State business advisors name Petrick to head Longview center; welcome open house Dec. 8
LONGVIEW, Wash - The Washington Small Business Development Center has named Jerry Petrick
to head the SBDC center in Longview.
As an SBDC business advisor, Petrick works with small business owners who want to start, strengthen or grow their businesses. While the SBDC does provide small business workshops and training sessions, the core service of the SBDC is one-to-one, confidential advising sessions provided at no cost to the client.
An open house is planned for 7:30-9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Student Center Conference Room in the Dan Talley building at Lower Columbia College. All are welcome.
The Washington SBDC is a cooperative effort between Washington State University, community colleges, economic development organizations and the U.S. Small Business Administration
Experience in southwest Washington
Petrick, who has a master’s in business administration from Washington State University Vancouver, has extensive experience in southwest Washington. He served as director of business expansion at the Columbia River Economic Development Council and manager of business and industries for the SW WA Workforce Development Council.
"We are delighted to have Jerry, with his diverse economic and workforce development background, join our network,” said SBDC State Director Brett Rogers. "He is familiar with the economics of southwest Washington and brings a strong service commitment to clients and stakeholders. We believe he will fit right into our culture of collaboration within the SBDC program.”
Hardworking and connected
Ted Sprague, president of the Cowlitz Economic Development Council, said he had worked with Petrick in the past and is excited to be working with him again in his new capacity.
"The SBDC is another tool that we rely on to create jobs in Cowlitz County,” he said. "Jerry understands the needs of small business and he’s a tireless worker.”
Lynell Amundson, program manager for Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Lower Columbia College, said Petrick’s broad base of experience will be a boon for his clients: "He already has the business connections.”
One-on-one service attractive
Petrick said he is excited to be back in economic development and pleased to be in a position to work one-on-one with individual clients.
"It’s a higher level of direct service delivery,” he said. "That’s compelling to me. It’s a higher value-add.”
Any business-related query is on the table, he said, from hiring decisions to business plans to finding capital to straightening out cash flow problems.
"This is roll-up-your-sleeves kind of work,” he said. "It’s soup to nuts and whatever comes up.”
Innovative ideas, realistic plans
He describes his approach as part MacGyver and part Yoda.
The Macgyver part involves taking a fresh look at a business challenge and coming up with innovative ways to meet the challenge, even when resources are limited. The Yoda part, he said, involves what he calls "reality-based planning.”
As the recession continues to drag on in Washington state and across the country, Petrick said he understands that many small business owners are under pressure. While some clients call the SBDC because they want to start a new business or grow their existing business, others are just trying to hold on.
Road maps and relationships
Even in difficult situations, Petrick said, there are always choices to be made - and some choices are better than others. The role of the SBDC advisor, he said, is to help clients clarify their goals and then create a road map to reach those goals.
That includes helping clients get the information they need so that their decisions are based on data that is accurate, relevant and up-to-date. While some clients might choose to meet with an advisor just three or four times, others have ongoing relationships and continue to meet whenever new challenges arise.
"We’re building a relationship,” Petrick said. "I don’t expect to ever lose a client.”
Professional, community involvement
Petrick is past president of the Rotary Club of Vancouver and a charter member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver Metro Sunset. He is vice president of the board of the nonprofit Bridge the Gap, which provides support to children in foster care.
His professional credentials include PMP (project management professional, issued by the Project Management Institute); SPHR (senior professional in human resources, issued by the HR Certification Institute); and Marano fellow from the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
Petrick’s office is in the Don Talley Building on the campus of Lower Columbia College. He sees clients by appointment and can be reached at email@example.com
or at 360-442-2946.
About the SBDC
The Longview SBDC center serves clients from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, but all SBDC clients have access to the resources of the entire Washington SBDC Network. The network consists of 28 SBDC business advisors and four international trade specialists working in 24 locations across the state.
The Washington SBDC is a member of the national Association of Small Business Development Centers. For more information on the mission and services of the SBDC, visit the WSBDC website