2017 Graduate of Achievement

Eric Ness • CHS Class of 1979

Eric Ness • CHS Class of 1979

Mr. Eric Ness was an outstanding graduate of Cumberland High School in 1979. Eric is inspired by helping people achieve their dream of business ownership and management. He started his studies at UW- Barron County and then earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Minnesota and his M.B.A from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
From 1987 to 1995, Mr. Ness worked for Impact Seven, Inc., in Turtle Lake, WI. He served as a business analyst, underwriter, and Chief Financial Officer. In 1996, Mr. Ness started at the Small Business Administration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Assistant Director of Economic Development. In December of 2001, he advanced to the position of Director. It was in this capacity that he was able to help thousands of businesses with access to capital, counseling and federal contracting; thus encouraging Wisconsin businesses to thrive while helping our local, state, and national economies.
In January of 2017, Mr. Ness was appointed Acting Regional Administrator for Region 5 for the United States Small Business Administration, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Mr. Ness has received numerous awards and honors, which include a Certificate of Commendation by the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District for assisting more than 200 small businesses contribute to the construction of Miller Park. He was named Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Wisconsin-Barron County, and was presented the Outstanding Small Business Champions Award by Milwaukee County.
Eric was nominated by William Bay and will accept the award at the Cumberland High School graduation ceremony on May 20, 2017.



Cumberland Advocate

375 2nd Ave, PO Box 637
Cumberland, WI 54829
Phone: (715) 822-4469
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