Marin SBDCSan Rafael, CA

Our Team

The Marin SBDC is staffed with experienced leaders who assist SBDC clients grow and develop their businesses.

Miriam Karell


Miriam Hope 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). As a passion, for the past 12 years, she has taught leadership classes at UC Berkeley Extension and for the past 15 years studied mindfulness.

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.

Matthew Wick

SBDC Program Manager

Matthew has several decades of administrative experience with small and medium sized organizations.  He has guided stressed organizations toward profitability and success by building strong administrative structures, analyzing budgets, strategic planning, cost containment, and risk management.  He has guided non-profits back to solvency, small businesses to sustainable profitability, and government agencies to responsible management. He has worked with the Marin AIDS Project, the San Francisco Center for Living, AIDS Medicine and Miracles, assisted-living and skilled nursing facilities, a large industrial farm, and the City of Berkeley.  Throughout his career he has learned that building strong relationships is essential to the success of any enterprise.

Matthew attended Santa Barbara City College and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Academy International in Santa Barbara.


Paul Bozzo, MBA

Business Advisor - Business Planning, Equity Capital, SBA Lending, Startups

Paul’s background blends over 25 years of professional experience in start-up strategy, business planning, angel/VC financing, SBA lending and crowdfunding. Paul’s specialty is working with entrepreneurial ventures to refine their business model, create an investment-driven business plan and prepare an effective funding pitch. He also advises CEOs and founding teams on these common start-up issues: legal entity selection, equity financing structures, financial forecasting and exit strategies.

John Connelly

Loan Advisor

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.

John DeGaetano

Business and Financial Planning, Legal Structure and Loan Advisor

John DeGaetano is a former bank executive with a strong background in management and leadership. DeGaetano has extensive experience in administration, marketing, sales planning, training, operations, auditing, project management and financial analysis.
John recently served as First Vice President and Regional Manager for a community bank in the Bay Area where he played a major role in the bank’s growth development. During his tenure, he designed and implemented marketing concepts, sales campaigns, training and quality assurance programs, client consulting/business development, operational functions, fraud awareness and security policy.
John is a graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and recently earned the national designation Northern California’s State Star for his outstanding performance in assisting small businesses. John is a certified NxLevel instructor in addition to advising new and existing business owners in the areas of business planning, sales and marketing, economic impact, structure and finance.  He services businesses in Marin, Sonoma Counties and other areas.

Mattheau Faithauer

Business Lending Advisor

Mattheau has 11 years of experience in commercial lending working for Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and Union Bank and is well versed in both conventional and unconventional commercial lending plus SBA lending practices. He strives to unveil misconceptions around the underwriting process so that the business community has a much more profound understanding of how the lending process works. Mattheau founded his company "Marin Business Banking LLC" earlier this year in 2019 with the intention to assist small business owners in the process of properly structuring their business banking services and educating them on the significance of separating personal and business credit so that they have two distinctive and different scores.  He is passionate about helping his clients separate personal and business credit in order to protect  a business owner’s family and personal assets. Mattheau is always looking to give back to our Marin County community in as many ways possible.

Angelica Galland

Website, Social Media, Digital Marketing Advisor

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.

Stephanie Anne Koehler

Social Media Marketing Advisor

Stephanie Koehler founded SAKinterMedia with a broad and varied background in public relations, promotions, marketing, traditional + new media strategy, leadership program development and fundraising.  Armed with over 25 years of experience with marketing and promoting everything from musicians + movies to marketing organic salad + museums; leading multi-million fundraising campaigns; managing successful non-profits; and training the leaders of tomorrow – her experience is unparalleled. Having served as assistant to singer, Linda Ronstadt – she developed an expertise in personal branding as well as media and public relations on the local, national and international level.  Additionally, her background in developing leadership programs at prestigious schools such as The Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, Cornell University and Wells College in New York have positioned her as an expert in the area of leadership training from youth all the way to corporate America.  A writer, columnist and photographer, Stephanie is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines nationwide.

Ginny Kuhel

Human Resources Advisor

Ginny Kuhel, owner of Kuhelbreez HR Consulting, has over 25+ years of experience in human resources, most of which was in corporations as a Human Resources Director. Her private practice is dedicated to assisting small businesses, usually 1 to 40 employees in a variety of industries such as construction, landscape, restaurants, painters, roofers, and retail, as well as, hair salons, dog walking, public relations, Vet Hospitals etc. She assists her clients in staying compliant and avoiding costly labor lawsuits while also making HR fun and easy. She has a passion for people and spends time to get to know her clients and their needs to help create efficient systems and protocols. Ginny enjoys supporting small businesses because it is difficult to understand and maneuver through the ever changing CA laws and she truly wants to keep the businesses safe.

Herb Liberman

Business Management, Generalist Advisor

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.

Anni Minuzzo

Specialty Food Business Advisor

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.

Luis Nanez

Spanish Speaking Generalist Advisor

Luis Nanez studied Business Administration at San Marcos University in Lima-Peru with a background in sales and small business for more than 20 years. As a business owner and entrepreneur himself for more than 17 years in the service industry, and real estate for more than 14 years, he has shared his knowledge and experiences in classrooms all over the Bay Area in a very unique way. Luis combines teaching, in a “business-like” setting, with emphasis on student participation, and a touch of humor. Students experience first-hand the excitement and reality of opening their small business in the classroom, and learning 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 Ramhormozi

E-Commerce Advisor

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 and

Bill Ross

Ecommerce and Systems Advisor

Bill has been in the eCommerce industry for over 20 years with experience ranging from starting up his own high volume eCommerce business to running one of Amazon’s largest last mile facilities in the world. Bill has a depth of experience in eCommerce, operations, digital marketing, technology, logistics, inventory, fulfillment centers, and overall small business management. Bill is a true entrepreneur having bootstrapped Office Playground, Inc. to scaling and running the multi-million dollar business profitably for 17 years. Throughout his career he held various senior roles in Sales, Client Management, and Operations at Gartner, Organic, Amazon and Getaround. Bill’s strength is in connecting the dots and adding context to the challenges and opportunities that business owners face. Bill earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Keene State College and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Information Systems from Georgia State University.

Melissa Sanchez

Human Resource Advisor

Melissa Sanchez brings over 15 years of human resources management experience partnering with locally owned small business owners and solo entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses and make a larger impact in their communities.

She started her own coaching business in 2015 to provide clients with strategic planning, communication, and collaboration skills. She also specializes in employee relations, recruiting, on-boarding, training, performance and talent management, and workplace policies.

She also sits on the Chapter board for the Women’s Networking Alliance, has served as a Mentor for the Silicon Valley Business Journal (SVBJ) annual Mentoring Monday events and is a Business Advisor for the Silicon Valley, SBDC (Small Business Development Center).

Along with having a Professional HR certification (PHR), she earned a Certificate in Professional Coaching (CPC), and is an Energy Leadership Index – Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) through the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Management of Communication Technology.

Jonathan Soffer

Real Estate, Finance, Business Planning Advisor

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 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 Soroquere

Marketing, Social Media, Business Development Advisor

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

General Advisor and Spanish Speaker

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. 

Richard Strezo

Finance/Loan Advisor

For the past 20 years, Richard has participated in every function of SBA lending from origination to underwriting and analysis, processing, approving and even launching SBA divisions for 3 separate banks.  He is a firm believer in the virtues of the SBA product and fully committed to helping small and medium business owners realize their dreams. Richard received his Bachelor’s Degree from University of Colorado and his M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Chicago. Richard has always had a passion for entrepreneurship because he grew up in a self-employed family; both his mother and sister are small business owners.

Robert Toering

Business Management, IP, Manufacturing, Generalist Advisor

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 Wentworth

Marketing/Branding Advisor

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 Zerga

General Marketing Advisor

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.

Brian Zscheile

Finance, Loan and Grant Advisor

Brian Zscheile is an experienced Account Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Skilled in Commercial Lending, Banking, Credit Analysis, Commercial Banking, and Credit Risk, Salesforce and other contact management tools. Strong sales professional with a BS focused in Finance, and an Economics Minor from California State University-Sacramento.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.