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Lorie Graham

Consultant Profile: Katrina Meeks

Area Center: Spartanburg Title: Area Manager and Business Consultant Start Date: March 15, 2020

QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC?ANSWER: I began my professional journey in the field of Human Resources more than three decades ago. Since then, I have had the privilege of owning and operating my own Recruiting firm, achieving annual sales of $1 million. My expertise lies in the area of recruitment, and throughout my career, I have held diverse positions such as Senior Recruiter, Talent Acquisition Partner, HR Business Partner, Branch Manager, HR Representative, and CEO, across various industries including Manufacturing, Engineering, and Healthcare.  I am a proud alumnus of Clemson University, where I earned my MBA degree. (GO TIGERS!)

QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant?

ANSWER: I aim to offer a comprehensive level of support to my clients by guiding them through the complex world of business. I understand that owning a business can be a solitary endeavor, which is why I am dedicated to providng assistance and guidance to help my clients successfully navigate the challenges they may face.

QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer an aspiring business owner?

ANSWER: Owning a business requires resilience and a strong commitment. Your employees will depend on you for their livelihood, and you will rely on yourself to ensure their well-being. It is crucial to approach your work with diligence and maintain a high standard of ethics in all aspects of your product offerings.

QUESTION: What particular area of interest/expertise do you offer your clients?ANSWER: I specialize in Human Resources and Recruiting, with a keen interest in marketing strategies and innovative approaches to drive sales growth.

QUESTION: Since becoming an SC SBDC consultant, what is your greatest accomplishment?

ANSWER: One of my greatest accomplishments is successfully partnering with a client to deliver comprehensive HR support, resulting in a significant capital investment of $5.7 million. Additionally, I took pride in my achievement of aiding a small business in navigating the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. By facilitating their access to a small PPP loan, I played a crucial role in ensuring their continued operation.

QUESTION: Why is the SC SBDC an important resource for business owners in South Carolina?

ANSWER: The SBDC offers a partnership to clients, providing them with a trusted and supportive advisor who assists them in managing the challenges they face.

QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC?

ANSWER: The SBDC specializes in providing support and guidance to small businesses. We offer valuable insights into what strategies are effective and what areas may require improvement. Our goal is to embark on a journey alongside businesses, offering our support and a listening ear throughout the process.


QUESTION: What quote best expresses your approach toward work/life?

ANSWER: I have two; 1."We are Super GOOD and getting BETTER"! 2."Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."


QUESTION: What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered while working as a consultant? How did you overcome it?

ANSWER: My greatest challenge has been managing my time effectively, including balancing work and personal life. Specifically, I have struggled with consistently turning off work-related tasks during evenings and weekends. However, I have recognized the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care. I now understand that taking time to recharge is not only beneficial for me but also critical for providing quality service to my clients.


QUESTION: What is your approach toward counseling?

ANSWER: My approach involves conducting thorough fact-finding by asking a multitude of targeted questions. This allows me to gain a comprehensive understanding of my clients' needs and goals. I prioritize honesty and authenticity when communicating with clients, ensuring that I provide realistic expectations and outcomes.


QUESTION: What awards/honors have you received as an SC SBDC consultant?ANSWER: I have received the "FUN" award as I seem to be a comedian at times and the "Spotlight Award" for  my center.


QUESTION: What keeps you busy when you’re not at work?

ANSWER: I am constantly occupied with family responsibilities as my daughter is actively involved in philanthropy and often presents me with meaningful projects to engage in. Whether it entails assisting behind the scenes with initiatives like Toys for Tots, organizing back-to-school giveaways, or volunteering at the food pantry in our local church, there is always been activities to participate in.


QUESTION: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

ANSWER: My life's work has always been dedicated to serving others. I find great fulfillment in this endeavor, and it has provided me with solace during moments of personal hardship.


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