New SBDC director plans to emphasize training, community connections
Lindsay Young learned about running a business at a young age because she grew up watching her family run a chemical business in Houston.
Now Young is bringing her years of experience as a business advisor and her love of working with Crossroads businesses to the table as she steps into the role of University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center director after the previous director, Joe Humphreys, retired in January.
“Lindsay Young is an energetic leader who will be able to build on and continue the success the UHV SBDC has experienced,” said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for administration and finance. “Joe was an exceptional leader who brought a positive emphasis to the center, and I look forward to seeing the center continue to develop with Lindsay at the helm.”
Young joined the UHV SBDC as a business advisor in September 2011. In that role, she worked with individual clients to help them start and improve their small businesses. During that time, she also went through training and worked her way up from a Level 1 to a Level 4 business advisor. In addition to training as a business advisor, Young earned her Strategic Master of Business Administration in management in 2013 from the UHV School of Business Administration.
“I was constantly learning, even as a Level 4 advisor,” she said. “When you are hired as a new L-Level 1 advisor, you have to figure out what you don’t know and how to best help your clients. Even when you reach Level 4, you always have to be ahead of the curve and be aware of what is happening in the business world.”
In 2017, Young received a new position as the finance and operations manager for the UHV SBDC and the university’s Regional Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. In that role, she handled budgets and finances for both the SBDC and the regional center. Now, as she begins her time as director, Young will bring her experience from all of those roles into her leadership of the UHV SBDC.
“As one of my favorite motivational speakers, John Maxwell, says, one of the most important things a leader can do is hold the ladder as others climb up it,” Humphreys said. “I have worked with Lindsay since she was first hired, and I know she has experience that will be invaluable to the SBDC and the community. I have the highest level of confidence in her.”
As the new director, Young has set some new goals for the UHV SBDC in the coming years. First, she plans to reach out to the different counties and communities in the SBDC’s service area, including chambers of commerce and other economic organizations, and see what support or training they want to receive. She also wants to work with these organizations and communities to see what economic and small business strategies are working and what areas need to be re-evaluated.
“First and foremost, our goal is to work with communities and find ways to partner with them to support their local entrepreneurs,” Young said. “We are dedicated to boosting small businesses in our area, and we have a wonderful team of experienced business advisors who can help make that happen.”
Another goal is to increase the visibility of the UHV SBDC, Young said. Although the center is a free resource, some business owners don’t know about it.
“Often times we hear from clients that the SBDC is the best kept secret in the area,” she said. “We don’t want it to be that way, so I’d like to focus on becoming a more visible and public organization.”
As she moves forward with the SBDC, Young wants to continue and build on the positive legacy left by her predecessor.
“Joe created a culture of success in the SBDC, and I want to keep that positive energy,” she said. “He made such a difference and an impact, so I have some big shoes to fill. But I’m blessed to have a group of business advisors who are invested in the community and ready to move forward.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.