America’s SBDC proudly unveils its newly elected board members and officers for the upcoming year. Every year, a select group of nominees is chosen during the National America’s Small Business Development Center Conference, reflecting America’s SBDC’s commitment to excellence and innovation. America’s SBDC is pleased to welcome back eight incumbent board members while introducing two exceptional additions, all of whom have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the SBDC network on a national scale.


Incumbent members include:

Lisa Shimkat, Iowa State Director – Re-elected

Byron Hicks, North Carolina State Director

Ted Gutierrez, Missouri State Director – Re-elected

Beth Melnik, Georgia Associate State Director

Mark Gregory, Oregon State Director – Re-elected

Mike Bowman, Delaware State Director

Kristin Johnson, Northern California Network Region Director

Steve Lawrence, Texas Gulf Coast Network Executive Director


Newly elected members are:

Michele Hockersmith Ph.D., Oklahoma State Director

Liz Gray, New Hampshire State Director


Lisa Shimkat, who has been re-elected as a board member, stated, “I am truly honored to continue serving on the America’s SBDC board. This organization represents the backbone of small business support across America, and I look forward to contributing to its ongoing success.”

“I congratulate our new directors and officers, and I look forward to working with them in the coming year. They are a fantastic, visionary group of SBDC leaders, and we will aim to keep SBDCs moving forward as America’s best providers of small business assistance,” remarked America’s SBDC President & CEO, Charles “Tee” Rowe, on the appointment of the board.



In addition to the board members, America’s SBDC has also appointed new officers for the year 2023:  

Chair: Lisa Shimkat, Iowa

Vice-Chair: Byron Hicks, North Carolina

Treasurer: Ted Gutierrez, Missouri

Secretary: Beth Melnik, Georgia


Lisa Shimkat, the newly elected Chair from Iowa, expressed her enthusiasm for the role, saying, “I am excited to represent the 63 programs across the Country as Chair of the Association. We have a great team, fabulous directors everywhere, and dedicated professionals helping businesses grow and succeed.”

With this strong and dedicated leadership team, America’s SBDC is poised to continue its mission of providing invaluable support and assistance to small businesses across the nation.




America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Veteran. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, Tel. 515-294-7612, Hotline 515-294-1222, email


Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since the program’s inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling, and practical, affordable training workshops.


For more information on America’s SBDC Iowa programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit,, or


Press Contacts:

Leah Pitts, America’s SBDC Iowa, 515-294-0041,

Lisa Shimkat, America’s SBDC Iowa, 515-408-6370,