Business Development Leader Assumes Role at Bauer College’s Small Business Development Center
Dr. Steven Lawrence has been named Executive Director of the University of Houston Small Business Development Center (UH SBDC) Network, effective Sept. 1.
Lawrence replaces Mike Young, who retired earlier this year after leading the SBDC for two decades. Lawrence has successfully worked creating, restructuring, leading, and managing and improving organizations for more than 35 years.
Most recently, he served as Executive Director of ChildBuilders, a non-profit leader in childhood abuse prevention that teaches safety and social and emotional skills to children and parents, instilling assertiveness, empathy, problem-solving and emotions management into their lives.
In addition to his leadership roles in the public health and academic sectors, Lawrence was a senior executive with PepsiCo and Dell. He also founded and operated an importing business for a 10-year period.
UH SBDC is a part of Bauer College, and Lawrence plans to use his extensive business development background to help the already powerful small business network extend its reach in Southeast Texas. SBDC currently serves 32 counties in Southeast Texas through 15 business advising and training centers.
“The Small Business Development Center has a long and well respected history in the community representing the Bauer College and the University of Houston,” Lawrence said. “The challenge for me coming in new is to expand our services to businesses and business segments we don’t currently serve and to look for ways to further enhance our support in the business communities where we are located.”
Expanded small business growth in health care, technology and the business development opportunities provided by the UH Innovation Center are among the areas Lawrence plans to target. He also wants to explore ways the SBDC can better utilize the students and other resources that Bauer has to offer.
Lawrence holds a DrPH and MPH from the University of Texas School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Denver. He earned a BS in business administration from Illinois State University and served as a U.S. Navy Supply Corps officer from 1975 to 1980.
The UH SBDC provides advising, workshops and seminars, specialty programs, articles and content, and facility rental and customized training to help small and medium-sized businesses. The free advising and affordable seminars cover topics ranging from startup and pre-venture to operations and growth.
By Julie Bonnin