We help entrepreneurs and businesses start, grow and prosper through street-smart business education and assistance

Consultant Pages

Adam Shake

Adam Shake

Estes Park EDC President/CEO

 

Adam Shake served nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army serving in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, CONUS, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia and Europe. He then served as the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Agency Program Director after 9/11 before starting an Environmental News Agency. After arriving in Estes Park, Shake founded Neanderthal Productions, an Internet marketing company. Since his arrival in Estes Park, Shake has served on the boards of Visit Estes Park, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce and the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center as well as volunteering for many other community initiatives. 

Mike O’Connell

Mike O'Connell

Larimer SBDC Senior Director

 

Mike O’Connell earned a business degree with a marketing emphasis from Purdue University, and worked in a variety of executive sales, marketing, and business unit management positions, including eleven years with Thermadyne Holdings, North America’s third largest manufacturer of metal cutting and welding equipment. In 2001, O’Connell purchased Mountain Woods Furniture (MWF), a leading national designer/manufacturer of rustic hand-crafted furniture, and co-owned and operated that business until its’ sale in December 2011. MWF’s products were sold through Cabelas, national furniture e-tailers, furniture stores, and to resorts and lodges desiring a rustic style. He provided over 6,000 paychecks to American manufacturing workers during his ownership of MWF.

O’Connell is currently a Board member with NoCoNet, a volunteer organization which provides support, advice, and networking opportunities to 250+ professional job-seekers in Northern Colorado. He enjoys spending time with his three children, hiking and exercising, playing guitar, and photography.

Mike Forney

 

Business

Mike has been an active small business counselor since 2004 when he helped form the Steamboat Springs SCORE group. (Formerly called Service Corps of Retired Executives, SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration.) Following his relocation to Fort Collins in 2017 Mike has continued SCORE counseling in Larimer County and has already met with more than 40 clients assigned by the Denver office or directly from the national SCORE website. Mike has also recently completed certification with the Larimer County SBDC

Although most of his consulting has been in the general area of start-up businesses, he has worked actively with existing small business on partnership issues, strategic and business planning, personnel management and commercial and real estate lending. He has also counseled several non-profit organizations.

Mike retired in 2003 as president and CEO of PW Funding, a national commercial and multi-family mortgage banking company headquartered in New York City. PW Funding provided more than $1.5 billion in commercial real estate financing over a two-year period under Mike’s leadership.

He began his commercial mortgage banking career as an owner and chief operating officer of Larson Financial Resources in Bernardsville, New Jersey in 1985. Forney is a Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB). He was a member of the national board of directors for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America for ten years until his retirement and served on the multi-family advisory panels for both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Prior to 1985, Mike was employed for 18 years as a public relations, public affairs and national advertising manager with AT&T in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and New York City. He also spent eight years as an announcer and news director at six different radio broadcast outlets in the Pacific Northwest.

He is Past President of the Routt County United Way, former Chairman of the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Commission, past president of the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club, past district governor of Rotary District 5440 (Northern Colorado, Wyoming and parts of Idaho and Nebraska) and a founding board member of the Steamboat Springs Main Street organization. He is now an active member of the Rotary Club of Fort Collins-Foothills. Mike is also a children’s story-teller with the Spellbinders group and now shares stories every month with fifth graders in both the Thompson and Poudre school districts.

He was a general aviation pilot for 50 years flying volunteer humanitarian missions for the national Angel Flight organization and the Department of Homeland Security before selling his last aircraft in 2014.

Mike now lives with his wife Janet Finley in Fort Collins.

Consulting Expertise Includes:

Greg Moore

 

Digital Marketing, PPC, Web Design, SEO

Hello, my name is Greg Moore and I’m a digital marketer, entrepreneur, and business consultant. My passion is finding hidden profit and growth potential in ANY business.

After graduating from The University of New Mexico with a degree in Applied Mathematics, I entered the workforce as a Satellite Engineer maintaining software for the government. Later, my wife and I answered an internal desire to enter the business world, so we started our own remodeling company selling over $50 million in less than a decade. Due to innovative marketing, advertising efforts, and creativity, our business was very prosperous. Much of our success was earned by our core belief that empowering and mentoring employees evokes a mutually beneficial environment.

Now I run AvaWing, a digital marketing agency and consulting firm in Fort Collins, CO. Understanding the challenges of being an entrepreneur, like working with little capital and needing guided direction and quick, useful information, enables me to pass my knowledge onto others. I also know that as a small business owner, implementing smart and economical strategies to get sales, leads, and clients is crucial to you.

Through conducting national workshops, 100’s of sales team meetings, and pitching large corporations like The Home Depot and Ace Hardware, I’ve gained invaluable industry knowledge and hands on experience. Working in the fields of Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Chemistry, Health & Wellness, Photography, Hospitality, and Home Improvement has taught me substantial business expertise to offer back to our community.

Working with you to lift your entrepreneurship spirit to help you grow, build, and escalate your business will not only create higher profits, but teach you how to maximize the potential in your specific industry.

Consulting Expertise Includes:

Ben McConnell

 

Business Architecture

Ben McConnell is co-founder and CEO of Blue Parable, a Loveland based software start-up focused on bringing elegant, intuitive software solutions to businesses big and small.

In addition to running Blue Parable, Ben serves as Manager of Ecommerce and Digital Marketing for Cloz LLC, a Loveland based boutique retailer owned by his fiancée Anna Gutierrez and her mother Penne Sperry. Cloz operates two brick and mortar retail stores in downtown Loveland, each with an accompanying ecommerce site.

Ben began his career as an intern for the Thompson School District’s IT department at age 16. Throughout his career, he has held various technical and leadership positions in a number of industries including public education, building material manufacturing, car rental, and retail; ranging from small businesses to some of the world’s largest privately and publicly owned companies. As a certified Enterprise Architect, Ben has a passion for business architecture. He’s well versed in a myriad of business analysis and modeling techniques that enable process centric design of business solutions. He loves sharing these tools with business leaders and helping them improve their existing products and services, or create new ones.

Ben’s expertise includes software development, product management, project management, business architecture, process engineering, IT architecture, team management, service management, ecommerce, and digital marketing.

Consulting Expertise Includes: