5-5-2020 – Tomlinson to head Small Business Center

Posted on: May 5th, 2020 by admin


May 5, 2020





Local entrepreneur Carmela Tomlinson has been named the new director of the Small Business Center at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.


Tomlinson was chosen for the role thanks in part to her experience running her own small marketing business, Paragon Design Group, and her leadership on the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as a member of the Small Business Technology Development Center for Western North Carolina, the college said in a press release. She started the new job on Monday.


She replaces Ben Willis, who recently began working as director of the Education Foundation of Caldwell County.


Tomlinson, who founded Paragon 24 years ago, is a Caldwell County native and former CCC&TI student. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory.

CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch said that Tomlinson’s local connections make her a great choice for the position as businesses struggle to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.


“Especially at a time when our local businesses can use all the help they can get, Carmela’s leadership and resourcefulness will be essential for small businesses in our area,” he said.


Tomlinson said she wants the Small Business Center to continue to provide resources, counseling and guidance to help new businesses get up and running or to help existing businesses expand.


“I’m in the boat with every other small business in the country trying to figure out how to maneuver (the pandemic),” she said. “Hopefully, I can help people find success through these times and we can find some ways to help everyone expand and grow when we get through all of this.”


Tomlinson will continue as the owner of Paragon, which has offices at the Small Business Center inside the HUB Station on Cedar Valley Road in Hudson. She said she wants to use the marketing power of her business to help promote the Small Business Center and the HUB Station and maximize the campus’s potential.

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