Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 12:14 am | Mostly Cloudy 56º



Santa Barbara County Small Business Development Center Expands Roster of Advisors

Santa Barbara businesses now have more business assistance with the addition of four new local advisors to the Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Julie Samson

Julie Samson, who has been an SBDC advisor since 2013, has been promoted to the director of the Santa Barbara County SBDC located at Santa Barbara City College's Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

The SBDC is a program of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County.

As the director of the Santa Barbara COunty SBDC, Samson oversees partnership development and outreach, capacity building for the region’s small business service offerings and is responsible for effective program outcomes in regional business growth, entrepreneurship and overall economic impact.

The new advisors include Paul Daniel, finance; Eric Zackrison, entrepreneurship and workforce management; Carolyn McCall, retail and Lou Izzo, business development.

The advisors will help area business owners with free one-on-one advising to strengthen their companies’ bottom lines.

“Our SBDC advisors serve businesses throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, so it’s nice to have some more advisors in our own backyard,” Samson said. “Each of our new advisors has a wealth of experience and collectively are an asset to our entire advisor team.”

“I’ve worked with Julie on a number of SBDC initiatives, like the LightBox program, and she is a visionary who’s also a doer,” said Ray Bowman, director of the SBDC of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. “I know the SBDC center in Santa Barbara will grow more robust with her leadership and business acumen.”

Daniel is the principal of Gibraltar CFO Services LLC, which provides chief financial officer services to companies ranging in size from startup to $20 million. He has more than 20 years of experience as a CFO in a wide range of industries.

Zackrison, who is finishing a doctorate program at UC Santa Barbara, has more than 20 years of experience as a manager and entrepreneur, and has been a university instructor for six years. He works with clients on issues as varied as leadership coaching, team building, strategy and planning, marketing, organizational structure and cost controls.

McCall is the founder and president of Santa Barbara-based McCall Consulting Group, a global fashion business development practice launched in 2008. She’s a fashion industry executive with over 25 years of experience in global retail and wholesale apparel, footwear and accessories.

Izzo is the owner and senior consultant at Coherent Business Development Consulting. He has more than 30 years of experience in senior business development positions in small technology businesses. He also has experience in the defense, commercial aerospace, space, medical devices and sensors industries, among others.

Samson has over 18 years of experience as a small business owner and specializes in simple, lean, efficient startup and operations for micro-enterprises. She is a business strategist, trainer and founder of The Brilliant Edge, a Santa Barbara company that helps entrepreneurs package their expertise.

The SBDC is funded by the SBA and provides professional business assistance at no cost to businesses. Participating businesses are required to follow a well-defined scope of work and report their economic successes. These SBA milestones are defined as job creation, increase in sales, capital investment, jobs retained and business started. To learn more about SBDC’s advisors and services in Santa Barbara County, click here or contact the office at [email protected] or 805.892.3643.

EDC-VC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Ventura County by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region. For more information about the Small Business Development Center, loan programs, manufacturing outreach and international trade program, or other services available to small businesses through EDC-VC, click here or contact Bruce Stenslie at 805.384.1800 x24 or [email protected].

— Mary DiCesare represents the Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

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