Monday, October 06, 2008

A Farewell to Marty Duggan

We are sad to learn that Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA) founder Marty Duggan passed away on Sunday, September 14 after a long illness. He was 79. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Mary Lou, his loving family members and all his fans worldwide.

Within four years of establishing (1990 according to Marty) SBEA, he had built it from a concept into an active and widely-respected association. He also played a major role in the development of several legislative initiatives to aid small American companies in international trade, and was a pioneer in increasing the visibility of small companies at international trade conferences around the world.

Marty was a wonderful and kind-hearted human being with an ambition to change the world. I had a chance to speak with him on several different occasions by phone. Our appointment would be booked for one-half hour and three hours later, we were still talking about what was needed to encourage small businesses to expand their businesses internationally. Several days later I received a package in the mail containing the following prepared by SBEA:

• Export Promotion: A G-7 Comparison (1995)
• Annual Awards Luncheon program (May 1997)
• Exporting as a National Priority
• Export Finance: How the U.S. Measures Up (January 1994)
• Exporting: Right or Privilege?
How U.S. Export Controls Impede Competition (August 1994)
• Two video tapes: SBEA Second Annual Awards Luncheon and Awards Presentation (1995)

I still haven't gotten through it all but now I will make a point to.

After retiring from SBEA in 2001, Marty maintained contact with his friends and acquaintances through an Internet blog he launched in July 2006 called SME Forum where he continued to publicly ask questions and discuss ideas. If you look back on some of his entries, such as this one, you get a glimpse of what a champion he was to small and mid-sized exporters.

We will deeply miss Marty, his zest for life and his passion for global small business. May he rest in peace in his new borderless world.


Anonymous said...

I was unaware that Mr. Dugan had died. Thank you for your nice post.

Anonymous said...

Someone really decided to put on their thinking cap, great going! It’s fantastic to see people really writing about the important things.

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