PITTSFIELD -- Keith Girouard, the Berkshire regional director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, has received national recognition from his peers.
He was chosen to receive the 2013 Massachusetts "State Star" by the American Small Business Development Center, an organization based in Alexandria, Va. The award is given annually to an outstanding small-business development center adviser from every state.
The ASBDC is a trade association that performs legislative work and holds professional business development conferences. But according to Georgianna Parkin, the state director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, the ASBDC's award is the only national honor available to small-business developers.
"I was honored," Girouard said. "In our field of business advising this is an important award."
The award is given to small-business advisers who not only show results and feedback from the area they administer, but "move their region ahead to some degree," Parkin said.
Parkin, the current vice chairman of the ASBDC, said Girouard was nominated by the eight other regional directors of the state's small-business development centers. This is the first time that he has been nominated, she said.
There are 63 small-business development centers located across the country and in three American territories, and each year a representative from one of them is nominated to receive the ASBDC's award. Girouard received his award last month at the ASBDC's 33rd annual conference in Orlando, Fla.
Girouard, who lives in Great Barrington, has been a senior business adviser with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center since 2007, the year that the Berkshire Regional office was formed. He was named Berkshire Regional Director in 2009.
"What he has done from my perspective is advance the awareness of the small-business development center in the Berkshire region," Parkin said.
Girouard has also received accolades from the people he has worked with.
He helped business owners Valerie Winig and Judy Stafford of Wingate Ltd. obtain a U.S. Small Business Association loan through the MSBDC to open the Jenifer House Commons in Great Barrington in 1999.
"Transporting us from a less-than-optimistic position, Keith illustrated that we actually looked substantially more viable than previously realized," Winig and Stafford said in a statement.
Before joining the MSBDC, Girouard operated his own business consulting firm, served as an adjunct faculty member at Berkshire Community College, served as executive director for the Community Development Corp. of South Berkshire Inc., and was a senior administrator at Berkshire County ARC.
The Berkshire Regional Office of MSBDC assists more than 200 small businesses annually by providing high-quality, in-depth advising, training and access to capital; contributing to the entrepreneurial growth of small business throughout Berkshire County.
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