ECU grad, New Bern native tapped to head Small Business Administration

Mike Segar—Reuters
Linda McMahon speaks to members of the news media after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York

NEW YORK — Linda McMahon, 68, was picked to head up the U.S. Small Business Administration in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. She was born in New Bern where she met her husband, Vince McMahon. She graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville in the late 1960s with a bachelor of arts in French and a teaching certificate.She is a co-founder and former CEO of the professional wrestling franchise WWE, which is based in Stamford, Conn. She ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012, and was an early supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign.Trump’s announcement said McMahon would be a key player in his effort to generate stronger job growth and roll back federal regulations. The SBA, which has at least one office in every U.S. state, provides support to small businesses in ways such as extending loans and making sure they get a percentage of federal contracts.Trump said McMahon had helped the WWE grow from a 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees worldwide. Trump is a WWE Hall of Fame member.If confirmed by the Senate, McMahon would join a Trump economic team that includes Wall Street executives Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department and Wilbur Ross at Commerce.”Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives advising businesses around the globe,” Trump said in the announcement.McMahon said her goal as the SBA chief would be to promote small businesses and help them grow and thrive. “Our small businesses are the largest source of job creation in our country,” she said.The McMahons have two children and six grandchildren.