Hays lender, Small Business Development Center receive SBA honors

05/08/12 vk/jgm

HAYS, Kan. -- The U.S. Small Business Administration's Wichita District Office has named Josh Dreher of the Bank of Hays and the Fort Hays State University Kansas Small Business Development Center as winners of two of SBA's 2012 Small Business Week awards.

Dreher, assistant vice president and commercial loan officer at the Bank of Hays and a 2009 FHSU graduate, is the Financial Services Champion of the Year for the state of Kansas. The award recognizes his achievements and contributions in driving economic growth in his community. Dreher's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, leadership in small business lending and personal commitment to his small business customers have helped many entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed.

Dreher has furthered his career education through several commercial lending courses specific to the SBA's guaranty loan programs. He has collaborated with FHSU's Kansas Small Business Development Center in providing referrals and support for its training programs.

FHSU's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been named the recipient of SBA's Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award for the Wichita District.

Director Ron Newman and his staff provide entrepreneurial outreach to 21 counties in northwest Kansas, including the cities of Hays and Russell. The SBDC offers existing and future entrepreneurs free one-on-one business consulting and low-cost training seminars.

The SBDC is being recognized for its innovation and leadership in building a new partnership with the Kansas non-profit business consulting service provider Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center and in bringing the "Jump-Start Program" to the entire Kansas SBDC network, both of which make high-value training and consulting available to small business clients throughout the state.

Dreher and the FHSU SBDC staff will be honored and receive their awards at a reception at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 24, at the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. The media and the public are invited to attend.

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