J.D. Collins, state Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Local business leader J.D. Collins has been named state director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), located in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

Collins began his new role December 17, leading the SBDC, a 90-person organization that serves more than 5,500 companies, offering face-to-face consulting, business training and market research reports.

Collins has served in C-suite positions for a number of Michigan-based businesses in strategic leadership roles.

“As a Michigander, it brings me a great sense of pride knowing that the SBDC’s work drives statewide economic impact and furthers our reputation as a preeminent place to start and grow a business,” said Collins. “I’m eager to serve the small business community and continue our innovative approach to assisting business owners and entrepreneurs.”

Collins previously served as chief innovation officer at a leading heavy equipment technology startup in Grand Rapids, where he was a member of the executive team that negotiated a strategic alliance with Caterpillar. He also held global strategic leadership positions during his 10-year career at Amway Corporation.

Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business, said: “The MI-SBDC network has significant impact on the growth and sustainability of small businesses throughout Michigan. J.D.’s leadership and vision will enhance our focus on innovation and doing what is best for small businesses.”

Collins earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from Albion College and an MBA from Notre Dame.

Ed Garner, regional director of the West Michigan SBDC, had been serving as interim state director.

About the Michigan SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides consulting, business education, information based planning and technology commercialization services to Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, growing businesses and innovators. The Michigan SBDC State Lead Center is hosted by the GVSU Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by visiting www.SBDCMichigan.org.

About the Seidman College of Business

Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business, located along the river in downtown Grand Rapids offers 10 undergraduate degrees, as well as several masters degrees (MBA, EMBA, MSA). Seidman serves over 4,000 students. It is accredited by AACSB-International and recently has been named as one of the top business schools in the nation for 2019 by Princeton Review. To learn more about the Seidman College of Business, visit www.gvsu.edu/seidman.

Contact: Hanna Burmeister, Marketing Manager, Michigan Small Business Development Center, (616) 331-7489 or burmeish@gvsu.edu

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