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We are the Boulder SBDC

Our Presenters

SBIR, Government Contracting

Stephanie Amend

Stephanie Amend is the Principal of Arrowhead Solutions, LLC; a full service solutions provider for government contractors. Ms. Amend founded Arrowhead Solutions in 2009 after holding contract management positions in both government and private industry. Arrowhead was formed with the goal of providing companies with the extra knowledge and manpower they need to succeed in the world of government contracting. Specializing in capture management, proposal preparation, contract management, subcontracts, accounting and compliance, Arrowhead provides skill sets not commonly available to many smaller government contractors.

Ms. Amend has led Arrowhead to over 500% growth since its founding year and assisted small business clients in winning and managing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of state, local and federal government contracts. Ms. Amend has headquartered Arrowhead Solutions in Boulder, Colorado, however Arrowhead reaches clients nationwide. As a member of the Boulder community, Ms. Amend is an advisor to the Boulder Small Business Development Center. Additionally, Ms. Amend is an advisor for the Loveland Center for Business Development and is a member of the National Contract Management Association. Ms. Amend is a Level II Certified Acquisition Professional and possesses a B.S.A (2001) and an MBA (2005). Ms. Amend blogs on Arrowhead’s Creative Contracting site (www.arrowheadsolutions.wordpress.com) and manages two LinkedIn Groups (Federal Contractors Solutions Group and Government Contractors of Utah). She also developed and oversees ArrowBD, Arrowhead’s subscription government opportunity search service. Ms. Amend’s publications include; “The Small Business Innovative Research Program (SBIR) – Federal Funding Made Easy”, www. eZineArticles.com , October 2009, “Your Inner CEO – The Young CEO”, 2012 and “What Really is Compliance After All?”, Contract Management, July 2011; she also regularly speaks and conducts workshops.

Digital Marketing

Suzi Bahnsen

Suzi Bahnsen is a branding expert that helps companies strategize and leverage the most effective sales and marketing planning to capitalize on their time, money and resources. With over 20 years of experience as a sales and marketing professional, she has been a CMO, Director, Sales Executive and the owner of a Design and Marketing Agency. Her experience as a business owner, combined with her background overseeing marketing and sales teams, provides her with a unique understanding that comes through as she continues to share and grow. As a consultant and trainer for the SBDC, she lends her advice and support to businesses with a desire to thrive in a digital age.

Human Resources

Courtney Berg

Business humorist Courtney Berg believes in the passion of business owners. She has more than 30 years of human resources and operations management experience, with for-profit and not-for-profit companies ranging in size from a family-owned furniture store to a national insurance corporation. Her experience includes front-line supervision to executive level positions in both human resources and operations. Courtney founded CourtSide® to help business owners put human resources and management processes in place to increase the organization’s effectiveness.

Courtney was appointed to the Colorado Small Business Council by Governor Hickenlooper. She has also been a Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Chamber Champion and a Denver Business Journal “Outstanding Woman” nominee. She was featured in “How To Conduct Annual Employee Reviews” in Inc. Magazine. She has a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation from the HR Certification Institute. Courtney is a Colorado native and has a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from the University of Northern Colorado.

Marketing/Strategy/Financials

Julio Blanco

With more than 20 years of experience managing brands and marketing programs in both consumer and technology settings, Julio is at home with brand strategy, marketing analytics, financial analysis, new product development, marketing communications, and market research.

His experience ranges from national brands like HUGGIES, Hallmark, Benefiber and Sprint to scrappy startups. Whatever the size or the resources, he loves helping brands win and enjoys the creativity, teamwork, and resourcefulness required to make that happen again and again.

Specialties:

  • CPG brand management
  • Brand strategy/positioning
  • Marketing/data/web analytics
  • Retail and category analysis
  • P&L management, financial analysis, forecasting, budgeting
  • Market modeling
  • Market research
  • Integrated marketing plans
  • Advertising and promotions
  • New product development from concept to launch
  • Marketing-operations coordination/integration
Buy, Sell, Valuation

Paul Chambliss

Paul Chambliss has been a business broker in Colorado since 1992. His previous career experience was in the homebuilding industry in the Denver Metro Area. He is an honors graduate of the University of Colorado with a BS in Finance and a BA in French. Paul has earned the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). He contributes business sale data to Pratt’s Stats and BizBuySell.com, which are national databases of Guideline Private Company sales statistics. He is also an active member of the Colorado Association of Business Intermediaries (CABI), where he serves as the Vice-President of Communications and the Chairman of the Website Committee. He has been active as a counselor for the Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC). His other affiliations include the Denver Metro Commercial Association of Brokers (DMCAB), the Commercial Brokers of Boulder (CBB) and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.

Social Media/Marketing

KC Coburn

KC’s love of technology started early, although it might not have been love at first site. Her parents, both computer programmers (an old school term for coders), made her take a six week summer workshop in BASIC when she was 12 years old. While she didn’t really give coding a chance back then, it was only because she would rather be playing Frogger or Jaust. If she didn’t have a quarter for the game console, she stuck her nose in a book and kept it there until she couldn’t see straight. If you had known her in high school, you would never have used the word Social to describe her.

KC holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has pursued a variety of professional development opportunities during her career as an entrepreneur, webmaster, social media marketer, and content curator. She did eventually complete courses in HTML (she never told her mom and dad that she liked it… a lot) but found her real passion was story telling. As the web grew, it became her canvas and the coding skills she acquired along the way became the brush she used to paint vibrant, beautiful stories about the products, services, and people she believes in.

KC’s curiosity and love of learning keep her open to new ideas and continuously in pursuit of new and better ways to get the word out about products, people, and services that make the world a better place. She became an AdWords Certified Partner (Google) in 2016, Inbound Certified in 2014 (HubSpot), completed Digital Analytics Fundamentals training in 2013 (Google), and O’Reilly In-Practice Social Media Training in 2008. Because language and persuasion fascinate her, she is also an ACHE Certified Hypnotherapist (it’s best if you never look her in the eye) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner. KC lives in Colorado with her husband, two spoiled cats, and an aquatic turtle that she frets over far too much.

Buying or Selling a Business

Suzanne De Lucia

Suzanne De Lucia is the President and managing broker of Front Range Business, Inc. She holds an MBA from the University of Northern Colorado with an emphasis in Management, as well as a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Colorado, and a BS in Biology from the University of Denver. In addition to her careers as a business intermediary and chemical engineer, Suzanne has owned businesses in the distribution and manufacturing industries. Suzanne has been selected as a Fellow of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the association’s highest honor. She has also earned the IBBA’s Certified Business Intermediary (CBI). Suzanne has served on the IBBA Board of Directors, and as Vice-Chairman of several committees in the IBBA. She is a founding member of the Colorado Association of Business Intermediaries (CABI), where she is a Past President and Past Chairman of the Education Committee.

Web Marketing/Analytics

Matthew Edgar

Matthew Edgar is technical marketing and web analytics consultant at Elementive (www.elementive.com). Since 2001, Matthew has helped hundreds of companies grow through a process of analyzing and optimizing their websites, search presence, and online marketing. Using a strong analytical and technical framework, Matthew helps clients understand all aspects of their marketing to better connect with customers, increase conversions and grow their business. You can connect with Matthew on Twitter @MatthewEdgarCO.

Multicultural, Spanish

Jesse Esparza

As the CEO of Morning Sun Enterprises LLC, Jesse has provided guidance and supported a variety of individuals, organizations and companies. At the present he is a certified bilingual(Spanish & English) counselor to the Latino Chamber, a certified bilingual counselor and business advisor to the East Colorado, the Boulder and North Metro Small Business Development Centers, providing one on one services to individuals as well as group classes in business planning and start-up seminars.

He has counseled and provided needed services and resources to over 400 new potential and existing entrepreneurs. He has participated as a Board member of the Carbon Valley Chamber in Firestone, Colorado and the President of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Boulder County Work Force.

His professional career has included 31 years as an educator 21 of those years as a principal. His leadership skills include helping individual improve their performance, cross cultural education, improving organizations, business development, and tapping potential and appropriate resources. He was the Colorado Small Business Development Center volunteer of the year in 2007 and the Small Business Development Center Counselor of the Year in 2009.

E-Commerce

Sam Gastro

Sam has started and operated several online companies based around internet marketing and e-commerce. Currently operates a thriving e-commerce business that keeps his techniques fresh and his tactics practical. He spends his time working with an amazing team to execute breakthrough e-commerce strategies and ideas that he enjoys sharing with others. He shares with other entrepreneurs and business owners his own strategies and techniques he leans from his own business to help you succeed as well

Government Contracting, Veterans, Connect2DOT

Andra Hargrave

Andra Hargrave has over 15 years of direct national and international sales channel development in the areas of government procurement and fortune level 500 business development. His marketing channel development experience lies in a variety of industries, including technology-oriented manufacturing, service industries and distribution. Hargrave possesses an in-depth knowledge of state and federal set-aside procurement programs, such as SDB, HUB and the 8a Business Development Program, among others. He has served as the director of certification for the RMMSDC and currently serves as the statewide veteran’s consultant for the Colorado SBDC Network. His comprehension of federally-backed procurements, grants and certification programs, such as Advanced Technology and SBIR/STTR, is without equal.

Strategic Marketing, Business and Research

Ruth Janjic

Ruth has over fifteen years of experience conducting market research for a broad range of businesses, including start-up and second stage advanced industry companies with products representing aerospace/DoD, healthcare, instrumentation, manufacturing, and IT/internet areas. She began her career working in sales and marketing roles for Pacific Telesis, Qualcomm, and a contract electronics manufacturer, and then switched to research and consulting starting with online start-ups during the emergence of the Internet. More recently, she became certified by the Edward Lowe Foundation as an Economic Gardening Market Researcher, and has served as the lead researcher for the State of Colorado’s Economic Gardening program, SBDC Advanced. She is also a Senior Consultant for Foresight Science and Technology, conducting market studies and providing commercialization assistance for inventions that receive NIH SBIR grants. Ruth holds an M.B.A. from the University of Washington and a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.

Grassroots Marketing/Copywriting

Debra Jason

A recipient of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association’s (RMDMA) “Creative Person of the Year Award,” Debra Jason started The Write Direction in 1989.

Past President of the RMDMA, she is a seasoned direct response copywriter with more than 30 years of experience in the field of direct marketing. During that time she has personally written thousands upon thousands of words for hundreds of clients around the country (and some overseas).

Debra is the author of the award-winning, best-selling book Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget™: How to attract a steady stream of happy clients, make more money and live your dream. She is also a contributing author with New York Times best-selling author Joel Comm, of So What Do You Do? Discovering the Genius Next Door with One Simple Question.

When other writers have researched books on direct response copywriting and freelance writing they’ve turned to Debra for her input. She has been quoted in such books as The Complete Guide to Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale, Modern Media Writing, Copywriting Success, Second Lives: Becoming a Freelance Writer and Smart Business Solutions: Direct Marketing & Customer Management.

In 2012, after 10 years living in paradise on the island of Kaua`i, Hawaii, Debra returned to Boulder, CO where she first started her business. As a professional speaker, author, direct response copywriter and multi-faceted marketing mentor, she empowers you with the powerful business building tools you need to gain exposure and attract a steady stream of happy clients with fun and ease so that you too can live your dreams.

She believes everyone has a gift to share with the world and wants you to help you get your message out there in a big way—a way that resonates with your ideal clients.

In addition to being a featured guest on online programs she has delivered numerous live presentations and workshops on the value of building relationships and the art of engaging as they apply to attracting clients, generating leads and networking online and off.

Debra treasures time with family and friends, loves dancing, yoga, the serenity of the ocean, and memories of walking her beautiful (and famous) golden retriever, Ike, along the white sand beaches of the incredible north shore of Kaua’i.

Accounting/Taxes

Mark Lumsden

Mark joined ACM’s Boulder practice in 2012. Mark loves the spirit of the Boulder business community and works with many small, mid-sized, and startup businesses throughout the Front Range, particularly in the technology and manufacturing arenas. Having an extensive background in construction, Mark is also a member of ACM’s real estate and construction industry niche group. Whatever the industry, Mark’s passion is assisting his clients in reaching goals through tax structuring and consultation.

Mark participates in developing training programs and mentoring ACM’s staff, and is a member of the Boulder Valley Rotary Club. Mark has earned a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and holds a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP) designation. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their two young children.

Sales

Steve Parry

Steve works with leaders who recognize that sales are the constraint to their company’s growth, and help them understand why and what to do to drive profitable, sustainable revenue.

Steve began developing his training and communications skills as a second grade teacher in Summit County, Colorado. An entrepreneur at heart, Steve left teaching to start his own business, and since then, has spent over 36 years as a business owner and in the corporate arena: in industrial relations, operations, quality management, mergers and acquisitions, training, marketing, sales management and sales process development. Coaching CEO’s and Sales Managers is what he enjoys doing the most.

His various roles have provided him the opportunity to speak and train before diverse groups across this country, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and Japan.

As was true when he taught 2nd grade, Steve’s passion is enabling client employees to recognize their full potential.

QuickBooks, Accounting

Don Potratz

Don Potratz is the small business owner of Long’s Peak Accounting. As a former executive at the nation’s top payroll company, Don led the development of specialized accounting and payroll systems for small businesses. He brings decades of accounting and payroll expertise to businesses on the Front Range, where he lives with his wife, daughter and Great Dane, Apollo.

Franchise

Jane Stein

Previously with a large Wall Street firm, Jane Stein was a Certified Financial Planner for over 25 years, and provided comprehensive wealth management solutions for a large base of families – representing over 250 million in assets. She wrote an investment column, and established a program called “Money Matters for Women”, in an effort to empower women to take charge of their investments. Now she helps men and women achieve financial security through business ownership, which is far more empowering. With her financial background, she is uniquely qualified to guide you through the process to identify and evaluate the right business model, and then later can help you secure funding to open your business

Food Businesses

Matt Arnold

Matt Arnold grew up in Virginia where he attended high school and college. He began his professional career working as an apprentice winemaker before going to Guatemala to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer.

 

His work with micro-entrepreneurs in Central America motivated him to return to the US to get his MBA in Austin, TX.  Since then, he has been founder of four different companies across multiple industries, always with the goal of sustainability in mind.

 

Matt’s current venture puts him in daily contact with inspiring food entrepreneurs, many of whom look to him to help navigate the many challenges that come with small business ownership. He loves encouraging these entrepreneurs, and helping them solve problems great and small.

Intellectual Property

Eric Drennan

Eric combines his technical background in mechanical and manufacturing engineering technology with 10+ years of intellectual property (IP) legal experience to effectively and efficiently develop his clients’ IP assets. Eric’s practice focuses on patent preparation and prosecution, patent analysis, IP due diligence, and IP portfolio management. Eric works in a variety of technical areas including, for example, mechanical devices, manufacturing technology, propulsion systems, materials science, data storage systems, semiconductor devices, telecommunications, electronics, consumer goods, and Internet-based technology.

Eric regularly volunteers as an alumni judge for the Colorado School of Mines Senior Design Program and enjoys speaking about IP to various trade groups. Eric is also a licensed aviator and enjoys flying, as well as motorcycling in the summer and snow skiing in the winter.

Digital Marketing

Marshall Hayes

Marshall runs Amplio Digital, which was voted top 50 Colorado Companies to watch, top 50 best companies to work for in Colorado (twice), number 182 on the Inc 500. Amplio focuses on helping brands that do good in the world grow their online sales, mostly through Amazon. Entrepreneurship runs deep in Marshall as he’s started 10 companies and loves being a part of the startup community in Colorado and contributing as a mentor, investor, and business operator.

Social Media Marketing

Cheri Ruskus

Cheri Ruskus was bitten by the Entrepreneurial bug at the ripe age of 28. Over the course of the last three 3 decades she has felt the despair of defeat and the amazing glow that happens inwardly and outwardly when you reach victory.

Cheri became a Business Coach nearly 20 years ago because she wanted to assist other entrepreneurs in their journey to not make some of the unnecessary mistakes that she made along the way trying to do it all myself.  Yes, there is alot to learn in failures and avoiding some of them as you can will keep your business along with your sanity humming along.

After selling her business of 16 years (Business Answers) in 1999, she knew the next step to take was to empower other entrepreneurs and small business owners through the power she had discovered in business coaching.

Cheri’s mission and passion is all about reigniting my clients passion in their business once again through proven strategies and methodologies.