The Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) works with entrepreneurs and small business owners in Cortland County out of our satellite office at The Cortland County BCD/IDA.
NYSBDC Certified Business Advisor
What is your background in business?
I’ve been in business quite some time. I started my career with Xerox Corporation. After working for various businesses in Syracuse and Rochester, I opened my own business called Brooks Communications. Then, in 2006, I joined the Syracuse Technology Garden as executive director when it was in its infancy. I did that for almost five years and then joined a business development organization called Launch NY as an entrepreneur-in-residence. I did that for about five years and then joined the Small Business Development Center. So, I’ve had a good deal of experience.
What are your areas of expertise?
Marketing is my strength as well as mentoring early stage startup endeavors.
What drew you to work at SBDC?
The opportunity to work with a group of startup entrepreneurs who are young, eager and anxious to get going in their careers. There are a great many young people trying to start businesses these days.
What’s your best advice for someone thinking about starting their own small business?
Do your homework. Get some help. Do your research. Find somebody who can help you and point you in the right direction and be your mentor.
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
I think it’s the diversity. The diversity of people, ideas, approaches. No two businesses are alike and no two entrepreneurs are alike, so it’s a very diverse daily activity.
What makes you unique?
In terms of experience, I’ve been involved, especially in the Syracuse area, for many, many years. I’m quite experienced. I’m also connected in the community, both in Syracuse and in my own community of Cazenovia.
And diversity of background, as well. I’ve been in the software business, hardware business, been my own boss in my own business, been in communications, and creative roles, so I have a real diversity of experience.
What are your personal interests?
I used to play a lot of golf. I enjoy sports. I’m a big historic preservation fan. I like staying involved in my community and was a member of the board of trustees for the Village of Cazenovia for 10 years.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what sort of business would you found? Along with staying with the SBDC, of course!
Ice cream! My daughter, who is now 35, and I have had this idea for years about an ice cream business. We’ve never put it together but we still think it might be successful. It would be something we could give a shot with the right kind of capital, which the lottery would bring. And who doesn’t like ice cream?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be yourself. Be who you are. Don’t put on any false airs. I think that’s really good advice for anybody, especially in business. — Someone a very long time ago passed that on to me!