Suzi Bahnsen

Suzi Bahnsen is Founder of Apple & Arrow Sales, a sales and marketing training business for female entrepreneurs. Suzi owned a marketing and design agency for 8 years in Boulder, as well as a consulting agency for 2 years, where she worked as a fractional CMO, creating systems and brand strategies that helped businesses to scale and increase profitability. She has also held several leadership positions as a Chief Marketing Officer, Director, and Strategist, as well as an award-winning sales professional. Over the last 20 years, her experiences have provided her with a unique perspective on sales and marketing today. Her passion is creating strategies and action plans for small business owners based on confidence, alignment and manageable steps to help her clients reach their targeted goals before burnout. Her approach is to always stay current and relevant and to share her knowledge to support businesses that need a boost with marketing and sales success.

Colorado Business Development Foundation (CBDF)

The Colorado Business Development Foundation’s (CBDF) mission is to help develop and fund small business and technical assistance programs in Colorado. Projects include post-pandemic relief grants for small businesses, the Colorado Business Resource Book, the Innovation and Opportunity Conference in partnership with NASA, the Certified Small Business Community Program and much more. The CBDF currently has a grant application open for small manufacturing businesses in the start-up phase. Applications are due August 31.


Sara Knudsen, Executive Director

Sara Knudsen is the executive director of the Colorado Business Development Foundation. She is also the owner of Gold Stripe Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm which provides graphic design, digital marketing and website development services for small businesses.

Prior to this role, Knudsen was the deputy director of communications for the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, where she managed federal and state government grants totaling more than $2 million annually, including budgeting, negotiations, renewals, grant writing, narratives and reporting, contracts and financial reviews. She also managed all aspects of planning more than 10 statewide businesses training conferences, including securing speakers, sponsorships, travel, marketing and more. Knudsen was also responsible for the statewide branding across the entire statewide SBDC network, in which she standardized both print collateral and online presence.

In 2011-2012, Knudsen worked as the programs and events specialist for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Prior to this position, she was the program coordinator for the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, which is hosted by the Chamber.

Knudsen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and Spanish.

She lives in Littleton with her husband and her two daughters, ages eight and six.

5Star Bank

Founded in 1990, 5Star Bank is a locally-owned and operated Colorado business with its roots serving military personnel. With an entrepreneurial spirit, we have a depth of expertise in aerospace and defense contracting businesses providing banking and lending solutions. 5Star Bank operates three banking locations in Colorado Springs and one banking location in Metro Denver.

Participating In:


Aileen Berrios, Finance and Banking Specialist for Aerospace and Defense Contracting Companies

Joseph Thiede, Vice President – Commercial Banking

Shawn Early, Assistant Vice President – Commercial Lender

Collaborat LLC

Our company services the local government and small businesses in the areas of local, municipal, and federal certifications as well as business and marketing consulting. We believe that in order to achieve success, entrepreneurs need to execute on marketing tactics that follow the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and within a time frame.

Our knowledge and background in marketing, business, government certifications and resources offer our clients a path to success. We work with our clients creating marketing tactics and plans that are beneficial to the business goal. We are a local marketing firm serving Colorado, mainly the Denver Metro Area and we work with all industries.

Participating In:


Talia Bond, Owner, Collaborat LLC, Absolute Promo & PostNet Centennial

Talia is both a marketing expert and the owner of PostNet Centennial and Absolute Promotions. She finds fulfillment by empowering individuals and small business owners to elevate their brands and produce significant results. Talia received her MBA from Regis University, where she continues to honor the University’s mission to be of service to others. In this effort, one of Talia’s previous roles included being a consultant for the Minority Business Office for the State of Colorado where she helped hundreds of clients get certifications for government contracts. Talia is well versed in municipal certifications and understanding the path to getting government contracts. She has facilitated a myriad of workshops in Colorado and assisted with applications.

As a business owner, Talia offers additional assistance to her clients as a marketing consultant. Her clients, who are small business owners or startups not only get marketing materials but a strategy to implement their plans to grow their businesses. Outside of working with her clients, Talia enjoys keeping abreast of opportunities in Colorado to share with others.

As owner of PostNet she drives her business to success. PostNet, a marketing and shipping franchise, has been serving private and government clients with great reviews. Some of PostNet’s clients include the SBDC, MBO (Minority Business Office), The City of Longmont, The City and County of Denver, Waste Management, among other government agencies. PostNet Centennial is known for its quick turnaround and good quality of products.

Driven by fun, Talia finds fulfillment through her friendships, having a good laugh and not taking herself too seriously. She lives in Denver and has fun with her daughters and husband.

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