Rory ThomasThe Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) network headquartered at Middle Tennessee State University is proud to announce it has chosen Southwest Tennessee Community College center executive director, Rory Thomas, as the recipient of the 2014 State Star Award. The annual award recognizes a top performer from each state SBDC network who demonstrates a strong commitment to small business and makes significant contributions to the state network.

“The Tennessee Small Business Development Center program is celebrating its 30th year of providing Tennessee businesses with a wide range of business counseling and training services. Each year we recognize individuals in our statewide organization who demonstrate excellence and a sincere commitment to helping our business men and women succeed in business. Rory Thomas, our TSBDC director at Southwest, has been named as our State Star,” said Dr. Patrick Geho, State Executive Director – TSBDC Lead Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Since May 2013, Thomas has introduced many new innovative programs and brought new resources to the area to assist in economic growth.

“I am honored to use my talents to empower current and future business owners and leaders who have the ability to create tremendous economic impact in our communities,” said Thomas. “This is truly a team award because it starts with our great staff and all of our valuable strategic partners in the area.”

Thomas will be recognized at a special awards reception honoring the 2014 State Stars on September 9, in Grapevine, Texas, in conjunction with the America’s Small Business Development Center Network (ASBDC) 34th National Conference.