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.
Andra L. Hargrave is a military service disabled veteran who served in both the U.S. Army and the Minnesota Army National Guard. He has over 20 years of state and federal business development expertise.
He is now a Senior Consultant with the State of Colorado Minority Business Office (MBO) which is under the Colorado Governors Office. With a specialty of State, Federal and Certification Business Development.
His expertise includes serving as:
• The Director of Certification for the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council.
• Federal Procurement Representative for Colorado U.S. Department of Transportation Small Business Resource Center.
• And the former Federal Procurement consultant for North Dakota State SBDC Lead Center, North Dakota Center for Innovation as well representing several individual centers including Boulder, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Grafton and many others.
Mr. Hargrave is a former Denver SBDC Consultant of the Year, Colorado SBDC Consultant of the Year, Pueblo SBDC Consultant of the Year and has helped the Colorado based companies secure in exceed over $120 million in state, federal and corporate awarded contracts.
Hargrave is currently hold the Colorado SBDC Veterans’ Representative and also serves on the Colorado Department Transportation’s Connect 2 Dot program and works with the Colorado SBA Veteran’s Boots2Business program and the Colorado Minority Business Office and has recently been awarded the SBA’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Contract.
Andra is a registered procurement analyst and his knowledge of federal set-asides, certification, and acquisition strategies is without equal.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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 12/31/20 I have now completed 1096 sessions for 735 distinct 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jose Luis Ramos
José Luis joins us from the City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office after running his own business for over 10 years, where he experienced the different needs of small businesses and the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the United States. He is an engineer and has a BS in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University.
“Right now I am focused on my service role in the community because I see the need for a guide for Latinx entrepreneurs. I am passionate about helping those who are already operating their businesses and need resources to be more effective and successful in them as well as those who aspire to have their own company and do not know where to start.”
José Luis offers a wide range of experiences and knowledge in business, processes with government agencies, and strategies to make small entrepreneurs more productive and successful in their businesses. His specialties include restaurants, construction, IT systems, and he is fully bilingual in both English and Spanish.
Kim Fisher is the Chief Strategist at Vision Catalyst. With over 30 years-experience as a Nonprofit executive, she specializes in creating and implementing infrastructure for nonprofit start-ups. Kim does everything from completing the nonprofit application requirements, to setting up and managing the finances, to board development and strategic planning.
Kim received a BA in Psychology and a BA in Business from University of California, Santa Barbara. She has worked at the director level in all areas of nonprofit management, but her favorite role was serving as the CEO of Arms of Love International where she took a struggling organization and created stability in international programs and finances. Kim loves the nations, and her extensive experience in both domestic and international organizations gives her a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities of the nonprofit adventure.
Larry Dolgin hails from the Chicago metro area and graduated from CSU in 1991. His career began in sales but after marrying his wife Gidge, he quickly became an entrepreneur of a one-man courier company in Fort Collins, CO called The Feet.
He grew the courier company over the next 22 years before taking on investors and transitioning into a business development role until his exit in 2018. Throughout his career Dolgin has become expert in team building and small business planning and execution.
He has learned much through both listening and doing; and has developed a real passion for working with other small business owners on issues that they encounter. Larry and Gidge have two grown kids who are their pride and joy…for reals.
Principal owner and CEO of Stitchcraft Marketing–a niche marketing agency specializing in social media for craft companies. Leanne holds an M.A. in sociology and a B.A. in English and has 25+ years of experience in sales and marketing. Prior to starting the agency, she owned a website design and hosting business for 10 years. She lives in the mountains of Salida with her husband and college-age daughter.
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.
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.
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.
Lori is a certified HR professional, who brings a diverse range of experience, not only from the HR field but from the business world as well. Prior to joining simplyHR, she honed her consulting skills by providing a full spectrum of Human Resource Management support and best practices to small and medium-sized businesses. She loves to create innovative solutions for each client’s situation, ensuring a successful outcome. Lori prides herself on the client relationships she builds, helping them feel confident with the HR side of their business.
Outside of work you can find Lori training and competing with her dog, hiking one of our beautiful Colorado trails, in a bookstore, reading, or learning something new
Matthew joined the Poudre River Public Library from Loveland Public Library where he managed various library services, programs, and outreach initiatives.
“I truly appreciate the spirit of entrepreneurship throughout our community,” says Matthew West. “It’s a testament to a business ecosystem that understands and values startups and small businesses. I’m excited to be part of that system and help people successfully create and grow their businesses.”
Matthew brings a deep knowledge of data and market analysis, strategic planning, and research to his work as a Business Librarian. He is located at the Harmony Library and is available for one-on-one meetings to discuss business research and analysis and to teach methods for effectively using the many free business resources available at the libraries.
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.
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.
Samantha Brown d/b/a Samantha Peaslee serves as general counsel for small- to medium-sized businesses. Within that, she specializes in international transactions and intellectual property law. Her practice focuses on entity formation, copyright registration and litigation, trademark registration and litigation, business transactions (cross-border and local), negotiations, trade secret protection, licensing, international transactions, international commercial arbitration, and commercial and civil alternative dispute resolution and litigation. Within Colorado, she works in Denver, the North Metro area, and Northern Colorado.
Samantha has a J.D. from University of Denver Sturm College of Law, an M.A. from Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and a B.A. from Middlebury College. She placed first in the 5th Annual Shanghai International Commercial Arbitration Pre-Moot in 2015 and was a quarterfinalist in the 12th Annual William C. Vis (East) International Commercial Moot, where she also was the fourth best oralist overall. At Sturm College of Law, Samantha was Senior Managing Editor of Denver Journal for International Law and Policy. Upon graduation, Samantha was awarded the Order of St. Ives and the Order of the Coif.
Originally from Alexandria, LA, Samantha has also lived in Vermont, Maine, North Carolina, France, and South Korea. She speaks proficient French and can read Italian and some Korean. She has taught English as a second language in Paris at Montmartre After-School studies and in Seoul at Chungdahm April (Mapo).
Samantha is also a member of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, World Trade Center Denver, the Organization of Women in International Trade (Virtual), the Colorado Bar Association, and Colorado Attorneys for the Arts. She is a consultant with the North Metro and Larimer Small Business Development Centers.
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.
Tracey Devlin is the owner of Brandesigns Web Solutions – an established, reputable firm servicing diverse business sectors with their Web Development projects since 1997. Proven talents in building websites from conception to rollout, Tracey has developed brand and corporate identity websites, e-commerce solutions, database applications, and client-side management customizations. She brings a tapestry of career experience from the banking, construction, real estate, human resources, accounting and Internet industries which gives her unique insights into the needs of small businesses.
Tracey builds strong relationships and shares her wealth of knowledge, empowering clients to succeed in the ever-changing online arena.