The Small Business Investors Alliance (SBIA) was formed in 1958. My firm, Ironwood Capital, joined SBIA with the formation of our first fund in 2001. Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive and we were delighted to join the recent celebration, recognizing SBIA for 60 years of stellar accomplishments.
SBIA defines itself as “the association of senior investment professionals focused on the lower middle market whose members represent the entire private capital ecosystem. It is an alliance for professional fellowship, business opportunities, innovation, regulatory expertise, and market data.” That’s a wide range of activities, but SBIA delivers on all of it.
SBA and SBIA leadership teams at the SBIA National Summit in Palm Beach, Florida in October 2018.
From left, Curtis Hartman, senior managing director at Main Street Capital Corporation and incoming chair, SBIA Board of Governors; Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA); Carolyn Galiette, Ironwood Capital president and chief investment officer and outgoing chair of the SBIA Board of Governors; Joe Shepard, associate administrator, Office of Investment and Innovation, SBA; Brett Palmer, president, SBIA; and Jeri Harman, managing partner & CEO at Avante Mezzanine Partners and former chair of the SBIA Board of Governors.
My years with SBIA have been marked by tremendous learning, both as an individual and as a firm. The organization’s breadth of annual activities ranges from huge events hosted for a national audience to small regional membership dinners, to public policy and lobbying initiatives at the national level, to sharing industry best practices and creating opportunities for senior-level networking and deal sourcing for its nearly 250 members. All of these initiatives are accomplished flawlessly and with the utmost professionalism.
Over the past year I have served as chair of the SBIA board of governors. It has been a pleasure to work with the staff on every type of project, including planning the National Summit and being part of the Washington, DC Fly-In, where SBIA members have an opportunity to share with their legislators the positive impact of private equity investment on small business and the economy. I honestly doubt there is another business organization that has such a far-reaching agenda – nor is there one that is as successful as SBIA in systematically accomplishing those agenda items with such class and style!
Never Can Say Goodbye
I want to thank the outstanding staff and the wonderfully talented and supportive board of governors for making this past year such a positive – and fun – experience. I confidently hand the baton to Curtis Hartman knowing that he will do a fantastic job but I remain on the board, plan to stay very active and expect to see many great achievements from SBIA for many years to come!