Larimer Small Business Development Center - Fort Collins Staff
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.
Terri Donovan-Keirns has been with the SBDC since November of 2009 and brings a wide variety of experiences with her. Terri graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She managed a local day care center for 10 years at which time the family construction business was growing rapidly. For the next 12 years Terri managed the family construction business with 5 other partners. During that time they started 4 additional companies in the areas of land development and rental properties. Terri also had a brief period working in the insurance industry.
Terri and her husband Randy of 33 years have 4 children, ages 31 – 19.
Becky Douthit is the Administrative Assistant at the Larimer SBDC. Becky is a native of Fort Collins, CO and graduated from Poudre High School. She brings a wide variety of experiences with her. She has worked for an online correspondence school and most recently was the secretary of one of Loveland’s Elementary schools. Her understanding of small businesses comes naturally as both her parents and husband own their own mechanic businesses. She understands both the struggles and successes.
Becky and her husband Jason have 4 children combined, ages 13 – 18. They love spending time on road trips, camping and spending time with their family.
Loveland Business Development Center
Mary Ann Huffines
Mary Ann Huffines has worked in business development since 2008, starting out at the Larimer SBDC and coming full circle, became aligned with Larimer SBDC in 2016 as Client Manager of the Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC). Mary Ann transferred to the Loveland SBDC in 2009, taking on the position of Program Coordinator and continued to work with the program as it transitioned from an SBDC program back to independent status of Loveland Center for Business Development (LCBD). Larimer SBDC has joined forces with the new program and sends counselors and instructors to the center to lend assistance to Loveland businesses.
Mary Ann’s diverse business background helps her in guiding businesses to the resources they need to start, grow and prosper in their business. The lessons learned as co-owner of “Matthews” restaurant in Westport, CT, were many. The restaurant was one of the top five restaurants in town, with 32 employees and operated for five years. After selling that business, Mary Ann attended Fairfield University; enrolled in their graphic design certificate program. She worked in the graphic design field for 15 years and had her own business, Graphic Support Services, during that time. Making another career change, Mary Ann worked in administration for retirement communities for a 7 year period, before she accepted the position at Larimer SBDC.
And for fun, Mary Ann can be seen doing a 25-mile bike ride to local breweries with her husband, Jay, or trying to beat him at a game of racquetball. Anything related to gardening is at the top of her “feeding the soul” list and listening to old vinyl records.
Estes Park Economic Development Corporation
Jon Nicholas is the President/CEO of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation, formed in August of 2013. Prior to that time, he served as the Business Resources Coordinator for the Estes Valley Library District, forming regional connections to resources for local business. Jon has lived in Estes Park for over 8 years. Prior to that, he worked as an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, Japan, and also worked as a campaign manager on political campaigns in Kansas and Michigan. He holds a B.B.A. from Washburn University of Topeka, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago. Jon also serves on the Boards of Visit Estes Park and Estes Valley Partners for Commerce.
Adam Shake is the Vice President of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation. Prior to arriving in Estes Park, Shake served as the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Agency Program Manager. Since his arrival in Estes Park, Shake has served on the boards of Visit Estes Park, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce, Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center and Flinch Forward as well as volunteering for many other community initiatives.