Sutherland Named to Missouri Chamber’s Economic Development Council

Photo of Buz Sutherland

F. R. Buz Sutherland is the director of the Small Business Development Center at Southeast Missouri State University. He has been named to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Economic Development Council.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

March 29, 2006 – F.R. “Buz” Sutherland, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Economic Development Council.

The 20-member Council is designed to promote sustainable economic development opportunities for Missouri employers. The Missouri Chamber Economic Council advocates investment and management of key assets necessary for continued economic well-being of Missouri, such as infrastructure, education, job training, transportation, energy, natural resources and financing.

“The Missouri State Chamber has great influence over economic development policy for the state, and they will have a long-term effect on the economic well-being of the state,” Sutherland said. “I am pleased to bring the perspective of our region and the small business community to the Council to help influence the economic development decisions and strategies being developed that will have a long-term impact on the Missouri economy.”

Bud Peck, senior vice president of Central Bank of Jefferson City, Mo., and former director of the Missouri Division of Community and Economic Development, chairs the Council. He says the Council seeks to get representation from all areas of the state.

“Buz has 30-plus years in community economic development experience and expertise,” Peck said. “He has influence in and knowledge of southeast Missouri. He’s a people person and a tremendous asset.

Sutherland has been director of the SBDC since 1990.  The Southeast SBDC is a small business resource center with a lending and reference library, a U.S. Census Data Center and a satellite office of the World Trade Center-St. Louis. The Southeast SBDC works with economic development partners in the region to identify training needs for small business, then schedules, plans and delivers entrepreneurial business management training events around the region. The Southeast Center’s primary function is to provide one-on-one confidential business management counseling using SBDC staff, faculty of the Harrison College of Business and the School of Polytechnic Studies as well as outside consultants. SBDCs are a program supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC at Southeast Missouri State University serves 19 counties in Southeast Missouri from Ste. Genevieve and St. Francois counties south to the Arkansas state line and from the Mississippi River west to include Reynolds, Carter and Ripley counties.

Sutherland, a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional and Industrial Development Institute alumnus, has been professionally and personally involved in community and economic development during a career that spans 34 years. He began his career after college in 1972 with the State of Missouri working with a grant in aid program that financed the acquisition and development of outdoor recreational facilities in the state. In 1973, he moved to the Missouri Division of Commerce and Industrial Development in the Community Betterment Section. For a short time, he was executive director of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. He then returned to the Missouri Division of Commerce and Industrial Development as a project manager in the Industrial Development Section where he soon became senior project manager. In 1982, he became the owner operator of Sutherland Oil Company, a complete line petroleum jobbership, serving Mississippi and Scott Counties in southeast Missouri. He sold that business in 1989. Sutherland serves on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Workforce Investment Board of Southeast Missouri and has long served on the Mississippi County Port Authority Board. He is a charter member of the Missouri Economic Development Council and has served on its Board of Directors.