Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette (left) and WVSBDC State Director Kristina Oliver (right) present the West Virginia State Star award to business coach Sharon Stratton
Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette (left) and WVSBDC State Director Kristina Oliver (right) present the West Virginia State Star award to business coach Sharon Stratton

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — America’s Small Business Development Centers will recognize Small Business Coach Sharon Stratton as West Virginia’s 2016 State Star, state director Kristina Oliver announced today.

America’s SBDC annually recognizes an outstanding SBDC member from each SBDC throughout the country. These individuals will be celebrated at a special reception during the 36th Annual Conference, September 19-22, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

The State Stars meet criteria that includes being an exemplary performer; making a significant contribution to their state, regional or territorial SBDC program; and showing a strong commitment to small business.
“Sharon Stratton’s selection as the 2016 State Star recognizes her outstanding accomplishments and effective service to her West Virginia small businesses clients,” Oliver said. “She has provided her clients with expert business coaching and timely resources, resulting in greater access to capital and increased job creation."

Stratton received recognition for her client capital access and training accomplishments during the WVSBDC professional development conference in August. She enabled her clients to achieve more than $1 million of capital infusion. Stratton also enrolled the highest number of attendees in her Business Fundamentals workshops for startups and entrepreneurs in operation for less than a year.

Previously, she attained Export and Trade Counseling Certification and successfully passed the 100C Research Commercialization Course.

Stratton is a graduate of both West Virginia University and Frostburg State University. She has a Master of Business Administration. Stratton served with the Maryland SBDC before joining the West Virginia Small Business Development Center in 1992.

Stratton is part of the WVSBDC network of business coaches located in centers around the state. The WVSBDC coaches are skilled individuals with professional certifications that include exporting, innovation, technology and economic development, finance, management and marketing. Her WVSBDC office is based in the West Virginia University Chestnut Ridge Research Center in Morgantown.

The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The WVSBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is an Accredited Member of America’s SBDC network.

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FOR RELEASE: Sept. 12, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Catherine Zacchi, catherine.m.zacchi@wv.gov, 304-957-9340
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/WVSBDC