Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Obama Announces Choice to Lead SBA

By Hopeton Hay

With the swiftness of his announcement of Karen Wells as his choice to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on December 19, President-elect Barack Obama has clearly indicated the importance of that position to his administration.  He has named his nominee to be the SBA Administrator much earlier than the Clinton and Bush Administrations did when first elected, who made their choices known in March 1993 and February 2001 respectively.

Preident-Elect Obama and Karen Mills

President-Elect Obama and Karen Mills

More important than the early selection of his nominee for SBA Administrator is who recommended Mills, Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, the former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  Snowe had sent a letter to Obama on December 8 asking that the Adminstrator position be re-elevated to Cabinet-level status.

In her press statement congratulating Mills for being nominated for the SBA position Snowe said, “…I hope President-elect Obama will carefully consider my proposal to re-elevate the SBA Administrator to Cabinet-level status — as under the Clinton administration — so that Karen can have the maximum impact on America’s 26 million small businesses, which create three quarters of net new jobs annually.”

So what experience will Wells bring to the table?   Equipped with an MBA from Harvard University, Wells has 25 years experience as a principal in the private equity and venture capital industry and has taken a leadership role in the growth of more than 20 companies in the consumer products, food, distribution, textile and industrial component sectors according to the press statement released by President Elect Obama.  A resident of Maine, she chairs the Governors Council on Competitiveness and the Economy.

Mills appointment was praised by Massachusetts Senator John  Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

“The President-elect’s selection to lead the SBA demonstrates his commitment to bring Washington in touch with the real needs of Main Street.  Karen has been a champion of small business,” said Kerry in a press statement.

On the December 29 Economic Perspectives, President of $300 Million Firm To Discuss Growing Your Business.

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