Florida SBDC at USF: Polk County

Lake Wales and LakelandThe Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business, assists existing and emerging businesses in Polk county, 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.

Florida SBDC at Lake Wales Administration Building
201 W. Central Ave
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Phone: Field Office 863-678-4182 ext. 227

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce
35 Lake Morton Dr.
Lakeland, FL 33801
Phone: 863-688-8551 ext. 237

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Meet the Consultants

  • Carl Hadden

    Associate Director, Florida SBDC at USF, Polk County

    Specialty: Market Research, Business Planning, Financial Analysis, Student Teams, Organizational Development

    Carl Hadden is an Associate Director with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida. Hadden leads a team of 12 business consultants who serve the 10-county Tampa Bay region. He is also a marketing specialist with experience in workforce development, sales, insurance, entrepreneurship and training. As general manager for a wireless phone retailer, Hadden directed the marketing, co-op advertising, purchasing, vendor relations, and human resources. He assisted in implementing a point of sales system for the wireless retailer to automate processes and minimize loss prevention. As a workforce professional, Hadden assisted McGee Auto Service & Tires to secure a partnership with the Polk County School District, which would allow mechanics to get additional training and resources to become ASE certified. He graduated from Leadership Lake Wales Class 13 in 2009. Hadden has an associate’s degree in business administration from Polk State College and a bachelor’s in marketing management from Webber International University. He is also a Certified Marketing Executive, TTI DISC Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst, TTI DISC Certified Professional Driving Forces Analyst, and a Certified LivePlan Expert Adviser.


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  • Greg Manning

    Florida SBDC at USF, Polk County

    Specialty: Cash Flow Management, Strategic Planning, Startup

    Greg Manning opened his first retail location in Lakeland, Fla., more than 30 years ago. While cash flow planning and analysis, and inventory productivity were constants in his businesses, he experienced virtually all aspects of starting, growing, and closing a small business over the course of 30 years. He negotiated dozens of leases and designed and implemented various marketing plans. With more than 250 employees, Manning dealt with various human resources issues. In addition to his operating career, Manning was also involved in the financing side of business as the president of the board of directors of Crown Managers Acceptance Corporation. The company had a facility of $150 million dollars to lend via term loans and working capital loans, providing a lifeline of funding to a multitude of retail customers. Manning earned bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics from the University of Florida.

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