Brandon Steinman

How do your colleagues describe you?

My friends and colleagues describe me as an analytical and thoughtful person. I have been told I get along with anybody, and I certainly strive to make that true.

Why do you do what you do?

I believe everyone should be able to achieve a successful career and derive satisfaction from their work. Aligning human capability with business operations and problems is the ultimate puzzle that I love to help people solve.

Bio:

Brandon has a Masters in Organizational Behavior and Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University and is a Senior Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resources Management.

Brandon currently works in Learning and Development for The Boeing Company as an Employee Development Specialist. He has held a number of positions at Boeing in HR. Before joining Boeing, he consulted for small businesses in the area of organizational performance.

Sue Meyer

How do your colleagues describe you?

What you see is what you get 🙂 Straightforward, practical…a person of action!

Why do you do what you do?

I’m so lucky to do what I love. Helping (small) businesses and teaching are my calling…. discovered in my first midlife crisis when a mentor “put me on the spot” and called me to teach Leadership to a room full of my peers with about 45 minutes notice. And it’s only grown from there!

Bio:

Sue has a passion for helping small businesses be the best they can be. She has served as a small business consultant since 1999 and currently co-operates two successful small businesses with her husband Steve, in Redmond, OR.

Sue holds a BS degree in Marketing and Advertising from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Organization Management from University of Phoenix.

Sue has worked as an instructor at several universities and colleges teaching Human Relations, Marketing and Communications courses in every modality. She currently teaches Business at Central Oregon Community College and facilitates classes and advises with Central Oregon SBDC.

Leon Telesmanich

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Leon is genuine. He likes working with others, is cooperative and friendly. Leon leads by example and holds himself to a high standard.”

Why do you do what you do?

I am excited to have an opportunity to help our community’s small businesses! My background has been working for medium and large corporations, and I believe working with small businesses will provide a greater connection with the people I may help. The importance of small business to Tillamook County’s economy and employment motivates me to succeed.

Bio:

Leon Telesmanich is a graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelors Degree in Finance/Law. He has spent a 25-year career in sales and business management. He knows the benefits that come from collaboratively working with others, appreciates the value of customer service and the goodwill that comes with a fine reputation. Recognizing the professional and personal help he has been given by so many people over the years, Leon is inspired to be a positive influence in the lives of others. As a resident of Tillamook County, he is a stakeholder in the health of the local economy and its small businesses. The challenges ahead will hold opportunities for many rewarding experiences.

Darin Huffaker

How do your colleagues describe you?

“High energy, fun-loving, team player ” “Work hard, play hard” “Love’s people, and business”

Why do you do what you do?

I am a successful retired entrepreneur and want to teach others to have success as well. I have experienced the stress of failure and the joy of winning. I have learned so much from both, and love sharing this information. I love to work with people and business and the combination of the two is amazing.

Bio:

Darin has built and run several small businesses from startups to multi-million dollars. He has purchased over 15 companies himself and sold a handful of them over the last 20 years in the service industry.

Darin has had substantial experience in his own businesses from building customer service platforms to creating employee handbooks and organization charts and successfully running marketing programs to compete in some of the most competitive markets in the USA.

DeAnna Tapia

How do your colleagues describe you?

Como la India Maria…Ni de aqui ni de aya

Why do you do what you do?

I love the community and the possibility of what the community can do with just a little information and someone to walk next to them.

Bio:

DeAnna started her own Interpreting business after working as a volunteer assisting limited English speaking Community members maneuver their way through different life challenges. Although, she had to business administrative experience, she knew how to network and find answers. 15 years later, she serves the community in many different ways by helping people find that “American dream” that many come to the United States looking for.

Kayla Banda

How do your colleagues describe you?

My colleagues often describe me as the “duality queen,” centered between fun and down-to-business, art and commerce, concept and structure. Balance rules!

Why do you do what you do?

Small business brings empowerment to entrepreneurs, their families, their communities and our greater society. When individuals are allowed to share their voices through something as powerful as business, we’re one step closer to a future that represents us all. I do what I do so that others can share their voices and make their dreams come true.

Bio:

Kayla brings five+ years of helping clients start and grow their businesses, with focuses on marrying brand and business model, art-based business, jumping the growth chasm and marketing strategy that works. With a BS in Marketing and an MBA under her belt, she brings structure to business strategy development and implementation. Kayla also co-owns a small creative company which shares the balance of creation through film projects and other creative mediums.

Silvia Lopez

How do your colleagues describe you?

Silvia brings a unique skill set, perspective and great ideas to the table. She has an incredible ability to turn problems and challenges into solutions and opportunities.

Why do you do what you do?

I like helping others in any capacity I can.

Bio:

Silvia’s work experience has been centered around helping people. She started by assisting the elderly with their daily lives at Providence Benedictine Nursing Center. Later, she became a substitute for the Salem-Keizer School District. Assisting her sister’s photography business sparked her interest in business, and she earned her AAOT at Chemeketa Community College to aid her in the pursuit of that interest. She decided to apply at Chemeketa’s SBDC because it best aligns with her interests and desire to help others. Silvia firmly believes that helping others with their business ventures helps build a stronger community.

Gabriela Orellana

How do your colleagues describe you?

Gabriela is very committed to the development of the community and likes to work as a team.

Why do you do what you do?

It makes me very happy to contribute to the community and especially to small business owners, because they are an important actor in the economic development of the state. That is why I put at your service my knowledge and experience applying inclusive and sustainable programs.

Bio:

Gabriela has worked for 20 years in the financial system developing financial products and education programs for small businesses, she has been a microfinance consultant and a mentor to entrepreneurs.

Eric Stromquist

How do your colleagues describe you?

My colleagues describe me as “ethical, practical, even-tempered, and kind”, and most often “a good listener” and “a patient teacher.”

Why do you do what you do?

Taking paths less traveled has led me to some interesting places and pursuits, but of all the things I’ve done, teaching has been my favorite. Owning a small business is more complicated and difficult than people imagine and being able to draw on my academic knowledge and real-life experience to help people be successful is both satisfying and fun.

Bio:

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. He joined Western Culinary Institute in 1996 as an instructor, eventually becoming VP of Academic Affairs before co-founding Oregon Culinary Institute in 2006 where he served as President until 2015.

In 2019, after a lifetime in Portland, Eric moved with his wife to Astoria where he is looking forward to engaging with his adopted North Coast community to help small businesses be successful.

Carlos Mendoza

How do your colleagues describe you?

Carlos is friendly, smart, and professional. He has the ability to make anyone feel welcomed and at home. Carlos loves to help and is always quick to lend a helping hand

Why do you do what you do?

It is an amazing feeling to help and be a part of the success of others. Coming from a farming community, I have always loved sharing my experiences and knowledge with members of the lesser served communities. I simply love doing work that matters

Bio:

Carlos has more than 20 years of experience in sales, hospitality and banking. In the banking industry, he specialized in small business lending and community outreach. His experience in business start-up and business banking has allowed him to focus on his passion for helping families reach their life and financial priorities. Carlos is a native Spanish speaker and hopes that his experiences will help those from underrepresented communities to realize their dreams of being in business for themselves.
Carlos graduated from the American School of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University.