Wisconsin ASBDC State Star Award Winner

Director of the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Whitewater Named State Star

Ronald “Bud” Gayhart recognized for supporting second-stage business growth


Ronald "Bud" Gayhart

Ronald "Bud" Gayhart, Director of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the SBDC’s Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, has been awarded the 2014 America’s SBDC State Star Award for Wisconsin.  The State Star Award acknowledges Gayhart's work helping small business owners improve and grow their companies. Last year, with his leadership and direct assistance, clients served by the SBDC and WISC generated over $61 million in business capital and added 153 jobs.


Gayhart, like many Wisconsin SBDC Network professional consultants, draws on his experience as a successful business owner when working with clients to support their success. Before joining the Wisconsin SBDC Network team, he owned and operated two businesses of his own for a total of 25 years.


"Having been a business owner twice in my past, I now find myself living vicariously by working with entrepreneurs at all stages of business development,” Gayhart said.  “As an SBDC director at UW-Whitewater, I have the opportunity to interact with a diverse client base: from student entrepreneurs, to established businesses with several hundred employees; from nascent dreamers to serial entrepreneurs creating, growing and selling companies for profit.”


Business owners statewide gain access to the power of the UW System universities and regional experts through their work with Wisconsin SBDC consultants. Gayhart’s clients consider his ability to refer them to additional resources extremely valuable to their business success.


"I have a network that includes patent attorneys, general counsel, accountants, lenders, angel investors, and venture capitalists,” Gayhart said.  "My connections at UW-Whitewater have given me linkage to faculty and alumni advisors and resources.  Nowhere else can you develop a network like this. The SDBC is an amazing organization."  


When announcing Gayhart’s selection as the 2014 ASBDC State Star, interim Wisconsin SBDC state director Neil Lerner said, “Bud is very innovative, creating numerous new products and services for both the Whitewater SBDC and WISC that are helping second-stage existing firms improve their business performance and expand. ” 


Gayhart, along with State Stars from across the country will be recognized at the national America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) annual conference in September. The award ceremony celebrates the exemplary performance and significant contributions made by ASBDC State Stars nationwide.


The Wisconsin SBDC Network, a program of UW-Extension, supports entrepreneurs and business owners statewide through no-cost, confidential consulting and targeted educational programs. Regional SBDC experts facilitate improvement and growth for small and emerging mid-size companies and help launch successful enterprises. The Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Whitewater serves Dodge, Jefferson, Rock, Walworth and Waukesha counties, and the WISC specialty center serves clients statewide.  To find an SBDC near you, visit wisconsinsbdc.org or call the Wisconsin Business AnswerLine at (800) 940-7232. The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Contact:  Kaia Fowler, Communication Manager, Wisconsin SBDC Network

kristina.fowler@uwex.edu | 608-263-7805