Zarnikow Joins SBA

Eric Zarnikow has been named associate administrator for the Small Business Administration's Office for Capital Access. He has spent the past three years in various executive roles at ServiceMaster Co., including as chief risk officer and treasurer. The office is responsible for management and oversight of SBA's principal lending, international trade, surety bond and venture capital programs. 

Eric Zarnikow has been appointed as the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Capital Access, the agency announced today. Zarnikow replaces Michael Hager, who was appointed by President Bush as the Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Management at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Zarnikow is scheduled to begin next week.

In this capacity, Zarnikow will be responsible for the management and oversight of SBA's principal lending, international trade, surety bond and venture capital programs, including the new “Patriot Express” loan, and initiatives designed to reach underserved markets. Within Capital Access, he will also oversee SBA Administrator Steve Preston's reforms to make the agency more responsive to both borrowers and lenders.

Zarnikow comes to the agency with more than 25 years of private sector business experience. Since 1994, he has held a number of executive positions at The ServiceMaster Company, including most recently, senior vice president, chief risk officer and treasurer. Zarnikow played a major role in the recent sale of ServiceMaster to a private equity investment firm. His primary responsibilities there have been related to corporate finance, risk management, investment oversight and financial planning.

Prior to ServiceMaster, he was the vice president and treasurer of Gaylord Container Corporation, where he completed the company's initial public stock offering and listing on the American Stock Exchange.

“I am pleased to have Eric join SBA and take on the important role of ensuring small businesses have access to the capital that will allow them to start and expand,” said Preston. “Eric's deep knowledge of corporate finance and risk management makes him incredibly well-suited to take on this position and will help SBA advance its goal to become a more customer-service oriented agency.”

Zarnikow currently serves as an Independent Board member and Audit Committee chairman of Caraustar Industries, a publicly traded company with approximately $1 billion in annual revenues. He is also a board member, treasurer, secretary and executive committee member of the Interstitial Cystitis Association, which is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping interstitial cystitis sufferers.

Zarnikow received his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University and master's of business administration from Drake University.