Commentary
1/7/2009
11:18 AM
Jim Manico
Jim Manico
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Obama Selects New SBA Administrator

Karen Gordon Mills, a venture capitalist with a Harvard pedigree, is on her way to becoming the next administrator of the Small Business Administration.



Karen Gordon Mills, a venture capitalist with a Harvard pedigree, is on her way to becoming the next administrator of the Small Business Administration.Mills, a Maine resident, is president of MMP Group, a private equity investment firm (which must be too busy investing in businesses to work on its Web site). Her bio also includes founding partner/managing director of Solera Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm; lead director of Scotts Miracle-Gro (maybe she can pour some of that stuff on the economy); and chair of the Governor's Council on Competitiveness and the Economy in Maine. She is also a member of the Board of the Maine Technology Institute and at Arrow Electronics.

As an investor in small businesses, Mills understands their challenges, said Obama, in announcing his nomination (here's the video). "With Karen Mills at the helm, America's small businesses will have a partner in Washington to create jobs and spur growth," he said.

Several also see the early appointment of an SBA administrator as a sign that the incoming administration is serious about getting Main Street back on its feet. "This appointment shows that his economic team recognizes the key role that small firms play in job creation and the need to take quick steps to revitalize the agency's role in spurring growth," said Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Small Business Committee.

Of course, not everyone is jumping on the Mills bandwagon. Today's Wednesday's Woman post on sister site SmallBizResource.com highlights some of those naysayers.

I'll end with the same question as MSNBC's Eve Tahmincioglu: Can a venture capitalist run the Small Business Administration?

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