The Marin SBDC is staffed with experienced leaders who assist SBDC clients grow and develop their businesses.
Miriam Karell is passionate about supporting small-medium enterprises, as she believes they are the backbone of our society and the leaders in innovation. Miriam started her own business in 2008 and has worked with hundreds of organizations assisting them to communicate authentically, build their leadership capabilities, grow and develop initiatives/products that create win-win-win scenarios (good for the business, the community and the environment).
Miriam has a Masters in “Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability” from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
Chana Anderson is a HR leader with experience and expertise in leadership development, organizational effectiveness and change, executive coaching, employee and labor relations, and performance management. Her 20-year HR career spans a multitude of industries including banking, tourism, healthcare and non-profits. She excels in partnering with CEOs and entrepreneurs to execute their vision, and is passionate about resilient and resourceful teams with diverse competencies
Chana is certified as a Certified Executive Coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources. She holds a certificate in Human Resource Management from University California San Diego, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies, and a master’s degree in Leadership from St. Mary’s College of California
Sandra is a passionate, bi-lingual (Spanish-English) Business Strategy, Marketing and Business Development professional who excels in strategic planning/partnerships, sales/business development, brand/market development and business social responsibility. Her vision, creativity, expertise and innovative approach deliver value and results.
She achieved success for 20+ years in Business Development/Marketing roles with CPG companies such as Diageo, Clorox, Ocean Spray and Fair Trade USA, prior to entrepreneurship with her own consulting firm. One of her greatest achievements was national press coverage at Fair Trade USA in Fast Company, Fortune and the NY Times for the Social Capitalist Award and 68% revenue growth to an unprecedented milestone of $1B in U.S. sales in all channels, including initial sales with Wal-Mart, Costco and McDonald’s Corp.
She is involved in many local organizations, passionate about giving back to the community, and connects people everywhere with the vision to create a better world.
Paul Bozzo is a scalable entrepreneurial and technology ventures expert in the San Francisco Bay Area. Paul’s background blends over 25 years of professional experience in start-up strategy, angel and venture capital financing, strategic planning and SBA lending. His specialty is working with entrepreneurial ventures to refine their business model, create an investment-driven business plan and prepare an effective funding presentation. He also advises CEOs and founding teams on these common start-up issues: legal entity selection, equity financing structures, financial forecasting and exit strategies. Paul is an adjunct faculty member in both Sonoma State's Executive MBA program and Dominican University's Green MBA program.
For over 30 years, Steve Cleere has been actively involved in the Marketing, Advertising and Promotion disciplines. In 2014, Steve founded NexxtLevel Marketing, a unique Consulting Group aimed at helping small and medium-sized companies scale and grow. His previous work was as Co-founder and Managing Partner of TradeMarketing, Inc. (TMI group), a cutting-edge retail-marketing agency. His work in Grocery, Drug, Mass and Specialty retailing, including co-op software development, promotion evaluation and key account profitability have assisted his manufacturer clients in marketing more effectively to and through the retail trade.
John Connelly has been in the financial services industry for the past 25 years, with experience ranging across numerous banking verticals including: small business and commercial client relationship management, project management (as part of the Bank of America/NationsBank merger transition team), and sales management. Also, for the past 10 years, John has been focused on small business credit and government guaranteed lending. John is now President of JR Consultants, Inc and acts as independent financial consultant providing counseling services through the California Finance Center and local SBDC’s for small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking debt financing. John Connelly graduated from San Diego State University in 1992, with a Bachelor’s in Political Science.
Angelica Galland’s joy is supporting people’s passion projects. She is a Digital Marketing Consultant who works with entrepreneurs and small to medium sized businesses to create an effective digital presence that attracts their ideal customers and authentically represents the essence of who they are. Angelica began her work in Web Design and Graphic Design in 1998. In 2013, she naturally segued into Social Media Strategy as well as other forms of digital marketing. With an in-depth knowledge of the Facebook advertising platform, Angelica’s expertise is also in integrating and mapping out effective campaigns and strategies that include web design, social media marketing, newsletters, blogs and video content. Angelica Galland is a keen analyst, but also lets her heart lead because marketing is all about people, not just numbers.
Herb Liberman has had several in management positions; first as a school administrator, including Superintendent of Schools, and then in the business world leading various businesses in Atlanta and San Francisco. After selling his last company, he moved to Healdsburg and began working for the SBDC. The involvement with the SBDC has been a 14-year relationship. Herb has also be involved in international work, as a part owner of a macadamia and cashew nut business in Kenya, a Spanish immersion school in Costa Rica and real estate holdings in Slovakia. He is also involved in a wide variety of giving back projects both in the US and internationally.
George McCullagh has 30+ years in the banking industry, working primarily in commercial banking. He has worked for Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other small community banks. At the start of his career, he worked for Victoria Station Restaurants. George was active in coaching for his son’s San Rafael Little League teams and in his daughter’s San Rafael softball teams. For the last six years, George has also been a member of the Advisory Counsel for the Barowsky School of Business within Dominican University of San Rafael.
With over 30 years’ experience in the specialty food and beverage industry, 20 of which were spent owning a wholesale baking company, Anni Minuzzo has a broad network of professional associations and a long lens on the culture of food/beverage. Her products attracted international sales with a customer base that included Williams-Sonoma, Dean & Deluca, Neiman-Marcus, Whole Foods, and 1-800-FLOWERS. For the past 12 years, Minuzzo has been sharing her expertise through start-up and expansion workshops for food entrepreneurs in several Northern California Small Business Development Centers. Minuzzo proudly lists several success stories within her client base: Peas of Mind, Core Foods, Ancient Organics, and Tropical Traders. Her commitment is simply assisting clients in the realization of their dreams.
Jeff Morgen has over 25 years experience in senior Operations, Finance and Business Development roles. Jeff started his career in investment banking and later moved to management positions with manufacturing, technology and media enterprises. A consistent theme throughout his career has been to work with other leaders in high growth opportunities to balance vision with execution to maximize customer satisfaction, team productivity and shareholder value. He considers himself to be an entrepreneurial leader with expertise in revenue expansion, scaling operations and financial stewardship. Jeff received his BS Degree in Business Administration from UC Berkeley and his MBA from the University of Southern California. Jeff currently resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.
Luis Nanez studied Business Administration at San Marcos University in Lima-Peru. His career in sales and small businesses has lasted more than 20 years. He has been a small business owner and service industry entrepreneur for 17 years and a real estate professional for more 14 years. Currently, he shares his extensive knowledge in classrooms all over the Bay Area. Luis combines classroom teaching, a “business-like” setting, an emphasis in student participation, and a good sense of humor to help students experience first-hand the excitement and reality of opening small businesses, learn about the possible challenges and obstacles they might face running their own business, and how to avoid them. He worked as a facilitator, master trainer and business consultant at Women’s Initiative in the North Bay region (2008-2012). Luis brings vast experience in small business operations, business planning, marketing and community outreach. In his spare time he likes to play tennis.
Ramin has helped start-up ventures strategize their ecommerce goals, taking their products from concept to market. He focuses mainly on eCommerce platform selection on-site and off-site marketing initiatives, search engine optimization with keyword analysis, social marketing strategies, content curation and creation and road mapping a successful site launch. He has also addressed product data mapping, dropship and fulfillment set-up. Ramin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from CSU Los Angeles. He currently resides in Santa Rosa, CA with his wife and three children. You can learn more about Ramin via his LinkedIn Profile. You can also visit his other businesses at GroomStand.com and PersonalizationPop.com.
John Sames has been building and marketing websites for over 20 years. He is the owner of Sames Digital Marketing, a full-service online marketing agency. John loves working with local businesses to help them attract more customers and clients by improving their overall online presence. John specializes in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), online advertising through Google and Facebook Ads, website design and generating five-star reviews for his clients.
Jonathan Soffer has spent over 30 years specializing in commercial real estate finance, arranging over $2.5 billion of debt and equity investments during that time. He is also an owner and operator of investment real estate income properties throughout Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Over the course of his career Jonathan started 3 profitable businesses, sold 2 of them, and continues to own and operate the 3rd.business. He firmly believes the lessons learned from the evolution of those businesses can benefit other aspiring entrepreneurs. Prior to his real estate career, Jonathan was as a real estate business attorney and remains a member of the CA State bar. He served as Advisory Board Member of HG Capital from 2006-2016 and has worked for Grubb and Ellis and Newmark Knight Frank.
Chloe leverages broad-based business strategy and marketing expertise in consulting with a diverse client base on a variety of product and market fit, business model definition, branding, marketing & business development strategies. Chloe has over 30 years of expertise leading marketing and sales teams for large financial institutions such as Wells Fargo and Fleet Bank as well as experience in startup management roles. Chloe’s areas of expertise include: marketing and branding strategy and implementation, market research, communications, social media, website design and development, SEO, business development and sales strategy and training & customer service satisfaction evaluation.
Al Spector brings over 30 years of business experience to his clients in need of strengthening, expanding, or starting up operations. He has held a full range of corporate posts and advisory roles. Having served in various large, mid-cap, and small/start-up enterprises, Al is well versed in operations, logistics/supply chain, sourcing/third party management, sales/customer service, and legal affairs. His career has spanned a wide range of industries: E-commerce, biotech/pharma, consumer electronics, industrial distribution, telecom, data privacy, and sports and recreation. Al’s work includes support for many mission driven organizations including his own successful start-up serving the San Francisco Bay Area’s blind and vision impaired community. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program.
Robert has been the chief executive of several successful businesses – one of which he led through a transformation that created growth from $20 million to $120 million in less than two years. He was also the President of a management consulting firm where he helped numerous firms grow, restructure, raise capital, or launch new operations. Robert brings a comprehensive understanding of what is required to start and grow a successful company. He understands managing change and has direct experience developing and launching products and services in various industries including automotive, aerospace/defense, consumer durables and real estate, to name a few. He also has years of experience dealing with intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets) issues. In addition to being the chief executive of several firms, Robert’s corporate career included running product development; corporate strategic planning; and managing manufacturing operations. Robert holds a BSME degree from Purdue University and an MS degree from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design.
Janet advises clients in marketing and branding strategy, marketing implementation, web site design and development, search engine optimization, internet marketing, and solo entrepreneurship. Janet recently authored the book “Your Unstoppable Brand: The practical guide to engaging your ideal customers through the power of stories” based on her years of experience with small businesses struggling to create an engaging, and profitable, brand. Janet is a founding partner of The 10X group, a boutique business consultancy, a business advisor with several Northern California Small Business Development Centers, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and has a Masters Certificate in Internet marketing from the University of San Francisco. She is a former corporate accountant, product marketing manager, sales trainer, web developer, and small business owner.
Laurie is a strategic Business Advisor, accomplished Senior Executive, C-Suite Officer, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, and Board Member with over 25 years of success across financial services, food, international technology and engineering industries. She uses surprising secrets to grow without pain in rapidly changing times. But very few small businesses use these techniques that allow you to serve a lot more people and increase the bottom line. She is a valuable resource with Marketing, IT, Customer Service, Startups and regulations and P&L accountability from $2M to $45M.