When Barack Obama became President, he quickly tapped a private equity fund manager named Karen Gordon Mills to the head of the SBA. Some background research reveals some interesting facts about Mrs. Mills -
- Her parents are owners of the candy-maker Tootsie Rolls.
- A graduate of the Harvard Business School, Mrs. Mills went on to co-found a $250M private equity firm Solera Capital, which she ran from her house.
- Her husband is the President of Bowdoin College.
I honestly can’t say whether this means she has the best background for being the head of the SBA, but only time will tell. I do agree with blogger Lloyd Chapman who wrote on a WSJ blog post:
“Mills should focus on the only problem at the SBA that has been the focus of over a dozen federal investigations and hundreds of stories in the press, the diversion of $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms. She needs to develop policies to implement President Obama’s February 2008 campaign promise, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.”‘
In 2008 the SBA lost a Federal suit which forced them to present data that showed exactly how much money originally allocated for small business owners was being diverted to large corporations. While the SBA, since 2002, had claimed computer glitches as a reason for not being able to present this data, a now estimated $100 Billion a year goes to legacy contracts to Fortune 500 companies.
Will Karen Gordon Mills make this a priority before Obama’s (first) administration ends?