Florida SBDC at USF: Polk County
The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at University of South Florida, 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
Map & Directions
Meet the Consultants
Associate Director, Florida SBDC at USF, Polk County
Specialty: Market Research, Business Planning, Financial Analysis, Student Teams
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.
Florida SBDC at USF, Polk
Specialty: Startup, Marketing, IT, eCommerce
Chris McCray brings a strong background in the information technology and healthcare industries to the Tampa Bay region. He has worked in business systems analysis, IT client services, clinical management, and entrepreneurship in computer networking and repair. McCray is also a U.S. Navy veteran, specializing in cryptology. He holds an MBA from the John H. Sykes College of Business at University of Tampa and a Bachelor of Science in management, with a concentration in human resource management from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte. He is also involved in the local Tampa Bay film industry.