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Florida Tech Women's Business Center Director Honored for Advocacy

The center provides mentoring, training and other resources to female entrepreneurs and business owners.

By University Alliance
Florida Tech Women’s Business Center Director Honored for Advocacy

An adjunct professor at the Florida Institute of Technology’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business has been honored as Florida’s Small Business Advocate of the Year for 2014.

Beth Gitlin, who also leads the university’s Women’s Business Center, was recognized for her contributions to promoting the ownership and expansion of small businesses.

“Through your work, you inspire other entrepreneurs to start and build businesses that will benefit our community,” Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) North Florida District, said in an April statement.

The Women’s Business Center, which is located on Florida Tech’s Melbourne campus, offers training, mentoring, counseling, networking and other assistance to women in startup businesses and growth-oriented companies. The center seeks to help business owners to boost revenue, foster business relationships, tap into resources and enhance their financial knowledge.

The center is partially funded through a cooperative agreement with the SBA.

In a news release, Gitlin said the center is in “a strong position to act on behalf of entrepreneurs and enable entrepreneurs to act on their own behalf.”

“Advocacy is essential to tackle the challenges small business owners face,” she said.

In addition to her teaching duties and leadership of the Women’s Business Center, Gitlin is a fellow at Florida Tech’s Institute for Cross Cultural Management. She previously was the owner and president of Global Passages, an international trade consulting company based in Melbourne, and also was a senior buyer and import director with Walmart.

A veteran of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Gitlin is pursuing a doctoral degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Florida Tech.

Gitlin is among about a dozen individuals and organizations honored as 2014 Florida Small Business Week Winners. Categories include: Small Business Person of the Year; Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year; Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year; Small Business Exporter of the Year; and Small Business Financial Advocate of the Year.

The awards are presented in conjunction with the SBA’s annual National Small Business Week celebrations, which will run from May 12 to 16.

“The nominations this year were very competitive, and all the winners are highly deserving of their respective awards,” Gonzalez said.