Ms. Carroll A. Thomas was appointed Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in November 2012. With more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and small business development experience, her accomplished public/private sector career demonstrate her leadership expertise as a catalyst for creating innovative partnerships and advocating economic development by supporting dynamic small business ecosystems.
Ms. Thomas is responsible for program and policy development, implementation and oversight of the $113 million grants program that funds the Small Business Development Centers located in every state plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands in more than 900 service locations. As the major outreach arm of the SBA, the SBDCs under Ms. Thomas ’ leadership and through the professional small business experts provide business counseling and training to start-up ventures and existing businesses. Small business owners receive helpful assistance in business planning, management, financial and marketing areas customized for small businesses enabling the creation of new firms and ensuring the viability of existing firms that help create jobs.
Prior to her appointment as Associate Administrator, Ms. Thomas championed and supported assistance to help small manufacturers compete. As Program Manager for Supplier Scouting and as Partnership Catalyst at the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership program she implemented pilots to support Buy America procurement provisions by matching U.S. manufacturers with opportunities from publically-funded projects and co-founded the Interagency Network of Enterprise Assistance Providers. Earlier in her career, Ms. Thomas was a small business retail franchise owner; negotiated product deals with over 23,000 U.S. inventors and small manufacturers for electronic retailer QVC and managed marketing efforts for the National Gallery of Art’s vast reproduction portfolio.
Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Leadership Washington and a former Regional Director of the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University.