3. Carroll Thomas, associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Small Business Development Centers
Background: In her current role, Thomas oversees one of the agency’s most popular training programs, with more than 900 locations across the country. She is policy development, implementation and oversight of the $113 million in public and private funding that fuel the Small Business Development Centers.
Thomas has more than three decades of government and entrepreneurial experience, dating back to her early years as a retail franchise owner. She later joined the Department of Commerce as a program manager, leading an effort to help small manufacturers access capital, find work and compete in global markets.
Why Thomas? “Looking forward at the next few years, we’re seeing a set of trends coming together that make it imperative that we have a leader at the SBA who takes it as a personal mission to train, develop and support the next generation of Main Street small business owners to build small businesses from the ground up, create jobs, and build strong local economies,” Sam Blair, network director for the Main Street Alliance,” said in an e-mail. “With over a third of small business owners in 49 out of the 50 states approaching retirement age, we need the next SBA head to put a strong focus on incubating the next generation of small business in America.”
“The Small Business Development Centers have the infrastructure and the mission alignment to be the vehicle that provides this training and support,” he added. “Thomas, as current leader of the SBDCs and someone with 30 years of small business development experience, would bring a strong vision for building the next generation of American small businesses to the administrator post.”
4. Jere Glover, SBA Office of Advocacy chief counsel under President Clinton
Background: Now an attorney at Seidman & Associates in Washington, Glover previously served as the chief small business advocate under President Clinton. He was responsible for ensuring that all federal regulations took small business concerns into account and for helping business owners find relief from burdensome rules.