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Hays Lender and Small Business Development Center Receive SBA Honors

Release Date: 
Friday, May 4, 2012
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Friday, May 11, 2012
Advisory Number: 
Vanessa Klein (316) 269-6571

WICHITA – 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, has been judged 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 began his banking career while attending Fort Hays State University, where he received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Starting as a teller, he worked his way through various areas of the bank until he found his niche in the loan department. An internship during his senior year led to an offer of a permanent position in the commercial lending department with the Bank of Hays. Josh has furthered his career education with completion of several commercial lending courses specific to the SBA’s guaranty loan programs. He has collaborated with the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Fort Hays State University, both in providing referrals and support for their training programs. Josh is an active community member, participating in Hays Young Professionals, Rotary Club, the United Way of Ellis County, Hays Lark’s Booster Club and Fort Hays State University’s Tiger Club.

Fort Hays State University’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 Office territory. 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 Fort Hays SBDC is being recognized for their innovation and leadership in building a new partnership with the Kansas non-profit business consulting service provider, MAMTC, 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 Fort Hays State University SBDC staff will be honored and receive their awards at a reception to be held on May 24th at 10:30 a.m. at the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. The media and the public are invited to attend.

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