Campus News

KSBDC Honors Rodriguez With Sutton Landry State Star

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2014) — The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, based at the University of Kentucky, awarded the 2014 Sutton Landry State Star to Michael Rodriguez, announced Becky Naugle, center director. Rodriguez is the late center director of the Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) Small Business Development Center.

The Sutton Landry State Star is presented annually to an individual in the Kentucky Small Business Development Center network who is considered an example of excellence, makes a significant contribution to the center’s program and exhibits a dedication to assisting small businesses. This award is presented in conjunction with the Association of Small Business Development Center’s Annual Conference. The association is a partnership that unites private enterprise, government agencies, higher education institutions and local nonprofit economic development organizations to provide support to small business.

Accepting on his behalf was Rodriguez’s wife, Teresa, and son, Timothy.

“Timothy and I are honored to accept this award on Michael's behalf. We are so proud of all that Michael accomplished in his lifetime, and this is just another example of his many achievements,” Teresa Rodriguez told the gathering. “Michael would have been thrilled to receive this award. He truly loved his job at the EKU SBDC. We are sincerely overwhelmed by the love and respect everyone had for Michael. We will cherish this award for years to come.”

“This award is a wonderful way to honor Michael’s legacy of dedication and exemplary service to the small business community and KSBDC,” Naugle said.

After graduating from Morehead State University with a master’s degree in business administration, Rodriguez worked in the health care field and was the proprietor of a small business prior to joining the Kentucky Small Business Development Center. Rodriguez began working with the center as a business consultant in 2007 and within two years, he was named director for the EKU Small Business Development Center.

His dedication and determination to help fellow small business owners proved a great asset for Rodriguez as a consultant, resulting in his being a two-time recipient of the Million Dollar Loan Club award. During his tenure, the EKU office was noted for its extraordinary work, receiving the statewide “traveling trophy” for performance and productivity in 2011 and 2012. He was more than a typical business adviser, and his sudden passing in 2013 was a loss to the clients and communities heserved, Naugle said.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 15 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website,



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