Mountain BizWorks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small businesses start, thrive, and grow, announced today that Patrick Fitzsimmons has been appointed its new executive director beginning July 21, 2014.
Fitzsimmons served as executive director of American Red Cross, Western North Carolina Region, from 2004 to 2012 and development director for the Dogwood Alliance from 2012 to 2014. While at the American Red Cross, he led the region in being designated "Highly Performing Region" (top 10 percent nationally) three years in a row and built a large endowment for the organization.
“Patrick brings to Mountain BizWorks an excellent track record in organizational development, fund raising, and team building,” Eileen McMinn, president of Mountain BizWorks’ board of directors, shared. “We couldn’t be more pleased. Patrick is the right person, at the perfect time.”
In the fall, the organization restructured to become more streamlined and sustainable. As a result of this new strategy, Mountain BizWorks has enjoyed a banner year this year. Inquiries from local business owners are up 50 percent over the previous year. As a result, loan approvals are up 15 percent and business coaching engagements have doubled.
“I’m eager to get started,” Fitzsimmons said. “I’ve got a bit to learn about the industry, but the learning curve should be short. Mountain BizWorks has an experienced and engaged board and already members in the financial community have offered their support.”
Fitzsimmons and McMinn both complimented the Mountain BizWorks staff on their hard work and dedication during the transition. “Their belief in and dedication to the mission of Mountain BizWorks carried us through,” stated McMinn. “And as a result the organization is stronger than ever,” Fitzsimmons added.
Mountain BizWorks’ mission is to generate jobs and ensure economic resiliency in Western North Carolina by providing loans and peer-to-peer business coaching to those business that may find it difficult to secure funding from banks and other traditional sources. To learn more about Mountain BizWorks, please visit www.mountainbizworks.org.