New Director Leads Columbus Minority Business Assistance Center

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Columbus — Minority businesses in the central to southeast region of Ohio have a new advocate to help them start and grow their businesses.

Kimberly D. Gayle has been named the Columbus Regional Director of the Minority Business Assistance Center at the Columbus Urban League. The center is part of a network of Minority Business Assistance Centers across the state, managed by the Minority Business Development Division at the Ohio Development Services Agency.

“The Columbus Urban League is excited to have Kim Gayle join the Urban League family,” said Stephanie Hightower, President, and CEO of the Columbus Urban League. “Kim is recognized as an economic development and social advocate for minority businesses and is a great addition to our team. We look forward to her leadership to stabilize and grow minority-owned businesses in our region. Former MBAC director, Melinda Carter will serve as the executive director of strategic partnerships and business development for all minority and small business initiatives at CUL.”  

The Minority Business Assistance Center’s mission is to advance business opportunities for minority and small disadvantaged businesses. The center helps develop business plans, identifies access to capital and provides financial readiness services, in addition to providing access to surety bonds. Center advisors also help businesses seeking to become certified, providing access to state and local government contracts. All business development services provided by the center are free of cost.

“We are very happy to have Kim on board as the new Director of the Columbus Region Minority Business Assistance Center,” said Jeffrey L. Johnson, Chief of Development’s Minority Business Development Division. “Kim brings a very strong background in relationship building and business development, as well as leadership skills. We look forward to her continuing to help advance the mission of minority business development in the 18-county region. We are grateful to Melinda Carter for her service in this role over the past two years. She played a significant role in helping the Columbus Urban League successfully transition as a new host organization for the Columbus Region.”

Gayle has extensive experience in small business development. She has served as executive director of I.C.Stars Columbus; director of business education and incubation services at the Economic and Community Development Institute, Columbus; and business consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. 

She is an adjunct professor of applied management and entrepreneurship at Franklin University and at Columbus State Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Akron.

In service to the community, she has served on the board of the Drug Free Action Alliance, the Greater Linden Development Corporation and the education co-chair of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Central Ohio Chapter.

The Columbus center covers an 18-county area, including Athens, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Marion, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Union, and Washington. The center also operates a satellite office at Ohio University in Athens.

The center is located at 788 Mount Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH 43203. Contact the center at 614-372-2358 or visit www.cul.org/mbac.

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