PLATTSBURGH The State University of New York at Plattsburgh has recently hired Rick Leibowitz to be the new regional director of the North Country Small Business Development Center. He replaces Dee Clark, who retired earlier this year after seven years of service. His appointment was effective July 1. The SBDC is a partnership program between SUNY Plattsburgh, the New York State Small Business Development Center Network and the US Small Business Administration. They specialize in providing counseling, research and training services to existing and prospective small businesses in the North Country. Leibowitz was previously an SBDC director in the states of Alaska, Arizona and Indiana. I am most excited about the projects Mr. Leibowitz can help develop, said Dr. Colin Read, dean of the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh. He has experience and a vision to act as a resource for North Country enterprises, which is perfectly consistent with the goals of the School of Business and Economics. He also has the luxury of working with a first-rate staff of committed counselors and professionals who understand the needs of the local business community. In addition to his counseling experience, Leibowitz was the owner and operator of four retail/wholesale bagel operations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Alaska. All of the stores he owned are still operating profitably today, generating more than $2.75 million in annual revenues for their local economies. He brings more than 17 years of business ownership experience to this position. I look forward to working with the small business community in the North Country, said Leibowitz. Dee Clark established a strong program and a team of professionals who have much to offer to small business owners in the region. I hope to build on this foundation and expand our outreach of services to prospective and existing and prospective small businesses in this area. The North Country Small Business Development Center is part of a network of 23 centers in the state of New York that provide comprehensive business counseling, training and market research services to small business owners. This program is funded through a collaborative agreement between the US Small Business Administration, the State of New York and local funding sources. The center is hosted by the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh.