Lori Minnich has been hired as the new Executive Director at the Small Business Development Center in Springfield.
Minnich replaces Steve Anzur, who retired last month.
Minnich, a Troy resident and Bowling Green State University graduate, previously served in a similar role at the SBDC at Edison Community College in Piqua.
“I was very excited to come into this area,” Minnich said. “The professionals I’m working with, all of the Springfield teams of economic development and the Chamber — everyone is focused and geared to make small business development happen.”
She began her new role a few weeks ago, said Springfield Assistant City Manager and Director of Economic Development Tom Franzen. Franzen is also a SBDC board member.
Minnich, who recently received her certified business owner training at the University of Toledo, has owned two small businesses. She managed corporate wellness programs for Fortune 500 companies and ran an interior design business for commercial clients in Las Vegas.
“Having already been in the seat and understanding the process to start-up and stresses and everything you need to go through certainly has helped,” Minnich said.
The city is the primary funding source of the SBDC, spending about $90,000 per year on the program. The city also leases the building to the organization for $1.
SBDC also manages small business loan programs for the city and county. MEVA Formwork Systems and Honor Flight both began at the SBDC, Franzen said.
Anzur did an excellent job of turning around the SBDC building, 300 E. Auburn Ave., which provides tenant space for start-ups at an affordable rate, Franzen said. The building’s average occupancy is about 90 percent and upgrades have been made to the facility to keep tenants, he added.
“It used to be a tremendous challenge for us,” Franzen said. “He’s turned it into basically a facility that produces revenue for the programs.”
Minnich, who will manage three employees and five consultants, wants to reach deeper into existing companies to help them grow.
“It’s our No. 1 priority,” Minnich said.