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2008 News Releases

Director of Danville LSBDC office chosen state’s outstanding SBDC employee

July 1, 2008

Diane Arnold

Diane Arnold, director of the Danville office of the Longwood Small Business Development  Center (LSBDC), has been selected the state’s outstanding SBDC employee.


Arnold is the recipient of the 2008 State Star award from the Virginia SBDC network. The award will be presented Sept. 5 during the 28th annual conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers, in Chicago. She was one of six nominees for the award, which is voted on by SBDC directors and staff from around the state.


This is the second consecutive year that a member of the Longwood Small Business Development Center staff has been chosen for the award. Last year’s recipient was Sheri McGuire, executive director of the LSBDC.


“Diane exemplifies the mission of the Small Business Development Center and the definition of a citizen leader,” McGuire said. “She is always eager to be of service to her clients and her community by rolling up her sleeves and doing what it takes to make her clients and her region thrive. In 2007 the Danville SBDC assisted 130 small business clients who were able to secure more than $3 million in investments and loans for their businesses as a result of her assistance.”


In May Arnold received another statewide award, the 2007 District Director’s Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s Richmond District encompasses all of Virginia.


Arnold joined the LSBDC in August 2004 after having retired. She also has been a policy analyst and planner for the Weldon Cooper Center in Danville, director for instructional special projects at Piedmont Community College, coordinator for the Manufacturing Technology Center in Wytheville, and director of the Marshall University Procurement Technical Assistance Center. In the private sector, she has been director of marketing for Smart-Rayburn Associates and a sales representative for Hershey Foods International.


She chairs OPEC Not!, a volunteer citizens’ group that promotes energy-related education and conservation among small businesses in the Dan River region. She is a graduate of Radford University and has an M.B.A. from Marshall University. A native of Crozet in Albemarle County, she lived most of her adult life in Huntington, W.Va.., before moving to Danville in September 1998. She and her husband, Jack, have three sons and five grandchildren.


The LSBDC, which operates five offices, provides free education, consulting and research for new and existing businesses in 20 counties and six cities in South-Central Virginia. The Danville center, established in 2004, is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the city of Danville and Pittsylvania County. The LSBDC was founded in 1989 as one of the first two SBDCs in Virginia.