Blaine Henry Named FSBDC at UCF Regional Volunteer of the Year
Marketing Expert Served on Multiple Advisory Boards
July 17, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando – The Florida SBDC at UCF is pleased to name Blaine Henry as 2014 Regional Volunteer of the Year in honor of his exemplary service to the FSBDC at UCF and its Advisory Board Council program.
Henry’s service to the small business community has been a lengthy one. He first applied to become a volunteer advisor with the Advisory Board Council in January 2005, not long after the program’s inception. According to Henry, “I joined the SBDC program because I think it is important to support local businesses, frequently small to medium sized businesses which don’t have access to consultants, to create jobs and broaden the economic matrix of the community. I think it is everyone’s responsibility to give of their time and talents to grow the community. Marketing is what I do best. Also, I benefit from learning about different businesses and really enjoy meeting the people that are involved in them!”
Henry’s involvement with the Advisory Board Council has been impressive; he has always been very giving of his time and expertise. Over his nine years as a volunteer advisor Henry has donated almost 230 hours of service to Advisory Board Council clients while serving on four advisory boards. The reported fair market value of those hours is $34,350. He explained, “Economic development is a never ending process and it is important that people try to keep it moving in a positive direction. As long as I am around you will find me working on the never ending challenge of business devel-opment.” Henry has advised his SBDC clients on issues including marketing strategy and metrics, market diversification, marketing plan development, sales strategy, succession planning, management and training.
Henry served two terms on the advisory board of ScreenWorks USA, an industry leading company which specializes in the development, merchandising and production of screen printed, embroidered and heat embellished apparel. Sharad Mehta, president, commented on the contribution Henry has made to his business. “Blaine has been a most valued member of our Advisory Board and has injected a marketing and sales perspective to our deliberations. ScreenWorks had been lacking aggressive marketing and sales initiatives and historically focused on product development. This new insight has helped us in making adjustments in our strategy for growth.” Henry has provided the firm with market research and corporate profiles of competitors and prospects from some of his data sources, offered guidance on sales team structure and responsibilities, assisted with market diversification and advised on sales strategy, selling techniques, and strategic planning, among many others.
ACT, Inc. was another company Henry assisted. He worked with the company to develop a marketing plan which would enable them to attract private financing and secure a Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This grant enabled the design and expansion of their product line to accommodate user installation of their primary product. According to John Martino, ACT, Inc.’s president, “Blaine Henry took the time to demonstrate a genuine interest in exploring and understanding our business. As this understanding took hold he was better suited to provide several recommendations and suggestions to us. His extensive experience in a number of different industries enabled us to apply innovative solutions to our business challenges. The understanding and discoveries made by ACT, Inc. during that process will continue to offer us great value in the future.”
Another company Henry assisted through an advisory board was a family owned mattress manufacturer. Henry volun-teered to conduct a daylong seminar with them where he looked at their sales ledgers and identified over 120 products and services they were currently selling. Predictably, five of those products accounted for over 80 percent of their revenue and most of their products and services were not profitable at all. He concluded that they should focus on their top 10 products and hire a person to concentrate on outside sales and customer service. The firm was successful in expanding employment in their key product lines and secured a major contract with a multiple outlet regional distributor.
Blaine Henry has been professionally counseling and supplying marketing services to small, medium and large businesses for the last 30 years. After receiving a Master’s of Science degree from the London School of Economics, he entered government service to assist economic development in the U.S. and internationally. After four years as Manager of In-ternational Operations of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Henry came to the conclusion that eco-nomic development depends upon the ability of businesses to market themselves domestically and internationally. He started a business development consultancy in London in 1985 and has been working with a wide variety of businesses to improve their performance in the marketplace ever since. In 1986 he earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer with the American Economic Development Council. Mr. Henry is currently Managing Director of Market So-lutions International, a marketing consultancy specializing in domestic and international market development for financial services, scientific research, marine engineering, tourism, and logistics industries.
The Florida SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council is an economic development program that operates within the Florida SBDC at UCF and is partially funded by Orange County Government, as well as at the FSBDC at Seminole State College. The program is a no-cost professional advisory service for local companies. By acting as a matchmaker between businesses and volunteer advisors, all of whom are professionals in our community, the Advisory Board Council program acts to positively impact Central Florida businesses through revenue growth and job creation. Businesses also benefit by improved operations, marketing, financial management, reduced costs, leadership development and succession planning.
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2012, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 6500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 9,961 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.3 billion in sales growth; $50.4 million in capital formation; $104.6 million in government contract awards; and 108 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.
In 2012, the Florida SBDCs served approximately 38,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 47,845 jobs created, retained and saved; $6.3 billion in sales growth; $235.2 million in capital accessed; $588.4 million in government contract awards; and 744 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in the FSBDC programing 2012, $40 was returned to the state in tax revenue
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