The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced the appointment of Matt Varilek as Regional Administrator for Region VIII, which encompasses Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Varilek has held a number of positions serving the people of South Dakota. He most recently served as the Economic Development Director in the Office of U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (SD). In that role, he was responsible for advising the Senator on legislative issues related to small business and entrepreneurship, disaster response, budget and appropriations, and other economic issues.
“Matt has worked with and supported small businesses in South Dakota throughout his public service career,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “I’m pleased that as Region VIII Administrator, he will be able to draw on his strong roots in the region and his wealth of experience to provide small businesses locally with the tools and resources they need to grow and create jobs in their communities.”
Varilek has spent his public career serving the people and small businesses of South Dakota, both as a candidate for public office, and as an advisor to Senators Johnson and Tom Daschle, respectively. In the private sector, he analyzed energy and environmental commodity market dynamics as Director of Policy and Research for Natsource LLC, a brokerage.
“I am delighted and honored to join the SBA,” said Varilek. “During my time working on small business issues with Senators Johnson and Daschle, I saw first-hand how this agency helps entrepreneurs transform good ideas into successful businesses and new jobs. I look forward to joining this effort and helping to expand opportunities for hard-working people across the region.”
Varilek has a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was funded by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also has a Master’s Degree in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. A native of Yankton, SD, he is married, with two daughters.
As Region VIII Administrator, Varilek will oversee SBA operations throughout its district offices in Denver, Colo.; Helena, Mont.; Fargo, N.D.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Casper, WY. Region VIII is SBA`s most rural region in the country. It includes 27 tribal nations and covers more than 500,000 square miles of territory.