Florida SBDC at South Florida State College in Avon Park: Counties of Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto
The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at South Florida State College, assists existing and emerging businesses in Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto counties, through no-cost confidential business consulting, information, and low-cost training. Whether starting, buying, growing or selling a business, the Florida SBDC at USF has what entrepreneurs need to grow and succeed. Consultants can assist entrepreneurs in a variety of business areas, including: marketing, business certification, capital access, market diversification, developing strategic business plans, export services, and web optimization.
Office Serving the Heartland Counties of Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto
South Florida State College
600 W. College Drive, Building H
Avon Park, FL 33825
Phone: (863) 784-7378
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
Map & Directions
Meet the Consultants
Florida SBDC at USF, Avon Park
Specialty: Growth Acceleration
Bill McKown has experience in training, facilitating, sales, organizational management and entrepreneurship. As Retail Vice President for a petroleum marketing company, McKown directed the chain’s marketing, co-op advertising, signage, retail construction, human resources, purchasing and vendor relations. He served on the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association’s education and environmental committees. McKown has also owned and operated businesses in the transportation industry, wholesale distribution and vending. He earned a bachelor’s in organizational management from Warner Southern College and his MBA from Warner University. McKown is a Certified Global Business Professional. He is also a Certified Marketing Executive, awarded by Sales and Marketing Executives International. He is a past member of the Avon Park Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was the first president of the Rotary Club of Hardee County.
Florida SBDC at USF, Avon Park
Specialty: Finance, Marketing
Michael Noel has been a one-man shop as well as on the executive management team of a bank division with more than 550 employees. Well known for his presentation skills to audiences of one to 1,000, he works well with diverse teams in developing financial and marketing solutions for their businesses. He has spent the bulk of his career in the financial services industry. His varied business experience includes mortgage, rental real estate and investments and insurance. He is a Fraternal Insurance Counselor (FIC), and holds Series 7 and Series 66 securities licenses. He earned a bachelors degree in psychology/sociology from Wake Forest University and a masters degree in business administration from Georgia State University. He was named Best Financial Advisor in 2011 and 2012 in the Readers Choice Awards, conducted by the Highlands News-Sun. He was also a 2014 finalist. Michael has served on the boards of the Greater Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce and NuHope Eldercare Services. He currently serves on the board of Samaritan’s Touch Care Center and the Investment Committee of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He permanently resides in Lake Placid.