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.

Roy Vargas

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Roy is a reliable person who can be counted on to deliver solutions in crunch times.”

Why do you do what you do?

“I enjoy assisting individuals who want to start up a business because I know that it is going to be a journey that will change their life. I find the most satisfaction when I’m able to offer a practical solution to a problem that the client thought was insurmountable.”

Bio:

Roy has extensive experience in mediation and other HR disciplines. His depth of experience in farm labor management is significant and provides our community with a steady resource to facilitate communications with our vibrant farm business community. Roy’s bilingual advising and understanding of the Latino culture has expanded the scope of the SBDC here at TVCC.

Chris Hollaway

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Chris is always picking up new tools, strategies and contacts to help clients use in their business ventures.”

Why do you do what you do?

“I like working with SBDC clients because I realize not everyone is wired to thrive in a traditional employment environment. Helping someone who is suffocating in the clutches of a ‘normal’ job figure out how to leverage their talents into a profitable enterprise is a rewarding experience. Spending time with these entrepreneurial minds is quite inspiring and adds a depth of perspective that has impacted my writing career.”

Bio:

Chris is a generalist who helps clients attain government contracts and Construction Contractors Board licensing. He also works with the artistic clients who request advising. His experiences with publishing have made the SBDC a destination for aspiring authors in the area. Chris is the author of a fantasy/adventure series. He is currently working on the fourth installment in the series.

Christina Grace

How do your colleagues describe you?

Christina is a bundle of passionate energy filled with amazing ideas to help motivate and excel people to the next steps of development.

Why do you do what you do?

I love to stimulate people to bring their creative ideas to the surface and help them realize their goals of small business ownership. Helping people succeed is a passion of mine.

Bio:

Christina Grace specializes in several areas of business advising, including start-ups and growing existing businesses responsibly. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and studied Alternative Holistic Healing through the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International. Christina has more than 20 years of experience in owning and operating successful family businesses. She is bilingual and bicultural and has traveled to South America and other Latin countries to bring back new business insights.

Jimsie Crouch

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Jimsie is passionate about her work. She is highly organized, hard-working, results-oriented, and trustworthy.”

Why do you do what you do?

I love helping people achieve their dreams.

Bio:

Jimsie received an Office Specialist Certificate from Treasure Valley Community College. She has more than 15 years of experience with office work and has been with the SBDC at TVCC for three years collectively. Jimsie provides support for the Director and advisers and helps clients with research, computer programs, and more. Jimsie takes care of the behind the scenes work to keep our workshops and center running smooth.

When Jimsie is not at work, she enjoys spending time outdoors hunting and fishing with her husband. She also loves spending time with her granddaughter and two grown sons.

Michael Braden

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Senior adviser, problem solver, and dedicated to helping our local small businesses!”

Why do you do what you do?

“It’s the relationship building I get with those people who come in with a need. I enjoy helping them. Seeing them succeed is sometimes something that couldn’t happen without our help.”

Bio:

Michael is an experienced CPA, with a Master’s in Accountancy and Taxation from Boise State University. He has worked for several public and private accounting offices. Michael is a senior adviser at the Treasure Valley SBDC and teaches QuickBooks, Excel and accounting. He is well versed in financial topics in both Idaho and Oregon and helps our clients who own businesses in both states. He is our liaison to the Veteran business community and facilitates our monthly VSBM cohort group; providing our Veterans with guidance to grow vibrant businesses in our community.

Ronda Baines

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Ronda’s ability to foster relationships and build bridges supports a positive work environment in the SBDC office and builds the SBDC brand of excellence in the community.”

Why do you do what you do?

Ronda embodies the philosophy you need great business advising and training services to create amazing businesses. This vision ignites Ronda’s enthusiasm for the work the SBDC does for small businesses in the Treasure Valley and the impact that has on the owners’ business success, and ultimately their lives.

Bio:

Ronda is an office assistant for the SBDC at TVCC. She holds a B.S. in Education from University of Idaho. Ronda is a founder and the board president for Treasure Valley Classical Academy. Her experience in fundraising, in business-to-business marketing, small business ownership and education has sustained her during this endeavor. All these experiences help Ronda comprehend and embrace the challenges and joys involved in running small businesses here in the Treasure Valley.

Andrea Testi

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Andrea fosters a positive and supportive work environment and empowers her staff to pursue their own ideas and accomplish their goals.”

Why do you do what you do?

“The work I do is all about relationships, people and helping them accomplish their goals. It’s about listening, teaching, offering key advice and providing them tools to be successful. I’m passionate and excited about business. Being successful as a business adviser is my greatest contribution to my community. Our clients generate amazing economic results that ultimately benefits our whole community ways.”

Bio:

Andrea Testi is director of the Center for Business, Workforce and Community Learning at Treasure Valley Community College. Andrea has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Library and Information Science. She has been a university librarian and has owned and managed businesses across multiple states. Having been a small business owner herself, Andrea understands the hard work that comes with starting and running a small business. She has been the TVCC SBDC Director since 2000 and shares her depth of business expertise with her team and clients daily.