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Lars Peterson, SBDC, (515) 440-1626
Kimberly Schroeder, Business, (515) 294-5800
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- Lars Peterson, associate state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has been named interim state director. The appointment begins Aug. 1. The SBDC is an outreach arm of Iowa State University's College of Business.

Peterson will replace Ron Manning, who is going on phased retirement.

Peterson joined the SBDC in 1996 as manager of educational programs. He was promoted to associate director in 1999. His duties for the SBDC have ranged from marketing and program management to center operations management, state wide strategic planning and corporate sponsorships.

The SBDC works to provide practical, timely and comprehensive information and seminars for Iowa's small businesses. It currently operates 14 centers covering the state.

"I am very pleased to announce that Lars Peterson has agreed to serve as interim state director of the SBDC," says Labh Hira, dean for the College of Business. "Given Lars' experience as the associate state director for the SBDC and his commitment to the development of small businesses within the state of Iowa, I know he will provide strong leadership during these challenging times for the SBDC."

The SBDC extends the College of Business directly into the business community. The SBDC served 12,211 clients in 2001 with 95,582 service contact hours.

Peterson said the SBDC faces a tight budget and the biggest challenge will be to find additional funding so that the SBDC can continue to play an essential role in Iowa's economy.

"SBDC clients increase sales and employment at three times the rate of the average Iowa business," says Peterson. "Because small- and mid-sized businesses comprise almost 99 percent of Iowa's businesses, it is essential that we find ways to continue helping these businesses succeed."

The College of Business was created in 1984 and is the third largest college at Iowa State with an expected fall, 2002, enrollment of more than 4,000 students. The college is projected to move into its new home, the Gerdin Business Building, in fall, 2003. The building project was launched with a $10 million gift from Russ and Ann Gerdin, Coralville. The College of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


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