A new head of the Small Business Administration took the reins of the agency this week.

Steven Preston, a former corporate executive, will become the SBA's 22nd administrator since its founding in 1953. He was confirmed by unanimous consent in the Senate on June 29, following a brief hearing before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Preston succeeds Hector Barreto, who resigned in April to head the Latino Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group. Barreto had headed the agency since July 2001.

During Barreto's five-year reign, the SBA's budget was cut by nearly 40 percent and the agency was forced to briefly shut down its main business loan program.

Preston formerly worked as chief financial officer of ServiceMaster, a Fortune 500 residential and commercial services company, and as treasurer of First Data Corp.

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