DUBLIN — Todd Lyden, director of the Small Business Center at Bladen Community College, has received the State Director of the Year Award from the North Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network.
According to a news release from the SBCN, the annual statewide awards honor small-business centers and center directors for Innovation, Service/Collaboration and Programs/Seminars; Business Success Story (Most Impact and Overcoming Challenges); as well as State Director’s Award and Rookie of the Year. Center directors are also recognized for years of service and professional credentialing.
“We’re very proud of these outstanding small-business center directors and the success of their programs,” said Jennifer Haygood, acting president of the North Carolina Community College System. “They make a significant difference in their local communities, helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of starting businesses. The small-business centers, located at all 58 community colleges, are key factors in North Carolina’s economic development efforts, creating more than 683 small businesses in 2016-17 and creating and retaining 3,837 jobs.
“We applaud each of them for the significant impact they make each and every day,” she added.
Lyden attributes the recognition to his volunteer time and effort in assisting small business centers across North Carolina.
“For the past two years, I have served as chairman of the Professional Development Committee for the SBCN,” he said. “This is a network of 58 locally operated small-business centers that provide uniquely tailored programs to meet the needs of the diverse population of entrepreneurs across the state.”
To ensure delivery of both high-quality programs and consistency of content and service, the network must invest in ongoing professional development for its directors. Lyden coordinated the committee overseeing both fall and spring conferences, while also juggling the responsibility for maintaining the credentialing records for the entire organization.
“Regarding the recognition,” stated Lyden, “I am most excited about creating the network’s first paperless professional development conference. With the addition of a conference app, we have saved time and financial resources associated with printing.”
Because of his positive impact, the SBCN asked Lyden to serve as a regional director in a region dominated by many new directors with less than two years of experience. The awards will be recognized at the meeting of the State Board of Community Colleges on Friday, Jan. 19.
Cathy Kinlaw is the public information and marketing official with Bladen Community College.