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2008 News Releases

Director of Danville office of LSBDC receives statewide SBA award

April 14, 2008

Diane Arnold Diane Arnold, director of the Danville office of the Longwood Small Business Development Center (LSBDC)

Diane Arnold, director of the Danville office of the Longwood Small Business Development  Center (LSBDC), has been selected to receive a statewide award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The 2007 District Director’s Award – the SBA’s Richmond District encompasses all of Virginia – recognizes Arnold for assuming additional duties to help the SBA. A letter from Ron Bew, District director, cites Arnold’s “outstanding support of Southside Virginia’s small business community.”

“As the first SBDC in Virginia to take on the role of technical assistance provider under the SBA Community Express Loan Program, you have demonstrated your dedication and commitment to assisting the area’s entrepreneurs and small business owners gain access to capital,” Bew wrote. “Your tireless efforts to encourage lenders in the area to become active in the SBA loan programs is also worthy of recognition.”

The award will be formally presented May 2 at the annual Small Business Awards Luncheon in Richmond. “I wanted to help move this community forward,” said Arnold, who joined the LSBDC in August 2004 after having retired, in explaining her acceptance of extra work.

Arnold also has been a policy analyst and planner for the Weldon Cooper Center in Danville, director for instructional special projects at Piedmont Community College, coordinator for the Manufacturing Technology Center in Wytheville, and director of the Marshall University Procurement Technical Assistance Center. In the private sector, she has been director of marketing for Smart-Rayburn Associates and a sales representative for Hershey Foods International.

She chairs OPEC Not!, a volunteer citizens’ group that promotes energy-related education and conservation among small businesses in the Dan River region. She is a graduate of Radford University and has an M.B.A. from Marshall University. A native of Crozet in Albemarle County, she lived most of her adult life in Huntington, W.Va.., before moving to Danville in September 1998.

The LSBDC, which operates five offices, provides free education, consulting and research for new and existing businesses in 20 counties and six cities in South-Central Virginia. The Danville center, established in 2004, is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the city of Danville and Pittsylvania County. The LSBDC was founded in 1989 as one of the first two SBDCs in Virginia.