Area Center: Rock Hill
Title: Winthrop Region Director
Start Date: November 2019 QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC network? ANSWER: I am a seasoned business professional with over 30 years’ experience in business, government, and higher education.
I started my career in the newspaper industry as an account executive with experience handling multi-million dollar accounts. My government experience included working as a Town Supervisor making payrolls and executive governing decisions. Additionally, I started my own business calling on government and nonprofit entities working with a Colorado based financing company.
I also worked for the North Carolina Community College system as a Small Business Center Director at Stanly Community College (SCC) providing training, counseling, and resource information.
Finally, I worked the past five years as Dean of Marketing and Outreach at SCC overseeing all efforts in the departments of marketing, public information, community outreach, and student recruiting.
I have a Bachelor's Degree from the State University of New York and an MBA from the University of Maryland. QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant? ANSWER: The most enjoyable aspect of working at the Stanly Community College Small Business Center (SBC) was learning something new every day. Each day a client brought a new idea or opportunity that we worked on together to solve. This was my main motivation, I believe in continuous self-improvement and working at the SC SBDC will fulfill that philosophy. QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer aspiring business owners? ANSWER: I believe the best piece of advice I could give an aspiring business owner or entrepreneur is to be persistent. Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. You need to understand that failure is not the end but merely the opportunity to re-calibrate your plan or idea. I remember attending a conference where a presenter used the example of Henry Ford. The presenter mentioned that Ford had a number of cars that failed prior to his success. Everyone remembers the successful 1907 Model T, but no one remembers the 1903 Model A or 1905 Model B failures. Ford never gave up and re-calibrated his plan to find success.
QUESTION: Do you have a particular area of interest/expertise that you offer clients? ANSWER: My field of expertise is in marketing. I have 18 graduate hours in marketing and I’m HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing and Social Media. QUESTION: Why is the SBDC an important resource for small business owners in South Carolina? ANSWER: Most small business owners know the operational aspects of their business. If they own a bakery, they are probably really good at what they do. What they may lack is the expertise of accounting, marketing, business formation and legal knowledge to be successful. This is where the SBDC can help. We can be that bridge, or conduit, that can be the difference between success and failure of a small business.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC? ANSWER: My favorite part of working with the SBDC is the ability to learn something new every day. When you work with small business owners and entrepreneurs you encounter incredible people with new ideas and passion. It’s exciting to be part of the SC SDDC program that could help the next potential Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos.
QUESTION: What quote best expresses your philosophy toward work/life? ANSWER: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs
QUESTION: What is your approach toward client counseling?
ANSWER: My approach is to be a good listener and try to get a thorough understanding of someone's idea or existing business.Many times I try to be a conduit between their needs and possible solutions.This is where our SBDC network can become invaluable.
QUESTION: What hobby or activities keep you busy when you’re not assisting clients?
ANSWER: I love reading history, especially American History.I am especially interested in the American Revolution. For instance, I just finished a biography about a little known Founding Father who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The book is called, Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution's Lost Hero.Additionally, I have read a number of books about South Carolina’s role in the Revolution and have visited local battlefields.