Small business specialist Timothy Lee retires from ASBTDC after 27 years

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 380 views 

Timothy Lee (left) with ASBTDC director Laura Fine.

Timothy Lee, project specialist, retired at the end of March after working for 27 years at the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at UA Little Rock.

For ASBTDC, Lee has served as the organization’s webmaster, while also creating and leading training for small businesses on all things web, from e-commerce to analytics. He also led several technology workshops at the national America’s SBDC annual conferences.

“Tim is highly versatile, and his combination of technical and soft skills contributed to many successful projects,” said ASBTDC State Director Laura Fine. “I always appreciated his can-do attitude and willingness to take on any project, from cybersecurity to disaster recovery to resources for deaf and hard-of-hearing entrepreneurs. It has been a pleasure working alongside Tim for almost 27 years and seeing the impact he has had on ASBTDC, UA Little Rock, and the Arkansas small business community.”

Lee’s family moved often in childhood as his father had a career in the U.S. Navy. The family returned to Arkansas in 1970 when Lee’s father retired from military service and went on to work as an assistant registrar at UA Little Rock.

Lee followed his father’s footsteps to join the military, choosing to enter the U.S. Air Force. A veteran of both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he served tours in England, Italy, Greece, and Korea during his 18-year career and received the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

With military retirement approaching in 1995, Lee found a job at the UA Little Rock small business center that involved traveling around the communities in the Arkansas Delta to teach people how to use the Internet and computer programs like Microsoft Word and Excel.

“My first project, where I drove around teaching people how to use the Internet, was my favorite,” Lee said. “It was a lot of work, and those were long days, but it was very rewarding. I got reintroduced to our state. I think we did a lot of great work in economic development and teaching business owners the value of having a website.”

Throughout his ASBTDC career, Lee has not only advanced internet commerce for companies, but he’s helped small businesses generate sales with their online presence, advocated for veteran businesses, and produced training videos for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

He plans to get an associate degree in ASL now that he’s retired as well as volunteering in a variety of capacities.