The Small Business Development Center has a team of business advisors on staff who have extensive experience in many areas relating to starting and improving small businesses. These men and women have varied backgrounds and management skills making them valuable resources to the small business community. Their biographies are listed below.
Paul Bozzo has a professional background that combines ten years as a senior manager in the retail banking sector with five years as a management consultant working directly with CEOs and entrepreneurs worldwide. As a senior consultant and lead seminar facilitator for E-Myth Worldwide, Paul was instrumental in helping small businesses and major corporations develop strategies to take their companies to the next level. He is a specialist in strategic business planning/funding for companies that are scalable. These would typically include those start-up and existing businesses that may need capital and are shooting for sales exceeding $1million per year (at a minimum). Paul holds a B.S. in Information Systems and MBA from California State University, Fresno.
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 most 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 programs, client consulting and business development, operational functions, fraud awareness and security policy. John is a graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was on the Business Deans Honor List. John advises new and existing business owners in the areas of planning, sales and marketing, legal structure and finance. He services businesses in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Tina Eastman has over 30 years experience in owning and managing small businesses. She has been the CEO and COO for small and mid-size companies, and has worked in a variety of industries and service businesses, including law, real estate, nutriceutical development, and insurance. As a Certified E-Myth Consultant, Tina coached national and international small businesses in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, business systems, marketing and sales, and finance. She meets with clients in San Rafael, Petaluma, Sonoma Valley, and Marin Employment Connection. Tina holds an M.A. from San Francisco State University and a California State Real Estate license. She is an educator, a published author, and public speaker, and has a particular passion for working with small business owners.
Evert Fernandez is a bilingual, English/Spanish, small business consultant. He has an extensive background in sales, marketing, financial planning, training, presentation and customer service. He is experienced in a variety of corporate environments with small, mid and fortune 500 companies. He has exceptional success in community involvement, projects, events and fund raising. In addition, he is a founding member of the Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Evert meets with clients in Santa Rosa.
Ashwin Gulati is an entrepreneurial executive who has created business roadmaps and spearheaded mission-critical initiatives to successfully execute business strategies and tactics within multiple industries. Ashwin’s 20 years of domestic and international experience spans Software, Internet, Life Sciences, Finance, Hospitality/Retail, Specialty Distribution and eCommerce. Ashwin’sspecializes in operational execution, startups, business due diligence, financing, business development, corporate restructuring/turnarounds, joint ventures, strategic alliances and international transactions. Ashwin has led companies during challenging times from inception to expansion into domestic and international markets and negotiated complex transactions including business sales and mergers. Ashwin graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. Ashwin is fluent in Spanish and is advising SBDC businesses in Marin County. He meets with clients in Marin City and at Venture Greenhouse.
Noah Harris is a multi-lingual (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian) professional with a career reflecting over 18 years of operations, training, management, leadership, and consulting experience in a range of industries including: U.S. Department of Defense, business development, risk management/loss prevention, logistics, education and non-profit. He serves as Business Services Coordinator at Canal Alliance, and is a Consulting Partner with Shamana, Inc. Noah holds a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a M.A. in Organization Management & Development from Fielding Graduate University.
Herb Liberman's consulting work at the SBDC involves the following areas of expertise: human resource management, business start-up strategies, business plan development, acquiring capital through loans, sales and marketing, manufacturing, and finance. He also teaches a course on Business Planning for the SBDC. Herb's experience in these areas was developed through working in four different business and educational environments. His experience includes working as a teacher and school administrator, including Superintendent of Schools, in public education; Operations Manager for company that manufactured automotive car care products; as well as a Director of a post secondary school, which trained students to be computer programmers, technicians and word processing specialists. His last position, which had a 15-year tenure, was as Vice President of a printing and copying company, which had 300 employees and did $30 million in sales. Following the sale of the company, Herb works part time as a consultant with the SBDC, teaches management courses to graduate students, and is the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Healdsburg. He sees clients one on one in our Santa Rosa office.
Anni Minuzzo has 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 achieved international sales with a customer base that included Williams-Sonoma, Dean & Deluca, Neiman-Marcus, Whole Foods, and 1-800-FLOWERS. For the past 10 years Minuzzo has been sharing her expertise through start-up and expansion workshops for food entrepreneurs in several Northern California Small Business Development Centers. She also provides one-on-one counseling through this program as well as coaching and consulting on a private basis. Minuzzo is proud of 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.
Robert Toering has over a dozen years of experience consulting to CEO’s, business owners and entrepreneurs – providing strategic planning, new business / new product analysis, the development of new products and processes, business plan development and roadmaps for new venture start-up. In addition, Robert’s career includes over a decade as President/CEO of manufacturing and processing companies with 20 to 2,000 employees, and three years in the public sector leading economic development / redevelopment for an industrial city. Robert’s early management career was in new product development – where he directed the creation and commercialization of numerous products. Robert holds a BSME degree from Purdue University and an MS degree from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. He meets with clients one on one in our Santa Rosa office.
Janet Wentworth is a small business consultant who works with business owners to help them achieve business success. As the owner of her own marketing company, Janet works with small businesses in a variety of industries, supporting their print and online marketing needs. More than 20 years experience with local technology companies, such as Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc. and Computer Associates, has given her a strong business, accounting and marketing background, with specific expertise in accounting, branding, product marketing, internet marketing, product introductions and partner relationships. She has a B.S. degree from the University of California, Davis; earned certificates in Integrated Online Strategies and Search Engine Marketing and Usability from the University of San Francisco; is a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach; and is a consultant with the SBDC Technology Advisory Program. Janet meets with clients in Santa Rosa for one on one business counseling.