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News | Business and IndustryOctober 21, 2022

Sabo Earns Prestigious Ambassador of the Year Award

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center named Bill Sabo, director of the ASBTDC regional office at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Ambassador of the Year at its statewide meeting on October 11 in Little Rock.

The award honors the member of the ASBTDC network who excelled at promoting the center in their region or the state through outreach, media, and other activities.

“There’s nothing better than helping someone realize a dream of starting a small business,” said Sabo. “Chancellor [Terisa] Riley and Dr. Settlage had the vision of a business-focused hub when they created the Center for Economic Development in downtown Fort Smith, and over the past year, we have seen it make a huge impact on the general business population.”

“The ASBTDC is a critical part of the UAFS Center for Economic Development as it provides valuable resources to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners,” added Dr. Latisha Settlage, Dean of the UAFS College of Business and Industry. “Bill Sabo is truly deserving of this recognition. Since joining the team, Bill has worked hard to connect potential clients to ASBTDC resources as well as to convene peer conversation through various educational and panel events.”

Under Sabo’s direction UAFS office of the ASBTDC has provided innovative, immersive programming targeted at helping small business owners from traditionally marginalized groups, including veterans, women, and people of color, advance. Several sessions have even been offered in Spanish to ensure business owners who are more comfortable strategizing in Spanish feel welcome and engaged. “If economic development doesn’t include everyone at every stage of business, then it’s likely to fail. No puzzle is complete if it’s missing even one piece,” Sabo said.


The Ambassador of the Year award is among the ASBTDS’s prestigious Employee Excellence awards, presented annually by ASBTDC State Director Laura Fine.

“Bill is a wonderful champion for ASBTDC and small businesses, and I am thrilled to recognize his dedication to helping people achieve their dreams,” said Fine.

“We’ve been fortunate that local business owners and city leaders have jumped in with both feet to mentor and provide expertise and encouragement to those wanting to start or expand their business. With their help, along with the support of the UAFS College of Business and Industry, we have been able to make our work more dynamic,” said Sabo. “We’re going to see more outreach into every community, including UAFS students and rural areas in Scott and Crawford counties, in 2023. Honestly, we’re just getting started!”

A partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business, Health, and Human Services, and other institutions of higher education, the ASBTDC assists new, existing, and technology-based businesses statewide. To learn more, visit

Located in the Center for Economic Development in the Bakery District, the UAFS office serves entrepreneurs in Sebastian, Crawford, and Scott counties. Contact Sabo at 479-424-5146 or

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Rachel Rodemann Putman

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