Welcome to your Southwest Idaho Small Business Development Center

Serving: Adams, Valley, Washington, Boise, Payette, Gem, Canyon, Ada, Elmore, and Owyhee Counties

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2360 West University Drive, Suite 2132
Boise, ID 83706

(208) 426-3875

Impacting Southwest Idaho with our no-cost consulting & affordable training

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Meet the Staff

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Marie Baker

Regional Director

(208) 426-3838

Marie joined the SBDC in March of 2019 and is passionate about entrepreneurs and their journey. Marie’s skill set is the ability to work collaboratively and assist clients with achieving their goals.

Marie received her BS in Business from Fresno State and Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from University of San Francisco. Marie spent five years in banking before starting her own business.

Combining her education and experience, Marie went on to consult,
coach, and educate small businesses in the Central Valley of California before moving to Idaho.

In her spare time, you will find her hiking, volunteering on a local Rotary project, visiting family, or enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and dog.

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Debbie Winkler

Senior Business Consultant

Debbie joined the Idaho SBDC in February 2008. Her prior work experience includes the role of Business Improvement Consultant with Boise Business Consulting, a family owned business. Prior to working in the family business, Debbie was Senior Vice President and Manager of National Consumer Training and Associate Development for Bank of America.

In addition, Debbie was Vice President and Manager of Business Banking for First Republic Bank, and Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Commercial Banking Group, for First Republic Bank (a predecessor of Bank of America). Debbie is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.

Kim Sherman-Labrum

Kim Sherman-Labrum

Business Consultant

(208) 426-1612

Kim started with the Idaho SBDC in 1998 as the regional administrative assistant as she pursued her degree. After several years, she took over the training program and turned it from an under-performing, deficit program to an award winning program with a surplus budget.

In 2012, she became a business consultant specializing in online marketing, social media, graphic/web design. Over the years, she has designed curriculum and taught classes on a variety of business and technology topics. She planned and executed a rural outreach program that caught the eye of Google and was featured in a video for their Get Your Business Online program.

She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from Boise State University as well as a Credential of Readiness Harvard Business School CORe. She was recently named a High Impact Partner for the Grow with Google program.

2022 GwG Partner Badge Kim Sherman-Labrum

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Marissa Diaz

Building Manager

As the “Building Queen” of the Nampa Business Accelerator, Marissa wears many hats while keeping the 38,000 square foot facility standing. She helps our acceleration clients get moved in, she addresses all facility issues and requests and keeps the phones and networks running like clockwork.

She handles everything from keys to leaks in the roof.

Before joining the SBDC, she worked at Hewlett Packard testing (or breaking) printers for quality assurance. At home she is a full-time dance, soccer, and basketball mom who loves to spend time with her family.

Ruth Schwartz Headshot 2021

Ruth Schwartz

Business Consultant

Ruth Schwartz joined the Idaho SBDC in March of 2020, She has been a life-long entrepreneur and business owner. She spent 25 years in the music industry: radio, publishing, producing, retail.

Most notably, Ruth started, built and sold a $10 million, wholesale, music, distribution company. She has owned and operated a leadership training and coaching company, a debt collection company and an Amazon store.

Ruth is a Professionally Certified Business Leadership Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation, an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) through the National Development Conference and is the author of the book, The Key to the Golden Handcuffs: Stop Being a Slave to Your Business. She is certified in over four assessment sciences and the creator of the Fail Proof Hiring Program. She is a Distinguished Toastmaster and a member of the National Speakers’ Association.

Hailing from the Sierra Foothills in Northern California, Ruth taught at the Sierra Commons Business Incubator and became a consultant with the California SBDC before her move to Idaho in 2017.

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Shaunda Gates

Business Operations Manager

Shaunda is a small business enthusiast, and recent Boise State graduate with a degree in business administration. Bringing experience working for both large and small businesses, as well as within the State of Idaho and the US military. She is an energetic and enthusiastic individual constantly seeking new challenges.

Edward Packer

Edward Packer

Business Consultant

Edward Packer joined the Idaho SBDC in December 2022. He has 26 years of financial management experience in several different capacities (Chief Operations Officer at a regional branch, Vice President of Commercial Lending, and on a national level, Asset Manager for the FDIC). This is combined with experience of managing a new and used car dealership business, providing a good foundation to assist business owners. He enjoys collaborating with customers and likes to partner in achieving their goals.

In addition, Edward has a bachelor’s degree in business and minor in accounting from Lewis Clark State College. This is in addition to being an honors graduate from Pacific Coast Banking (Executive Bank Management Program) which is affiliated with the University of Washington.

Edward is married with four daughters and three grandchildren. He’s a native Idahoan and grew up on a farm and ranch near Grangeville, Idaho.

Edward looks forward to, and welcomes new challenges.


Sarah DeAlba

Business Consultant

Sarah joined the SBDC in December 2022 as a Senior Business Consultant.  Her education and experience surrounds business management, operations, and financial analysis within the healthcare, insurance, and utility industries.  Her career includes positions of leadership in large organizations as well as smaller entrepreneurial experiences with owning businesses and managing investments.

She earned degrees in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and Boise State University.

Equipped with a positive energy approach, she enjoys working with people to assist them in achieving their dreams and goals!

Our Host Universities & Affiliates
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