Pat Veesart, regional center director of the Garden City Community College Small Business Development Center (GCCC KSBDC), has been selected as the 2008 State Star of the Kansas Small Business Development Center Network, according to Wally Kearns, KSBDC state director.
"I am pleased that Pat's peers are recognizing her as their State Star," said Kearns. "She is dedicated to continuous improvement. Her involvement in her community and the programs she has moved forward demonstrate her creativity and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty."
The State Star award recognizes individuals who demonstrate excellence in work performance, initiative and creativity that results in improved operating efficiency, exceptional assistance to clients and an effort to enhance the image of the KSBDC Network through community relations and programs that bring distinction to the Network.
Nominated by her peers, Veesart joined the KSBDC Network in 1994 as the assistant director of the GCCC KSBDC. She was promoted to regional director in 1999. Her widely varied background with positions in the retail clothing business as well as office experience ranging from clerical to management helped prepare her for her positions with the KSBDC.
"I am so very honored by this award," Veesart said. "Credit for it goes to the fact that I have been blessed by having a great family. I learned about work ethic and integrity by watching my parents who were the best examples anyone could have. They instilled in me a love for the job well done. My husband is so supportive of me doing what I love to do."
"Now, as I work with the KSBDC, the professional staff and the clients provide even more energy to fuel my passion for growing Kansas entrepreneurs," she said.
Veesart has been active in numerous economic development organizations in the state, including serving as the deputy regional commander of the Kansas Cavalry, an organization dedicated to promoting economic development in Kansas by hosting business prospects and promoting Kansas at various events, including the Kansas Cavalry Encampment.
"The Kansas Cavalry is a great way to network with all levels of business in Kansas and to represent our state to people interested in doing business here," Veesart said.
In addition to her position with the KSBDC, Veesart is a member of the adjunct faculty at Friends University in Wichita, where she received her master's degree in management. She also earned her bachelor's degree in human resource management through Friends University's outreach program classes in Garden City.
America’s Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration’s largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. With about 1,000 centers across the nation, America’s SBDC network provided business consulting to approximately 200,000 clients, training for more than 400,000 attendees, and other forms of management and technical assistance to approximately 600,000 small business and aspiring entrepreneurs last year.
The KSBDC is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Kansas Development of Commerce, Allen County Community College, Cloud County Community College, Coffeyville Community College, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Fort Scott Community College, Garden City Community College, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Independence Community College, Johnson County Community College, Labette Community College, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Neosho County Community College, Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas, Washburn University and Wichita State University. The statewide host for the KSBDC is Fort Hays State University. Contact information for each of the eight regional centers and four outreach centers can be found on www.ksbdc.biz.