Duane Fladland has been named director of the Washington State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. He has more than 20 years’ experience with the SBDC, joined the Washington SBDC as associate state director in January 2010 and had been interim state director since April.
Hosted by Washington State University since its inception in 1981, the Washington SBDC is a network of 26 certified business advisors and two international trade experts who provide no-cost advising to small business owners in communities statewide.
Fladland was chosen from a field of more than 50 applicants.
“Duane has been a great asset to the SBDC. As interim director, he has already made great efforts toward increasing the organization’s impact and visibility,” said Anson Fatland, associate vice president for economic development and external affairs at WSU. “I know SBDC will flourish under his leadership.”
Prior to joining the Washington SBDC, Fladland had been associate state director for the New Mexico SBDC for seven years. A native of North Dakota, he operated a family farming business and other agriculture-based businesses before joining the SBDC.
During his 20+ years with the SBDC he has held numerous administrative, advising and management positions. He is on the accreditation committee for the national association of SBDC’s, known as America’s SBDC.
“It has been a privilege to work with this exceptional group of people over the past four years,” Fladland said. “I am looking forward to building on our accomplishments to create an even more dynamic statewide small business advising program.”
He said he is particularly excited about ongoing work to broaden the funding base for SBDC advising in local communities.
“As the state and the country continue to pull out of this recession into a new business environment, the work of SBDC business advisors is becoming even more critical,” he said. “The SBDC is an unparalleled resource for entrepreneurs of every stripe, from the ambitious start-up to the seasoned business owner who is ready to take the next step forward.”
Meeting one-on-one in confidential advising sessions, SBDC business advisors help clients with the full range of business issues including strengthening business plans, managing cash flow, understanding financial statements, preparing loan applications, market research and analysis, building export readiness, succession planning and more.
Throughout Washington state in 2013, SBDC advisors helped their clients obtain more than $36.9 million in new capital and create or save more than 890 jobs. In the first six months of this year, SBDC clients reported that their advisors helped them obtain more than $17 million in funding and save or create nearly 250 jobs.
“Washington is fortunate to have one of the strongest SBDC networks in the country,” Fladland said. “Not only do the advisors have experience and expertise in diverse areas, but they are constantly reaching out to colleagues within the network and in the broader business community to ensure that their clients have the information they need to move forward with confidence.”