CSUB Small Business Development Center gains new leadership

Kelly Beardn of SBDCCalifornia State University, Bakersfield has hired San Joaquin Valley native Kelly Bearden as the director of the CSUB Small Business Development Center serving Kern, Inyo and Mono counties.

"Kelly's career encompasses consulting with small businesses, working within Central California SBDCs, contributing to county economic development programs, and mentoring university students in these settings. We look forward to his leadership in moving us forward on all these fronts," said Mark Evans, Associate Dean of the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration.

The CSUB SBDC operates under the UC Merced SBDC Regional Network in Central California. As part of a national network of centers established by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the SBDC provides assistance to small businesses looking to start or expand their operations. The job creation and retention program assists business owners and entrepreneurs with business plans, loan proposals, financial systems, technology needs assessments, and international trade and procurement. In addition to free one-on-one business consulting, the management team offers a variety of workshops and seminars.

Since CSUB became host of the SBDC in October 2010, more than $5.8 million in capital infusion has been generated in its coverage area, helping with the creation of 68 businesses and 297 jobs.

"With Mr. Bearden's business experience and knowledge of the SBDC, we know that he will provide the leadership to continue the positive results and we are very pleased that he is part of the network," said Diane Howerton, Regional Director for the UC Merced SBDC Network.

Over the past 25 years, Bearden has worked with thousands of small business owners as an advisor and consultant. For 15 years, he worked with the Stanislaus County Economic Development Corporation, with 12 of those years spent as director of the four-county Valley Sierra SBDC. More recently, he has worked as an independent economic consultant and as lead business advisor with the CSU Monterey Bay SBDC. There, his responsibilities included managing and providing consulting services for small businesses and technology-based start-ups, developing relationships with financial institutions, and implementing training calendars for consultants and small business owners.

"CSUB has a demonstrated commitment to the business community of Kern County where there is a focus on creating jobs and assisting entrepreneurs," Bearden said. "I want to continue to build on the successes the CSUB SBDC has enjoyed and expand our high quality consulting team and seminars. We want to be a partner in the region's creative and unique economic development."

Bearden has a degree in Business Administration – Finance from CSU Chico. He farms wine grapes in the Sierra Nevada foothill region of California and runs the nonprofit Fire Safe Council in the same area. Bearden began the post on July 2.

For more information about the CSUB Small Business Development Center, visit www.csub.edu/sbdc or call 661-861-7951.

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