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 Home > News & Policies > April 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 18, 2008

Fact Sheet: Steve Preston: A Qualified Leader to Help American Families
President Bush Nominates SBA Administrator To Serve As HUD Secretary

     Fact sheet President Bush Announces Nomination of Steve Preston as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
     Fact sheet In Focus: Home Ownership

Today, President Bush announced his intention to nominate Steve Preston to serve as the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. A strong executive with an outstanding track record in the private sector and at the Small Business Administration (SBA), Administrator Preston has a deep financial and capital markets background, and he understands the important role that the housing market plays in the broader economy. President Bush is confident that Administrator Preston is a reformer who will act aggressively to help struggling Americans obtain affordable mortgages and keep their homes, as well as help ensure that all Americans have access to safe, decent, affordable housing.

  • If confirmed, Administrator Preston will lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its mission to support homeownership and community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. HUD is committed to forging new partnerships – particularly with faith-based and community organizations – that improve HUD's effectiveness in our Nation's communities. As Secretary, Administrator Preston will work to address the Nation's housing challenges and will work with Members of Congress to advance responsible legislation to help American homeowners.

Administrator Preston's Strong Leadership Of SBA Makes Him Well Qualified To Lead The Department Of Housing And Urban Development

Administrator Preston was unanimously confirmed by the Senate and became head of the SBA in July 2006. There, he spearheaded a reform agenda to make the agency more accountable, effective, and responsive. As a result, families received the disaster assistance they needed in a timely, compassionate manner; lenders have products that are easier to use; and small businesses have broad access to the Federal contracts and educational resources they need to grow and succeed. Under Administrator Preston's leadership, agency efficiency has improved and America's small-business community has a trusted friend and partner.

  • During his tenure, Administrator Preston managed loan guarantee programs similar in structure to those run by the HUD, and he has made those programs run more effectively.
  • As Administrator of the SBA, Administrator Preston streamlined the agency's efforts to disburse loans to small businesses and homeowners devastated by Hurricane Katrina. SBA matched every loan applicant with a case manager to provide the compassion and expertise that applicants need to navigate the loan process. Within months of his reforms, the backlog of loans fell 80 percent, and response times improved by 90 percent. Today, more than $6 billion in SBA loans are helping more than 160,000 Gulf Coast families rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives.
  • Under Administrator Preston's leadership, disaster victims today receive better customer service and more timely assistance. Entrepreneurs have greater access to SBA resources, and military community members have a new loan product to help them start to expand businesses. Lenders and borrowers find the loan process simpler and quicker due to streamlined processes and improved support. Today, Federal agencies work harder to reach their small business procurement goals, and agency employees have better tools and training to do their jobs.
  • Administrator Preston intensified the SBA's focus on driving business formation into areas of our country with higher unemployment and poverty rates. By designing relevant products, expanding targeted outreach, and focusing agency goals to address the needs of underserved communities, he enabled sustainable job formation and economic activity in areas of our country that need it most.
  • Administrator Preston also boosted SBA's impact on America's small businesses by advancing an agenda that allows them to compete in a global economy. With a portfolio of direct and guaranteed business loans, venture capital investments and disaster loans worth over $80 billion, SBA is the largest single financial backer and facilitator of technical assistance and contracting opportunities for the Nation's small businesses.

Administrator Preston Is An Experienced Leader In The Financial Industry

Administrator Preston has more than a quarter century of management experience, including senior leadership roles at two multi-billion dollar corporations and in the financial service industries. He understands the world of commerce and free enterprise from every angle.

Prior to his appointment to the SBA, Administrator Preston served at the ServiceMaster Company starting in 1997 – most recently as Executive Vice President of Strategic Services. He previously served as the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial officer.

Administrator Preston served as Senior Vice President and Treasurer of First Data Corporation from 1993 to 1997. Earlier in his career, he was a Senior Vice President in Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers.

Administrator Preston earned his bachelor's degree, with highest distinction, in political science from Northwestern University in 1982 and his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1985.

What They're Saying: Administrator Preston "Clearly Understands The Value Of Setting Goals And Achieving Results"

The Washington Post Columnist Stephen Barr: "[H]e made listening to employees a priority." "Preston visited field offices and ramped up efforts to communicate with agency employees about the mission of the SBA – helping Americans start and build businesses – and how that related to their specific jobs. He brought in 1,400 employees, about half the agency's staff, for a week of training." (Stephen Barr, "After Rock-Bottom Rating, SBA Works To Boost Morale," The Washington Post, 1/14/07)

National Federation of Independent Business President Todd Stotlemeyer: "He is a man who clearly understands the value of setting goals and achieving results in a large, complex organization, skills and knowledge that will serve him well at the SBA." "At the same time, he has had invaluable experience in the credit and financing arenas, especially as he worked to meet the needs of his small-business customers. His reputation for customer service excellence will be welcomed by SBA's constituents." (Todd Stotlemeyer, "NFIB Praises Steve Preston's Appointment As SBA Administrator," Press Release, 4/26/06)

Kauffman Foundation President and CEO Carl Schramm: "By coming to this initiative in the Gulf Coast, Administrator Preston is demonstrating the Bush Administration's commitment to the rebuilding of the communities devastated almost one year ago." "We look forward to working with him as a valuable partner in the important initiative." ("Gulf Coast Minority Business Owners Welcome New SBA Administrator," PrimeZone Media Network, 7/19/06)

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Executive Vice President Of Government Affairs Bruce Josten: "We are pleased that the Senate recognized Steve's stellar background and reputation." (Kent Hoover, "U.S. House Restores Funds For Microloan Program," Columbus [OH] Business First, 7/10/06)

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