State SBDC network to get new director

Indiana’s Small Business Development Center network soon will have a new leader. Jeff Heinzmann, state director since 2007, resigned effective Dec. 1.

Heinzmann was not immediately available for comment, but Indiana Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Katelyn Hancock called his departure a “natural progression” and said an announcement would be “forthcoming.”

Former business adviser Jacob Schpok has been named interim director.

Heinzmann, an attorney who previously worked as deputy state auditor, took the helm nearly five years ago after his predecessor was dismissed due to what officials said was a “lack of progress” among ISBDC centers.

The ISBDC network is comprised of 10 regional offices that provide a range of services to emerging and established businesses. Funding comes from the U.S.  Small Business Administration, the state, universities and the private sector.

Last year, ISBDC helped businesses create more than 2,800 jobs and retail another 8,200, according to “impact” data posted on the group’s website. The organization says almost 15 percent of pre-venture clients who received counseling from 2007 to 2010 followed through by starting a business.

Many organizations use a leadership change as a reason to evaluate their operations and make other adjustments, if necessary. Should that happen at ISBDC, or is the network already at the top of its game? What more does the small-business community need from the network?

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