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Darrell Jones, manager of the North Charleston Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was recently selected as the 2017 South Carolina State Star. This noteworthy achievement is based on his exemplary performance, enthusiasm for representing the network in the business community, contributions to local economic development and outstanding service to the SC SBDC.

Every year, each of the 63 SBDCs across the U.S. and its territories selects a state star who is honored at a special reception by the national association of Small Business Development Centers, America’s SBDC.

Jones has been with the Charleston Area SBDC since 2014 and has been managing the center since 2016. Among his many accomplishments, he has developed a robust series of partnerships with key organizations such as the Small Business Administration, the College of Charleston, area lenders and other partners that have led to innovative programs and joint activities that are attracting many high-potential clients to the SC SBDC.

When announcing Jones’ selection as the 2017 ASBDC State Star, South Carolina State Director Michele Abraham said “Darrell is an extremely productive and ambitious consultant. To say he goes above and beyond in everything he pursues is an understatement. He consistently operates at the highest echelons; I call it ‘productivity on steroids’.”

In addition to his endeavors to bolster the Charleston business community, Darrell leads numerous workshops, is active in civic organizations and has been a guest speaker on several occasions at Charleston Southern University. Despite these demands on his time, Jones’ priority is providing individualized attention to his list of clients — which happens to be one of the largest in the state.”

Like all SC SBDC network professionals, Darrell draws upon his breadth and depth of experience to strengthen the SBDC network and enrich the quality of its services. “I am able to identify with and better serve the needs of my clients because I have sat on both sides of the desk,” said Jones when referring to his commercial banking experience. “For almost 20 years I served as both a lender and credit analyst. I enjoy sharing my passion and in-depth knowledge of the financial industry with prospective entrepreneurs.” He hopes that by sharing his wisdom he will enable his clients to avoid some of the frustrating roadblocks that would otherwise delay their progress.

While grateful for the honor, Darrell credits his team for his success. “Being recognized as the 2017 South Carolina State Star has been an incredible achievement. The award, however, was earned by an extraordinary, insightful and dynamic team of which I am only one part.”

Fueled by a passion to drive economic growth and prosperity, Darrell and his co-workers have been working diligently to earn and uphold the SC SBDC’s reputation for performance excellence. “Due to their efforts,” said Abraham, “when a major manufacturer committed to establishing a facility in Berkeley County, community leaders contacted the SBDC requesting support to maximize supplier opportunities for South Carolina-based small businesses. It is very encouraging to be recognized for providing best-in-class services. It reflects well on our network of dedicated employees who have worked tirelessly to make a noticeable, positive impact on the clients and communities we serve.”

Looking back, Darrell describes his career path as a series of serendipitous choices that ultimately led him to the SC SBDC. “I didn’t begin my career with the aspiration of becoming a business consultant. Yet, in hindsight, I see that every unexpected twist and turn of my professional journey was a slow, magnetic pull, drawing me to where I am today. And I love it.”

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