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Eileen Rodriguez Named 2018 Pathways Award Winner

Eileen Rodriguez with award

TAMPA (October 5, 2018) -- Eileen Rodriguez, regional director of the Florida SBDC at USF, was awarded the 2018 Pathways Award earlier this month by the University of South Florida Latin Community Advisory Committee and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity. Rodriguez was recognized for her contributions to the betterment of Latinos, specifically in regard to her work with minority business owners.

She has long been an advocate for the Latino business community, providing consulting and training to minority-owned businesses in the Tampa Bay region, and statewide. She is also an international contributor, assisting with strengthening small businesses via the Small Business Network of the Americas program and as a speaker for the Bureau of International Information Programs, the State Department's foreign-facing public diplomacy communications bureau. She's traveled on behalf of Latino businesses in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.

The award was given during the USF Hispanic Heritage Kick-off program Thursday, held at the Marshall Student Center on the USF Tampa campus.

The Florida SBDC at USF provides no-cost consulting, information and training to existing and emerging businesses in Desoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Highlands, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

To find out more about Florida SBDC at USF visit

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained and saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; $1.4 billion in capital investments; and 4,159 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network's headquarters. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit