By Dr. Scott Taylor, Small Business ManagementScott_Taylor

Small Business Management is losing two great friends to retirement this July.

Duane Hoversten, SBM Faculty
Duane joined SCC in 2010 at a critical time for the program. We were transitioning from working as one college to a statewide cooperative venture incorporating all small business management instructors. Duane was instrumental in developing our internet-based classes and defining how our core program would operate in the new environment. It was his instructional model that showed how effective small business education can be-- 92% of all SBM students are in business after 5 years verses the national average of 20%. Duane exemplifies team player who always goes above and beyond for his students and fellow faculty. He leaves us with a full program and a large hole in our collective skill set!

Entrepreneurship is in Duane’s blood. He has owned a retail computer store, software company and spice importing business. He currently owns a campground in Bemidji, MN. What’s changed in the 22 years he’s been teaching small businesses to operate better? “Computerization leveled the playing fields for small businesses. It gave them the tools to operate like their larger competition, and do it successfully. It’s also meant that owners have had to become much smarter at operating their enterprises,” Duane said.

“The greatest satisfaction I have is seeing once-struggling businesses I’ve helped now thriving, with owners enjoying their business as they benefit their employees and communities. Thanks South Central College for allowing me to play this important role. I’m grateful.”

Al Brudelie, Dean of Management
This is the second time we’ve had to say goodbye to Al Brudelie. Two years ago, he retired from South Central College (and MN West) as a shared dean of management programs. He was brought back from golf courses, flying planes and farming to rescue our department after interim leadership. He agreed to assume his old role with part-time hours. To his credit, he always gave us full-time effort. We don’t know how he did it, but he was always available to us by phone or email. Under his guidance we finished the transition to a hybrid program and defended our new model to critics who didn’t understand how statewide cooperation would benefit not only the program, but also the colleges, businesses and ultimately the communities that were affected. His challenge to us was to develop an innovative approach worthy of being the “big dog” when compared to our competition.

Redesigning a program is hard work in the best of times. To do that, and keep it running without a drop in enrollment during a recession is even more challenging. Al’s role in guiding us to a solution that was not only cost-effective, but also scalable, is worthy of applause. Thank you Al for being our biggest supporter, beacon of reason in the midst of turbulence, and champion of high standards for educational excellence and exceptional service.