Area Center: Clemson Title: Business Consultant Start Date: September 1, 2015

QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC network? ANSWER: As a child I grew up working in my father's mechanical contracting business, doing payroll, reading blueprints and estimating jobs.

After graduating from Clemson, I worked approximately 3 years for Blackbaud providing accounting software support. I was also on the Beta team that designed and tested a completely new accounting software package. While at Blackbaud I began providing accounting and business consulting services to small businesses in the Charleston, SC area.

After leaving Blackbaud I worked four years as an accountant, three as the controller for a multi-store retailer. I left my position as controller in 2007 to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavors full- time, which included accounting and business consulting, construction and renovations and a pet waste management business. QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant? ANSWER: Over the years I’ve enjoyed working with entrepreneurs and making a difference in the success of their businesses. Becoming an SC SBDC consultant was a natural progression. I am able to continue doing what I love while working and growing with an incredible team of peers. QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer aspiring business owners? ANSWER: Save, sacrifice, prepare, plan, communicate, be diligent and know your weaknesses. You need to save every opportunity you have. Expect to make sacrifices and give up other things you may enjoy doing. Prepare and do your research so you are ready for the expected and can minimize the blows of the unexpected. Plan every detail in writing to ensure you have a clear vision of your goal and how you intend to achieve it. Communicate with everyone directly or indirectly impacted by your quest (especially loved ones). You must be diligent and maintain focus. Know your weaknesses and find ways to overcome them. QUESTION: Do you have a particular area of interest/expertise that you offer clients? ANSWER: Accounting / Finance; Customer Service; Process Improvement; Food & Beverage/Service; Construction/Design/Layout

QUESTION: Since becoming an SC SBDC consultant, what is your greatest accomplishment? ANSWER: Helping a client with an invention that wasn't patentable and getting it to where it can be patentable. QUESTION: Why is the SBDC an important resource for small business owners in South Carolina? ANSWER: The SBDC provides expertise in so many areas of businesses and is able to help entrepreneurs navigate the many unknowns they will face. Many entrepreneurs have specialized knowledge within certain areas of their business or soon to be business but do not know how to manage all the complexities they'll face. QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC? ANSWER: Making a difference and being part of the creation or growth process of the businesses I work with. QUESTION: What quote best expresses your philosophy toward work/life? ANSWER: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn QUESTION: What hobby or activities keep you busy when you’re not assisting clients? ANSWER: Spending time with my family, winemaking, carpentry/design, art and traveling