Business Impact NW Staff
Operations & Administration
Joe Sky-Tucker, MSW
President & CEO
Joe Sky-Tucker has over twenty years’ experience working in the nonprofit world in a variety of positions and organizations including direct experience working with at risk youth and families in crisis, fund development, and strategic planning. Currently he works as the President and CEO of Business Impact NW, an asset building/community lender that specializes in supporting small and micro-businesses; helping them to achieve financial stability. He has also worked with “at-risk” youth in mental health settings including working with foster care youth, children in locked psychiatric settings, and group homes. Joe Sky-Tucker has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.
Managing Director & COO
Danielle Moser is the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Business Impact NW, and is responsible for the oversight and ensuring of proper operations of the organization. Prior, Danielle served within the Development & Communications Department as the Director of Development & Communications, responsible for fundraising, brand, and marketing. Danielle worked under contract with Business Impact NW beginning December, 2016 and was hired on as a full-time staff member as of April, 2017. Prior to joining Business Impact NW, Ms. Moser served as Development Officer for ArtsWest after serving on their Board of Directors, and as a high school English and History teacher before joining the nonprofit fundraising world. She brings a wide array of skills to her position derived from past experiences. Ms. Moser completed her Masters in Teaching degree from Seattle University, and her Bachelors Degree from Boston University.
Steve Cook is the Operations Director at Business Impact Northwest. He most recently served as the Area Census Office Manager for the Seattle Area Census Office during the 2020 Decennial. Steve started his career as a broadcast journalist, and has worked as a filmmaker, project manager, sales manager, and graphic designer. An avid traveler, he also spends his free time working in relief and intaglio printing and bookbinding.
Strategic Partner & Diversity Officer
Alyssa Pizarro is the Strategic Partner & Diversity Officer at Business Impact NW. Alyssa is responsible for the organization’s relationships and diversity focus. Before this, Alyssa served as the Corporate Giving Officer at Business Impact NW for a year and a half. Alyssa’s previous nonprofit experience was in the Development Department at Yoga Behind Bars, from career beginnings as a 10-year fashion sales manager and director in New York before moving to Seattle in 2013. Alyssa has combined her passion for social justice and community engagement with her corporate experience to culminate in her current role at Business Impact NW. She completed one year of her MBA at Northeastern University and has a Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Albany, with a double major in Anthropology & Women’s Studies. Alyssa is also a yoga instructor, a pup-mom, a forever-learner, and a fair-weather jogger.
HR Specialist and Bookkeeper
Ashley Clark moved to Seattle from San Francisco, California in 2010 looking for a change of scenery and lifestyle. She studied English and Media Studies at the University of San Francisco and attended cosmetology school. It was during school that she began working at the front desk of a nearby salon and discovered a knack for small business management. She quickly progressed from receptionist to salon manager and has continued to develop her administrative career in a variety of industries. Other than salons, she has worked in insurance, private post-secondary education, accounting, and now the non-profit sector. She currently works as office manager and executive assistant for Business Impact NW and supports its mission to empower entrepreneurs from underserved communities.
Chief Financial Officer
Rick Leibowitz has over 12 years of experience supporting small businesses as Director of Small Business Development Centers hosted by educational institutions in six different States. In the private sector, he has served on the executive teams in the food manufacturing, hospitality, and professional services industries. He has also started and operated 4 retail/wholesale bagel bakeries in NJ, Pennsylvania, and Alaska. Currently, he works as a CFO of Business Impact NW, working with the finance team to help support organizational decision-making with timely and accurate information. Rick received his MBA from Western Governor’s University and his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. He enjoys playing ice hockey, hiking the beautiful trails available in Oregon and cooking great meals
Community Development and Policy Manager
Maddie completed her Masters in Social Work at University of Washington, with a concentration in Administration and Policy Practice. She has an undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University. Maddie has worked at non-profits in Washington, Thailand and Washington, D.C. She enjoys reading, visiting museums, and listening to podcasts.
Office Manager & Executive Administrator
Derik started his career at age 17 in the U.S. Army and finished his 8 year enlistment in 2009, having served as both NSA intelligence analyst and non-commissioned officer. While attending college in Florida, he discovered his passion for operations work at a part time job with Ashley Furniture. He eventually became office manager before transferring to the same role in Washington State. A sporting accident required stepping away from this work for several years during which time he worked as a personal assistant. Now Derik enthusiastically brings his experience in both operational and personal support to Business Impact NW as it develops our community through supporting under-served entrepreneurs.
Small Business Lending
Chief Lending Officer
Victor was the Business Banking Center Manager at KeyBank Beaverton. Victor brings nearly 20 years of banking experience, a passion for small business, and community activism. He is President of the Hispanic-Latino Key Business Impact networking group and a graduate of Business & HR Management from Portland State University. Victor has personally done more than $5 million in commercial lending each year, plus much more with his teams. Son of Armenian & Argentinian immigrants, Victor is inspired by his family, community, and the opportunity with Business Impact NW to promote the economic development of marginalized communities.
Tui Landa has a Masters in Business Education and has been servicing loans since 1986. Having worked at banks such as Bank of America and BECU, Tui is well-versed in consumer lending, commercials loans, loan documentation, SBA audits and credit review. Tui started working part-time for Business Impact NW in 2017, and current reviews the risk rating of all portfolios and reviews all current SBA loans, in addition to being a loan officer for new clients. Born in Thailand, Tui came to the US in 1971 and is proud have a husband, two daughters, three grandchildren and three dogs. She also plans to retire again soon.
SVP/Sr. Loan Officer & Dir. Strategic Initiatives & Impacts
Roland Chaiton is a Sr. VP/Loan Officer with Seattle Economic Development Fund (SEDF) dba Business Impact NW. He has over 22 years of financial services experience through two CDFI’s, Business Impact NW—Washington State’s 2nd largest CDFI and before that, Snohomish County Private Industry Council (SnoPIC)—WA State’s 3rd largest CDFI, at that time. In 2011, Roland was selected by SBA as their Financial Services Champion for WA State and for SBA’s Region 10 (WA, OR, ID, AK). Besides doing Small Business and SBA7a lending, Roland has done successful grant writing for both SEDF and SnoPIC. He has also been instrumental in helping numerous SEDF clients achieve award winning results through the financial packages and counsel he has provided to them. Awards winners have included (but are not limited to) the Seattle Mayor’s best small business of the year award-2004 (two clients); King County Executive’s Best Green/Sustainable Business of the Year-2011; SBA’s Best Small Business Owner of the Year for WA-2013, and as a National finalist for SBA-2014.
Business Lending Officer
Small businesses and other organizations throughout Alaska may already be very well acquainted with Theo, formerly with Evergreen Business Capital. While there, Theo served as the company’s Programs Loan Officer, where he educated small businesses on the benefits of SBA’s Community Advantage Program and helped numerous entrepreneurs receive the necessary funding to start or grow their businesses. Theo also specialized in SBA’s 504 participation loan program which is utilized to purchaser owner-occupied commercial real estate. In 2019, Theo was awarded with the SBA Alaska District Director Award for his unmatched commitment to the education and empowerment of small businesses throughout the state.
Theo is the proud dad of two lovely daughters and granddad of 4 grandchildren. Theo enjoys mentoring youth through his involvement Junior Achievement, the Alaska Military Youth Academy and Bartlett Golden Bears HS Boys Basketball Program. Theo also teaches civics to immigrants applying for US Citizenship. In his spare time, Theo enjoys motorcycling, biking and exploring the unique communities spread throughout Alaska each summer.
Business Lending Officer
Andy comes from the business banking world, with nearly 20 years in business lending. He previously worked at JP Morgan Chase and US Bank in serving business and commercial clients with equipment financing, commercial real estate and franchise purchases, partnership/business buy outs and acquisitions, and SBA lending. He joined Business Impact NW in July 2021. Andy is largely inspired by his family’s entrepreneurial background and the passion to learn, inform and teach individuals all the ins and outs of the business world. He enjoys playing sports, most of all soccer (football). He is also fluent in Spanish.
Having completed my MBA from India, I have over two years of experience in Banking and lending, and a year of experience in audit. Prior to joining BIN, I have also been associated with Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union for a few months. In my career so far, I have helped Non-Banking Financial Institutions and small businesses. With BIN, I get an opportunity to help those who are underserved in the community, and I love that aspect about my work. Always seeking new opportunities and with the international exposure that I have, I am looking forward to helping as many businesses as I can in the community. I am fluent in English, Hindi, and Bengali.
Director, Portfolio Management and Loan Servicing
Christopher Stone is Loan Portfolio Manager and IT Manager at Business Impact NW. Before joining in mid-2014, his career was primarily spent in the education and non-profit fields. In addition to work with universities, school districts, preschool language programs, and the American Red Cross, he has worked with tech startups in Seattle and other technology companies. Passionate about Business Impact NW’s mission to combine financial empowerment with business education, Christopher also uses his experience as a former Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia to work with Business Impact NW's diverse client base. Originally from the Midwest, Christopher moved to the Seattle area in 2009 and has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in linguistics from Truman State University in Missouri.
Loan Documentation and Administration Specialist
Ahmad is currently the Loan Documentation and Administration Specialist at Business Impact NW. Prior to joining Business Impact NW, Ahmad worked at several non-profit organizations and contributed in providing social and community services. He has Bachelor’s degree in law and likes to play soccer and tennis.
Loan Servicing Administrator
Addy Cui has been studying in the UK since 2000 and after obtaining a bachelor's degree in business and management in the UK, she joined the International Student Center of the University of Leicester as a study abroad consultant. She returned to China in 2010 and began to help her original employer develop their business, and set foot in related industries such as jewelry customization. At the same time, she helps students who are willing to study abroad to apply for schools for free and help their families get visiting visas. In 2018, Addy got her permanent residence card and immigrated to the United States.
After nearly a year of adjustment, she started her first US job as an office manager in Helzberg Diamonds. She has considerable experience in the planning of small and medium-sized enterprises, low-cost operations in market expansion, and a lot of achievements in network operations. Due to years of cross-cultural learning and management, Addy has her own unique cross-cultural management and business experience - especially in establishing integration with new immigrants and network cross-cultural communication.
Development & Communications
Chief Strategic Development Officer
Greta Stough has a passion for sharing the work we do here in compelling ways. Prior to joining Business Impact NW, Greta operated her own consulting business, The Cabra Group, for over a decade, focusing on nonprofit development, community planning, grants and fundraising. Prior to that she was the Director of Development for the Suquamish Tribe. She has an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College. She did graduate work in Planning at NYU, living for five years in Brooklyn and enjoying diverse food, culture, and music. Greta enjoys hiking, cooking for her family, classic film, and playing with her English Cocker Spaniel, Scooter.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Carolina is responsible for leading the Marketing and Communications department. She has a vast professional experience in marketing, market research and consulting, working with clients and organizations across many industries and in multiple Latin American countries. She earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Austral de Chile, a Master of Finance from Universidad de Chile, and a Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, watching documentaries and volunteering.
Grants & Giving Manager
Madeline Nicholson is the Development Coordinator at Business Impact NW. Prior to joining Business Impact NW, Madeline served as the Development and Communications Assistant at Inside Out Youth Services. Madeline began her career in Museum Education at the Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs where she worked for three years as an in-gallery museum educator. Her passion for working with diverse communities brought her from the museum to the nonprofit sector to work in Development. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado College. Madeline brings a commitment to social justice and experience cultivating relationships with individual donors. Madeline enjoys hiking, yoga, making ceramic pottery, and baking bread.
Events & Engagement Manager
Mirelle Wuolle is responsible for the organization’s annual events and sponsorships, building community engagement, and organizational support. Mirelle brings over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, where she had an opportunity to work with various non-profit organizations. Over her career in hotel and restaurant management, she built strong professional skills in customer service, operations, catering, sales, events, and building relationships.
Before moving to Seattle in 2018, she owned a small Catering & Events company that specialized in authentic hand-made Brazilian pastries, sweets, and cakes in the greater Los Angeles area, giving her the opportunity to incorporate all her skills and experience with her passion for Brazilian culinary. Mirelle has a multi-cultural background and speaks Portuguese, English, and some Spanish. She has a Lato Senso post-graduation Degree in Communication Studies from the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana - Brazil. Mirelle is involved in the community and has been a volunteer in the Auta De Souza group providing meals for the homeless and to senior citizens who can no longer cook for themselves. In her free time, she enjoys reading, camping, traveling and learning about other places and cultures, and spending time with her husband and kids.
Osmir "Oz" Díaz
Osmir “Oz” Diaz is the Communications Manager at Business Impact NW. Originally from Washington D.C., Oz built her marketing and communications skills through a lifetime of entrepreneurship in a variety of industries.
Oz is a passionate advocate for social justice and the power of community. She has helped grow multiple businesses in the Latino community across the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area through high school and college, had her digital media work featured in the Washington Post, and runs her own business, Buenos Balloons out of Downtown Seattle with a mission to spread joy through event styling. During her free time she is a dedicated dog mom to Juneau, a gamer, and someone who loves to indulge in yoga, small business shopping sprees, and binge-watching crime shows.
A Seattle native, Faith graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor’s in Tourism Management. She used those skills working in various hotels and then transitioned into the medical and dental fields. After getting married in 2014, she moved with her husband to Panama City, Florida where she continued to hone her administrative and supervisory skills at a local otolaryngologist’s office. Four years later, Hurricane Michael hit, and they were ready to return home to the Pacific Northwest. That event seemed to have stirred up a passion to step into a different field however. After watching so many businesses crumble after the hurricane, she returned home with a new outlook and a strong desire to do what she could to help keep the small business dream alive.
Ying Zhou is the Controller for Seattle Economic Development Fund dba Business Impact NW. Ms. Ying comes to this position after completing her MBA degree at the University of Bridgeport. While there, she worked 3 years as the budget analysis assistant in the finance department of University of Bridgeport. She also volunteered as tax preparer for international students and US residents in University of Bridgeport and United Way of King County 5+ years. She is also currently helping in her family’s business management.
Quy graduated with her Bachelor Degree in Accounting and M.B.A in her home country. She had over 12 years of working in Logistics and Accounting positions before she moved to U.S. in 2015. She went back to school to finish her B.S. in Accounting at Central Washington University in 2018. She worked as Accountant in a Public Accounting firm after graduation and then was hired as Loan Accountant at Business Impact NW in 2020. Quy loves traveling to see the world and learn more different cultures.
Business Technical Assistance
Chief Program Officer
Domonique’s bachelor’s degree in economics, entrepreneurship focused MBA, and her ten years of experience working within the small business community, produce a solid, balanced foundation of academic knowledge and practical experience. Domonique uses this knowledge and experience to assist veteran small businesses navigate the challenges posed when trying maintain bookkeeping, human resources, social media, marketing strategies, sales, and process improvement on a limited budget. Her strengths lie in tackling the complex problems small businesses face on a day-to-day basis. Growing businesses are her passion and she has helped businesses double the size of their staff, implement effective and aggressive marketing strategies, and win business plan competitions.
Senior Business Consultant
Ms. Conaway graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona in 2001 with a B.A. in Political Science. She then attended law school at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and received her J.D. in 2005. During law school Ms. Conaway served as a member of the Mercer Law Review and as a fund raising chair of Phi Alpha Delta. In her third year, Ms. Conaway’s comment, “Reversion Back to a State of Nature in the United States Southern Borderlands: A Look at Potential Causes of Action to Curb Vigilante Activity on the United States/Mexico Border,” was selected for publication. After law school, Ms. Conaway completing a two year clerkship with Judge Joseph Howard of the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Upon the completion of her clerkship in 2007, Ms. Conaway went into private practice at Burch & Cracchiolo, a preeminent Phoenix law firm. While in private practice, Ms. Conaway handled complex commercial litigation and appeals, on behalf of small businesses, large corporations, and corporate representatives. She not only assisted clients in navigating their immediate business disputes and challenges but also help them devise and implement practices, policies, and procedures to avoid future problems and drive revenue. For this work, she was recognized as a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star. Ms. Conaway joined VBOC as a small business consultant in January 2015.
Coach & Trainer / Special Projects
Oren is a successful business owner with extensive experience in the live event production industry. He started and managed a company that works with the largest live event promoters in the world, and provides services for over one hundred events annually. He has a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in entrepreneurship and accounting. He is also a certified ADA Coordinator and accessibility specialist, having consulted on disability programming for various municipalities and private organizations. A musician and live music enthusiast, he co-founded Accessible Festivals, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the standards of accessibility at live music events and concerts throughout the country.
When it comes to coaching, Oren is understanding and empathetic, yet, he cultivates intention and provides clear action to help business owners build, expand, and thrive with their business.
Grants Compliance Manager
Shelby found her passion working in the nonprofit sector in 2016. Since then she has spent time working in Portland promoting a healthy community through culturally responsive mental health and addiction services at Lifeworks NW, and then in Idaho within grant administration and oversight of homelessness assistance programs at Idaho Housing Finance Association. When Shelby found herself living in Seattle in 2019 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she sought to work for an organization who had a strong mission and impact on the community. Shelby now serves as the Grants Compliance Manager at Business Impact NW and is responsible for overseeing the reporting and compliance of government and private grants and contracts for the portfolio of programs at BIN.
During her free time, she enjoys taking her kayak out on Lake Washington, taking on home improvement projects, spending time with family in nearby Portland, and relaxing at home with her partner and two dogs, Nola and Banjo.
Technical Assistant Administrator
Bo moved to Seattle in 2016 and has focused her career on working for local businesses and non-profit organizations. Working in retail management allowed her to serve her community as well as offer welcoming spaces for those in marginalized communities to work and shop. Bo is passionate about employee rights and compassionate communication. Prior to her move, Bo ran her own small business as an influencer and writer on pop culture, with a specific focus on the analysis of how popular culture affects queer people seeking their identity in a predominately heterosexual environment. Bo has been featured in the lesbian publication Curve magazine and LGBTQ+ site Autostraddle.
Bo lives with her cats Maximus and Lucy and her hermit crab Galliano. Bo enjoys researching fashion and design history, cultivating her own fashion and design style, and listening to comedy and historical podcasts. Bo is a passionate supporter of the Seattle queer community’s artists and performance spaces and is excited to be a part of a team that supports entrepreneurs in marginalized communities.
Washington Women's Business Center
Susan Perreault, DBA
Susan Perreault, DBA is the Washington Women’s Business Center Director. Prior to joining Business Impact NW, Ms. Perreault earned a doctorate in business administration and spent the majority of her career as a serial entrepreneur and in senior management positions in the professional beauty industry. As a business owner, she understands how difficult it can be to start and run a business. Susan’s extensive business experience, interests, and academic training have prepared her to coach business owners in a broad range of areas including business administration, organizational leadership, entrepreneurship, operations management, distribution, marketing, sales, strategic management, and international business.
Ms. Perreault completed her Doctorate in Business Administration degree from University of Phoenix, and her Master of Business degree from Regis University. Susan’s doctoral dissertation, “Relationships between Leadership Styles and Organizational Success in Woman-owned and –led Small Businesses”, was a study of micro-enterprises in the service industries sector. A motivation for pursuing her doctorate was to assist others to achieve their business and entrepreneurial aspirations. In her role with Business Impact NW, Susan is honored to contribute to the success of the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Senior Business Consultant
Darren is a Senior Business Consultant at Business Impact NW, focusing on personalized one-on-one coaching, and specializing in marketing, branding, social media, content editing/design, crowdfunding and creative pursuits. He has an MBA in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, an MS in Environmental Studies/Writing and has co-founded five businesses over the past ten years, including a freelance writing/photography business, two concert production companies, and a touring folk band.
He currently plays in and co-manages the folk duo/band, March to May, a nationally-touring, modern folk group based in Seattle. They have opened for larger touring acts such as The von Trapps, Robert Wynia, and Jenn Grinels, filling well-known local venues such as The Triple Door, the Crocodile, and Columbia City Theater. He also currently founded and runs DRYFT, a concert production company in Seattle that produces intimate concerts in unique venues, with the core mission of supporting up-and-coming singer/songwriters and changing the paradigm of live music in the Pacific NW.
WWBC Business Coach and Trainer
Miriam believes in the power of small business to change the world, one community at a time. She enjoys sharing her expertise in general business, including sales analysis, cash flow management, space design and display, staff training, customer service, policy and procedure development and daily operations. Before joining the Business Impact Northwest team, Miriam designed and launched the retail program and product development coaching program for Ventures and a creative enterprise coaching program for Spaceworks Tacoma.
After earning a degree in Art Education from UW, Miriam served as buyer/manager, then Assistant Director, for Seattle gallery FireWorks, growing the business from one to five stores and quadrupling sales. She started her own consultancy business to provide business coaching and retail project management to new and growing nonprofits and small businesses. She has presented for museum, healthcare, and artist/artisan organizations locally and nationally.
Miriam was raised in a large extended family in West Seattle. In her free time, she loves making art, being active outdoors, and learning about people, culture, and our natural world.
Business Coach & Trainer
Ericka is a Business Coach and Trainer at Washington Women’s Business Center. She has a passion to help small businesses grow and expand, achieving financial stability not only for themselves but for others. It’s inspiring to watch entrepreneurs create new jobs and opportunities that will impact the surrounding communities and abroad. Before joining the Business Impact Northwest team, Ericka served as an independent contractor providing one on one personal support and mentorship to guide and assist clients as they made lifestyle changes. She coached clients through all three phases of an optimal health program; reaching a healthy weight, transition and optimization. Prior, she spent a decade serving in two positions in the finance department of the City of Tacoma. While there, she gained experience in payroll, accounts payable and receivable, purchasing, coaching and training, analyzing and reconciliation fund accounts, reviewing tax eligibility to avoid state tax penalties, budget tracking and reporting, and assisting in writing policies and procedures.
A Tacoma native, Ms. Whitfield graduated from the University of Washington, Tacoma in which she double majored with a B.A. in Organizational Leadership and Management. She later earned a MBA from Western Governor’s University focusing on management and strategy. Relevant coursework completed were financial analysis, organizational management, human resources, risk management, social responsibility, leadership, strategic management, decision analysis, and E-business & Supply Chain. Her capstone project included developing a business plan for a landscaping company whose goal was to increase its revenues to $150,000 by year-end.
In her free time, she enjoys gardening, turning a messy yard into a masterpiece, cooking healthy delicious meals for her family, being active outdoors enjoying the beauty of nature, and spending time with her fun loving family.
Veterans Business Outreach Center
VBOC Program Director
Steve entered the Air Force right out of high school. During his time on active duty, he obtained his B.S. Degree in Workforce Education, Training and Development. After serving 8 years, Steve honorably separated from the military and began law school a short time later. While in law school, he did a legislative externship to assist homeless parents in Washington State and he was elected Student Bar Association Treasurer. Steve got his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law in 1999. Upon passing the bar, Steve went into partnership with a law school classmate and then ultimately went solo. After closing the firm, Steve went to work as a counselor for incarcerated youth. He subsequently worked for some tech companies in a role of recruitment and training.
Boots to Business Trainer and Coach
Ron "Cat" Mason is the Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Representative for Anchorage, AK, the Founder and CEO of CM&A Consulting, LLC which provides comprehensive high-quality business coaching to entrepreneurs, and a Certified SCORE Mentor. Mason is a retired United States Air Force veteran with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technical Management, with an emphasis in sales and marketing. He also has two Associates of Science (AS) degrees in Aircrew Operations and Information Systems Technology. Mason is a Lifetime Member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honors Society, and an Honorary Commander (Emeritus) of the 732nd Logistical Group on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) Alaska. He is a Lifetime Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and has been an active member - in good standing- of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and its Military Committee since 2002. Mason is a also National Federation of High School (NFHS) certified football coach, and has been coaching in the Anchorage School District since 2007.
Boots to Business Trainer and Coach
Chris Armstrong-Goings Sr. is married with a blended family that includes five children. He served his country honorably for more than 20+ years in the United States Army. While in the Army, he was stationed throughout the world and deployed to multiple hostile environments including Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Upon retiring from the Army, he worked as an International Trainer with Northrup Grumman for three years. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor with one of the largest university systems in the United States working to enhance college students' understanding of decision-making, team management, and organizational behavior.
Furthermore, he is an entrepreneur who successfully operates in the real estate world. He is a lifetime member of the Disabled Americans Veteran (DAV). Chris is passionate about helping his fellow veterans become the best versions of themselves possible. Additionally, he is all about helping clients break through the obstacles, and challenges to reach their desired levels of success. Life's too short to be unhappy, unsure, or unfulfilled. It is his daily goal to be a better version of himself. Lastly, Chris has a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D), with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership.
Boots to Business Trainer and Coach
Michael Reis is a professional business consultant with a strong acumen in Accounting and Business Development. He has spent over 20 years of his career consulting small businesses; predominantly in the Restaurant and Bar industry. His speaking engagements include industry associations and numerous CPA society’s. He holds a degree from Washington State University in Business Management and Operations.
Food Business Resource Center
Director, Food Business Resource Center (FBRC) & Special Projects
Henry Wong is the Director of the Food Business Resource Center (FBRC) & Special Projects at Business Impact NW. Henry is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Systems and Information Engineering. Prior to joining the Business Impact NW team, he spent 7 years working in the Strategy group at CarMax developing and implementing inventory and buying strategies. Following his time at CarMax, he spent 3 years running his own mobile food truck business and consulting other mobile food start-ups in Tennessee. After selling his food truck, he moved to Seattle where he worked briefly with a food delivery tech startup. He did contract work for some local nonprofit organizations, including Business Impact NW, before joining the organization full-time. Having grown up around a family-owned restaurant and as a former entrepreneur, Henry understands the unique challenges that small business owners face. He also knows their advantages and the incredible value they can bring. Henry is passionate about leveraging his extensive experiences in strategy and operations to support clients in any stage of their business and strategic planning from concept to growth.
Gabriella St. George
Food & Farm Business Coach and Trainer
Gabriella is a professionally trained chef that has spent the past 9 years in the food industry with an extensive background in the foodservice, food R&D (research and development), education, and packaged food space. With her partner, Walker, they own and operate Omnivore Meats, a packaged food business that partners with farmers in the Pacific Northwest and sells wholesale as well as directly to retailers, farmers markets, and through eCommerce.
Gabriella has also served as a coach and advisor at Ventures and the University of Washington, Entrepreneurship program. Gabriella is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with degrees in Culinary Arts, Food Studies, and Italian Food Culture. Through her firsthand experience, she understands the challenges that entrepreneurs face when bringing their businesses to life and is passionate about leveraging her experiences to support clients at any stage of their business.
Loan Readiness Center
Loan Readiness Center Director
Christine has been an advisor to small businesses through her work with several Puget Sound SBA Women’s Business Centers, as well as through her private consultancy. She has owned several businesses in varied industries in Spain, California, and Washington. She has brought her hands-on knowledge to thousands of clients; from helping them build a sustainable model to dealing with day-to-day operations through individual advising, webinar presentations, class instruction, and working with partner organizations. Christine has also worked in leadership roles and advised non-profits. As a member of the Covid-19 Response Team, Christine assists clients with government loans and grants, resiliency, and reopening. She enjoys assisting clients with financial literacy, cash flow, and financial statement analysis. She is also a licensed mortgage loan originator and brings this combined knowledge and experience to assist clients with loan readiness. Her combined education in International Relations and Public Administration adds to her understanding when working with a diverse clientele and community organizations. Travel and adventure bring her joy and inspiration and she enjoys being outdoors (preferably the beach), running, and working out at the gym.
Loan Readiness Advisor
Amber Bittner has a lifetime of experience within the military community having grown up on various military bases, and being a current military spouse. She started her career at the age of 16, and was promoted as the youngest night manager of a large box retail establishment by the age of 18. She did this all while attending college at the University of South Alabama where her original focus was Computer Science and Programming. In attempts to obtain her first degree she worked two full time jobs at a time in order not to utilize loan funding and gained experience as a qualified plan assistant putting together 401(k) and PSP plans for large companies along the gulf coast within a CPA firm. During tax season she also worked on different business payrolls, and general bookkeeping which gave her much knowledge about the accounting aspects of business.
After a terrible car accident, Amber went full time into general management and was not able to finish her degree, being a mere 4 credit hours short from her BS in Computer Science. She broke into the banking world when she married a service member and started working with the military banking overseas division as a personal banker; this work continued when she worked as a relationship manger with Bank of America, and provided monetary solutions to small business owners within that role amongst other financial aspects. Amber currently attends the University of Maryland where her focus is corporate pre law, she has a 4.0 GPA. Amber’s clients finds a lot of value in speaking with her as she has fifteen years’ experience in general retail management and interim district management, seven years within accounting and finance, successful business ownership experience, as well as 4 years within small business banking.
Loan Readiness Advisor
Leticia holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and is a GrowthWheel Certified Business Advisor. She has worked for 12+ years in accounting positions. As a Procurement Counselor, she assisted small business owners with government contracting. As a Business Development Coordinator, she provided entrepreneurs and small business owners with technical assistance with business plans, development of marketing materials, financial statements, and licensing and permits. Leticia enjoys working with cash flows, balance sheets, and income statements. She volunteered as Member of Latino Business Advisory Council at The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, and as Executive Board Member at The League of United Latin American Citizens and at Centro Cultural de Washington County. Leticia enjoys the outdoors, reading, and listening to podcasts.
Loan Readiness Advisor
Zia Jabari is a Loan Readiness Advisor with the Loan Readiness Center at Business Impact NW, and works one-on-one with clients including advising, lending intake support, curriculum development, curriculum delivery, and community outreach. Zia has over seventeen years’ experience working in the business world in a variety of positions including direct experience working with nonprofit organizations, international companies, and the United Nations. He enjoyed his work over the last decade working on many projects, effectively supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by training and advising them.
Zia joined the Business Impact NW family to contribute his experience assisting clients with accessing loans and grants, resiliency, and financial health. He enjoys assisting clients with financial literacy, cash flow, and financial statement analysis. Zia has travelled to more than 20 countries in the world, because travel and adventure bring him joy and inspiration.
Business Technical Assistance
Lisa Noland, MPA
Alaska Women's Business Center Director
Lisa Noland is the Alaska Women’s Business Center Director. Lisa has lived in Alaska for decades after migrating from California. Lisa has a Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management and leadership. She is working toward a Doctorate of Public Administration. Lisa currently serves on three nonprofit boards. Lisa has lived and/or worked in several communities around the beautiful state and now makes her home in Anchorage. She has decades of experience as a nonprofit leader, as well as years owning and managing 2 businesses. Lisa is a proven capacity builder and is highly motivated in supporting Alaskans who are developing their own businesses.
Lisa has 2 sons, and a menagerie of rescued animals at home. She loves to enjoy the outdoors, cook, read and enjoys fashion and interior styling.