EAC’s SBDC graduates 11 at virtual DreamBuilder ceremony

EAC Photo: EAC’s SBDC held a virtual graduation for its DreamBuilder program and graduated 11 participants.

By Charmaine Chidester/EAC

THATCHER – Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) held its first virtual DreamBuilder graduation on Monday, July 27. The online courses and supplemental workshops taught by EAC SBDC Business Analyst Charmaine Chidester started on June 22 and were held twice weekly until graduation, when 11 participants received a certificate for completing the course.

DreamBuilder, funded by Freeport-McMoRan and created by the ASU Thunderbird School, is a unique online business training program designed for women to assist them in starting or growing their own business. The DreamBuilder program consists of 13 online courses that walk users through the basics of starting a business while simultaneously building a business plan. The EAC SBDC developed nine in-depth workshops to accompany the program that provide a richer learning experience for the participants as they move through the modules together.

“We have had 70 successful women and one brave man graduate from this program the last five years,” Chidester said. “This time around, we were able to make the program completely free thanks to support from the United Way of Graham and Greenlee County. We look forward to continuing the program for a sixth cohort in the near future.”

SBDC Director Kevin Peck and ASU Thunderbird School representative Cindy Yeager joined Chidester along with friends and family in the virtual graduation ceremony to congratulate the participants, who all received a package in the mail with their certificate, swag, a gift card to The Rustic Barn Bakery, and photo props. This year’s graduates include Sarah Bingham, Mickey Hawkins, Erin Kidd, Deanna Best, Kay Marchione, Cristina Mitchell, Elaine Molina, Sierra Mullins, Kirk Orona, Jill Radley, and Kalee Udall.


The EAC Small Business Development Center is part of a national and statewide network of small business assistance providers. The Center’s main goal is to give local small businesses the tools and training needed to be successful. The Center is funded by Eastern Arizona College with assistance from a grant provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBDC provides free counseling to assist entrepreneurs with finding answers to the numerous questions that arise when starting or operating a business. The SBDC works in cooperation with the SBA, local Chambers of Commerce, and other community partnerships.

To take your business to the next level contact us at sbdc@eac.edu or call (928) 428-8590.

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