Small Business Owners Convene to Celebrate National SBDC Day

For more information, contact: Diana Fedinec, Director of Public Relations and Media 901-333-4247

Rory Thomas, Tennessee Small Business Development Center Executive Director 901-333-5085

Tennessee Small Business Development Center’s SBDC Day March 18 at Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Whitehaven Center will include notable panelists and state’s award

Current and aspiring small business owners will unite to celebrate and learn more about free assistance available through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest funded program, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), during national SBDC Day, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., March 18, at Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Whitehaven Center, 1234 Finley Road.

SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the impact America’s Small Business Development Centers have on the success of the nation’s dreamers, innovators, and doers – America’s small businesses. SBDC Day will unite nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country, and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve, by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community.

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) is located at Southwest and has provided free small business assistance to tens of thousands of individuals starting and growing small businesses in Shelby County since 2004. TSBDC Executive Director Rory Thomas says last year the agency provided assistance to more than 2,300 small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals with a business idea in Shelby County.

SBDC Day will focus on the business life cycle -startup, growth, maturity or renewal/decline – and include an accomplished panel of local small business owners who will share how they are successfully navigating their own firms through the different stages.

TSBDC will present its annual “Rising Star Award” to Johnny Fayne, President/CEO of Fresh Start Facility Services. Fayne has grown his company into of the largest black-owned businesses in Memphis, serving customers in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas and Washington, D.C.

Featured Panelists:

  • LaTanya Channel, Tennessee District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Anna Vergos Blair, Co-owner, The Rendezvous
  • Johnny Fayne, President/CEO, Fresh Start Facility Services
  • Andre Gist, CEO, MIG Wire and Tube / MIG Steel Fabrication
  • Dr. Marshe Turner, Co-owner, Spirit Health Medical

The event is free and open to the public; registration is encouraged. Register online at, keywords SBDC Day. For more information, visit or call 901-333-5085.