PULLMAN, Wash. – Ron Nielsen has been named director of the Small Business Development Center at South Puget Sound Community College. The Washington SBDC is a cooperative effort between Washington State University and other business and education entities.
 
Nielsen, who has 17 years of experience as an owner of three businesses, previously was director of the SBDC center at Gila Community College in Payson, Ariz.
 
“I’m a strong advocate of using all of our resources so the client has access to the most reliable, up-to-date and in-depth information available,” Nielsen said.
 
The local SBDC office is co-located with the Thurston Economic Development Council, which is home to the SBA SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives), SW Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center for government contracting and the Thurston Business Resource Center.
 
“Together, these agencies form a very powerful program to support, grow and retain small business in the region,” said Michael Cade, executive director of the Thurston EDC.
 
Each organization has a different emphasis, Nielsen said, but they work well together.
 
“SBDC advisors are the ones who do the hands-on work with business owners or would-be business owners,” he said. He is part of the 24-center Washington SBDC Network that stretches from the Canadian border to the Columbia River.
 
“We are delighted to have a business advisor with Ron’s background as a part of our network,” said Brett Rogers, state director of the Washington SBDC Network. “I am confident he is going to add great value to SPSCC, the Thurston EDC and all the SBDC clients he now serves in the greater Olympia area.”
 
Nielsen has owned three different businesses – a bowling center, a movie theatre and an ultra-light aircraft business – and has been involved in economic and business development for more than two decades.
 
In 1990 he was executive director of the Okanogan County Council for Economic Development. Later he became director of the Okanogan County Small Business Development Center.
 
“I just love watching other people succeed,” Nielsen said. “It’s very rewarding.”
 
SBDC business advisors have been working with small business owners in Washington State since 1980 and have a proven record of success.
 
In 2010, for instance, small businesses in Washington saw their sales decrease an average of 1 percent. But clients who worked with SBDC business advisors saw their sales increase an average of nearly 4 percent.
 
Nielsen is a native of the Northwest and he and his wife, Skeets, have four adult children.
 
The Washington SBDC is a cooperative effort between Washington State University, community colleges, economic development organizations and the U.S. Small Business Administration and is a member of the national Association of Small Business Development Centers.
 
The Thurston Economic Development Council is a private non-profit organization focused on creating a vital and sustainable economy throughout Thurston County that supports the livelihood and values of our residents. For more information, go to http://www.thurstonedc.com/
 
For more information on the mission and services of the SBDC, visit the WSBDC website. To contact Nielsen, email rNielsen@spscc.ctc.edu, or phone 360-487-0014.