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WASHINGTON — President Bush has looked to worldwide package shipping company UPS for his nominee for the deputy administrator spot at the Small Business Administration. Jovita Carranza, a 30-year veteran of UPS, was most recently vice president of air operations at the worldwide package shipping company. She was responsible for air operations at the company’s facility in Louisville, Kentucky, and oversaw the automated package processing operation there. Carranza replaces Melanie Sabelhaus, who resigned in June 2005 to return to the private sector. SBA said because small businesses are one of the largest customer bases for UPS, Carranza is “well aware of their needs, and throughout her career, she has been actively involved in initiatives to address their requirements to help them compete in the global marketplace.” “Jovita brings great sensitivity to the issues small businesses face as well as the sophistication of being part of an organization with complex operations,” said SBA Administrator Steven Preston. “This combination of insight and business skills will bring tremendous value to the SBA as we strive to create a higher degree of customer responsiveness and operational sophistication to the agency.” While at UPS, Carranza also served as president of Latin American operations and the Caribbean. In other agency news, SBA said it has taken a major step in improving its response to business owners and homeowners following a disaster with the recent appointment of Patrick Rea as chief of the Accelerated Disaster Response Initiative. Rea, SBA’s Chicago regional administrator, will report directly to Preston. The disaster response initiative was formed recently to identify and help implement process improvements to enable the agency to respond more rapidly in assisting small businesses and homeowners seeking financial assistance after a disaster, SBA said. The initial focus will be on accelerating the disbursement process for disaster loans to victims of last year’s hurricanes. In the year since Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma struck the Gulf Coast and Florida, SBA received an unprecedented 422,000 disaster loan applications and approved more than 157,400 loans for more than $10.5 billion. Preston said despite thousands of SBA employees working long hours to help hurricane victims, “their best efforts have sometimes been overwhelmed by the scope of recent catastrophes.” “Pat’s take-charge style and extensive banking experience is exactly what is needed to lead this initiative,” Preston said. Rea has been the SBA’s Midwest regional administrator since 2003.

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