Smarth, longtime exec with Small Business Development Centers, announces retirement

Deborah Smarth, who served as associate state director and chief operating officer of the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network for almost 18 years, has announced her retirement to transition into new life missions.

Deborah Smarth. (File photo)

The NJSBDC is part of the national network of SBDCs providing assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

When Smarth came to the SBDC, she promoted and pushed forward a major strategic priority to have the SBDC program increase the percentage of clients that are established small businesses, as well as targeting the $1 million-plus/10 plus-employees market. As the chief legislative advocate over the years, she successfully worked with state legislators to increase state funding for the program during several budget cycles as well as restoring program funding in fiscally challenging years.

“At this juncture, I will transition into other life missions to use my public policy and legislative background in order to help society advance during these very challenging times,” Smarth stated. “I enjoyed my SBDC position immensely over the years, but, after life changing events very recently, I have decided to focus my energies on new projects and issues that are humanitarian in nature.”

Prior to joining the NJSBDC team, Smarth worked in the private sector in different capacities, including as legislative associate at a major motion picture trade association and director of operations for a solar engineering company; taught political science at a university and community college; was a researcher at Columbia University School of Business; and served as senior policy adviser (economic development & business issues) and then director of policy and planning at the New Jersey General Assembly.

“While all these jobs were challenging and rewarding, the most rewarding activities were those in my private life,” Smarth said.