PENDLETON — America’s Small Business Development Center Network deemed Art Hill of Pendleton a “State Star for Oregon.” Hill is vice president for economic development Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, and he oversees the college’s Small Business Development Center.

The national organization will honor Hill at a gala reception during an annual meeting Sept. 9-12 in Grapevine, Texas.

The State Star recipients are exemplary performers in local SBDC programs, make significant contributions to state and/or local SBDC programs and show a strong commitment to small business, according to a written statement from Blue Mountain. Winners are selected by the State Star Selection Committee, comprised of prior State Star recipients who are Oregon Small Business Development Center Network personnel.

Andrea Fowler works with Hill in the development center and said he earned the recognition. “I know first-hand that Art is a tireless champion of small business,” she said in a written statement.

Hill’s recent successes include the creation of the Eastern Oregon Business Accelerator and a contract to test remote-controlled aerial vehicles in Pendleton.

An agreement between BMCC’s development center and the Portland State University Business Accelerator “brings resources to fast-growth companies in the region, enhancing the experience of an entrepreneurial community with all of its financial, marketing, mentoring and technical support systems,” according to a written statement from Terry Becktold, the advisor at BMCC who nominated Hill for the award.

“Not only does Art put together great plans for new businesses, he also helps existing businesses expand and further their investment opportunities working in tandem with Grow Oregon and the SBDC network’s Capital Access Team,” Becktold said.

The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership between 17 community colleges throughout Oregon, two state universities, the state and federal government agencies and other business partners. BMCC hosts one of 19 such centers.

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