Photos By Lori Dugan and Taylor Ellett/EAC: Eastern Arizona College President Todd Haynie appointed Kevin Peck, left, as the dean of business, computers, industrial technical education, and prison programs. President Haynie also appointed Eric Bejarano as the new director of the EAC Small Business Development Center.
By Kris McBride/EAC
THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College has appointed Kevin Peck – the former director of Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center (EAC SBDC) – as dean of business, computers, industrial technical education, and prison programs. Eric Bejarano has been appointed to take Peck’s place as the new EAC SBDC director.
Here’s a look at EAC’s new leaders.
As the previous director of EAC’s SBDC, Peck spent the last 12 years helping local entrepreneurs make their business dreams a reality. He provided one-on-one consulting, training, and technical assistance to hundreds of local businesses which led to job creation and economic growth.
“Kevin is widely known for bringing together public/private partnerships and creating innovative programs to assist small businesses and our community,” said EAC President Todd Haynie. “His extensive academic, business and management skills will greatly benefit EAC and the community.”
Under Peck’s leadership, EAC’s SBDC played a critical role in the state’s pandemic response. His work helped COVID-19-impacted businesses secure federal funding, and no local businesses had to close because of the pandemic. For his work, Peck was awarded the 2020 America’s Small Business Development Center State Star Award which recognizes one individual from each state for exemplary service and for going above and beyond to help small businesses.
“Over the past few years, Kevin has helped our community’s small businesses reimagine the services they provide and thrive in a tumultuous and unprecedented period. His tenure is marked by collaborative leadership that focused on results. We look forward to watching the College grow under his new leadership role.”
Peck also teaches for both Eastern Arizona College and Arizona State University as part of the organizational leadership four-year degree program. He currently serves as the president of the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center Foundation, past president and current treasurer for the Safford Rotary Club, member of the Graham County Economic Development Organization, and is on the SEAGO Economic Advisory Council.
Peck is a lifelong Arizonan and a graduate of Snowflake High School and Eastern Arizona College. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and MBA from Western New Mexico University. He and his wife Jody have been married for 32 years and have four daughters and eight grandchildren.
Eric Bejarano is a seven-year resident of the Gila Valley. Born into a military family, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines after high school, and then found his passion for law enforcement. After retiring from the Tucson Police Department in 2014, Bejarano transitioned to emergency medical services. For the past eight years, he served as a regional manager for LifeNet/Native Air – Air Methods, primarily in southern Arizona but also in western New Mexico and central Arizona.
“EAC’s SBDC was the first SBDC in the state and is built upon a foundation laid by past leaders and partners,” said EAC President Todd Haynie. “Eric’s leadership will build upon this solid foundation. He brings a wealth of experience during a critical time for businesses that will support College initiatives in entrepreneurship, economic development, and student engagement.”
Bejarano serves the community as a member of the Gila Valley Rotary. He also serves as chair for Building Community Youth Leaders, a member of the Graham County Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Graham County Victim Compensation Board. In addition, Bejarano was instrumental in a partnership between Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, and LifeNet to provide monthly child passenger safety training to our community.
“EAC’s SBDC has been a catalyst for strengthening small businesses in our communities since 1988,” said Bejarano. “My goal is to continue assisting new entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of business ownership and current businesses to remain competitive in an ever-changing economy.”
Bejarano holds a bachelor’s degree in justice systems policy and planning and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in counseling and human relations from Northern Arizona University. He has been married to his wife Trinity for 28 years and together they have six children, four girls and two boys, and a six-month-old granddaughter.
“I always strive to put others before myself. As a Marine, I believed in the simple motto ‘Semper Fidelis’ or ‘always faithful.’ As a police officer and Rotarian, my motto is ‘Service Above Self.’ Ultimately, it is important for me to make a positive impact on the lives of others.”
About EAC SBDC
The Eastern Arizona College 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (928) 428-8590.
About Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona College – the first community college in Arizona – has helped students achieve their dreams since 1888. With campuses in Thatcher, Globe, and Payson, EAC’s qualified and caring instructors prepare students for the most in-demand careers and advanced study at universities. EAC offers more than 80 certificates and degrees, including the #1 nursing school in Arizona, a fine arts program featuring the only marching band in Arizona, and an engineering program that brings students up to speed for success at universities and top-tiered firms. Students thrive at EAC, making friendships that last a lifetime. EAC’s vibrant student experience includes on-campus housing, more than 30 clubs and organizations, active intramurals, and nationally ranked athletic and e-sports teams. At EAC, most students leave with $0 debt. Let EAC provide an affordable way for you to claim your dreams. Contact email@example.com or call (928) 428-8272 today.