Indiana State University Newsroom

Clients of ISU's Small Business Development Center win state awards

May 1, 2008

Dan Fehrenbach, president and CEO of Bank of Indiana, has won the 2008 Small Business Administration (SBA) Financial Services Champion of the Year award for Indiana and Mark and Angela Timm, founders of Cottage Garden Inc. have won the 2008 state SBA Small Business Persons of the Year award.

The Indiana SBA district recognized the accomplishments and contributions of these businesses at the Indiana Small Business Week 2008 Celebration Thursday (May 1) at the Ritz Charles in Carmel. Both businesses have utilized the services of the West-Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, housed in Indiana State University's College of Business.

Fehrenbach has 36 years of banking experience and is recognized for his years of small business advocacy, small business support, and expertise in government guaranteed lending. Aside from extensive volunteer work with the Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corp., he involves himself in local community issues that effect business development in Indiana’s rural municipalities. One example would be the need for water and sewage systems to support development in small towns such as Dana.

“Local lenders need to be involved in helping their communities grow their own businesses. We do a lot with small businesses and the advantage to the small businesses is that they deal with people who make the decisions,â€Â Fehrenbach said.

The Timms started Cottage Garden as an in-home business in September 1996. It has since grown to a staff of 35 employees and for the past two years has been recognized as America’s leading supplier of music boxes, with showrooms in seven states and exports to many European countries.

This success was anything but a foregone conclusion when, soon after September 11, 2001, the Timms experienced an economic downturn of their business and their home was destroyed by a tornado. But the Timms persevered and Cottage Garden had more than $8 million in sales in 2007, through representatives covering nearly the entire nation and catalogue sales.

“We sought the services of the West Central Indiana SBDC to help determine best allocation of our assets for restructuring debt financing and offering optimal operational cash flow. We needed a banking referral that would appreciate our business and understand our needs and business aspirations as compared to being ‘just a number’,â€Â said Mark Timm.

Based on the counseling received from the West Central ISBDC and effective referral, in 2007, Cottage Garden secured its first SBA loan of $1.3 million with the Bank of Indiana and term loan of $842,775 with Farm Credit which was critical to securing its growth strategy for 2008.

In addition to the state award, the Timms were runners-up for the national SBA award in the same category.

About Bank of Indiana Bank of Indiana is headquartered in Dana, with branches in North Judson, Lafayette, and Hamlet. Bank of Indiana also has loan production offices in Terre Haute and Indianapolis.

About Cottage Garden Inc. Cottage Garden Inc. is headquartered in Bainbridge. Cottage Garden offers America's leading line of music boxes and designer prints with sentiment. Working with the industry's leading artists, Cottage Garden, Inc. captures current themes and trends.

About West Central Indiana SBDC Housed in Indiana State University’s College of Business, the center is one in a statewide network of 11 centers charged with having a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small businesses in Indiana, and to develop a strong entrepreneurial community.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center Network (ISBDC) has been serving small businesses and entrepreneurs since 1985 to help them compete and grow in today’s highly competitive global economy.

For thousands of clients who enlist the help of their local SBDC each year, the choice has led to more informed decisions, additional funding, new partners and clients, even dramatic growth. The SBDC combines the expertise of professional staff, resources of Indiana’s colleges and universities, resource partners, and volunteers from the private sector. For more information about ISBDC, visit

Contact: Bryan Bourdeau, interim director, West-Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, 812-237-7676 or

Story Highlights

Dan Fehrenbach, president and CEO of Bank of Indiana and Mark and Angela Timm of Cottage Garden Inc. have won statewide awards from the Small Business Administration. Both recipients have utilized the services of the West-Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, housed in ISU's college of Business.

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