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College Connect

BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

GREATER FORT DODGE GROWTH ALLIANCE BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT AMERICA’S SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Established in 1981, America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Iowa provides no cost, confidential, customized, and professional business advice in all 99 Iowa counties to entrepreneurs and existing businesses. They also provide affordable workshops that teach practical skills and techniques, conduct research, provide comprehensive information services, and offer access to subject matter experts in a variety of fields.

The Iowa SBDC has 15 regional centers that are hosted by the three Iowa Regent institutions and 12 community colleges, all coordinated through the state center at Iowa State University. Each regional center encourages unique local efforts, region to region and community to community, to meet small business needs throughout the state.

Iowa Central Community College is the host for the North Central Iowa SBDC which is located on the East Campus in Fort Dodge. The Iowa Central Center serves entrepreneurs and existing businesses in Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster, Wright and Buena Vista counties. During the last year and a half, the North Central Iowa SBDC has counseled over 144 clients in Webster County and assisted with six new business starts. In addition, the Center’s clients saw over $6 million in capital infusion with a collective sales increase of over $25 million and support for over 336 jobs. On July 14, 2021, the North Central Iowa SBDC hosted the America’s SBDC Iowa kick off of the national Inclusivity Challenge which is aimed at better connecting minority-owned businesses and extend support to help prosper local business, community and the economy. This day-long event was held at Iowa Central Community College and featured national, state and community leaders. Speakers included: Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator of the Office

of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration; Yvette Collazo, Associate Administrator of the Small Business Development Centers at the U.S. Small Business Administration; Lisa Shimkat, State Director of the America’s SBDC Iowa; Dr. Jesse Ulrich, President of Iowa

Central Community College; Charles Clayton, President of Athletes for Education & Success; and Jayne Armstrong, District Director of the SBA Iowa District Office. In addition to the speakers, vendors were on hand to share their resources to support the cause and roundtable discussions and leadership panels were held to further this initiative.

The North Central Iowa SBDC is led by Kimberly Tiefenthaler who has been the Regional Director since 2017. She is no stranger to the small business world as she has owned several small businesses in the past and is currently co-owner of her family’s business in Carroll.

Kimberly brings a strong understanding of the business startup process and what existing business owners are needing assistance with to the Center. “Right now, we are seeing a lot of businesses coming out of the pandemic that look different from when they went in and this is resulting in their needs changing. For instance, they need help with their cashflow analysis to better understand where and how their cash is flowing,” said Kimberly.

In 2020, Kimberly was recognized as the Iowa State Star by the national Small Business Development Center (SBDC) association, America’s SBDC. America’s SBDC annually recognizes SBDC personnel for demonstrating exemplary work performance, significantly contributing to the organization’s economic development efforts, and showing a strong commitment to small businesses.

“Kimberly is a true advocate for small business across our state,” said Lisa Shimkat, America’s SBDC Iowa State Director. “Her contributions to the SBDC and our small businesses have been significant, including developing strong relationships with key stakeholders, increasing marketing for her center, and working tirelessly to helping others succeed. We are honored to have Kimberly in our network.”

Kimberly is assisted at the Center by part-time business counselor Darcy Swon. Darcy owns a small business in Webster City and has a strong marketing background which she utilizes in assisting the Center’s clients. She has been a counselor with the Center for 3.5 years.

Whether you are thinking about starting a new business, in the process of starting one, need assistance to grow your existing business or are looking to transition out of your current business, the team at the North Central Iowa SBDC can provide you with the expertise and resources to make it an easier process. You can reach them by calling 515.574.1995, email Kimberly at kimberlyt@ncisbdc.com or sign up for assistance by going to iowasbdc.org and click on Request Counseling.