CHARLESTON -– West Virginia Small Business Development Center State Director Kristina Oliver recently announced that Lisa J. Gasper, a business coach at the SBDC's Charleston Center, was awarded the 2010 State Star.

The award was presented to Gasper at the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) annual meeting held Sept. 24 in San Antonio, Texas.

"I am pleased to recognize Lisa for her dedication to serving entrepreneurs and strengthening the economy in West Virginia," said Oliver. "She has expertly provided business coaching, advice and information to small businesses resulting in greater access to capital and increased job creation."

Gasper is a graduate of Marshall University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and Master of Arts' degree in communications. She has held various executive positions in the government relations industry, nonprofit community organizations and banking. In 2001, Gasper accepted the post of communications specialist with the West Virginia Development Office and has served as a business coach in the Development Office's Small Business Development Center since 2006.

"It is an honor to help West Virginia's entrepreneurs in their quest for small business success," said Gasper. "I am privileged to be able to work with an organization whose sole purpose is helping small businesses succeed. I am humbled by this award which I couldn't have achieved without the support of my colleagues throughout the state."

The State Star is a recognition program developed by the ASBDC which recognizes outstanding SBDC employees from each state for their exemplary performance, significant contributions to the SBDC program, and strong commitment to small business.

The SBDC is a division of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact through offering entrepreneurs and small businesses cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. With locations throughout the state, the WVSBDC provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with expert business coaching and needed services to help them start, grow and maintain businesses. WVSBDC Business Coaches provide one-on-one coaching sessions, resource network connections and training opportunities. They are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information, visit www.wvsbdc.org.

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