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We are the Larimer SBDC

Fort Collins

Social Media Marketing Specialist

Amy Alcorn

Amy Alcorn is the Marketing Director at Aspen Grove Marketing. She works to help local businesses connect with their customers through multiple digital marketing channels. One thing Amy loves about social media is it creates a new place for people and businesses to connect.

Amy graduated from CSU with a degree in business administration with concentrations in marketing and finance, and she has been falling in love with Fort Collins ever since.

Growth Development Strategist

Andrea Grant

Andrea Grant’s career began in the financial world as a CPA. She has provided audit services, accounting solutions, systems selection, best practices implementation and employee training in the US and abroad. Andrea was honored to partner with her husband, Scott, to start and grow a chain of retail stores across the Front Range. Her experience as an Officer and CFO of Builders Appliance Center provided invaluable knowledge on starting growing and ultimately selling a successful business (and everything that comes in between)!

Her desire to help develop and transform individuals and companies has led her to work with the Small Business Development Center. She also facilitates two Fort Collins LoCo Think Tank peer advisory groups, bringing hundreds of years of business expertise together at the same table. She is an avid water skier, and loves to spend her free time travelling.

Construction, Business Generalist

Andy Meade

Andrew Meade worked for over 35 years in the construction industry. As a project manager he has built dozens of large commercial construction projects. As a business unit manager, he ran regional profit centers for a major U.S. general contractor in Redwood City and San Jose, CA.

In 2003, Andy and some partners founded a commercial general contracting firm focused on high-tech and healthcare construction in Silicon Valley which grew rapidly to an annual volume over $50 million and more than 80 employees. After 8 years as its President, Andy moved on to pursue other interests including small business consulting. As a volunteer business coach with an anti-poverty entrepreneurship program, Andy spent a year in West Africa in 2014 helping twenty local businesses develop and execute long term growth strategies.

A registered Professional Engineer and licensed General Contractor in multiple states, Andy has a BS in Civil Engineering from MIT and received a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University.

Transportation Specialist

Bob Flynn

Bob Flynn: Co-Founder of Green Ride Colorado; a Fort Collins based airport shuttle business that started operations in 2009, has grown to employ over 100 people and is currently serving over 10,000 passengers per month. Bob has an engineering degree from Concordia University, a teaching certificate from Memorial University and an MBA from CU. Bob has worked in many technical, teaching, leadership, management and coaching capacities the mining industry, technology services, transportation, and community college.

Bob’s business philosophy for success is “Build a service oriented organizational structure that incorporates simplicity, empowerment, respect, caring, and high expectations.”

Marketing Specialist

Craig McBreen

Craig McBreen is the owner of McBreen Marketing, an integrated marketing firm that specializes in helping small businesses develop distinct, cohesive, and systematized marketing that brings results.

His mission is to help start-ups and small business owners craft an online presence that builds authority, increases brand awareness, and is built for long-term success. And he has over 20 years of experience leading teams of creative professionals.

Craig is also a certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant.

Financing, Business Planning

Curt Bear

Curt Bear is the Founder of LoCo Think Tank – providing Value Driven Peer Advisory since 2014. Curt has 15 years of experience in small business banking and financial services, along with a stint in mobile food service. He can be useful in areas of cash flow and strategic planning, capital acquisition strategy, and business plan development – and he loves to help people find their purpose and build their team. He is passionate about many community causes, a member of Breakfast Rotary Club, and an Ambassador for The Matthews House. Curt and his wife Jill live in Old Town along with a dog (Tucker the Schnocker), an old cat (Tiger), and a small flock of backyard hens. His motto is: “Ask of Your Needs, and Share of Your Abundance.”

Retail Business Consultant

Dave Hudson

Dave Hudson began his business career at age 15 buying, repairing, and selling bicycles in his parents’ garage. While working towards his BA at Colorado State University, he studied with great personal interest all aspects of retailing, financial management, accounting, marketing, and developing, training, and compensating individuals in business. He grew his business to eight locations in two states, embarked on a franchise program, and experienced firsthand the challenges of bankruptcy in 1992. After restarting his business, he expanded his portfolio by acquiring and managing residential and commercial rental properties. Now, as a Top Retailer in his industry, he is well respected in Northern Colorado as a savvy businessman and contributor to his community.

Areas of expertise include leases, inventory control, point of sale, staffing, reporting and analysis, purchasing, negotiating, as well as personal goals and life balance.

Dave has two children successful in their own right in Ft Collins and a beautiful granddaughter, and loves being outdoors, playing drums, live music, hiking, and riding his 49cc scooter.

“I believe that everyone deserves the fruits of their labor and passion, and I feel honored to share my energy and experience with new and existing local businesses.”

Marketing Specialist

Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson is Communications Director of Innosphere, Colorado’s leading technology incubator that accelerates the success of science and technology startups. She also manages Innosphere’s public and investor relations, is responsible for entrepreneur educations sessions, and runs the successful Innovation After Hours monthly networking forum. As a former employee of the City of Fort Collins Economic Health office, she is passionate about economic development, and it a current Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultant. She grew up on a ranch in Julesburg, Colorado and moved to Fort Collins to get a B.A. (2006 and M.A. (2008) in communication Studies.

Creative Consultant

Franklin Taggart

Franklin helps creatives in the process of business planning, audience development, and professional direction. In addition to his music career, Franklin has owned several small businesses, and he continues to explore new business opportunities. His interests in the past few years have included online course production, content marketing, conferencing technology, and social media storytelling. Franklin is an in demand speaker and presenter, and he facilitates Full Reset renewal retreats for individuals and groups in Northern Colorado.

Financials, Business Development

Fred Burmont

Frederick J. (“Fred”) Burmont, is a semi-retired former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and former Colorado-licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 40 years’ financial management experience. Since 2014 he has provided his services as a Certified Business Consultant for the Larimer SBDC. As of 10/31/18 he had conducted 729 consulting sessions for 474 clients.

He has 25 years’ experience as a corporate finance officer including 15 years as part-owner and Financial Vice President of Chaparral Industries, Inc. a metal products manufacturing company headquartered in Denver. He served as the CFO, responsible for all financial, strategic planning, accounting, budgeting and cash management functions. The company grew from 10 employees and $1 million in annual sales to 93 employees and $14 million in sales over the 15 years.

For 6 years he served as Senior Business Manager/Division Controller for Knowledge Interact, a division of Soft Bank Group/Comdex, and for 4 years as Vice President of Finance & Administration for Staodynamics, a publicly-held (NASDAQ National Market) manufacturer of FDA-approved transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation medical devices.

A native of Colorado, born and raised in Denver, he is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a BS degree in Business, majoring in Accounting and Finance, and the University of Denver, Graduate School of Business Administration, with a Certificate in Marketing Research.

Marketing Specialist

Greg Moore

Hello, my name is Greg Moore and I’m a family man, entrepreneur, and business coach. My superpower is the ability to find 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 netting over $50 million in sales 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 internal core belief that empowering and mentoring employees evokes a mutually beneficial environment.

Now I run a marketing and business coaching firm called AvaWing. Understanding the challenges of being an entrepreneur, such as working with little capital and the need for guided direction and quick, useful information enables me to pass my knowledge onto others. I also know that as a small business, implementing smart and economical strategies to get sales, leads, and clients is crucial.

Through conducting national workshops, 100’s of sales meetings, and pitching large corporations such as The Home Depot and Ace Hardware, I’ve gained invaluable industry knowledge. Working in the fields of Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Chemistry, Probiotics, Photography, Hospitality, and Home Improvement also taught me substantial business expertise to offer our community.

My skills include Web Design, SEO, CRM Development, Lead Generation, Trade Show Planning & Management, Sales Management, Marketing, Advertising, Brand Building, Motivational Speaking, and Business Coaching.

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 industry.

Business Consultant

Jeff Jensen

I have lived in Larimer County since 1974 and am a graduate of Larimer County Vo-Tech, Colorado State University and the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Building a small business can be a challenge and doing it so that you have long tern success and an exit strategy can be very rewarding but also keep you from just building a job.

I have built multimillion-dollar businesses and created record profitability by developing complete business strategies. If you have a dream…I can help you get there.

I specialize in strategic planning, (short and long term), new business and succession planning. I have built service businesses and retail. Budgeting and P&L decision making is critical to success and I can aid with helping build or evaluate this for your business.

I have been building new and turnaround business for nearly 35 years. My Consulting has been built around small business (less than 50 employees) and political consulting. I can help you navigate regulations that can create obstacles for you and your business.

Inventions, Product Development

Jennifer Spencer

Jennifer Spencer has 20+ years business strategy and entrepreneurial experience with demonstrated results in start-up environments. Jennifer motivates people, produces consistent innovations, pioneers creative work and provides marketing successes with a repeated proven ability to produce superior returns from limited resources. Her knowledge spans multiple industries including technology, banking, retail, wholesale, and manufacturing. She has invented and patented products, commercialized products on an international scale, and run a profitable ecommerce store. Jennifer’s business won a national award for Best New Company & Best New Product of 2011 (Stevie Awards), was noted by ABC News on list of Best of CES 2011 (Consumer Electronic Show) and received an Audience Choice Award in Berlin, Germany (IFA, 2011). She has acted as a turn-around consultant to provide strategy and action steps for a company struggling with profitability to shift into a strong profit position. Jennifer has a BA degree in Economics from Miami University.

Marketing, Management and Sales

Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly is an entrepreneur that has started, managed, grown and sold multiple companies in over 35 years of business experience. He most recently sold Syscom Services, a technology company started in Washington DC with divisions specializing in Web Development, Enterprise Information Management and a variety of communications technologies.

Jim enjoys working with start-ups and small business owners on strategic direction, marketing, management and sales tactics. He also facilitates a Fort Collins Think Tank peer advisory group and is a frequent speaker at conferences on business and technology subjects.

Jim mentors at risk youth through the Matthews House in Fort Collins, loves playing tennis, soccer and traveling with his lovely wife or any of his three great kids.

Franchises, Business Development

Jim McWilliams

Jim McWilliams graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s in Business. He worked for Goodyear in various positions for over 19 years. Positions included managing retail stores, Division Sales Training Manager supervising up to 20 retail stores and Franchise Business Manager. Jim owned up to four retail Goodyear Stores in Fort Collins, Loveland and Cheyenne during a 24 year period. He sold the business in October 2007. Also, during this period, Jim owned a Duds and Suds laundry mat franchise and Mail Boxes Etc. franchise.

Restaurant Consultant

John Verderame

John Verderame began his career earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts. He successfully navigated the restaurant industry for almost twenty years in New York City in many high profile front and back-of-house roles. Verderame has helped develop and execute concepts, designed spaces, and expertly crafted food and beverage menus and wine lists. He was the Assistant Director for the Patina Group at Rockefeller Center overseeing over 500 seats across multiple restaurants, bars and event spaces. He has held high profile management positions in New York Times rated restaurants for B&B Hospitality, owned by “Master Chef” Joseph Bastianich and celebrated Chef Lidia Bastianich. He was also was instrumental in opening and operating three-star V Steakhouse and Perry Street for Internationally Acclaimed Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. During his last three years in New York City, he was a prominent wine and spirts consultant and brand representative for Breakthru Beverage focusing his efforts on Restaurants and Hotels.

After leaving New York In 2010, Verderame changed directions and earned a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. He spent seven years as a highly qualified teacher both in Tampa, Florida and in Fort Collins for Poudre School District. Additionally, he and his wife co-owned a national tutoring franchise in Northern Colorado for two years.

Verderame recently employs both his hospitality and education expertise as an Instructor at Front Range Community College in the Business and Hospitality Management department where he wears his chef whites instructing college students in culinary arts coursework, cost controls, purchasing, and management. Verderame’s diverse and lengthy experience in the industry working with prestigious and elite Chefs and restaurateurs from concept to opening and expansion makes him a valuable mentor. His ability to hire, train and develop staff, and to teach management how to ‘see what the guest sees’ creates a new standard of service for an unforgettable experience.

John and his wife Jessica love spending time with their two young daughters exploring all of which Colorado has to offer – one bite at a time!

Service Business Consultant

Kevin Lemasters

Kevin is married with two grown children. He moved to Colorado in 2013 as a partner in a local service company. Kevin works with a number of local non-profit organizations in a support role and is on the Board of Directors with the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. He also represents his industry from a local to national level to advocate for small businesses.

Kevin has been in the service industry for over 25 years. Working his way up from the front line, through management and finally into ownership. Over the years, has helped to develop leaders and grow companies in different markets. From the small 5 person company to the National Corporation. His expertise has been in fiscal management, operations, hiring and development of personnel.

“I wanted to get involved with the SBDC to give back some of the knowledge that so many others have poured into me”

Lee Porter

Lee Porter’s background in Sales and Marketing includes non-profit, media, marketing and advertising.

She’s worked at the hyper-local and the national corporate levels implementing programs and teaching sales and market development. She has extensive experience in sales management, hiring and firing, territory development and sales plan execution.

Currently, she’s on a startup adventure with an online news publication called InnovatioNews.com as publisher, serves as president of the Larimer County Boys & Girls Clubs and is organizer of NoCo 1 Million Cups. She’s also a general and specialty (marketing) counselor at the Larimer SBDC, and a certified NxLevel instructor.

Colorado Enterprise Fund

Lewis Hagler

As Director of Credit, Lewis monitors portfolio and credit quality. He also manages our Northern Colorado lending activity including consulting with potential applicants about their business plans, performing credit analysis and loan underwriting, and providing ongoing business advisory services to borrowers. Prior to joining CEF in 1994, Lewis was the Director of the Small Business Development Center in Boulder. He is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience owning and operating a variety of successful business ventures with special knowledge of the restaurant and food service industry.

Health and Wellness Consultant

Libby Lyons

Libby is the founder of the Women’s Business Collective and the former owner of Elan Yoga and Fitness. She loves brainstorming, empowering, and strategizing with other business owners.

Libby is a Fort Collins native and CSU Alumni. She has a passion for maintaining the special sense of community she has come to know and love in her hometown. Community, together-ness, and a sense of belonging have always been of most importance to her.

Business Consultant

Mike Forney

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.

Business Valuation Specialist

Pavel Verbsky

Pavel Verbsky was born abroad in the Czech Republic. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Economics in Prague with a master in finance and accounting. He has worked in accounting since 2003 when he moved to the USA. In 2005, he joined Rickards, Long & Rulon, LLP in Fort Collins. He enjoys working with business owners, helping them understand how to use accounting information efficiently. Pavel began volunteering for the Larimer SBDC in 2009. His focus is business valuations – helping potential buyers or sellers assess the value of a business.

Creative Consultant

Peggy Lyle

A native of Santa Fe, Peggy is passionate about the arts and creative approaches to business and communications. With 20+ years of event production, marketing, and programming for Downtown Fort Collins and The Rhythm Co., she’s aided musicians, performers, galleries, artists, non-profits, small businesses and events navigate promotion, audience cultivation, programming and business strategy. Highlight Projects/Boards: Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, FoCoMX, Colorado Brewers’ Festival, FC Gallery Walk, Downtown Fort Collins Creative District and TriMedia Film Festival.

Non-Profit Business Consultant

Sarah Scobey

Sarah Scobey spent her formative years in Fort Collins before venturing out of state to attend college. She received her bachelor’s degree in art history from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. She then went on to the Art Institute of Chicago where she both worked and obtained an M.A. in art history. Not immune to the call of the Rockies, she then returned to Colorado where her love of literature and her obsession with higher education led to a M.L.S. from Emporia State in the Rockies.

While living in Chicago, Scobey had the opportunity to work for a number of art galleries, including the Latino Arts Coalition, where she supervised the “We the People,” mosaic mural project.This was a grant to construct a colossal mural of mosaic tile, designed by an international selection of Latino artists and constructed by area Latino teens.

Scobey’s first role in the Poudre River Public Library District was as the multicultural chairperson. In that capacity, she wrote and won for the library a grant from the LSTA to build a Spanish-language collection and to develop programming for Spanish speakers. Her grant was rated the highest of all submitted to the state of Colorado that year. 20 years later Scobey has come full circle, and is delighted to be working with nonprofits once again.

Scobey lives in Fort Collins with her husband, three daughters, and three dogs.

Established Business Consultant

Scott Grant

Scott graduated with a degree in Business Finance and Economics, and spent the first 10 years of career in wholesale distribution sales before starting Builders Appliance Center (BAC) in 1993. BAC was sold in 2005 after experiencing 12 years of annual growth of 40%. His focus was on customer relations/retention, vendor relations and negotiations, sales and marketing, along with the operational facets of a multi-facility, multi market company. He has experience in relationship selling vs. transaction based sales, communicating company value propositions, inventory, A/R management, sales compensation programs.

Restaurant Consultant

Tiffany Helton

Tiffany Helton has worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. She is Co-owner of 3 Stuft Burger Bar restaurants. Her original restaurant in Fort Collins has been in business for over 8 years. She is Serve Safe Certified and TIPS Alcohol Trained Certified. Tiffany Co-Hosts a radio show on 1310 KFKA called More Bacon Please! which focuses on the Northern Colorado Restaurant scene. Tiffany is a true hospitality professional.

Human Resources Specialist

Tina Todd

Tina’s work experience has ranged from learning all parts of administration while working for small businesses and non-profit organizations, to honing in on HR skills and expertise while working for corporations in HR roles. She has 11 years of Human Resources experience including being an HR Generalist to an advisor, consulting business owners in all 50 states on topics ranging from wage and hour compliance to employee relations. Through those relationships, she realized that her passion and the biggest need is helping businesses with HR right here in beautiful Northern Colorado!

While not working, Tina loves spending time with her husband and twin boys along with family and friends, running, hanging out in Old Town Fort Collins, and getting into the Colorado outdoors any way possible.