. “Small business advising at no cost is a win-win for our community and region.”

Joining the celebration were the United States Small Business Administration, Oklahoma deputy district director, Fernanda Pedraza-Schmitt; Oklahoma Department of Commerce executive director, Brent Kisling; Wyandotte Nation, Chief Billy Friend; Peoria Tribe, Chief Craig Harper; Shawnee Tribe, Chief Ben Barnes; as well as community members, NEO and SBDC staff.

Since 1984, the SBDC has been Oklahoma’s most comprehensive business consulting network, helping Oklahomans realize their entrepreneurial dreams of starting and sustaining a successful small business. Business owners in any of Oklahoma’s 77 counties can receive no-cost business advising on a range of business operational issues from one of the 17 locations the SBDC network has in Oklahoma.

Through a partnership with the United States Small Business Administration, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, several Oklahoma higher education institutions, community consortiums, and technology centers, the Oklahoma SBDC has impacted Oklahoma’s economy through business start-ups, sustainability, job growth, and increased capital infusion.

The Oklahoma SBDC also provides a significant amount of training to small business owners and entrepreneurs on a variety of business topics. The Oklahoma SBDC Network is part of America’s SBDC which consists of 62 other programs across other states and territories.

“We are incredibly excited to see the consortium come together with these visionary partners,” said Michele Hockersmith, SBDC state director. “When a group comes together to see that jobs can be created and supported and businesses can be started and sustained, there will be progress. We appreciate the collaborative spirit of all involved and are pleased to have a physical presence in Miami, Oklahoma at NEO.”

For more information, please contact the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Network office at 580.745.2877 or visit www.oksbdc.org.

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