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Small Business Development Center Entrepreneur Champion of the Year Award received by Southwestern Oregon Community College Employee


Arlene Soto
Arlene Soto, Director of SWOCC SBDC 

Coos Bay, Oregon –  Southwestern Oregon Community College has been strengthening businesses in the local region since 1984 through the services of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office.  Happily, one of our own employees, Arlene Soto, SBDC Director received the prestigious Palo Alto Software Small Business Development Center Entrepreneur Champion of the Year Award for 2012. Not only does the college host the SBDC but they also offer entrepreneurship programming through the Associate of Applied Science Business Management/Entrepreneurship degree.  Diana Schab, Dean of Technical & Professional Education states, “We are fortunate to have a close working relationship between the Small Business Development Center and the Entrepreneurship Program at the college.  This partnership allows us the flexibility to build a degree program that meets student entrepreneurial needs in a forward thinking manner.”

Palo Alto Software, makers of the best-selling business planning tools, including Business Plan Pro, Sales and Marketing Pro, and LivePlan, is proud to present its inaugural Small Business Development Center Entrepreneur Champion of the Year Award. The first award recipient is Arlene Soto, Director of Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

My mission is to strengthen and support an entrepreneurial culture,” Arlene commented. 

“When considering the many talented and dedicated SBDC personnel that we come in contact with, Arlene Soto quickly emerged as a front runner. We chose Arlene for her passion, enthusiasm and willingness to embrace new tools and technologies to help her clients succeed,” said Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. She continued, “We collaborate very closely with SBDCs throughout Oregon and across the nation, and we know first-hand how hard Arlene and her colleagues work to support clients starting and building businesses to realize their dreams,”

Arlene has a lot to brag about with nearly two decades of experience supporting clients through SBDC networks at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Oregon and in Wyoming. Currently, she champions a remarkably large number of small business and prospective entrepreneur clients given the small population of Southern Oregon’s coastal communities. She meets with over 250 clients annually and at any given time, 40 or more are engaged in early business planning or in the startup phase of a new business.

Arlene has guided over 3500 small businesses in her career and can name dozens and dozens of clients who have started viable businesses and created jobs for hundreds of people. When it comes to tools of the trade, she fully embraces LivePlan by Palo Alto Software as a tool to help business owners take charge of their business planning and management. The software features hundreds of sample business plans, as well as, collaborative features that make it possible to work with clients at a distance. Palo Alto Software is committed to helping small businesses succeed, and Soto’s work truly embodies this philosophy. 
 
“My mission is to strengthen and support an entrepreneurial culture,” Arlene commented. “I love what I do. Every day I get to meet new people, every day I get to answer new questions, and every day it makes a difference. Winning this award is just the icing on the cake.” 
 
The Small Business Development Center Entrepreneur Champion of the Year is awarded to the SBDC counselor based on the following criteria:
 
  • Demonstrates a passion for entrepreneurship
  • Acts as a committed mentor to clients
  • Utilizes LivePlan to help clients start, run and grow their businesses
  • Embraces new technology to help solve client challenges
  • Supports their fellow SBDC counselors in their efforts

About Palo Alto Software: 
Palo Alto Software, Inc. develops and markets tools, products and content for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The company's flagship product, LivePlan, provides cloud-based business planning and small business management. Other top selling products include, Business Plan Pro - which is the best-selling business-planning software in the U.S. retail market, according to NPD Intelect - Sales and Marketing Pro and Email Center Pro. Palo Alto Software offers a powerhouse line of products to small and medium businesses around the globe. The company's combined product line, along with Bplans.com, the highest trafficked business planning website, offer know-how solutions that have made Palo Alto Software the market leader in its category for over fifteen years. Palo Alto Software was founded in 1988 and is a privately-owned corporation based in Eugene, Oregon.

 
About The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network:
The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network (OSBDCN) is a well-established partnership among 17 community colleges, three state universities, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD). Since its inception in 1983, the OSBDCN has provided one-on-one advising to more than 150,000 current and prospective businesses throughout Oregon. More than 560,000 individuals have attended OSBDCN-sponsored business education classes and events. For more information about the OSBDCN, visit http://www.bizcenter.org.
 
Arlene Soto, Director 
Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Small Business Development Center 
541-756-6445   asoto@socc.edu



Published Sep 17, 2012 (Updated Oct 11, 2012)

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