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On May 7, 2014, Ellen Kirton and the Microbusiness Advancement Center Small Business Development Center (MAC SBDC) was honored as the 2014 Arizona Small Business Development Center of Excellence. In honor of National Small Business Week, May 12016 the Small Business Administration honors outstanding small business owners and supporters. Ellen Kirton and the MAC SBDC are a network oriented team of high performers. They embrace and work diligently to advance SBA and the Arizona Small Business Development Center state network strategic objectives creating economic impact for the state of Arizona.

The MAC SBDC is part of Arizona’s largest most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. The AZSBDC is an accredited member of America’s Small Business Development Centers. The Network’s mission is to provide high quality, high-impact one-on-one counseling, resource assistance, and training to preserve and create small business jobs and revenue, and to facilitate capital formation throughout Arizona at no cost or low cost to consumers. Business growth and economic development is made possible through the strategic initiatives: international trade education, business incubator support, direction for Veteran owned businesses, assistance for technology businesses, and guidance with government procurement contracts. The MAC SBDC team is essential in establishing the Network as the “go to” resource and catalyst for facilitating job creation, capital formation and economic growth throughout Arizona.

Ellen Kirton is the Center Director for the MAC SBDC. Kirton has 35 years of experience in the banking industry; her previous position was a Senior Vice President Business Banking Manager at Bank One/Chase. She has been an independent consultant to small businesses for nearly a decade and has owned several businesses. She is actively engaged with and past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She also served on the Advisory Council for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Catalina Council of Boy Scouts. Ellen and her team have the qualities and the performance results which make them most definitely deserving of the Small Business Development Center of Excellence Award.

Under Kirton’s leadership the MAC SBDC has established itself as a robust center with a keen eye towards program priorities and goal attainment. The MAC SBDC proactively partners with the Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Center (a specialty program of the AZSBDC through the Department of Defense) bringing expertise to small businesses seeking government contracts. Kirton has co-presented with Jim Vickers of the SBA, at numerous procurement and Veteran business outreach events such as “Boots to Business” and the Annual Veteran’s Conference with the City of Tucson enabled by a grant from the AZSBDC Network.

Ellen Kirton is a high achiever, and has positioned herself as a leader in the AZSBDC state network. Morella Bierwag, NAWBO Greater Tucson Chapter Manager said, “Ellen’s commitment to enriching the lives of small business owners and the Tucson community is evident throughout our community.” Joann MacMaster, New Venture Development, Tech Launch Arizona, Wheelhouse Arizona stated, “Ellen Kirton is a strong mentor, leader and advocate for our community and continues to play an important role in the development and growth of our entrepreneurial ecosystm. She is a remarkable team player and continues to inspire not just the businesses she serce, but her community partners and her team.”

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