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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sawyer named director of SBA's Hawaii office

Advertiser Staff

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s has named agency veteran Jane A. Sawyer as the new director of its Hawaii district office.

Sawyer, who has served for 16 years in the SBA’s Hawaii office, succeeds Andrew K. Poepoe, who retired in January 2009.  Karen Sakihama, normally the deputy district director, has served as acting district director the past 11 months. 
Sawyer will lead a team of 13 managers and business specialists at the Hawaii District and Guam Branch offices.  The district territory includes the state of Hawaiçi as well as American Samoa, Guam and other affiliated Pacific Islands. 
She will oversee all activities of the local office, from loans and lending relations with financial institutions, to small business training and counseling assistance through SBA resource partners such as the Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and Women’s Business Centers.
 In fiscal year 2009, the Hawaiçi district office guaranteed 420 loans with a value of $55.5 million.
 Through a range of consultations, workshops and seminars, the office assisted more than 10,300 small business owners and entrepreneurs, directly and with their funded resource partners.
“Jane Sawyer will continue the strong tradition of the SBA Hawaiçi district office assisting existing and aspiring entrepreneurs through loan programs, training and counseling, and assistance with government contracts,”Alberto G. Alvarado, SBA’s acting regional administrator for the western region said in in a news release.
“With Jane’s experience and background, her transition to the top SBA position in Hawaiçi will be a smooth one.” 
  Sawyer joined SBA in 1993 as the assistant district director for business development to manage the delivery of programs providing training, counseling and technical assistance to small businesses.
During her tenure, the Hawaiçi District Office provided new opportunities for small business owners by expanding outreach, developing innovative resources such as the Business Information and Counseling Centers, establishing two additional Small Business Development Centers in Guam and American Samoa, and two Women’s Business Centers in Hawaiçi and American Samoa.
She has been responsible for public communications, marketing and media relations as well as the annual SBA Small Business Awards program.