Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network state director Bon Wikenheiser and University of Wisconsin-Superior officials announced today the retirement of Julianne E. Raymond, the director of the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Superior. Raymond is a 14-year veteran of the SBDC, a business technical assistance program offered through UW-Extension and regional UW universities. She began her career at UW-Superior as a small business consultant for the SBDC in August of 2000, and became the center director in 2005.
Regarding her retirement, which is effective December 1, Raymond said, “Working with and being able to help entrepreneurs in Northwest Wisconsin has been an honor and privilege.” An interim director will be named while the search for the next center director takes place this fall.
During Raymond’s tenure at the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Superior, she served nearly 800 clients and launched important small business initiatives in the eight-county SBDC service area. She founded the regional Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) in 2004, the Superior PeerSpectives CEO Roundtable in 2005 and the Twin Ports Inventors and Entrepreneurs’ Club in 2007. She also secured and coordinated a 2008 Program Innovation Fund grant that provided two-way video conferencing equipment in eight counties, dramatically increasing accessibility to services.
As an advisory board member of the Lake Superior chapter of the Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) since 2005, Raymond supported the WIN annual Business and Technology Conference and Business Idea Contest. In 2011, she garnered support from regional educational institutions to form the Northwest Wisconsin Educators for Regional Development (NorthWERD) non-profit organization. Raymond continues to be a strong advocate for the Wisconsin Broadband Initiative.
Announcing Raymond’s retirement, State Director Wikenheiser said, “The Wisconsin SBDC Network has been very fortunate to have the steady leadership Julianne has provided. Her dedication to the region, her clients and the University will be part of her legacy of service.”
To support the transition to a new center director, Joan A. Radzak will serve on a project appointment as Associate Outreach Specialist for the SBDC at UW-Superior. Radzak holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn.
The Wisconsin SBDC Network, a program of UW-Extension, supports entrepreneurs and business owners statewide through no-cost, confidential consulting and targeted educational programs. Regional SBDC experts facilitate improvement and growth for small and emerging mid-size companies and help launch successful enterprises. The Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Superior serves Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Sawyer and Washburn counties.