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SBTDC hires small business counselor

June 2, 2004

As an engineering student, Alban S. Burney helped finance his college education with a part-time job at Blockbuster Video. He worked his way up the ladder to manage eight stores for the giant retailer.

Alban BurneyBurney is the new small business counselor for the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). His offices are at the Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development at UNC Pembroke.

A Columbus County native, Burney graduated from North Carolina A&T with a degree industrial engineering. His professional experience includes international consulting work. He jointly reports to Sylvia Pate, director of the Regional Center and Greg Taylor, Cape Fear regional manager for the SBTDC.

Burney said he is enjoying working at UNC Pembroke.

"The staff at the Regional Center is extremely helpful, and the atmosphere on campus is electric," he said. "You can feel the energy here just walking on campus."

The new small business counselor began seeing clients in late April. His role is to help start-up and existing businesses with their planning needs, including assisting business with creating business plans to seek financing.

The SBTDC also assists small businesses in research, training and marketing. Burney will serve Robeson, Scotland, Richmond and Moore counties. He will work closely with the Regional Center and Director Sylvia Pate.

"We are so appreciative to have Alban on board because this position was vacant for over three years due to budget limitations," Pate said. "The services provided by the SBTDC are in demand in our regional and compliment the mission and services of the Regional Center. Our efforts are focused more on economic development, but with a growing emphasis on small business development."

"With our pending move to COMtech, our efforts become more focused on assisting businesses locate at COMtech," the Regional Center director said.

Burney's most recent job was with the rural scholars program for the Duke University Endowment. He also worked as an engineer for giant pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson and as a math teacher and football coach at South Columbus High School.

A Chadbourn, N.C. resident, Burney is very active in his church and in community affairs. He works with the Young Adult Missionary Department of the 1st Missionary Church. He is a member of the NAACP and a volunteer tutor with the DREAM Center in Whiteville, N.C.

A graduate of West Columbus High School, Burney lists computing and Web site design among his interests.

Small Business Counselor Alban Burney may be contacted at 910.522.8410 or by email at