Linda Sutton, business consultant for the North Central Kansas Small Business Development Center, has been selected as the 2009 State Star of the Kansas Small Business Development Center and as the Star Performer by the Association of Small Business Development Centers, according to Wally Kearns, KSBDC state director. Sutton covers 11 counties in north central Kansas.
"I am pleased that Linda's peers are recognizing her as their State Star," said Kearns. "Linda is an outstanding person. She has great ethics, skills and a very positive attitude. She demonstrates an astonishing breadth and depth of skills and experience. Linda offers a sharp perspective and solid advice to all of her clients, and her clients clearly love her. Her work is consistently exceptional in every respect; she represents the KSBDC with distinction."
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, Sutton joined the KSBDC Network in 2003 as the consultant for the newly created KSBDC outreach center at Cloud County Community College. In 2009, she was instrumental in finding new funding to keep the outreach center in north central Kansas. It was renamed NCK SBDC and relocated to a new office in downtown Concordia. Sutton's diverse background includes owning her own consulting and accounting business, serving as controller of several large businesses, and posessing extensive international experience as a financial analyst in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
"It is an honor to be selected for this award by my peers. The past six years with the KSBDC have gone by very quickly," said Sutton. "Returning to my hometown and helping small business in north central Kansas has been very rewarding. I grew up in a small community, and my parents owned their own business. I have seen firsthand the challenges and rewards that they faced, so I'm glad I can assist rural small businesses."
Sutton has been active in numerous economic development organizations in north central Kansas, including serving as the president of the North Central Kansas Rural Development Council and as a member of the CCCC Business and Computer Science Advisory Board, Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce, Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, Project Open, and NCK SCORE. In addition, Sutton founded Women Entrepreneurs in Business located in north central Kansas.
"The Women Entrepreneurs in Business group is great way for women business owners to network with each other," Sutton said. In 2007, Sutton was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VII Women in Business Champion of the Year.
In addition to her position with the KSBDC, Sutton is a member of the adjunct faculty at Friends University in Wichita and has her teaching certification. Sutton received her master's degree in finance from the University of Denver. She also earned her bachelor's degree in finance and computer science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Sutton is a licensed pilot and is active in the International Organization of Women Pilots and the Nebraska Chapter of The Ninety Nines. In addition to flying, Sutton enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Sutton received the Star Performer Award for Kansas by the ASBDC during a reception on Sept. 17, 2009, in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with ASBDC's 29th Annual Conference. Corporate Turnaround, which is an "Alliance Partner" of the ASBDC, sponsored the reception.
The Kansas Small Business Development Center Network is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce. KSBDC is nationally accredited through the Association of Small Business Development Centers. KSBDC receives funding from and partners with higher education and economic development organizations to provide Kansas entrepreneurs with no-cost business consulting and resources for starting, maintaining and growing their businesses. The statewide host for the KSBDC is Fort Hays State University. For more information about the KSBDC Network, visit the Web site at www.kansas.gov/ksbdc or call (877) 625-7232
America's Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) 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 businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs last year.