SBDC at UW-Green Bay earns Small Business Administration excellence award

The Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has earned a Service Excellence award from the Wisconsin District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBDC is one of five small businesses and seven individuals and organizations being recognized this year for supporting entrepreneurial success. They will be honored during the 29th annual SBA Awards Breakfast on Friday, June 6 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

In announcing the accolade, the Small Business Administration noted that the SBDC at UW-Green Bay exceeded goals for the center’s number of long-term clients, new business starts and customer satisfaction.

Although the SBA announcement spotlights SBDC Director Ryan Kauth, he notes that the award is for the SBDC as a whole, and that the recognition includes the work of Program Manager Diane Welhouse in facilitating several new additions to the center’s training and outreach programs, as well as Business Counseling Manager Chuck Brys and his award-winning work with small businesses, highlighted by his efforts in Forest County.

“Chuck, Diane, and I are honored to receive this award,” Kauth said. “It means that the partnerships created that support small business owners and their leaders in Northeast Wisconsin can work so these job creators can continue to grow their businesses in our region. We’re extremely grateful for the support that UW-Green Bay provides the SBDC: Outreach and Adult Access, the Cofrin School of Business, our grant administrators on campus, and Marketing and University Communication. The leadership provided by Steve VandenAvond and former SBDC Director Christina Trombley created a solid foundation here for the SBDC.

“We also appreciate the support and referrals from our Business Assistance Center partners — Advance, the NWTC Entrepreneur Resource Center and SCORE — as well as from our partners in economic development in the New North. Resource partnerships for entrepreneurs and small business owners are working, as we work for them, in Northeast Wisconsin.”

Kauth added that he will accept the award in honor of the late state director of the Wisconsin SBDC, Jim Mishefske, who passed away unexpectedly Thursday, April 3. Mishefske nominated Kauth, Brys and Welhouse for the recognition.

“This award is dedicated to Jim’s memory, to his family, and to his vision for the Wisconsin SBDC,” Kauth said.

The SBDC at UW-Green Bay hosts a range of small business programs and program collaborations, marketing made lean, supervisory leadership workshops, project management certificates and PMP exam prep, executive presence coaching, workshops for young professionals, monthly no-cost webinars, small business networking groups and peer-learning roundtables. More information about the SBDC and its programs is available online at and on Twitter @uwgbsbdc.

A complete list of SBA Wisconsin District award winners is available online at

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay is part of a statewide network of SBDCs working with business owners and entrepreneurs to facilitate business growth and improvement, and to launch successful new companies. Through no-cost consulting, low-cost entrepreneurial education, and strategic facilitation, SBDC experts serve as resources for small and emerging mid-size companies. The Wisconsin SBDC is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.


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