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Larry Nannis, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) has announced the Board's unanimous selection of Robert A. Baker to be SBANE's new President.

The Smaller Business Association of New England, Inc. (SBANE) is a 65 year old non-profit organization established to promote and protect the Smaller Business Community of New England, serving in 3 major areas - Education, Advocacy and Networking. The association has 750 members in 6 states ranging from sole proprietorship service businesses to high technology firms to manufacturing firms.

Mr. Baker is an excellent fit with the ideal Candidate Profile of an individual "who will be a successful, visible, dynamic marketing oriented executive with obvious leadership qualifications, integrity and charisma. A knowledge of and contacts within the New England business community is imperative."

"Bob Baker brings great knowledge, experience and energy, as well as a sense of urgency, to smaller businesses trying to prosper in a tough economic climate," said Nannis, a CPA and shareholder in Levine Katz Nannis and Solomon PC in Needham. "Bob will be a constant and consistent source of support for SBANE members."

Baker, 56, joins SBANE after seven years as Vice President of The Economic Stabilization Trust, a government agency that provides loans to struggling and emerging small businesses in Massachusetts. Under Baker's leadership, the Trust helped more than 250 small businesses and saved more than 10,000 jobs through the strategic lending of $45 million in state funds and the leveraging of $130 million in private financing.

"This is a great opportunity for me and a crucial time for our region's smaller businesses, many of whom are facing tough issues like affordable health care and access to capital," said Baker. "SBANE can play a vitally important role by taking on these cutting edge issues in a way that appeals to a broad spectrum of small businesses."

Prior to joining The Economic Stabilization Trust, Baker worked for five years at the Mass Government Land Bank, where as Director of Development he underwrote millions of dollars in construction projects and formulated guidelines for the state's Emergency Technology Fund.

Mr. Baker also has held positions at Eastern Bank in Lynn, Essexbank in Peabody, the Office of Economic Development in Lynn, and the Fall River Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Baker is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, with a degree in Journalism.