SANFORD — After a successful career as a corporate vice president, Dale Fey has a new passion: Small Business Center director for Central Carolina Community College in Lee County.
Fey is eager to work with would-be entrepreneurs as well as small business people who need counseling to operate more successfully. He hopes to encourage the establishment of more minority-owned businesses.
“My belief is that there aren’t any bad ideas for businesses, just some that need some massaging,” he said. “People need encouragement. I see my role as a sounding board, providing objective counsel to help them become hands-on with their businesses.”
The purpose of the college’s Small Business Center, with locations in Lee, Chatham and Harnett counties, is to foster and support entrepreneurship, small business training, and economic development in the counties it serves. All services are free.
Fey moved to Greensboro from Cincinnati in 1983 to work with a start-up company. He then worked for 17 years as the vice president and sales and marketing director for The Color Works, a specialty electronic components painting company that subcontracted for many Fortune 300 companies.
When company ownership changed, Fey took retirement and went back to school, earning a North Carolina Real Estate Broker’s License and graduating from the Real Estate Institute. He then enrolled in graduate school, earning a Master of Business Administration from High Point University and a Master of Entrepreneurship from West Carolina University.
“The journey through graduate school changed my outlook,” he said. “Graduate school was all about people helping me succeed. I wanted to do that for others.”
That desire took him to the North Carolina Community College System’s web site, where he found the opening for CCCC’s Small Business Center director in Lee County. In that position, he also has oversight of the SBCs in Chatham and Harnett counties.
“I didn’t know there was such a job as Small Business Center director,” Fey said. “This was a chance to serve. With this position, I get to use my experience and education, serve, and be part of the community.”
Fey takes over from Jim Felton, who retired recently after leading the Small Business Center for 15 years.
The Lee SBC also has a new location, moving, as of Feb. 1, from the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center to the Industry Services Building on the Lee County Campus.
Fey can be reached at (919) 718-7424 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. The SBC in Pittsboro can be reached at (919) 545-8013, and the SBC at Triangle South Enterprise Center in Dunn, at (910) 892-2884.