Bush moves quickly on SBA top post

Minutes after incumbent Small Business Administration administrator Hector Barreto announced his resignation, President Bush nominated Steven Preston to be Barreto's successor.

Preston currently serves as executive vice president of strategic sources at the ServiceMaster Company of Downers Grove, Ill., which owns home and land care companies including TruGreen ChemLawn and Terminix.

Before that, Preston was senior vice president and treasurer at First Data Corp of Denver, and senior vice president in Lehman Brothers of New York's investment banking division.

Preston earned his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and his master's degree from the University of Chicago.

Barreto was confirmed as SBA administrator in July 2001, giving him the second-longest tenure as the agency's head. Barreto will stay on until Preston is confirmed, and will take a leadership position with the Latino Coalition of Washington when he officially leaves SBA.

Barreto's departure comes after SBA issued about $8.5 billion in disaster loans last year, an unprecedented amount, mostly as a result of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.

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