Our business advisory services are key to our clients’ success. When business owners receive a loan from us they have the opportunity to work with our staff and over 30 volunteer business specialists. This free benefit ensures that they have the support, training and resources they need to succeed.
The process is simple. After an initial assessment of the priorities, challenges, opportunities and goals of the business, clients are matched with a business advisor. An advisor might have expertise in a specific area such as record-keeping, legal issues or marketing, or they might be more of a mentor and coach. They might meet with clients once or regularly over many months. Every advisor-client relationship is customized and specific to the business owner’s needs.
We are successful when our clients succeed. Together, our loans and business advisory services provide our clients with the training and tools they need to achieve their goals.
Current Business Advisors
For over 35 years Spike Bailey’s clients were the CEOs, CFOS and owners of large domestic and international manufacturers, distributors, and service providers. Over the course of his career, Mr. Bailey has created hundreds of millions of dollars in innovative financial transactions used by these executives to drive cost out of their operations.
Mr. Bailey has held board positions in four leasing companies and he has founded eight other companies, including two equipment leasing companies, fleet maintenance, retail food, food distribution, record publishing, kiosk manufacturing, elder care services, consulting, agribusiness, and marketing survey system/services. He has held CEO, COO, CFO and executive officer positions with responsibility over national accounts sales, operations, finance, maintenance, credit, accounting, administration, re-marketing and asset disposal. His personal experience with department interrelations allows him to reconnect the elements necessary to create team solutions to refine and assure continued profitability. His specific knowledge of equipment, fleet operations, and equipment leasing has allowed him to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice where he has served as an expert witness.
Currently, he manages his real estate portfolio and acts an equity participant and sponsor for Tenant In Common commercial properties that he identifies, owns and manages. As a SCORE volunteer/mentor he works with a special Business Assistance Team of specialists to solve issues for locally owned family businesses. This BAT team works with their clients to identify, improve, expand and solve current financial and operational issues. He is part of a team that has pioneered new programs with local universities to expose their graduate students to the realities of actual problem solving issues, allowing them to be better prepared to compete and succeed in today’s difficult business environment.
Taylor Ellwood at Imagine Your Reality Business Coaching is a strategic resource for his networking partners and clients. He has over 10 years of experience in business operations and process development, as well as the strategic implementation of business plans. Taylor is also one of the premier networkers in Portland, Oregon, and has an avid passion for connecting people with the right resources to help them solve the problems keeping them up at night.
Gary S. Furr
Gary S. Furr brings over 35 years of business experience as CEO and COO for a variety of companies including a start-up. Currently, he is CEO of a Business Coaching firm based in Portland, helping business owners, executives and managers clarify what it is they want to achieve and to develop goals and action plans to bridge the gap between their reality and their desired outcome. With an undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, and an MBA in Organizational Development, he has the desire to help others achieve success and fulfill their dreams of owning their own business. Mr. Furr has also served on a number of boards and advisory councils.
Ross George is currently Director of Operations at Cooperative Assistance Fund, a private foundation focused on community economic development in the Greater Washington D.C. Area. Among other projects, while at CAF he has designed and operated a small business loan fund, a community development bank loan guarantee program, and a minority contractor lending program with support from the D.C. government and the Department of Treasury. Prior to CAF, George co-founded an impact investing crowdfunding platform and was a successful small business entrepreneur in the field of legal document technology.
George currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, a nonprofit CDFI small business loan fund. He is a part-time instructor at the University of Oregon’s Sustainability Certificate Program, a small business mentor at Mercy Corps NW and a judge in the William James Foundation’s Social Business Plan Competition. George holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and an MBA in Sustainable Global Enterprise from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. A semi-recent immigrant to Portland, outside of work he can often be found kayaking on the Pacific Northwest’s world-class whitewater or enjoying its (also world-class) craft beer!
Currently the President of Baron Equities And Resources, Inc., a firm specializing in real estate acquisition and development, Mr. Gilbert has been actively involved in real estate investment and management since 1973. He is a Board Director for Albina Community Bank Holding Company, the Chairman of HOST Development, Inc., a non-profit developer of affordable home ownership, and the Chairman of Portland Affordable Housing Preservation Trust.
Michael Hanna is a Portland small-business owner. Michael and his wife Mary Ruth Hanna founded Mattress Lot in 2010. They started the business with a small loan from their home line of credit. Their immediate goal was to start a retail mattress pop-up store. Five years into their business they have 15 employees and they are the highest grossing independent mattress store in Oregon. Mattress Lot also has more 5 star Yelp reviews than any other mattress store in Oregon. Their commitment to customer service and to their community are important parts of the Mattress Lot story. Michael specializes in marketing, retail sales and HR. Prior to starting the business, Michael worked with large media companies for 20 years in various capacities including TV journalist, advertising sales person and advertising sales manager for a multi-state territory. Michael holds a BA from U.C. Berkeley and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Portland State University.
Mary Ruth Hanna
Mary Ruth Hanna is a Portland small-business owner. Mary Ruth and her husband Michael founded Mattress Lot in 2010. They started the business with a small loan from their home line of credit. Their immediate goal was to start a retail mattress pop-up store. Five years into their business they have 15 employees and they are the highest grossing independent mattress store in Oregon. Mattress Lot also has more 5 star Yelp reviews than any other mattress store in Oregon. Their commitment to customer service and to their community are important parts of the Mattress Lot story. Mary Ruth specializes in retail sales, merchandising and quick books (retail version). Prior to starting the business, Mary Ruth spent 10 years as a self employed licensed contractor and investor in Portland’s residential real estate market. Before real estate, Mary Ruth spent 10 years as an advertising salesperson for several large media companies. Mary Ruth holds a BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Mary-Elizabeth Harper of Harper and Associates is a Labor Relations/Human Resources Consultant. In her role with Harper and Associates, she works with business owners to develop performance goals and job performance improvement plans, trains management about various aspects of employment rules and processes. She also drafts proposals and negotiates labor agreements, and clarifies state and federal employment laws, standards and procedures for employers.
After moving to Oregon four years ago, she worked for Kaiser Permanente as a Senior Labor Relations and Employee Relations Consultant and was a State of Oregon Labor Relations Manager, responsible for negotiating collective bargaining agreements, adjudicating grievances and resolving employment matters for various departments within the State. Previous to her move, she held the position of Director of Employee Relations at Central Michigan University and worked in private law firms in Michigan and California.
Mary-Elizabeth has also been an instructor of Legal Studies, Labor and Employment Law, Collective Bargaining and Contract Negotiations, and Business English and Writing at Midstate College in Peoria, IL. In addition, she has taught in the Administration of Justice Programs at Southwestern College, Chapman University, National University and National City Adult School in California. Mary-Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science and Doctorate of Jurisprudence.
Chris Hatzi is a Senior Director, Client Engagements & Facilitation at Crisis Simulations International (CSI), a Portland-based technology-enabled training organization. Chris is a native Oregonian with extensive experience in executive leadership, business development, international transportation, and restaurant management. In addition to being a co-founder of CSI, Chris has served as President and CEO of Transportation Strategies, Senior Vice President & General Manager for Saga Forest Carriers, a division of Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and has been a co-owner of a Lake Oswego wine bistro. He has coached, taught and spoken extensively on trade and transportation, crisis decision-making, homeland security, business continuity, and business development.
Jeff Hernandez currently runs a practice helping business owners with financial planning and benefits for their employees. Mr. Hernandez has 15 years of experience in the field of accounting, holding positions as controller and accounting manager and in finance. He has since moved to financial services and uses his prior experience to help companies design benefit plans, bonus programs and other retirement plans for companies and professionals.
Mr. Hernandez has built his practice from scratch and has learned all aspects of budgeting, accounting, hiring and managing staff and annual goal setting. He has focused on crucial revenue generating activities and other operational activities. Mr. Hernandez has mostly worked in construction accounting and has a deep knowledge of project accounting and the use of software to provide good reporting. As the grandson of a minority business owner he is passionate about giving back to the community and helping others.
Diana Hoff brings over twenty years of experience from the financial services industry with a focus on human resources, administrative and project management. She serves on several non-profit boards and is the administrator of The Renaissance Foundation, a private family foundation. Diana also runs a private equity company and as well as her own business as a graphic design and web development service provider. She enjoys working with small business entrepreneurs, networking, traveling, playing golf and reading.
Michael Kalkofen has spent the majority of his career working in a variety of smaller sized businesses, encountering (and conquering) many challenges along the way. As a small company Controller, Michael has worn many hats in dealing with situations such as a poorly implemented computer conversion, mergers and acquisitions, chronic management turnover, fraud recovery, and the successful and enduring turnaround of a failing operation. Along the way, Michael has developed a wealth of experience in accounting and operations management, customer service, process design and implementation, and building and leading strong teams.
Entrepreneurial at heart, Michael opened and operated a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream store, achieving one of the biggest grand openings in franchise history. Michael was intimately involved with all aspects of running and managing the store, including all HR decisions, scheduling, production, purchasing, marketing, customer service, and community outreach. Although the business was ultimately unsuccessful, the experience instilled Michael with a passion for operational excellence and delivering outstanding customer service.
Michael earned an MBA with an emphasis in Services Marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Denver. Michael has lived in the Portland area since late 2009 and enjoys everything that the great Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Adi Klevit has over 20 years of experience in helping businesses grow. She has a degree in Industrial Engineering and her specialty is process improvement and organizational structure. She has worked with hundreds on businesses on implementing management systems, procedures and protocols.
Adi is the co-founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group, a local business consulting group that specializes in helping business owners create and run successful, well-organized and prosperous organizations.
Chad Lynch has been the driving force of success behind business development at three global firms based in Silicon Valley and New York. In these highly competitive markets, he succeeded in creating deal flow and firm awareness with a focus on developing relationships with entrepreneurs and investors. At each firm, he launched an innovative series of educational panels, workshops and networking events that demonstrated the firm’s commitment to the emerging technology market while bringing knowledge and growth opportunities to startups: the Accelerator program at Deloitte & Touche, BackStage Pass at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and Total Access at Orrick. Total Access drew more than 15,000 attendees over four years, providing free tactical advice to startups on topics such as fundraising, sales, term sheet negotiations, board issues as well as market-focused panels: security, Web 2.0, Open Source, SaaS and many others.
During his fifteen years as a business development executive, Chad has brought together some of the brightest and most successful people in the startup community to share their insights with one another. From entrepreneurs to venture capitalists, Chad has developed a wide network of CEOs and investors.
A quiet champion of talented entrepreneurs for nearly two decades, Chad started as an entrepreneur himself, founding his own tech startup in 1996, raising $2 million and running it for over four years. He has witnessed and helped fuel the growth of startups at many stages and from diverse angles, bringing a deep understanding of the startup ecosystem, and tremendous perspective to any situation.
Throughout his career, Chad has emphasized the importance of relationship development, and he thrives on seizing on new opportunities and helping people succeed.
Chad earned his BS in Economics and Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, and now resides with his wife in Oregon.
Gabriel Mathews is the President and Executive Creative Director for Con Cor Design, an industrial design consultancy. He originally hails from Detroit, Michigan and has traversed the country from Pittsburgh, PA through Phoenix, AZ before finding a satisfactory creative niche in Portland, OR.
For the past 14 years, Gabe has worked for large and small corporations and consulted on projects for multiple Fortune-listed companies such as Apple Inc., Microsoft, Nintendo, Nike, Starbucks, HP, Unilever, Coca Cola…to name a few.
He offers award-winning solutions through project analysis, concept ideation and project management, and solves design and system challenges to create dynamic solutions for companies and individuals.
On the side, Gabe owns and operates two smaller ventures: PolyPlane – a free educational site that offers video training for people interested in 3D modeling, and Yawning Fish – a custom motorcycle accessory web-store.
He is an ordained minister, motorcycle rider and bouldering enthusiast with an obsession with the interfacing of humans with technology — be it the glasses on your face to the microchips that might one day be driving your purchasing decisions.
Devoted to purposeful storytelling, Amina Moreau digs deep and asks the tough questions. One that continues to guide her and her team is the question WHY. After all, intentional choices and emotional connection are what lead an audience to action.
Amina is the co-founder of Emmy Award-winning Stillmotion, a Portland-based film studio that has been entrusted in notable circles to tell some very influential stories. Her goals are to help organizations tell their story in a way that is truly unique to them. With a psychology background, she employs many principles of the human element in her marketing strategies, and in the way she runs her business.
Having co-owned three companies, Amina has experience in growing a team, internal culture, marketing, sales, social media strategy, and everyday operations. But more than anything, Amina strives for work-life balance, personal connection, and living a life full of meaning; and she loves helping others achieve the same.
Jim Newcomer helps owners of small businesses improve their vision, planning and execution. He has learned, through running his own businesses as well as in academic studies, how to turn his own experience into the advantage of his clients – for more profitability and more satisfaction. He has focused on business and the environment for many years, and in fact he is an adjunct professor of sustainable business for MBA students at Marylhurst University.
Some highlights of his career include helping Evergreen Airlines establish their Shanghai hub, serving as Executive Director of the Washington State Recycling Association, founding his own reclaimed timber company to make flooring from demolition timbers, and writing business plans for wind farm financing in both China and the United States. A graduate of both the PCC Small Business Course and the SBA SCORE Program, he tailors his work with clients to fit what they cannot learn in these courses, the unplanned and the unexpected. His unique combination of academics, practical business experience, and sustainability equips him to show people, one by one, how to dream of the right business for them, spot and overcome blocks to achieving success, and maintain balance in their lives.
A lifetime Portland area resident, Kevin Ohanesian has been a certified public accountant for over 27 years. Coming from a line of business owners on both sides of the family, the entrepreneur bug was always biting him. After 15 years of working for small local CPA firms, he launched his own practice in 2000. Most CPAs would stay put, but after growing the company from zero to 400 clients in six years, he sold the practice to start another business – Portland Payroll. Portland Payroll competes with the big-boy payroll companies, but brings the local flavor and CPA expertise to the small business owners of the Portland Metro area. Their goal is to strengthen our small business community through mentoring, education, and partnering with others that can help. When not running the company with his business partner Mike Madrid, Kevin can be found spending time with his wife rooting for Oregon sports (we are Ducks!) and the Blazers.
Karen O’Keefe is the founder of Advanced Negotiation Strategies, a management consulting firm specializing in helping companies achieve competitive advantage by improving their organization’s negotiation performance. She works with business owners and their teams to develop overall negotiation strategy, to prepare and plan for negotiations, and to build managers’ negotiation skills through training.
Prior to launching her own firm Karen enjoyed a successful 25 year career with several large manufacturing firms where she held operations and financial responsibility for performance in the logistics, transportation, and supply chain disciplines. She managed multimillion dollar logistics spend. Karen negotiated contracts with providers of all modes of international and domestic transportation and warehousing to support the long and short range goals of the firms where she worked.
Karen is a professional member of the Institute of Management Consultants and a Board Member of the Electronics Manufacturing Association. In the past she has served in leadership roles for the National Association of Rail Shippers, the Pacific Northwest Association of Rail Shippers, and the Oregon Ports Advisory Committee. She also served as a volunteer Arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau.
Danielle Olson is the owner of Visually Digested, a visual thinking consulting company that specializes in helping purpose-oriented businesses and groups hold more effective conversations by engaging both sides of the brain. Her specialties are graphic recording, visual facilitation, workshop and presentation design, and social innovation strategy. She has been doing this work for the past two years, after receiving her master’s degree in collaborative design, and prior to that was a freelance graphic designer. Danielle enjoys collaborating closely with clients, and her strong suits are synthesizing complex ideas, cultivating relationships and creating enriching learning experiences.
David Petrie has broad business experience as a corporate manager, project consultant, business advisor, small business owner, and university professor. Themes that best describe his work are innovation, technology, and sustainable business results. His projects generally are cross-functional in nature, addressing the needs of business areas such as finance, marketing, operations, and human resources.
David has held information technology staff and management positions in high tech and financial services companies, mostly in Southern California. In addition, he is active with consulting projects that focus on the effective use of information technologies in a variety of industries: entertainment, recreational products, telecommunications, software, non-profit, and industrial products. Also, David was the co-owner and general manager of a small business that focused on residential real estate investments.
David has served as a faculty member with business programs in Southern California, the New York City area, and Portland, OR. Through the years, he has taught management, operations, systems development, business software, e-commerce, and capstone courses at the undergraduate and masters levels. He is semi-retired from Concordia University.
Lisa Schroeder is the executive chef and owner of one of Portland’s most popular restaurants, Mother’s Bistro & Bar. She’s also the author of “Mother’s Best” cookbook, a mother, grandmother, and mother hen to over 50 employees.
She attended The Culinary Institute of America and was selected as a Top Ten Student Chef by Food and Wine Magazine. She honed her cooking skills at four start restaurants in New York and France, and opened Mother’s Bistro & Bar in 2000 to rave reviews and the “Restaurant of the Year” title from Willamette Week.
Lisa has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, QVC and many other programs. She is the recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year award and IACP’s Chef/Restaurateur Award of Excellence. Mother’s Bistro & Bar has received numerous accolades, including “Top Restaurant Bargain” from Food and Wine Magazine, “Best Brunch” and “Best Comfort Food” by Citysearch and other publications. Lisa is also an active member of the community, participating in a numerous charities and causes.
Dan worked in advertising as a writer/creative director for twenty-plus years, including stints at Madison Avenue agencies Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, Digitas and BBDO. He conceived and built cross-media marketing campaigns (creative and tactics) for large and not-so-large brands such as Intel, HP, Charles Schwab, FedEx, Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors, The Portland Timbers, Freightliner, Apple, McCormick & Schmick’s, Zoo Doo, and many other fine names. For the past 4 years Dan has been a creative recruiter, specializing in creative, digital and marketing talent. He is currently director of business development and recruiting at 24 Seven, Inc. His experience on the agency side is of great value in evaluating talent and client-side opportunities and needs. As firms are being forced to work smarter and more cost effectively these days, Dan is able to help them by providing on-demand talent at every level. He still holds to his core belief that great results and great work are not mutually exclusive. Dan is proficient in all major marketing media, including print, broadcast, interactive, direct, point-of-sale, out-of-home, and guerilla.
Amrita Vatsal is a Director with Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM). She joined the firm in 2011 to lead the creation of Ecotrust Forests II, a forestland investment vehicle that increases the local and public ownership of forestland with strategic significance for the PNW region. EFM is a pioneering impact investment firm with a 10 year history, 30,000 acres of forestland under management, and over $70M in AUM. Its mission is to influence the adoption of improved forest management practices via its investing and advisory activities. EFM was voted ‘Best for the World’ by BCorporation and is among the Top 50 Global Impact Fund Managers, per ImpactAssets for three years in a row.
Amrita has worked at the intersection of finance and the environment throughout her career, with experience in clean-tech investment banking, private equity, and carbon project development across the United States, West Africa, and Indonesia. She is skilled at structuring and deploying innovative financial tools, layering public-private sources of capital and using environmental markets to scale market based approaches that integrate the well-being of people, planet and profit.
Amrita is a Fellow of the Erb Institute of Global Sustainable Enterprise and graduated from the University of Michigan with an MBA and an M.S. in Natural Resources. She was named the Journal of Environmental Investing’s first Graduate Scholar, and is a co-author of ‘Evolutions in Sustainable Investing’, published by Wiley in 2012.
Over the last fourteen years, Kevin has resided in Portland, Oregon and has served on a number of community organizations.
Ashish Vatsal has been a management consultant for over four years, working in a wide range of areas from strategic planning to project leadership. He is currently a Senior Associate and Account Leader at Point B, Inc. His background includes financial modeling, strategy development, and project management.
Ashish earned his MBA from the University of Michigan, and he has been living in Portland since late 2012. Prior to business school, he helped start a company focused on providing research papers on micro-cap companies.
Andy Vu studied Business Management and Construction Engineering Management at Oregon State University and received an MBA from the Acton School of Business in Austin, Texas.
Andy spent six years as a Director at a fast growing tech start up in the higher education space and now specializes in operational and financial coaching. Most of his time is spent in real estate investing, finding new entrepreneurial opportunities, surfing, rocking climbing and practicing jiu jitsu.