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Jon Ryan, Eastern Iowa Small Business Development Center,
Lars Peterson, Small Business Development Center,
(515) 440-1626
Kim Schroeder, College of Business, (515) 294-5858
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- Jon Ryan, director of the Eastern Iowa Community College District Small Business Development Center in Davenport, has been named the state director for the Iowa Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), effective Monday, Jan. 6, 2003. The SBDC is headquartered at Iowa State University and is an arm of the College of Business.

"Recent budget cuts have forced the SBDC to close centers and restructure how it provides services," Ryan said. "Because small- and mid-sized businesses are almost 99 percent of Iowa's economic base, the SBDC needs to focus on ways to keep Iowa's small businesses growing. We will look for creative ways to increase funding, work closely with state and local governments on economic issues, and seek innovative programs and training."

Ryan's background includes serving as a private college vice-president and senior vice-president of a local bank before joining the SBDC in 1985. While serving the SBDC, Ryan was co-chair of the Re-engineering Task Force for Iowa and the Funding Committee. He coordinated courses for assisting growth and development of small- and mid-sized businesses in a four-county area in eastern Iowa. He also has provided personal counseling to more than 5,000 ongoing and start-up Iowa businesses.

As state director, Ryan will manage SBDC funding sources; ensure the SBDC provides counseling, education and information services to small- and mid-size businesses across Iowa; and assist in coordinating national, state and local business initiatives, such as international trade and technology transfer.

Lars Peterson, SBDC associate state director, has been serving as the interim state director since Aug. 1. Peterson replaced Ron Manning, who retired Aug. 1.

Peterson said Ryan brings a unique focus on small business needs and issues to the job.

"It's very exciting to have Jon coming onboard as the state director," Peterson said. "Jon is a great leader who is well-respected within the SBDC network, the business community and with our partners. His extensive, hands-on experience with small business owners and managers, and background in banking and education, give him an excellent foundation for the job."

Labh Hira, dean of Iowa State's College of Business, said the SBDC's on-campus profile will increase when the center's offices are moved to the Gerdin Business Building in the fall of 2003.

"Jon will provide strong leadership in the blending of the practical work done by the SBDC to benefit Iowa's small businesses and the citizens of Iowa," Hira said. "SBDC clients will benefit from improved access to faculty expertise and interactions with business students with the move to our new building. This real-world business experience furthers our mission of linking theory with practice for our faculty, staff and students."

The SBDC served 12,211 clients in 2001 with 95,582 service contact hours. Ryan said maintaining that momentum will be one of his priorities.


EDITOR'S NOTE: A downloadable photo of Jon Ryan may be found at For more information, contact Linda Charles at (515) 294-3129.

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Published by: University Relations,
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