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Keith Olson named 2021 State Star of ND SBDC






WILLISTON, N.D. — Keith Olson, Regional Director of the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), has been named the organization’s 2021 State Star.

Olson, age 55, has been with the Williston State College SBDC office for the past 19 years. He spreads his time between offices in Williston and Watford City where he helps new and existing business owners with all facets of owning and operating businesses such as business plans, cash flows, loan preparations, research and more.

This is the third time Olson has earned the SBDC’s State Star. He also received the honor in 2007 and 2011.

Keith Olson

“It is a great feeling to help people realize their dream of owning a small business and taking more control of their future,” said Olson. “I enjoy providing support at startup and beyond.”

Each State Star is chosen by their affiliated SBDC network. The selection is based on demonstrating exemplary performance, making significant contributions to their networks and their commitment to the success of America’s small businesses.

“While Keith’s numbers are outstanding, the award is truly given to the individual that provides exemplary service to their clients as well as strengthening our overall network through collaboration and sharing their knowledge with others,” said Tiffany Ford, State Director.

Olson believes earning the State Star demonstrates the successful collaboration among economic developers in northwest North Dakota.

“I think it draws attention to the great entrepreneurial ecosystem we have in the region and the way the City of Williston, Williston State College and McKenzie County work together to provide me the support needed to help my clients and the great programs we have at the local and state level and how we leverage them gives us a real chance to make a difference,” said Olson.

Olson was named the SBDC State Star in August, 2021.

The ND SBDC is a statewide outreach program of the Center for Business Engagement & Development within the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration at the University of North Dakota. Since its inception in 1986, the ND SBDC network has helped business owners and entrepreneurs start, manage, and grow their small businesses through confidential, individualized, professional business advising and training workshops. Services are provided at no-cost to clients thanks to funding from U.S. Small Business Administration, ND Department of Commerce, and local supporters across the state.

For more information on the ND SBDC programs or services, call 701.777.3700, email, visit our website, or find on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram).


Press Contacts: Tiffany Ford, 701.777.8700,
Marnie Schuschke, 701.777.3700,