Welcome to your Southwest Idaho Small Business Development Center

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

Logo for Boise State University

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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169

Jobs
Created

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$10.9M

Capital
Raised

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$4.8M

Sales
Increase

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18

Business
Starts

Meet the Staff

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Steve Miller

Regional Director

Steve Miller is a seasoned marketing professional with proven success in the development of hardware, software, services and infrastructure for a Fortune 100 global technology company. He is recognized for possessing a high level of general business sense and common sense which have contributed to the development of effective strategies and solutions that impact the bottom line.

As the Regional Director, Steve oversees the delivery of consulting and training services in the Southwest Idaho region including the management and supervision of the Business Accelerators located in Boise and Nampa.

Steve received his BS in Business from the University of Montana and his MBA from Boise State University. He spent seven years in the banking industry and the last 22 years at HP here in Boise. He even spent time on the Valdez Oil Spill, which provided a rich environment for crazy, exciting adventure.

Steve moved to Boise in 1985 from Kalispell, MT. He and his wife have a couple of dogs, cats and an ongoing discussion about how crowded their landscaping should be. He enjoys living in Idaho as it allows him to pursue his passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

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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) 426-3875
KLabrum@boisestate.edu

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.

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Marie Baker

Business Consultant

(208) 426-3838
mariebaker@boisestate.edu

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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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 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.

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Marissa Goff

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.

Lee Velten

Lee Velten

PTAC Business Consultant

(208) 562-3746
leevelten@boisestate.edu

Lee Velten joined the Idaho SBDC in August, 2015 as the PTAC Business Consultant. He is responsible for providing assistance to Idaho-based businesses in their efforts to find, win and successfully perform on federal, state, local government and large industry contracts.

Prior to joining the SBDC, Velten worked 5 years in the PTAC program at the Idaho Department of Commerce. Prior to his joining the Idaho PTAC, Lee managed restaurants in the Boise area and worked as a food officer with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. Lee retired from the US Army in 1993 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after serving 23 years on active duty in a myriad of assignments.

Lee holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and is a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff College.

Lee and his wife Mechel have four adult children and three grandchildren and have been residents of Boise since his retirement from the military.

Our Host Universities & Affiliates
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Logo for America's SBDC