Your Team

Meet your SBDC Team for the North Coast!

Your Team

Our team of advisers loves living and working in the unparalleled beauty of the North Coast. We each bring diverse and extensive professional backgrounds and experiences to offer our SBDC clients a “one-stop” approach to business success. We also leverage our statewide network of centers for additional expertise, if needed.

Let our experienced team of advisers help in your success.

  • Kevin Leahy
    Kevin LeahyDirector
    Kevin has extensive experience in retail, having served 18 years as a senior executive at a national chain with more than 75 stores, as a retail store owner and partner in a national franchise.
  • Jessica Newhall
    Jessica NewhallAssociate Director
    Lead Adviser Jessica has more than twenty years of business experience that, when combined with her BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, make her uniquely suited to supporting the challenges small business owners encounter every day. Her coaching approach is drawn from experience in overseeing the strategic, financial and day-to-day business operations of a small business. She is dedicated to helping clients overcome barriers and devise solutions for long-term success. She is also an active community leader and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Seaside Chamber of Commerce and the Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific.
  • Meyer Freeman
    Meyer FreemanLead Business Adviser
    Following a 20-year career in Portland with Sport Oregon, Meyer returned to Clatsop County and joined the SBDC as an Adviser. He grew up in Knappa and has a passion for supporting those who are working to build successful businesses – and by extension, build successful, stable and fulfilling lives.
  • Hermenegildo Ochoa
    Hermenegildo OchoaAdviser
    Hermenegildo Ochoa has an extensive background in the Business Services industry in Mexico. He spent many years as the owner of an insurance agency and banking and finance, specializing in Capital Access and Financial Reports. He has an extensive background in business, including teaching financial administration and human resources at Tecnologico de Tijuana and Centro de Estudios Cristobal.
  • Rocio Lizarraga Simmons
    Rocio Lizarraga SimmonsAdviser
    Rocío moved to Portland, Oregon in 1993 after graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Universidad del Noroeste in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. She has worked as a translator and interpreter for the last 25 years. Rocío and her husband developed a property management business that grew to own and manage 4 hotels in Cannon Beach and Seaside.
  • Jason Edwards
    Jason EdwardsProgram Coordinator
    Jason offers a unique blend of experience in the sectors of public education and private business ownership. After graduating from Southern Oregon University with a BA in International Studies and a MA in Teaching, Jason taught high school Social Studies and Spanish for many years.
  • Eric Stromquist
    Eric StromquistAdviser
    Eric spent over 40 years around the Portland restaurant scene, starting as a server with McCormick & Schmick’s while completing his BS degree at PSU, then becoming director of their retail products division. He co-founded Hot Lips Pizza in 1985, also working as a consultant and instructor at Portland’s SBDC.

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You’ve got the idea and the business, let us help you take it to the next level.