Ferguson and Phelps named 40 Under 40 for America’s SBDC in 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2022) – The America’s Small Business Development Center named Kentucky SBDC’s Ryan Ferguson and JC Phelps among inaugural 40 Under 40 Award recipients.            America’s SBDC launched the 40 Under 40 Award to recognize outstanding young SBDC staff across the nation who demonstrate innovation, leadership, and commitment to the SBDC mission. In September, the 43rd Annual America’s SBDC Conference, held in San Diego, announced the inaugural recipients.            Ferguson, a University of Kentucky communication and media studies graduate, serves as the Kentucky SBDC marketing specialist.             “To not only be nominated but win the America’s SBDC 40 Under 40 Award was truly unexpected,” Ferguson said. “America’s SBDC is full of young, successful professionals and to be recognized with this distinction is humbling and a true honor. I’m also thankful to be accepting the award alongside JC Phelps from the Kentucky SBDC – who greatly deserves this recognition for his hard work and commitment to the SBDC.”            “I am truly honored to be a 40 Under 40 honoree for America’s SBDC,” Phelps added. “I look forward to continuing the vital work we do across the commonwealth.”            Phelps is the Kentucky SBDC’s management consultant and is president of Phelps Media Company in Louisville. He graduated from Centre College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance and earned a MBA from Western Kentucky University in 2017. Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate in business at the University of the Cumberlands.            Phelps said joining the Kentucky SBDC was one of the greatest decisions he made as a young professional.            “I am grateful to be a part of an organization that uplifts, supports, and fosters continuous growth in its employees,” he said.


The Kentucky Small Business Development Center has been assisting the commonwealth’s small-business community since 1981. Through its statewide growing network of centers and an experienced and knowledgeable staff, the Kentucky SBDC provides unparalleled business coaching and training services that help existing business owners and potential entrepreneurs succeed. Our services include one-on-one business coaching, training workshops, market research, loan packaging help, assistance with financial projections and information needed to make informed business decisions. Kentucky SBDC is co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is administered by the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in partnership with regional academic institutions, economic development organizations, the private sector and the commonwealth of Kentucky.



Kentucky SBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of SBA


UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

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