SBEA Founder Marty Duggan Passes Away

Edward “Marty” Duggan, who founded the Small Business Exporters Association in 1989, passed away on Sunday September 14th after a long illness. He was 79.

Marty was born in Buffalo, NY, the oldest of seventeen children. He is survived by his wife Mary Lou, as well as three children, four step-children, fourteen siblings, and nineteen grandchildren.

A vigorous and forceful advocate for small business, Marty had been an executive with several other associations before starting SBEA. Within four years, he had built SBEA from a concept into an active and widely-respected association. All of us at SBEA remain in his debt.

Marty played a major role in the development of several legislative initiatives to aid small American companies in international trade, and was a pioneer in increasing the visibility of small companies at international trade conferences around the world. He became a confidant and close friend of the late Ron Brown, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton Administration.

Marty was a warm-hearted person with a powerful vision, and he had a genius for making durable friendships. After retiring from SBEA in 2001, he maintained contact with his friends and acquaintances through an Internet blog, where he continued to publicly ask questions and discuss ideas. Marty’s many friends and colleagues will deeply miss him.

A funeral service will be held in Alexandria, VA on Saturday 20 September 2008. Another memorial service will be held near the Duggan’s home in Edgewater, FL on Saturday 27 September. Details of these events are available from SBEA, at (202) 659-9320.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be directed to the nonprofit hospice that cared for Marty in his final months:

Hospice of Volusia/Flagler
3800 Woodbriar Trail
Port Orange, FL 32129

The family also requests that the memo line of your check include “In memory of Marty Duggan” and “Edgewater Landing SEVCC.” Long before he became ill, Marty was very involved in the Edgewater Landing facility, which is a nonprofit care center being built near his home.