Walter Cowart, manager of the Springfield branch office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will retire from the position Aug. 26.
By the time he retires, Cowart will have worked for 35 years with SBA. A graduate of University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he earned an economics degree, Cowart joined the SBA in 1976 in Lubbock, Texas. In 1979, he transferred to Springfield’s SBA district office in Kansas City as chief of portfolio management. He transferred to Springfield to help open the Springfield branch in 1981, was named Region VII’s Employee of the Year in 1997 and was appointed branch manager in 2008.
SBA’s branch office serves 28 southwest Missouri counties, and Cowart has collaborated with numerous lenders during his tenure to help businesses access SBA-guaranteed loans. He said one of the best parts of serving in southwest Missouri has been the up-beat attitude of the general population, which is different than in other places he’s worked.
“In southwest Missouri, the attitude of the small-business population is, ‘If you’ll just give me a little help, I’ll get it done,’ and that has been true for the 30 years I’ve been down here,” he said.
It has not yet been determined whether the branch manager position will be filled, Cowart said. Following his departure, there will be two employees – Janice Bowman and M. Brent Jones – in the Springfield branch office, which will continue to operate under the umbrella of the Kansas City district office, he said.[[In-content Ad]]