Eric Bejarano of EAC’s SBDC honored with the Spirit of Excellence Award

THATCHER, Ariz. — Eric Bejarano, director of Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center (EAC SBDC), has been awarded the Spirit of Excellence Award. This distinguished honor is presented annually to an outstanding individual by the Arizona Small Business Development Center (AZSBDC).

The Spirit of Excellence Award is determined by peer evaluation within the AZSBDC Network, making it a genuine reflection of Bejarano’s significant contributions and reputation among his colleagues. Criteria for the award include exemplary performance, a substantial contribution to the center, and a robust commitment to small business development.

“Eric has been an invaluable member of our organization since his very first day. His leadership qualities and dedication as center director are nothing short of remarkable. We are extremely fortunate to have such a respected leader at EAC’s SBDC,” expressed Keith Alexander, chief government relations officer with Eastern Arizona College.

Under Bejarano’s leadership, the EAC SBDC has seen extraordinary progress: support for the creation of 251 new private sector jobs, a combined sales increase from our local businesses of $6.3 million, the procurement of $13.1 million in new capital, the initiation of 134 business startups, and service to 664 clients across Graham, Greenlee, and Gila Counties.”

Bejarano’s achievements and the impact on EAC’s SBDC were evaluated based on several factors by a volunteer committee from the AZSBDC network. These included his exemplary performance and his significant contributions that have positively influenced both the center and the broader network.

“This award is not just a recognition of my efforts, but the collective spirit and dedication of our team members – Tavia Raley, Sarah Alexander, Torey Cranford, and Simone Coseo,” said Bejarano. “This is a testament to the power of working together to champion the success of our local business community.”



The EAC Small Business Development Center is part of a national and statewide network of small business assistance providers. The Center’s main goal is to give local small businesses the tools and training needed to be successful. The Center is funded by Eastern Arizona College with assistance from a grant provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBDC provides no-cost counseling to assist entrepreneurs with finding answers to the numerous questions that arise when starting or operating a business. The SBDC works in cooperation with the SBA, local Chambers of Commerce, and other community partnerships.

To take your business to the next level, contact us at or call (928) 428-8590.

About Eastern Arizona College:

Since 1888, Eastern Arizona College has been the undisputed Smart Higher Education Destination, shaping student dreams into reality. With a faculty of qualified and caring instructors, EAC is committed to preparing students for high-demand careers and advanced studies at top universities.

Offering a diverse range of over 90 degrees and certificates, EAC is home to the state’s premier nursing school, a fine arts program featuring Arizona’s only community college marching band, and an engineering program that equips students for success at top-tiered firms and universities.

Beyond academics, EAC is a vibrant community where students thrive, forging connections that last a lifetime. Experience on-campus housing, engage in over 30 clubs and organizations, participate in dynamic intramurals, and cheer for nationally ranked athletic and e-sports teams.

What sets EAC apart is its commitment to financial accessibility, allowing most students to graduate with $0 debt.

Choose EAC as your Smart Higher Education Destination. For more information, contact or call (928) 428-8272.