State Director, Kansas Small Business Development Center Network

America’s SBDC represents a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).  SBDCs are hosted by leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private partners, and funded in part through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are nearly 1,000 local centers providing no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to new and existing businesses across the country.

Fort Hays State University, the statewide host for the Kansas Small Business Development Centers (Kansas SBDC) network, seeks a State Director to provide innovative leadership, funding advocacy, and operational and administrative oversight of the statewide network of eight regional, three specialty service centers, one marketing/call center, and four outreach centers. This position is located in Topeka, Kansas.

The State Director of the Kansas SBDC network is a full-time position responsible for: establishing strategic priorities; securing annual funding to sustain the program; cultivating relationships with public and private stakeholders and partners; compliance with all federal, state and other grants; maximizing financial resources; setting expectations, policies and systems to achieve performance results; internal and external communications; managing staff; and building a culture of inclusiveness, teamwork, transparency, ethics, accountability, and high performance. The position requires extensive travel both in and out of state, and frequent work outside of standard working hours.

The primary purpose of the network is to provide small business (existing and prospective) entrepreneurs with the information, education, technical support, and counseling to start, sustain and grow their businesses. The SBDC is performance driven and focuses on tangible direct benefits that produce strong economic impact in areas that include capital formation, business creation, revenue growth, job creation and retention, and firm sustainability.

The Kansas SBDC State Director is expected to work closely with public and private sector partners across Kansas and must have the ability to work with diverse groups of people; excellent communication skills; and proficiency in management information systems and common productivity software. The State Director leads a collaborative effort with the Kansas SBDC Network to ensure consistent statewide service delivery, with clear strategic direction, continuous improvement, and statewide evaluation of service delivery.  The State Director is the Principal Investigator overseeing a budget of $3.0 million and a statewide team of 35 full-time and 25 part-time employees/contractors.

Under the general direction of the Fort Hays State University Provost, responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

•          Provide leadership to the network of Kansas Small Business Development Centers to achieve the program’s strategic objectives.

•          Secure funding and administer contracts from State and Federal funding partners and ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, OMB circulars and Executive Orders, the annual Cooperative Agreement with the SBA, and accreditation standards.

•          Develop and execute strategic planning for the network in accordance with accreditation standards.

•          Manage the network for accomplishment of mandatory grant deliverables, strategic objectives, client satisfaction, and maintain accreditation, including supplemental accreditation for technology commercialization.

•          Establish a regular and effective schedule of communication and engagement with major funding and resource partners including college and university presidents and federal and state agency representatives, as well as other important constituencies such as SBA national, regional and district offices, Kansas SBDC Center Directors, private funding representatives, federal and state legislators, and other organizations serving businesses.

•          Develop and maintain support and cooperation from host colleges and universities, including negotiating and executing annual subcontracts with these institutions for the operation of Kansas SBDC Network center programs.

•          Allocate resources necessary to meet the SBDC mission, including developing and managing the Kansas SBDC Network Lead Office annual budget, and approving center annual budgets and work plans.

•          Act as lead spokesperson to promote Kansas SBDC services to business owners and to stakeholders.

•          Work effectively and collaborate with local, state, and federal organizations, agencies and advisory groups focused on economic development, business development and entrepreneurship programs or services.

•          Monitor and evaluate Kansas SBDC performance to understand the nature of the network and to translate performance findings into priorities for improvement and innovation.

•          Provide leadership to support and leverage membership in the national Association of America’s SBDCs, and relationships with SBA national, regional and district offices.

•          Build through respect, trust and collaboration public/private coalitions that strengthen Kansas SBDC services to small businesses.

•          Utilize business and data analytics skills in decision-making.

•          Manage Kansas SBDC Lead Office staff and provide leadership to promote performance excellence within a dispersed team of indirect-report professional staff.  Participate in hiring decisions for Kansas SBDC regional director positions.

•          Manage the Kansas SBDC Advisory Board.

•          Utilize strong team building, negotiation and consensus building skills; strong verbal and written communication skills as the position requires a significant number of public presentations and formal written reports.

•          Interact with leaders of other entrepreneur assistance programs across the country, exchange information and best practices, and learn from others in the field.

•          Represent the Kansas SBDC and Fort Hays State University at local, state, and national meetings.

•          Assume additional responsibilities as assigned by the Fort Hays State University Provost.

Required Qualifications:

·         Master’s degree in business or other directly related field, from a regionally accredited institution.

·         Eight years progressively responsible leadership experience in business, management, administration, and supervision; greater experience preferred.

·         Five years of experience managing staff; greater experience preferred.

·         Valid driver’s license and ability to travel.

Preferred Qualifications:

·         Experience with budget and contract development and management/administration, resource development, and working with government agencies.

·         Experience advocating for an organization or program with multiple constituencies.

·         Five years progressive experience utilizing management information systems for decision making and strategic planning.

·         Experience owning and operating a small business with employees or providing services to support entrepreneurs and small businesses.

·         Experience with higher education administration.

·         Experience in working effectively with board members, business and community representatives, entrepreneurs, resource partners, government agencies, faculty, support staff, legislators, media and other diverse constituencies.

·         Excellent verbal and written communications skills.

·         SBDC experience.

Salary Range: In addition to salary, an excellent fringe benefit package is provided  http://www.fhsu.edu/humanresourceoffice/Prospective-Employees/

How to apply: To be considered a candidate for this position, all of the following must be included in the application package:

1.       A cover letter addressing how you meet the required qualifications, a detailed resume, and contact information for three professional references.

2.       A response to the below questions of five (5) pages or less addressing the following:

a.       Describe your experience leading an organization with diverse affiliations.

b.       Describe how you built a relationship with another resource or program. How and why did you build the relationship?  What was the outcome?

c.       Describe your experience at developing a team environment. Be specific about your actions.

d.       Describe your experience with federal or state legislative processes.

Review of applications will commence on January 19, 2021.

Application Process:  To apply for this position, please visit https://fhsu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/CAREERS.  Only electronic applications submitted through the webpage will be accepted.

If you have questions regarding the position, please contact:

Dr. Dosse Toulaboe



About Fort Hays State University:

Founded in 1902, FHSU is a leading, forward-thinking university of the Midwest, with student enrollment of more than 15,500 (including 4,500+ on the Hays campus, a unique China partnership program with enrollment of 4,000 students, and Virtual College enrollment at over 7,000).  Over 400 faculty and more than 500 professional and staff support and guide degree and certificate programs for the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs, and for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, representing 31 departments within these academic divisions:

·         College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

·         W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship

·         College of Education

·         College of Health and Behavioral Sciences

·         Peter Werth College of Science, Technology, and Mathematics

·         Graduate School

Fort Hays State University provides exceptional opportunities for students from Kansas, the region, and the world, and the University attracts goal-oriented students who want premier learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom combined with one-to-one attention and support. FHSU students graduate with the knowledge, professional skills, and confidence to have a competitive edge in their chosen careers. Upon graduation, 95% of FHSU students find a job or placement in graduate school.

Notice of Non-discrimination – Fort Hays State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, color, age, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability or veteran status.

Background Check: Final candidate will have consented to and successfully completed a criminal background check.

Notice to KPERS retirees applying for a position: Recent legislation changes working-after-retirement rules for both you and your employer if you go back to work for a KPERS employer. Please contact your KPERS representative or www.kpers.org for further information on how this might affect you.