Lydia Jones has experience in business ownership, in roles of upper management and executive-level functions, and through service on corporate boards. In addition to her competencies in business operations, she has participated and assisted on the both the buyer and seller sides of business transactions. Further, Jones has particular strength in funding assistance through both traditional lending and equity raises.
Jones utilized her business expertise in her most recent role with the University System of Georgia, specifically, as a District Director of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) of the University of Georgia. In this role, Jones had direct leadership responsibility for the metro Atlanta and north Georgia areas.
In her first 10 years with the SBDC organization, at Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University, Jones served as a consultant and assisted clients to develop/implement strategies for growth, corporate compliance, turnaround measures, and succession and exit strategies. During that period, she helped with the preparation of almost $100-million in loan and equity packaging.
In addition to consulting responsibilities, Jones developed and presented numerous programs on the topics of succession/exit planning, corporate compliance, and equity/lender financing. For instance, in response to a request by a major chemical manufacturer, she presented programs to industry groups in major cities across the United States, including Chicago, Dallas, Sacramento, Philadelphia, and Newark.
Prior to her experience with the SBDC, Jones co-owned Liller Neal, Inc., a $20-million in revenues, independent marketing and advertising agency with clients in the food, technology, entertainment, and manufacturing industries. She served as executive vice president of the agency, responsible for all financial aspects of the business. In addition, Jones served in a marketing capacity as Management Supervisor of several large clients, as a member of the Board of Directors, and as a Trustee of the Liller Neal Inc. Profit Sharing Plan. She directly participated in the negotiation and, ultimately, the successful sale of the agency.
Jones’s previous experience included the following:
Her education includes:
Jones has presented to numerous national conferences and served on national committees of the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) and on advisory boards for local banks and Certified Development Companies (SBA 504 lenders). She was honored as Consultant of the Year for the State of Georgia and recognized nationally by the ASBDC at a conference in Chicago. She has been interviewed by media and quoted in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Georgia Trend, and the New York Times, and on MSNBC. She has written numerous articles that have been published across the nation as well as one as far away as Scientia, South Africa.