WASHINGTON (4/6/09)--The U.S. Senate Friday confirmed the nomination of Karen Gordon Mills as 23rd administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). As administrator, Mills will lead in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs secure financing, technical assistance and training, and federal contracts. In a congratulatory letter to Mills, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President Dan Mica noted the importance of member business lending for a number of credit unions and said working with SBA to facilitate those efforts is a priority for CUNA. "I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how I believe credit unions could work even closer with the SBA to increase member business lending and help drive the economic recovery," he added. In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Mills discussed her hands-on experience managing and helping small businesses grow. “I was there on the factory floor in Arkansas and Ohio working to weather the recession of the early ‘90s,” she said. “Those experiences give me a deep understanding of what our small businesses need today to survive this downturn and to prosper in the years ahead.” Mills, of Brunswick, Maine, was president of MMP Group and has a 25-year career of investing in small businesses. In 2007, she was appointed by Maine Gov. John Baldacci as chair of the state’s Council on Competitiveness and the Economy, where she focused on attracting investment in rural and regional development initiatives. Mills is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard.