Our Staff

Our team is committed to the growth of Colorado businesses and the creation of jobs and wealth for entrepreneurs. With five administrative staff and over 20 consultants, we represent a broad range of diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise. As part of the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, we also have access to more than 300 business consultants across Colorado.

To meet with a consultant, click here and we’ll guide you through our resource network to ensure your entrepreneurial success.

Executive Director

Abram Sloss

Abram Sloss is the executive director of the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a provider of entrepreneurial and business development services that plays a vital role in the metro Denver region. For 30 years, the Denver Metro SBDC has assisted tens of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing no-cost professional consultation, comprehensive trainings, and data necessary to make sound business decisions in a constantly changing marketplace.

Abram started his career working in large consultancy firms, including Cerner Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he implemented enterprise business solutions within the healthcare and telecommunication industries. He was responsible for project management and client relationships, as well as leading change management efforts for clients engaged in process improvement endeavors.

Prior to joining the SBDC network, he worked for the City and County of Denver focusing on continuous improvement efforts and streamlining service delivery for multiple departments throughout the city. In this role, Abram led significant changes within transportation maintenance programs, low priority crime management, and designed a lean manufacturing process that increased signs and markings capacity of the transportation division within Public Works.

Abram earned both a Master’s of Business Administration and Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems from the University of Iowa. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Rocky Mountain Performance of Excellence, and is the Co-Chairman of Community College of Denver’s Business and Technology Advisory Board. He also serves on the Advisory Council of Mile High Connects, a non-profit that connects residents to affordable housing, jobs, education, and places that promote activity and health.

Director of Programs and Engagement

Rob Rose

Rob Rose is the Director of Programs and Engagement for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He manages personal and professional development programming for both members and nonmember’s alike. The programs range from basic leads group pipeline feeding opportunities to working with emerging leaders as well as programming specifically for business owners of all sizes.

Rob has been with the Chamber of Commerce for over 15 years, prior to joining the Chamber and the Denver Metro SBDC he was an assistant golf professional at Glenmoor Country Club in Englewood, Colorado where we worked with members through golf instruction and tournament production.

Rob received his BA from the University of Northern Colorado, his area of focus was Mass Communications with an emphasis in Advertising.

Rob has served the community as a Board member of the Autism Society of Colorado for over two years and currently serves on the Advisory Board for A Precious Child as well as a newly formed Development Group for Goodwill Industries of Denver. Rob is passionate about giving back to the Denver business and nonprofit community that has given him so much in return.

Rob and his wife, Veronica, live in Parker with their three children, Ashton, Jordan and Aidan.

Program and Communications Manager

Morgan Alu

Morgan Alu is Programs and Communications Manager at the Denver Metro SBDC and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He joined the team first as an intern in June 2015 and was brought on full time in January 2016.

Morgan graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in December 2015 with a B.S. in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. During his studies, Morgan gained valuable experience by working with multiple existing and start-up companies. His hobbies include snowboarding, golfing, and the Denver Broncos.

Customer Service Specialist

Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts serves as a customer service specialist for the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center and is the first point of contact for SBDC clients. She is responsible for managing consultant schedules and setting up appointments.

Prior to joining the Denver Metro SBDC, she served as front desk support for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Originally from Kansas, Kim brings 16 years of teaching experience. She also worked at Denver-based company Frontier Airlines for six years where she developed her strong customer service skills.

Kim enjoys gardening, travel, and reading.

Programs Coordinator

Tatiana Lopez

Tatiana Lopez is a Programs Coordinator for the Denver Metro SBDC and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. She joined the team January 2019.

Tatiana graduated from Colorado Mesa University in December 2018 with a B.A. in Mass Communications and studies in Political Science. While attending CMU Tatiana was active in multiple clubs and organizations including AAUW, Horizon Magazine, the campus Programming Activities Council (PAC), the Shimmer Sparkle Shine Project, and the 2017 Colorado Capital Conference.

Our Consultants

Research and Data Analysis

Amanda Armstrong

Amanda Armstrong is a librarian with a passion for research and analysis. In this role, she works with a team of skilled business research librarians on Bizboost and oversees business outreach for the library. Prior to working at Denver Public Library, she served as the Business Librarian at Loveland Public Library for two years. This included serving on the board of directors for Allied Women Entrepreneurs and as a lead planner for Loveland Startup Week 2017. She held a variety of data and project management roles at DaVita HealthCare Partners over 13 years. She enjoys taking on additional challenges to include working as a wedding coordinating and a Virtual Teaching Assistant for graduate level courses in website user experience and the fundamentals of metadata. Her formal education includes a BA in music from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Start-up assistance, business plan writing

Nancy Barnett

Nancy Barnett assists entrepreneurs with their start-up businesses. She is co-owner of APIS Business Solutions, an accounting/bookkeeping firm that also offers human resource consulting. Nancy has 25 years of experience in corporate training, human resources, and vocational training. Her passion is helping business owners start or improve their businesses by understanding all the components necessary to build a strong business foundation. She takes pleasure in helping owners with strategic planning and business plan development. Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pacific Western University. She was awarded her professional certification as senior professional in human resources by the Human Resources Certification Institute/Society for Human Resources Management.

Cash Flow, Banking, Fundraising

Dan Braiman

Daniel Braiman has more than 30 years of experience in corporate finance, commercial banking, and investment banking.

For the past nineteen years, Dan has held leadership roles at Aaron, Bell International, a Denver-based investment bank focused on helping middle-market, private company owners in the sale or recapitalization of their businesses. He currently serves as CFO and Senior Managing Director, responsible for merger and acquisition transaction execution, corporate finance, and coordinating services between team members. Mr. Braiman has consistently achieved superior results for his clients by assisting them in locating equity capital, fulfilling a business exit strategy, securing their future retirement, and/or transitioning to the next challenge in their lives. He has negotiated or completed several hundred business sale, capital raise, and/or business valuation transactions.

Mr. Braiman completed his undergraduate education at Middlebury College in Vermont, earning a BA in Economics. He also holds an MBA degree in Finance from the University of Rochester Simon Business School (NY).

LEADING EDGE Facilitator, Business planning, Start-up assistance

Greg Durocher

Greg Durocher is Co-founder and CEO at Safe Ride 4 Kids, LLC. Greg first came to the SBDC as a client in 2014. He was looking for ways to expand his business and knew that he needed a formal business plan to present when seeking funding, wether that be a loan or investors. He found in the SBDC class offering, including Leading Edge, exactly what he needed to compliment the consulting he received.

Fast forward to today. Greg and his business have received recognition and awards in the state wide business plan competition and Trout Tank pitch event and his business SafeRide4Kids.com is growing nicely with over a million dollars in cumulative sales since taking the class. Because of his history as an SBDC client, his entrepreneurial success, his desire to serve and his background in training & coaching, Greg was invited to take over facilitating the Leading Edge class as well to be on the team of consultants serving the SBDC’s clients. Greg also has a second successful business that is related to his to coaching and training endeavors.

Before entering the world of entrepreneurs Greg was a career firefighter/paramedic for thirteen years and a volunteer for five years prior to that. For more than 15 years he has also been a student of human behavior and change. He has trained under and learned from the very best in the world: Tony Robbins, Steve Linder, Cloe Madanes, John Gray, Deborah Battersby and many others. His training includes: Human Needs Psychology, Strategic Intervention, Neurostrategies, NLP, Hypnotherapy and EmMatrix. With this diverse background he can help business owners on many levels in their entrepreneurial journey.

In 2003 he married his wife, Amie (who is also one of his business Co-Founders). They have three children and they live, work and play in Denver, Colorado.

Start-up and business planning, restaurant-retail industry, financial analysis

Jeff Gilbert

Jeff Gilbert is a business consultant at the Johnson & Wales University satellite office and has more than 15 years of experience with the SBDC. As a consultant, he assists clients with retail operations, with an emphasis in the food industry. Gilbert is an entrepreneurship and business professor at Johnson & Wales University. He has owned and operated 10 businesses over the past 25 years, including a chain of pizza stores. Currently, he is the owner of a flower shop. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in accounting from Western Washington University. He earned his MBA in finance from the University of Phoenix.

Marketing research, strategy, branding, sales management

Kris Hefley

Kris Hefley, professor of marketing at Johnson & Wales University, assists small business clients with marketing and market research at the Johnson & Wales satellite office. Prior to joining the faculty at Johnson & Wales University, Kris founded the PresentFutures Group, a marketing research and marketing consulting firm in Denver, CO that specializes in research-based strategic planning and marketing communications programs for organizations in various industries including advertising, manufacturing and with national associations. Kris has worked for such clients as BMW Motorcycles, the State of Alaska, Fannie Mae, Pepsi, Vail / Keystone / Breckenridge Resorts, MCI, the American Bankers Association, the National Association of College Stores and The Olympic Torch Relay. Today, he continues to serve clients while teaching advertising, marketing, and marketing research courses in the College of Business at Johnson & Wales University. Kris received his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Colorado, Denver and his B.A. in Sociology from Colorado State University. He has conducted numerous seminars at national association conferences and taught classes at the University of Denver, Colorado State University, Regis University and Fort Lewis College.

Human Resources

Janet Hoffman

Janet Hoffman, is an innovative and strategic Human Resource professional with proven success in building, leading, and managing highly effective HR teams and processes. Accomplished in positioning and aligning Human Resource functions for success by fostering strategic business partnerships, providing strategic/future thinking business advice, establishing and integrating HR processes/best practices into the business, and ensuring all HR functions provide trusted and credible service and support to meet business needs.

Janet’s experience spans over 25 years specializing in human resources, learning and development and general management. She has worked with and supported large and small corporate, field and distribution environments helping to create dynamic, high performing teams.

Janet earned her BS in Retail from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Masters of Education in Adult Education from the University of Georgia.
Janet is SPHR and SHRM-SCP certified.

Startup and Business Planning

David Hood

David Hood is currently an assistant professor in the department of management- graduate studies, at Johnson and Wales University; where he recently moved from Arts & Sciences as a full-time faculty member teaching leadership and English courses. He began his teaching career with the university in 2008, after earning a B.S. in Hospitality Administration and an M.B.A. at Johnson & Wales. David went on to receive an M.Ed. in learning and development at Rhode Island College, and a Ph.D. in leadership studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In Lincoln, he studied the role a Chief of Staff has on an organization.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Hood has acted as a consultant for various sized organizations where he works with top leadership to strengthen business practices and offer assistance in building strategic plans. In addition, he coaches leaders and speaks on topics like: organizational behavior, innovative marketing tactics, social media, and general business planning.

CDOT Prequalification, Risk Management, Strategy, Financial/Cash Flow Management

Darryl Keeton

Darryl has over 10 years of professional business experience. He spent 5 years at Deloitte & Touche in the Enterprise Risk Services (ERS) practice. There he spent time in engagements from auditing, internal audit, general computer controls, and information security and privacy. Darryl has strong knowledge in designing business process flows, accounting and financial control and process management, risk management, and process optimization.

Darryl also has a wide range of experience in compliance and regulation processes and controls. In the last two year’s, Darryl has transitioned out of corporate American to assist small businesses. He has assisted small businesses with accomplishments such as establishing formal accounting and financial processes, increasing operational efficiencies, and developing solutions to grow companies. His experience in the construction industry includes assisting clients with DBE/ESB certification, and providing guidance and assistance for the recently adopted CDOT Financial Prequalification requirements.

In addition, he assists with accounting and financial processes such as establishing budgeting processes, financial review analysis, chart of account reconstruction, cost accounting, and cost controls (e.g., 48 CFR Part 31 citations). Darryl also specializes within the industry with experience in strategic business development, business plan development, and project management. Darryl received dual majors in accounting and management information systems at the University of Arizona.

Areas of Expertise:

  • CDOT Prequalification
  • DBE/ESB Certification
  • Business Strategy/Planning
  • Marketing Strategy/Networking
  • Contract/Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • Financial/Cash Flow Management
  • Cost Accounting/Cost Control
  • Overhead Rate Calculation
  • Project Plans/Specs
  • Billing and Invoicing
Strategic marketing, branding strategy, negotiation, sales

Wendy King

Strategic marketing expert and founder of bForward Group, Wendy King helps small- and mid-size businesses move forward by creating roadmaps for results. Her background–which spans several industries and continents–helps her instantly understand the problems companies face while trying to grow. With a focus on practical, real-world advice and a preference for cost-effective marketing strategies, Wendy’s motto, “Moving Your Business Forward,” shows in everything she does. She works with companies in order to help them develop new opportunities that expand their business. She also helps clients develop marketing and sales plans and strategies that have produced several successful programs resulting in new and increased business. She has an extensive background with other organizations as a senior consultant, VP of Marketing and Director of Marketing. With an undergraduate degree in Health Administration, Wendy received her MBA in Marketing from Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business.

Business Planning, Strategic Growth, Technology, Government Procurement and Certifications, Marketing

Jennifer Kurtz

Jennifer Kurtz is cyber program director at Manufacturer’s Edge, the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partner for Colorado. She has worked for more than 20 years in different aspects of business: as an entrepreneur (technology consulting and landscape design), strategic relationships liaison, organizational development lead, and founding principal for Conundrum Creek Consulting. Her government procurement experience includes RFP development, proposal writing and review, program evaluation, project management, contract fulfillment, certifications, and GSA Schedule. She is affiliate faculty at Regis University (graduate courses in cyber security and project management since 2010); author of the book “Hacking Wireless Access Points: Cracking, Tracking, and Signal Jacking” (2016), in addition to book chapters and articles—and a monthly blog on practical security, “Simply Cyber”; five years as technology infrastructure manager for an international automotive manufacturer; and former award-winning director of eCommerce for the State of Indiana. She holds an MBA and PMP certification. Through the Denver Metro and Pikes Peak SBDCs, Jennifer has co-led the Leading Edge for Transportation/Construction Industry program, the Growth Catalyst Business Coaching program, and created a series of cyber-security courses for small businesses.

Start-up assistance, business plan writing, funding options, tax and accounting issues

Jim Olp

Jim Olp has a depth of experience derived not just from his many years working with SBDCs, but also from his ownership of more than a dozen small businesses. He has taught virtually every aspect of small business management and operations at the college level for more than three decades. Jim has exceptional expertise in business financing options and can assist clients in structuring their business plans and pro forma projections toward the goal of securing financing. He can also assist with questions related to the various taxes and accounting problems.

Start-up assistance, business valuation, financial analysis, accounting, QuickBooks, cash flow forecast, financial budgeting and analysis

Priscilla Orozco-Garcia

Business Consultant Priscilla Orozco-Garcia is an accounting and financial professional with more than ten years of experience in financial practices, serving an executive role in providing credit training, education, industry knowledge, and services, nationally and internationally for lenders, and banking institutions. She is also the owner of YTD Bookkeeping Service LLC, a company that provides the bookkeeping needs to other companies. She works with a variety of clients that are in different industries such as trucking, medical, distribution center, restaurant and product & service.

Orozco-Garcia is fluent in both Spanish and English. She has demonstrated abilities in executing and managing the front lines of customer service and solutions for both B2B and B2C clients. Her experience in the accounting industry has confirmed that her performance in demonstrating valuable business insight: developing, executing, and managing organizational financial and accounting goals; maintaining and administering the financial affairs and functions of a company; recommending cost-effective plans, and providing administrative and organizational operational management solutions. She is skilled at overseeing the daily management of company payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, operations accounting, preparation of checks and payments. Orozco-Garcia is capable of managing the rigorous credit and banking compliance requirements for both national and international customers. Orozco-Garcia is a certified Intuit QuickBooks User and a Full Charge Bookkeeper.

Sales and marketing

Steve Parry

Steve Parry is President of Sales Productivity Consultants (SPC), a 14-year-old sales strategy consulting firm. Steve works with leaders who recognize that sales are the constraint to their company’s growth. SPC helps companies to remove sales constraints by developing and implementing customized sales strategies, systems, and processes. And we help you recruit self-starting, independent team players who over-achieve sales goals.

Steve began developing his training and communications skills as a second-grade teacher in Summit County, Colorado. An entrepreneur at heart, Steve left teaching to start his own business, and since then, has spent over 30 years as a business owner and in the corporate arena: in industrial relations, operations, quality management, mergers and acquisitions, training, marketing, sales, and sales management. As was true when he taught 2nd grade, Steve’s passion is enabling client employees to recognize their full potential.

His various roles have provided him the opportunity to speak and train before diverse groups across this country, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, and Japan.
Clients have ranged from multi-billion dollar international firms to your local flower shop.

DBE/ESB/MSBE/SBE certification, project plans and specifications, CDOT prequalification, CDOT bidding

Adriane Sanford

Adriane Sanford is founder and principal of The Sanford Group, LLC a professional service consulting firm headquartered in Colorado that provides their clients with innovative solutions to diversity program development and approaches in the transportation, construction, government, and economic development markets. Recognized for her passion and being a strong advocate and proponent to the small and disadvantaged businesses, Adriane built her entire career on that reputation. Her dedication for working in the spirit of excellence and delivering value and benefits to her clients and the diversity community continues to be the hallmark of her reputation.

Adriane brings more than 18 years of experience providing small business and economic development consulting; diversity participation programs; community outreach programs and the creation and development of technical assistance support services that leveraged best practices for the small, women and disadvantaged businesses in the construction/transportation industry. She has a strong community involvement and currently serves in a number of key leadership roles in the business community, including member of the Construction Empowerment Initiative for the City and County of Denver. She served in various capacities that reshaped the City & County of Denver 2014 Ordinance that governs the minority and women business enterprise program. She currently serves on the RTD Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advisory Committee (DBEAC), CEI Airport Concession DIA Subcommittee and the Colorado Black Chamber- Black Construction Group Subcommittee. Adriane received her Associate of Art’s Degree in Human Services at the Colorado Women’s College in Denver Colorado.

Project management, estimating and bidding, cost accounting and cost control, plans and specs, bonding guidance, controls and agreements

Bob Smith

Bob Smith has 23 years of construction management experience with 10 years focused years on subcontractor coordination and consulting. Owner of Eaton Cole Construction services, Bob’s area of expertise is providing technical assistance to subcontractors on public and private construction projects. Bob has been a consultant at the Colorado Department of Transportation for over nine years. He works in tandem with owners and prime contractors to exceed project goals and aid in the growth of local, small and disadvantaged businesses.

Bob has provided procurement assistance to prime contractors regarding minority contractor procurement; developed and conducted technical assistance training workshops specifically for subcontractors; analyzed design team proposals and negotiated contracts; assumed oversight of all contractor performed work and administration; supervised the bidding process and development of cost estimates to make contractor selections; prepared and authorized construction and design team contracts; developed project schedules, updated weekly and conducted weekly progress meetings; reviewed, prepared and approved pay applications; managed day-to-day project operations, including RFIs, change orders and submittals; requested value engineering changes / construction options to achieve significant cost savings; coordinated the planning and permitting process with multiple municipalities; overseen project start up and close out; performed cost estimating, cost controls, risk management, quality control, value engineering and constructability reviews; implemented “contractor capacity assessment” for subcontractors to evaluate increased contractor capacity and project success; prepared and analyzed RFQs and RFPs as an owner representative and project manager; managed employee hiring and evaluation procedures; directed bid package preparation, evaluation and awards; performed unit cost estimates during the early stages of engineering and design for systems planning and alternative analysis studies; developed and managed minority contractor procurement programs that are project-specific, meeting or exceeding goal requirements; and administered bonding and insurance compliance.

Business plan writing

Louise Walsh

Louise Walsh has more than 35 years of small business experience, providing a strong basis for her work with SBDC clients as she assists with business plan development and review. A Colorado native, Louise is President of Resolution Enterprises, LLC, a business consulting firm specializing in business planning. Louise is a 2006 Top Ten Business Women of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) and continues to serve as an Ambassador Representative for the 13 states in the western United States. She holds an MBA from Denver University.

I.T. Technology

Bob Ruzga

Bob has over 20+ year portfolio of success, driving IT strategies and projects for a variety of companies from small businesses to large divisions of global multinational organizations. His experiences range from managing daily operations to deploying full scale infrastructure projects to meet business-critical objectives. His success comes from matching the right technology solutions and delivering on time to ensure the business meets its goals. Knowing when to implement bleeding edge technologies with a strong IT team and maintaining solid vendor partnerships to gain competitive advantage have been amongst the keys to his accomplishments.

Bob holds a BS in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University and is the principal of Ruzga Solutions Group, LLC a business which provides IT consulting/coaching services.

In addition to his IT career, Bob and his wife spent living 4+ years living in south west Kenya Africa as self funded missionaries where they built and operated an orphanage for 71 vulnerable orphaned Kenyan children for Oasis for Orphans not-for-profit organization.

When not working Bob enjoys taking time with his wife to enjoy life and exploring this amazing world.