Holland brings more than 15 years of business development experience to her new role.
Texas Tech University's Office of Research & Innovation announced today (June 6) Carla Holland has been named the new executive director of The Northwest Texas Small Business Development Center (NWTSBDC).
Holland has spent more than 15 years working in economic development through the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) largest technical assistance program, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and previously spent 21 years in banking.
“I'm excited to be a part of a team that has produced outstanding results,” Holland said. “The NWTSBDC provides entrepreneurial outreach into the community and our resources are available to students and alumni to support their business endeavors.”
Holland and her husband moved to Lubbock in May from Monroe, Louisiana where she served as the state director of the Louisiana SBDC network.
“I look forward to working with Carla and to seeing her contributions to Texas Tech's innovation ecosystem and the broader Northwest Texas business community,” said Joseph A. Heppert, vice president for research and innovation.
During her time with the Louisiana SBDC Holland added two centers, one focused solely on innovation and technology and the second to help cover an area of the state previously underserved by the network. She also helped push through updates of the Louisiana SBDC's technological infrastructure and instituted the use of a mobile app to create a more user-friendly environment.
Holland highlighted the need for resources to assist entrepreneurs and communities in creating new businesses and jobs as well as retaining growing businesses in Northwest Texas.
The NWTSBDC is a grant-funded program hosted by Texas Tech. The program provides small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with no-cost professional business consulting and low-cost business management training on topics such as accessing capital, finding new customers, developing a business plan, compliance with regulations, exporting and many more topics. NWTSBDC has six service centers located in Lubbock, Abilene, Midland-Odessa, Amarillo, Wichita Falls and Stephenville.
In 2021 the NWTSBDC served 5,011 clients and created 1,414 new jobs while opening 230 new businesses.
“On behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration, I can say without reservation that we are very excited and fortunate to welcome Carla Holland as our new Northwest Texas SBDC network director,” said Calvin Davis, district director for the West Texas District Office of the SBA. “Carla's outstanding body of work and well-documented accomplishments from her leadership positions with the SBDCs in California and Louisiana, will provide a great complement as well as an upgrade to the already outstanding work that our Northwest Texas SBDC Network consistently produces.
“Welcome aboard Carla!”
Holland holds a master's in business administration from the University of Phoenix and a master's degree in divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. She replaces Judy Wilhelm who is retiring after five years as executive director.
Holland also will provide oversite for two other grant-funded programs that provide small business technical assistance. The Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) supports businesses seeking government contracts while the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) offers support to manufacturers.