Catherine Grooms, MBA
Business expertise: Accounting, Business Planning, Financing, Management, Operations, Growth Strategy
As Director, I manage a team of 21, including 18 professional business consultants and direct all services of the SBDC including delivering results, marketing, managing finance and budgets, sponsor and partnership relationship management, developing events and managing grants. I am honoured to work with entrepreneurs and business owners who help improve the local economies, as a member of the SBDC Team since 2006. Food…everyone eats, but I love cooking and eating foods from different regions.
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Paul Mazbanian, MBA
Position: Assistant Director
Business expertise: Accessing Debt Financing, Business Plans, Certifications
As assistant Director, I use the skills I have learned over the years as an entrepreneur and as an SBDC consultant to assess the needs of each client and match our consultant's skill set with our clients . I also assist in analyzing and compiling our client's progress to support the center's growth and the progress of our clients.
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Ben Tenn, MBA
Position: Senior Consultant
Business expertise: Business Startups, Strategy, Marketing Sales, San Fernando Valley Representative
I have served more than 600 local small business clients over the past seven years in the greater San Fernando Valley, from start-ups to 30 year old established businesses and in nearly every business category and industry. I have owned two small businesses for more than twenty years and also worked for many years in management for large corporations, with total sales generated of more than $2 billion. I like to travel and enjoy fine wines.
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Position: Senior Consultant
Business expertise: Access to Capital, Business Plans
After college and 4 years of flying helicopters with the US Marines, I was a CEO of several sales & marketing companies. As a senior consultant at the SBDC, my passion is imparting to new and existing entrepreneurs the need to write, understand and use a business plan. My specialty is asset management, assisting companies in trouble and helping to procure needed funds.
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Business expertise: Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets and Patents Business Contracts/Transactions, Mediation
I consult SBDC clients on the legal aspects of their business, such as entity selection and formation, intellectual property, contract drafting and review, regulatory compliance and ecommerce matters. On a personal note, I enjoy all things motorsports, especially Formula 1 and MotoGP racing, classic muscle cars and attending live concerts.
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Tora Brown, Psy D.
Business expertise: Certifications for bidding public contracts, Initial Client Meetings
As the public/government relations specialist at the COC SBDC, I believe that managing communications is about more than just 'spreading the word'. My goal is to inspire, motivate and empower my clients to reach new levels in their business by connecting with their ideal client. As a native of So Cal, I recharge by driving around in my convertible soaking up the sun and letting the wind blow through my hair.
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Business expertise: Fashion Industry Specialist, Business Start-ups
A professor of business at the college level and a member of the FIDM Hall of Fame, I have been a successful manufacturer, retailer and consultant for the past thirty years. My experience transcends the norm and my style of both teaching and consulting is both enjoyable and informative. As I speak from personal experience, I can exemplify alternative ways of achieving your goals. I am proud to be on the COC SBDC team!
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Kevin Farr, MBA
Business expertise: Real Estate & Leases, Business Development, Financial Forecasting, and General Management
As a generalist consultant, I assist all types of new businesses from start-up through early stages of growth. I'm also the real estate specialist for our SBDC's clients of all sizes, helping them navigate the complexities of landlord and lease negotiations, locating new facilities, working with real estate brokers, and operating real estate-related businesses. In my free time, I'm as likely to be found in the stands enjoying a good baseball game as on the field umpiring one.
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Stuart Fried, MA
Business expertise: LinkedIn, Social Media, Executive Development
As an experienced business and career coach, I deliver workshops and provide consulting for LinkedIn, Facebook, business development and networking to our COC SBDC clients. I am passionate about helping our clients navigate the challenges of utilizing social media to promote and grow their businesses. During my leisure time, I love to travel, hike, attend theatre and concerts and spend quality time with my teenage daughter.
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Business expertise: Supply Chain Development and Performance Improvement
Michael Letson specializes in performance improvement; helping clients enhance their …
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Business expertise: QuickBooks, Starting Your Business
SBDC Business Advisor Helene K. Liatsos is a Certified QuickBooks …
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Sylvia Martini, CGBP
Business expertise: International Trade, Marketing
I assist clients in international trade, marketing, sales and web communications. My people skills and open-minded nature inspire business partners and creates long-term relationships. I love staying in motion, having a great conversation and discovering the world.
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Business expertise: Restaurant Specialist
As a restaurant operations specialist for the SBDC I work with all restaurants, bars, and nightclubs from start ups to existing businesses. From concept to completion and beyond I can assist in all areas of business. I appreciate the opportunity to sit with our clients to help them start, grow or grow their business.
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Business expertise: Business Training, Professional Development
As a consultant and trainer, I have the awesome opportunity of sharing my years of experience, knowledge, and expertise with entrepreneurs hungry for success. It gives me great pleasure to show our clients how to successfully start a business the right way, finance their business, and grow with confidence. My many years of experience working with financial institutions and the SBA have landed me the nickname “Money Lady”, which I gladly wear with honor.
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Charles Yacoobian, CPA
Business expertise: Financial Management, Export/Import, General Management, Growth Management, Inventory Management
I enjoy assisting small business owners and budding entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams, mentoring them on entity formation, business plans, financial projections/analysis and operational issues. In my free time, I play drums in a classic rock band and in the UCLA Alumni Band.
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Business expertise: E-Commerce
In 2003 Ramin filled an empty niche in the marketplace by founding GroomStand Inc., e-commerce groomsmen gift retailer. Ramin also spearheaded an e-commerce app and distributor with Personalization Pop and aOa Commerce advising and consulting for e-commerce.
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