USC Aiken-Based Consultant Earns Individual Performance Achievement Award

July 26, 2017

Laura DiSano, lead consultant with the Aiken Area Small Business Development Center based at the University of South Carolina Aiken, earned the South Carolina SBDC’s Individual Performance Achievement Award for the second consecutive year.

Each year, the S.C. SBDC bestows the Individual Performance Achievement Award to a top performer who met or exceeded personal goals based on measurable key performance metrics.  These include:  creating or retaining jobs; increasing client sales; capital formation; fostering client longevity; launching new businesses; and winning contract awards. 

SC SBDC presented DiSano the award for “excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery through innovative solutions.”

“Laura’s passion is contagious. When augmented by her indefatigable spirit and intense work ethic, she not only improves the prospects for her clients but she also enriches the economic vitality of the Aiken community,” said South Carolina SBDC State Director Michele Abraham.

In addition to making a significant impact on the accomplishments, reputation and long–term sustainability of the SC SBDC network, DiSano earned this year’s performance award for assisting more than 50 clients; helping to launch two small businesses; creating or retaining 67 jobs; generating investments exceeding $6.1 million; and enabling her clients to collectively increase annual sales by an impressive $12.2 million.

Abraham said that “Driving Performance Excellence” should be DiSano’s middle name.

“With her unwavering focus and ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude,” said Abraham, “Laura generates an endless stream of quality client referrals and is a sterling example of the 51 high- caliber business consultants comprising the SC SBDC network.”

For the past seven years, DiSano has served as the lead consultant with the Aiken Area Small Business Development Center.  Clients say she has earned the respect and admiration of SBDC stakeholders for her expertise in business development, financial planning, marketing, business planning and licensing.  Throughout her accomplished career, DiSano honed her skills through a combination of SBDC training and employment with a Fortune 100 company.

The Aiken SBDC is headquartered at USC Aiken.  From there, DiSano and her colleague, Brent Hoover, business consultant, provide a full spectrum of services to existing small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs in Aiken County and surrounding communities.

DiSano is a retired vice president and market executive of the Bank of America Corporation. In addition, she has extensive experience in higher education.

Hoover is a filmmaker and composer for the internationally award-winning feature, The Odyssey of Destiny (Accolade Global Film Competition, Global Music Awards). He is also an adjunct professor for USC Aiken School of Business Administration and the owner and founder of Hoover Studios, LLC.

Currently, 21 South Carolina Small Business Development Centers located throughout the state’s 46 counties offer pro bono individual, confidential business counseling. Consultants assist both existing and startup companies by providing an expansive range of services including developing business plans, evaluating financing options, preparing loan applications, managing operations, determining marketing strategies, directing human resources and much more. In addition to conducting free as well as affordable education workshops, SBDC centers refer clients to useful business resources. The SC SBDC champions specialty programs promoting government contracting, exporting, technology commercialization, veterans’ business assistance and minority outreach.

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USC Aiken, a comprehensive university in the University of South Carolina system, offers undergraduate and master’s degrees to more than 3,500 students in 50 programs of study. USC Aiken is ranked the #1 public regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s guide "America’s Best Colleges." The 2017 distinction marks USC Aiken’s 19th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and its 12th time in first place.