PORTLAND, Maine — A venture capitalist from Maine reportedly is being tapped by the Obama administration to serve as director of the Small Business Administration.
President-elect Barack Obama’s appointment of Karen Gordon Mills of Brunswick, a founding partner of the New York-based equity firm Solera Capital, is expected Friday, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Mills has been a key adviser to Maine Gov. John Baldacci on economic matters. She’s also president of the MMP Group in Brunswick. Her husband, Barry Mills, is president of Bowdoin College.
A spokesman said Sen. Olympia Snowe had recommended Mills for the post. Snowe is ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The Small Business Administration represents the interests of small businesses and guarantees loans. It also provides loans for homeowners and businesses recovering from natural disasters.
Snowe criticized a decision under the Bush administration to cut the SBA budget and to remove the post from the Cabinet. She urged Obama to restore the position to a Cabinet-level post.
“The SBA is the primary agency within the federal government tasked with the responsibility of assisting small businesses, and it should have a seat at the table when it comes to revitalizing the economy, a top national priority,” Snowe wrote on Dec. 8.
Arden Manning, executive director of the Democratic Party in Maine, said Mills’ appointment would be great for the state. “Maine is a state made up of small businesses,” he said.