Communication Builds Our Community

Lake Wales' Carl Hadden Named as Regional Director of Small Business Development Center

State-wide Organization is Hosted Regionally by University of South Florida

TAMPA, Fl. – The Muma College of Business at University of South Florida announced Carl Hadden, MBA, CME, as the new regional director of the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida.

"We are excited to welcome Carl in the role as Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at USF," GJ de Vreede, PhD, Associate Dean at Muma College of Business, said. "He has been an excellent interim regional director and we look forward to his continued leadership at the helm of the largest SBDC in the state!"

Hadden has served as the interim regional director since July 2021, when Eileen Rodriguez announced her retirement after 24 years of service to the Network. Hadden was initially hired as a business consultant for the Florida SBDC at USF in December 2013, and prior to his interim regional director role, served as an associate director at the Center.

His background includes many years of business leadership in areas such as marketing, workforce development at CareerSource Polk, sales, insurance, and training, as well as service in the United States Marine Corps.

He most recently earned an MBA and a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship from University of South Florida in May 2018. He is also an SMEI Certified Marketing Executive (CME), TTI DISC Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst and TTI DISC Certified Professional Driving Forces Analyst certified, and a Certified LivePlan Expert Adviser.

"Throughout my career I have sought work that matters and found that with the Florida SBDC at USF," Hadden said. "The impact the Florida SBDC at USF has on the business community reverberates throughout our region. Business owners are the lifeblood of our communities. They provide essential products and services; they employ our friends and neighbors; they sponsor our youth sports teams; they are high school boosters; and so much more."

As regional director, Hadden is charged with leading the 10-county region that spans most of the west central Florida area and offers confidential no-cost consulting, training, market research and information for some 5,000 businesses annually. He will be responsible for all Florida SBDC at USF services, its $3 million in grants and funding efforts, and leading the 29-member team.

The Florida SBDC at USF provided more than 24,000 hours of consulting and helped businesses access more than $60 million in business capital last year. The SBDC administers several emergency assistance programs related to hurricanes, floods and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida's economy. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 624,331 hours of professional business consulting to 58,975 client businesses, resulting in 281,831 jobs impacted; $36.7 billion in sales generated; $2.7 billion in government contracts acquired; $1.6 billion in capital accessed; and 4,520 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida, and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President's E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/17/2024 10:36