President-elect Barack Obama selected Karen Mills of Brunswick, Maine, to head the Small Business Administration.
“To strengthen our economy, we must also strengthen the small businesses that are its backbone,” said Obama in announcing his choice. “With Karen at the helm, America’s small businesses will have a partner in Washington, helping them create jobs and spur growth in communities across this country.Â “With a background in the private sector and experience helping Maine’s governor promote growth across the state, I am confident that Karen will lead an SBA that will not only help small business owners realize their dreams, but help our nation rebuild our economy. “
Mills is a venture capitalist and a founding partner of the New York-based equity firm Solera Capital. She has been an adviser to Maine Gov. John Baldacci on economic matters and is the chairperson of the Maine’s Council on Competitiveness and the Economy. She has been part of Obama’s SBA transition team.
“Karen Mills brings impressive private sector experience to the SBA, an agency the current Administration greatly underutilized,” said Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), the incoming Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “Now more than ever, the SBA needs a strong leader with renewed purpose. American small businesses deserve a true champion, and Karen Mills, an entrepreneur who has also been a key advisor to Maine Governor Baldacci, brings the right mix of credentials to this important position.Â … I look forward to working with her to strengthen the SBA into an agency that can be a true lifeline for small businesses and that can spur job creation in this challenging economic time.”