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Robert Dodge Recognized with 2014 SBA District Director's Award

Release Date: 
Monday, May 5, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Monday, May 5, 2014
Advisory Number: 
Doug Dare (714) 560-7467 or Christopher Lorenzana (714) 560-7453


Long time Santa Ana resident, economic development professional recognized for lifetime impact in business and community service


SANTA ANA, CA – The Small Business Administration, Santa Ana District Office will present the 2014 SBA District Director Award to Robert Dodge posthumously, in recognition of Robert’s impact to business and civic organizations throughout his professional career. 

Robert Dodge was a small business advocate for over 27 years, starting with his work for the Community Development Agency of the City of Santa Ana, where he helped develop the Commercial Rehabilitation Loan Program and the Façade Rebate Program which resulted in the seismic reinforcement and historic restoration of 27 buildings in Downtown Santa Ana, including the Spurgeon Building, the Old Pacific Building, the Otis Building, the Knights of Pythias Building, and Old City Hall.  These projects revitalized Downtown Santa Ana, resulting in increased economic activity and eventually the formation of the Artists Village.  When it was privatized in 1993, Robert Dodge was the Santa Ana Economic Development Corporation’s (now Southland Economic Development Corporation) first employee.  Today, SAEDC has funded more than 809 loans totaling $501.8 million dollars, becoming one of the largest producers of SBA 504 loans in the country.  Last year alone Dodge was responsible for funding 21 SBA 504 loans for $16.5 million dollars, resulting in financing for over $48 million dollars in total project costs because SBA 504 loan dollars are leveraged.  These loans resulted in the retention of 703 jobs and will result in the creation of 247 jobs.

Among Robert’s career highlights include the first SBA 503 loan to “Super-A-Foods”, a Hispanic market located at 1010 S. Main Street in Santa Ana, credited with creating 35 new jobs and seismically reinforcing the historic building.  He was also an integral part of a public private partnership between Santa Ana property owners and the City of Santa Ana in what was to become the Fiesta Marketplace, creating small business loans and assembling bonds through the Urban Development Action Grant Loan program.  In addition to his career as Senior Commercial Loan Officer for Southland EDC and at the City of Santa Ana, Robert also worked as a business analyst for Dun & Bradstreet and as a branch manager & commercial credit analyst at ITT Financial Corporation for nearly 20 years, honing his skills analyzing financial statements and offering financing to small businesses throughout its Western Region and helping it to achieve and remain the lowest in loan delinquency and charge offs in the United States. 

Dodge was a firm supporter of community service organizations and participated in many leadership groups, including the Santa Ana Kiwanis Club, acting as Chairman during their weekly meetings; Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council, where he served as the Chartered Organization Representative earning the District Award of Merit; as a board member of the Honoring Character Foundation; and as an usher and member at the Rock Church in Anaheim.  Robert Dodge received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge and completed a certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. 

“Bob Dodge’s legacy can be seen and felt throughout Santa Ana and beyond,” said J. Adalberto Quijada, District Director for the SBA’s Santa Ana District Office.  “The projects he’s funded have created thousands of jobs, preserved the history and rich legacy of Orange County while promoting responsible economic development, and served as inspiration to those of us who worked with and knew him.  On a personal level, he was gracious, consistently unselfish, always respectful, steadfast in his commitments, and among his colleagues and community had a reputation above reproach.  We are deeply honored to present this award in his memory.”

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, in order to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  As part of National Small Business Week, SBA takes the opportunity to highlight their impact, working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

Robert Dodge will be recognized and his family will be presented with his award at the Small Business Awards program produced by the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel on May 21, 2014 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.  For information about the event and to RSVP, please contact Jessica Salcedo at 714-953-4289 jsalcedo@ochcc.com


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