SBDC Director | Management, Start-Up, Strategic Planning

Julie Morey

Raised by an entrepreneur in Moab, Utah, Julie grew up around family-owned businesses including skating rinks, sanitation services and telecommunications companies. She obtained her business degree through Mesa State College’s School of Professional Studies, has owned two businesses and has been Director of the Grand Junction Small Business Development Center (SBDC) since 1995. Julie was recipient of the Colorado Small Business Development Centers State Star Award in 2009 and her program ranked number one in economic impact among the 14 Colorado SBDC programs in 2012.

Marketing, Websites, SEO, Graphic Design

Camber Westphal

Startups, Business Management, Marketing, Online sales

Laura Mercier

Laura is a recent transplant to the Grand Valley after spending most of her career on the West Coast. She has over 15 years experience managing correctional and drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities for both private and non-profit companies. Laura transitioned from her career in social services to serving as the Marketing Director for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, and later the Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, she has owned and operated several online businesses. Laura holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Strategic Leadership. She is currently the Director for the Incubator and Commercial Kitchen Programs at the Business Incubator Center.

Start-up, Marketing, Management, Computer Systems, Finance

Jonathan Long

At the age of 20, Jonathan Long started, operated, and grew his own business into a multi-million dollar company which he ran for 15 years.  His entrepreneurial mindset drove the growth and success in developing and managing each facet of his business which included:

  • Business planning and strategy
  • Marketing and graphic design
  • Company processes and procedures
  • Purchasing and vendor relationships
  • Inventory management and systems
  • Cash flow and expense management
  • Computer systems and automation
Business Start-ups

Bob Delavan

Bob is a graduate of the University of Denver with a Degree in Business Administration with a minor Hotel & Restaurant Management. Upon graduation, Bob had a short stint as a United Airlines Management Trainee in the Omaha NE Flight Kitchen prior to service in Vietnam with the US Army.  Upon return to civilian life, Bob worked in food service management with the Denver Dry Goods Restaurant Denver, CO, and managed a residence hall food service for the University of Denver.  When Bob and his family moved to the Western Slope, he managed the retail store for Western Implement and later owned and operated an Ace Hardware.  After selling the hardware store, Bob became a financial advisor with AG Edwards and ultimately left AG Edwards to begin Investment Planning Solutions, an independent financial advisory company.  Bob sold Investment Planning Solutions to begin retirement.

Bob has experience with starting a business, creating a legal business structure, and implementing a succession plan for the sale of a business.  He also has used Excel and QuickBooks extensively.

Start-up, Management, Non-Profits

Aaron Brachfeld

Aaron is a licensed insurance agent who graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Agricultural and Resource Economics, and has decades of experience as a small business owner, in the insurance, agricultural, and retail industries, as well as administering and managing not-for-profit and non-profit businesses in Mesa and Douglas Counties, where he also obtained experience in grant applications and fundraising.

He currently teaches a variety of classes at Western Colorado Community College’s Community Education Center on business startup, management, non-profit business, economics, stock market investing, and basic business skills. He started the Mesa County Jail Yoga Program, and volunteers extensively with the Colorado Canyons Association, Ariel Clinical Services, and other non-profits in the community. He presented his thesis on using linear programming to prognosticate real estate values at the St. John’s University Tobin Business College of Business Tobin College of Business Investment Conference, earned commendation from the USFS for his work on applying linear programming to manage grazing rights, and was recognized for his assistance in the analysis of infrared water spectra data for Denver University’s Astrophysics Department.

His motto is “carpe noctem!”

Accounting, Finance, Cash Management

Gary Schroen

Gary has worked for a variety of companies, ranging from small companies to very large corporations. His work experience includes general ledger accounting, cash flow projections, budgeting, product cost analysis, strategic and operations planning, operations analysis and improvement.

Gary has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Personnel Administration from Michigan State University and Master of Science in Accounting from Central Michigan University. Gary is a Certified Public Accountant.

Writing, Publishing, E-books, Patent Basics, Enterprise Zone Tax Credits, Franchise Basics

Terri Benson

Terri is life-long resident of Grand Junction, a published novel-length fiction writer, award winning short story writer, contributor of non-fiction articles to a variety of newspaper, magazine and e-zines, familiar with traditional and e-book publishing processes, and writes business and marketing plans. She has applied for and received a provisional patent and understands the basic processes needed to pursue patenting and intellectual property. Terri has owned and operated a retail store, a landscape design and installation company, and a holiday decorating franchise. She understands cashflows, business and marketing plans, and the importance of working through the questions and getting to the answers as early in the start-up process as possible. Her motto: Carpe diem and see what happens next.

Bookkeeping, Management, Finance

Helen Roe

After more than a decade of experience as a serial entrepreneur on the Front Range, Roe moved to Grand Junction and went back to college, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Colorado Mesa University with a BBA in Marketing and a BS in Accounting. After an internship at the Business Incubator Center, she knew it was where she wanted to be, and she jumped when an opportunity for employment opened up. Now a Commercial Lender with the Loan Fund of Mesa County, Roe is also part of the Incubator Management team, and a Small Business Coach specializing in accounting and finance. Roe’s professional certifications include Team Leader/Economic Gardening, Colorado NxLevel business planning instructor, 2011 SBDC Counselor of the Year, and just for the heck of it, forklift operator. Roe is also a member of the Mesa County Executive Fair Board, and on the Advisory Board of the Grand Junction Housing Authority Family Self-Sufficiency program. “The most rewarding part of my job is sharing their challenges and the achievements while assisting start-up and expanding businesses overcome the hurdles of creating a successful and sustainable business.”

Finance, Start Ups, Management

Debbie Richard

Debbie is currently a business consultant for companies large and small in a variety of industries. Most recently, she was the chief financial officer for a $2 billion private equity firm investing in buyout funds, venture capital funds, and sponsored co-investment deals. Prior to this, she owned and managed her own firm which provided accounting and tax services to partnership sponsors, and trading settlement services to broker dealers in the secondary partnership market, was chief financial officer for an oil and gas syndicator of SEC registered partnerships and a private equity real estate syndicator. She was also an audit manager for Price Waterhouse Coopers and an adjunct finance professor for graduate level courses at Golden Gate University. Debbie is a certified public accountant (inactive status), has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a Master of Science degree in finance.

HR, Compliance, Regulations

Thane De Puey

Thane’s expertise includes HR (interviewing, hiring/firing, handbooks, and workers comp), collection issues, compliance with state and federal regulations, inspections, business plan review, business operations and management, and startups.

HR, Compensation Strategy, Employee Relations, Performance Coaching

Nina Anderson

Nina has a degree in Human Resources through Regis University and her 20 years of experience in the industry includes working with retail, manufacturing, medical device development, and residential and specialty commercial construction. She is currently a board volunteer for Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Mesa County Women’s Network, and recently voted to serve as Western Colorado Human Resources Association President for 2010/11. She is committed to supporting the development of new workplace entrants that are prepared to enter the workforce with the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes in order to engage in endeavors that will be required in their respective occupations. Specialties: Compensation strategy design and implementation. Recruiting, screening, testing, and interviewing. Employee relations and performance coaching.

Real Estate, Financing, Management

Lois Dunn

Lois grew up on a ranch in Arizona and loves life in Western Colorado. Her career includes accounting; her profession is in real estate. She likes working with investors and helping clients with identifying property, financing, management, & improving their portfolio. She serves on the Board at the Grand Junction Chamber, representing 1,000 businesses, and feels it’s a pleasure to work on behalf of start-up and expanding businesses. I serve as a chairperson of Government Affairs for Grand Junction Realtors. She enjoys meeting with entrepreneurs with new ideas and helping them determine where they are in the planning process of their start up business expansion. Her motto: Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man and work like a horse.

Prototypes, Intellectual Property, Venture Capital

Matt Mayer

Matt has developed and participated in numerous go-to-market and product development enterprises across a wide variety of businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, including founding and CEO of AVEX LLC, a medical device company. In this role, he raised over $6 million in grants, loans and equity financing. His experience includes President and CEO of Save More Resources, Inc. (“SMR”), a software and utility data management firm, a management consultant with McKinsey & Co in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and a consultant with Accenture, and a financial analyst with Leasetec, Inc. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Management, Marketing, Business Start-Up, Food-Related Business

Annalisa Pearson

Annalisa obtained a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Administration at Mesa State College School of Professional Studies in 2000 and is certified by the Small Business Development Center for coaching and instructing Leading Edge and Tilling the Soil training. She has retail management experience and an extensive background in the food processing industry, including Acidified Food Certification by the FDA and is qualified to perform AAOC pH Testing. She participated in a Spanish language emersion program in Manzanillo, Mexico.

Start-up, Marketing, Management, HR, Finance

Keely Ellis

Keely has been a resident of Rangely, CO for 4 years. She worked for Rio Blanco County in economic development for three years prior to accepting her current position as Executive Assistant to the President and Human Resources as well as Public Information Officer with Colorado Northwestern Community College. She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelors in Business Administration. She has a wide array of experience with banking and finance, payroll, marketing, economic development, human resources, as well as public relations.

She grew up in a small rural town in Wyoming and small towns, including Rangely, hold a dear place in her heart.  Rangely offers a safe, welcoming, accepting and supportive community atmosphere, which is why she and her husband look forward to raising their family there. They love Rangely and all the outdoor opportunities the town provides to locals and visitors alike. They spend their summers on Kenney Reservoir and winters exploring the beautiful mountains snowmobiling.

Start-up, Venture Capital, Business Valuation

Jere Friedman

Jere is, among other things, a practicing attorney, a professional coach, a Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor, and is considered one of the foremost gong players and sound healers in the world. As an attorney for almost 30 years, Jere has served as general outside corporate counsel for companies in a broad variety of industries ranging from “high tech” to “no tech.” In this role, he has advised his clients on issues ranging from the basics of starting a new business venture, to raising seed and venture capital, to acquiring other businesses, and eventually preparing for and making an exit through the sale of the company or an initial public offering. As an entrepreneur, Jere was a professional woodworker and then worked in a family-owned commercial real estate development company before going to law school. He established and operated his own law firm from 2007 to 2015, and in 2010 he successfully launched his coaching and sound healing businesses.

As a coach, Jere’s life work is to contribute to the evolution of consciousness on Planet Earth by supporting others in finding their own way to joy, fulfillment, and inner peace. Playing gongs allows Jere’s “Inner Child” to come out to play and teaches him to be present and focused in the moment. Jere has a degree in Finance from the University of South Alabama, graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, and received his Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Nonprofit, Organizational, and Financial Management

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson is an accomplished Chief Executive with more than 10 years of non-profit arts administration experience, and the Executive Director for the Grand Junction Symphony, the largest performing arts organization in Western Colorado. Prior to that, Kelly was the Director of Artistic Administration for Florida Grand Opera in Miami, Florida.

Kelly has had a long and distinguished career as a professional opera singer and in 1997, received a Grammy Award as a recording soloist with the Chicago Symphony. A native of Chesterton, Indiana, he received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory and a Master of Music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is the President Elect for the Grand Junction Rotary.

Kelly has experience in nonprofit management, organizational management, and financial management.

Strategy, Management, Process Optimization, Sales & Marketing

Steve Johnson

Steve has managed manufacturing operations and led international sales and marketing teams. He has extensive business strategy, P&L, process optimization, inventory management and supplier and customer relationship building experience.

Steve has additional experience in:

  • Business Planning and Strategy
  • Process Optimization
  • Supplier and Customer Relationships
  • Inventory Management
  • Cash Flow and Expense Management
  • ERP and CRM Software