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Wilmington's SBTDC Center Names Director

By Audrey Elsberry, posted May 29, 2024
Gloria Monroe
Gloria Monroe, interim director of the Small Business & Technology Development Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, was named the center's permanent director on Tuesday, according to an announcement from SBTDC.
 
Monroe served as interim director for nearly a year, starting the role in June 2023. She has worked at SBTDC for seven years, according to the release, originally as a general business counselor. Initiatives like finding affordable solutions for small- and mid-size businesses in the region and providing interns with real-world experiences have been key in Monroe’s tenure so far.
 
"I am deeply honored and enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead the dedicated team at UNCW SBTDC," Monroe said in the release. "Alongside my team, I am committed to fostering collaborative partnerships with other organizations to drive positive impacts for businesses across Southeastern North Carolina."
 
Monroe succeeds Beth Wilkerson as SBTDC’s regional center director. Wilkerson left last year to become the executive director role at The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub at UNC Pembroke.
 
North Carolina SBTDC is a statewide business advisory service connected to the UNC System. Wilmington’s center provides resources for entrepreneurs in Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties, according to SBTDC officials.
 
Monroe’s priorities as center director include increased outreach to Tier 1 counties, where she sees opportunities to raise awareness and extend resources to local businesses. Other initiatives Monroe plans to enact as director include outreach to a larger number of businesses and organizations as well as supporting startups to build economic development, according to the release.

“The SBTDC continues to evolve as business needs change,” Monroe wrote to the Business Journal in an email Wednesday. “The depth and diversity of SBTDC talent positions it to help businesses address a broad spectrum of issues, including planning, financial management, human resources, marketing, and operations and to respond to challenges such as hurricanes and COVID.”
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