WASHINGTON – SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns today announced her departure. The following note was sent to SBA staff.
Dear SBA Team:
As I announced during today’s Town Hall meeting, this May, I will be stepping down from my position as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The opportunity to serve this Administration and to be a voice for America’s small businesses has been the highlight of my career. And what has made it so special are the talented and hardworking men and women of this incredible agency. I can say without hesitation that our team is the finest group of people—both in Headquarters and across the Field—that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
Since joining the SBA, I have met with our staff in all 10 regions, visiting 6 centers, 48 District Offices, 41 states, Puerto Rico and, of course, the District of Columbia. These trips have allowed me to meet small business owners from every walk of life. And while each visit and each story is unique, all of these entrepreneurs share the same American spirit of ingenuity and determination.
From the woman in Reno who left her successful banking career to start a construction company that contracts with the VA and the Navy; to the young jewelry maker in Indianapolis who through Women’s Business Center counseling is now exporting to London and Paris; and the veteran in New Orleans who used an SBA loan to grow his ready-mix concrete company in the wake of Katrina and help put people back to work rebuilding the city - these individuals embody the American Dream and credit their success to the support they received from the SBA. So, while the Great Recession created much uncertainty, one thing is clear: The work we do at the SBA changes lives and transforms communities.
It has been an honor to serve the President, and to work closely with Karen, to ensure that we could reach more small businesses in more communities across the country. I want to thank them both for the trust and the confidence that they placed in me.
All across the SBA, we have worked hard to address the needs of underserved communities. We have worked together to improve processes and programs with the goal of making the SBA one of the best places to work in the federal government. We have joined together after countless disasters to assist families and business owners as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods. We have provided businesses the capital, counseling, and contracting they need to fuel economic growth and create jobs. And, together, we have helped restore confidence in the American Dream.
Serving as SBA’s Deputy Administrator has been more than just a job for me – it has been the fulfillment of a passion rooted in my family’s commitment to entrepreneurship and job creation. During the 1950’s, my grandfather started a small landscaping company in our hometown of Indianapolis. It went on to become one of the first African American-owned businesses to win a state contract in Indiana. I saw firsthand how that business not only improved the lives of our family, but also created opportunities for his employees and our community. My grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit has inspired my work every day at the SBA.
Over the coming months, I look forward to continuing the great work we have started together, putting systems in place to ensure the ongoing success of these important initiatives. It has been an honor to serve with you during this critical time in our nation’s history. Thank you for your hard work, your service, and your friendship.
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