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Sara Vanhala
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Region 5 Director

Small Business Growth Corporation

Director:  Region 5
Election Year: 2019
Term Expiration: 2021


Sara Vanhala joined Illinois-based Small Business Growth Corporation (Growth Corp) in 2007 after her family relocated to Springfield, Illinois. Serving as Director of Communications, Assistant to the President and Assistant Secretary to the corporation’s Board of Directors, Sara fills many roles within the organization. However, her primary responsibility is to convey the availability, impact and importance of the 504 Loan Program through marketing, community and legislative outreach, educational initiatives and resource collaboration with lending partners.

With about 30 employees, and a portfolio of over $700 million, Growth Corp is proud to have earned SBA’s recognition as both an Accredited Lender and Illinois’ Largest 504 Lender. This high-volume CDC has presented Sara extensive 504 Program experience spanning marketing, public relations, corporate governance, advocacy, compliance, legislative affairs and Board relations. Sara also garnered exposure to the 504 industry’s varying needs and issues by assisting Growth Corp’s President, Doug Kinley, with his service to NADCO’s Board of Directors as Region Five Director. She vows to continue Doug’s legacy of providing Region Five with fair representation and open, transparent communication.

In addition to her time and experience at Growth Corp, Sara is the mother of three and, in her spare time, provides freelance graphic design services to Springfield’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and other small businesses. Her background has encompassed leadership and committee involvement in the educational sector as well.

Sara earned a B.S. in Marketing from Southern Illinois University.

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ADDRESS: 1725 DeSales Street NW, Suite 613 | Washington, DC 20036

PHONE: (202) 349-0070
Rhonda Pointon (President & CEO) - Ext. 16
Wayne Williams (Regulatory & Training) - Ext. 15
Mandy Robertson (Events, Website, Membership) - Ext. 18
Denise Ripley (Funding, Regulatory, Training) - Ext. 17
Julia Peacock (Marketing, Communications) - Ext. 19

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