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Meet the new SBDC Director

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Meet the new SBDC Director

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College recently welcomed Kevin Peck as its new Small Business Development Center (SBDC) director. Peck comes to Eastern from CMI Software, Inc. of Safford where he oversaw North American marketing, sales, and technical support of CMI Fixed Assets, a locally developed and supported program.

Prior to CMI, Peck worked as an account manager for McMurray Communications, was part owner of Quality Landscape Supply (now Pace Gardens), and served as area manager for Patio Pools and Spas. He is returning to the SBDC after working with the Western New Mexico University SBDC as a business counselor and the Silver City-Grant County Economic Development Corporation.

Peck obtained an associate degree from EAC in 1992, and both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from Western New Mexico University in 1994 and 1995, respectively.

“I am honored and excited to be joining EAC and the SBDC,” he said. “My combination of formal and real-world education has prepared me well for this new position. I look forward to working with the businesses in Graham and Greenlee counties.”

He and his wife, Jody, make their home in the Gila Valley and have four daughters.

Peck joins another new recruit in the SBDC office, Charmaine Chidester, who has been serving as the Greenlee County business counselor since March 2010. Chidester earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Southern Utah University and has served in a variety of positions including office manager for both a national and a small “mom and pop” construction company.

“I’ve worked in the full spectrum of business from a company with only a few employees to a medium-size corporation and up to a large Las Vegas Hotel and Casino employing thousands of people,” she says.

She says through all her experience her passion in business resides within the small business community. “Greenlee County is full of these types of businesses and has the potential for so much more,” she says. “I’m excited to be working with a diverse group of entrepreneurs and hope to improve their success with the tools provided by the Small Business Development Center.”

Chidester is married to EAC English teacher, Pete Chidester, and the couple has four children.

Kevin and Charmaine join SBDC administrative assistant Julie Davis, who has been with the Center for over two years and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the clients, including proficiency in Quickbooks and office management skills. Julie resides in the Gila Valley with her husband Tommy and their three children.

Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center (EAC SBDC) began 22 years ago as one of the first in Arizona.

EAC’s SBDC is available to provide counseling, training, and support in all aspects of small businesses with information through its confidential and free one-on-one counseling. “As a new team, the services we provide are for any business, from the new start-up to the established business looking to strengthen, improve, and enhance their business operations, from accounting to customer service to marketing and financing,” Peck adds.

EAC’s SBDC is part of a national program designed to promote the success of small businesses in the United States. Sponsored by the Small Business Administration of the federal government and Eastern Arizona College, this program puts a team of experienced business professionals and educators at the client’s disposal—at little or no cost to them. Members of the small business community are encouraged to take advantage of the many services provided by EAC’s SBDC by calling the office at (928) 428-8591 or by email at