Capital Access Team
The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network’s Capital Access Team (CAT) started in 2011 as a business advising “special team” dedicated to working with SBDC clients on getting projects funded. The CAT program has grown into four regional teams which have engaged over 700 small businesses. The resulting impact has been to assist 200+ businesses projects with over $90M in capital.
The CAT advising team assists business owners statewide via confidential business advising.
There are four CAT regions across the state.
Meet the regional advisors…
Noah Brockman – Team Lead and Northwest Oregon (Region 1) CAT Advisor
Noah Brockman leads OSBDCN’s Capital Access Team (CAT), the group that provides strategic business advising to SBDC clients statewide on access to capital, business planning and financial analysis. Noah has worked with the Portland Community College SBDC since 2008.
Over the years he has worked with hundreds of small business owners on business planning and capitalization – helping to secure over $30 million dollars in capital. His professional background includes management consulting, strategic planning, financial analysis, program management, market research and international affairs.
Noah has an MBA from the University of Portland with a focus on Entrepreneurship. He holds certifications in Project Management, Profit Mastery, and is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). Noah is also the principal consultant at Pointman Consulting, LLC, of Portland.
Send Noah a Note or Submit a New Region 1 Client Inquiry
Mike Kelsay – Northwest Oregon (Region 1) CAT Advisor
Mike Kelsay is a Strategic Advisor with the Oregon SBDC Network’s Capital Access Team. He specializes in helping small businesses owners with business planning, finance strategy development, business efficiency improvement and accessing debt and equity funding.
Mike comes from a very entrepreneurial background based in multiple family businesses. His diverse career ranges from Director Level responsibility to Senior Credit Management positions for companies such as Mercedes-Benz Credit Corporation and Doc Martens AirWair USA.
Mike holds an MBA from Marylhurst University as well as a BS from Oregon State University.
Send Mike a Note or Submit a New Region 1 Client Inquiry
Rick Leibowitz – Northwest Oregon (Region 1) CAT Advisor
Rick Leibowitz is a Strategic Advisor with the Oregon SBDC Network’s Capital Access Team. He specializes in helping small businesses owners with business planning, building financial forecasts, developing profit building techniques and accessing capital.
Rick has more than 16 years’ business ownership experience, starting his first business at the age of 17, and has developed five bagel stores and restaurants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Alaska. Rick has also served as COO/CFO for privately owned organizations in the manufacturing, hospitality and professional services industries. He has raised over $5M in both debt and equity capital for businesses under his management. With 12 years of experience as an SBDC counselor, he has supported clients in developing financing plans that resulted in clients accessing over $30M of debt and equity capital.
Rick holds an MBA from Western Governors University as well as a BS from Rutgers University.
Send Rick a Note or Submit a New Region 1 Client Inquiry
Terry Long – Northwest Oregon (Region 1) CAT Advisor
Terry D. Long has been with the SBDC for over three years and leads as the cohort for our Small Business Builders educational series. He also is an instructor in the areas for Understanding Your Financial Statements, Inventory Management I & II, and Building a Budget (capital, operational and sales) to assist the small business owners in strategic planning. He is also a member of the Capital Access Team (CAT). Terry has an MBA from Fairfield University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Linfield College. He is also a graduate of the America’s Community Bankers National School of Banking.
Send Terry a Note or Submit a New Region 1 Client Inquiry
Bruce Melzer – Northwest Oregon (Region 1) CAT Advisor
Bruce Melzer is a Strategic Advisor with Oregon SBDC Network’s Capital Access Team. He specializes in helping small businesses owners with business planning, finance strategy development and accessing debt and equity funding.
His diverse career ranges from work with energy efficiency start-ups and established firms, to radio, newspaper and Web business journalism to managing business development at NPR’s digital media unit.
Bruce holds an MBA and an MS in Journalism, both from Columbia University, as well as a BS from UC Davis. He was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economic Journalism at Columbia.
Send Bruce a Note or Submit a New Region 1 Client Inquiry
Arlene Soto – Northwest Oregon (Region 1) CAT Advisor
Arlene Soto has been a Small Business Development Center Director and Advisor since 1994 in both Wyoming and Oregon. She has worked closely with over 5,000 businesses on a wide range of business issues including access to capital, business planning, management and accounting. Prior to her SBDC work she owned a small business in Milwaukie, Oregon that provided accounting and business planning consulting services.
Arlene is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and earned a Master’s degree in Management from Marylhurst University and Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Portland State University. Her personal mission is to “strengthen and support an entrepreneurial culture”.
Send Arlene a Note or Submit a New Region 1 Client Inquiry
Jim Coonan – Central Oregon (Region 2) CAT Advisor
Jim Coonan is a successful entrepreneur and investor with a long avocational interest in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Jim served as the founding Executive Director for RAIN, the Regional Accelerator Innovation Network. RAIN is a consortium of government, higher education and the business community created to advance the formation and growth of scalable startups in the South Willamette Valley and Central Coast.
Previously, Coonan served as Venture Catalyst for Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO). In this role he managed the Bend Venture Conference and developed regional entrepreneurial assets including the region’s first accelerator and angel fund. Jim previously served as Chair Portland Angel Network (PAN) which through his leadership led to the development of the Oregon Angel Fund (OAF); the state largest.
Jim’s business career includes CEO/Chair positions in defense/aerospace, consumer electronics, telecom and software. Jim has experience in general management, start-ups, marketing and fundraising. He is an angel investor in many local start-ups. He graduated from Stanford University and holds an MBA from Northwestern University.
Send Jim a Note or Submit a New Region 2 Client Inquiry
Gary Richards – Central Oregon (Region 2) CAT Advisor
As the Region 2 advisor for the Capital Access Team, Gary Richards covers an area that includes Salem, Albany, Eugene, Bend and Lincoln City. He’s currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Chemeketa Community College, where he serves as a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center. Since 1984, he has coordinated the planning, capitalization, and development of more than 100 businesses and helped raise more than $120 million in equity and debt financing for them.
An experienced business owner and manager, Gary has launched, built and sold businesses large and small over the past 20 years. Gary’s background includes being chairman and CEO of a national business unit of a Fortune 500 company where he gained significant experience in business analysis and capital formation. Gary has been a licensed business broker in Oregon since 2004 and has operated his own brokerage since 2008.
He served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council, a key private-sector advisory group that advises the SBA, Congress, and the president on small business issues. Gary holds a BA degree in Management and Technology from the University of Maryland.
Send Gary a Note or Submit a New Region 2 Client Inquiry
Joanne Scharer – Central Oregon (Region 2) CAT Advisor
As a Region 2 adviser for the Capital Access Team, Joanne Scharer works with the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center covering an area that includes Marion. Polk, and Yamhill Counties. She has worked at the Chemeketa SBDC since 2008 helping clients to explore options for capital, business planning, and loan packaging.
Joanne holds Masters Degrees in Public Administration and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to her work at the SBDC, she is a freelance writer, editor, and project manager and has also worked as public policy consultant for a variety of nonprofit and public agencies.
Send Joanne a Note or Submit a New Region 2 Client Inquiry
Greg Smith – Eastern Oregon (Region 3) CAT Advisor
In addition to his work with the Capital Access Team, Greg is the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Eastern Oregon University. He has 23 years of wide-ranging experience in small business consultation, business recruitment and gap-financing. Greg’s current work focuses primarily on small business assistance, business recruitment, project development, and commercial financing.
Greg is a national leader in gap-finance lending according to national statistics gathered by OSBDCN. On average, he annually participates in the commercial gap-financing and loan packaging of more than $15 million. This is a direct result of the solid relationships that Greg has developed with Eastern Oregon’s leading financiers.
Greg graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a BS degree in Liberal Studies and a master’s in Business Administration. He was named Eastern Oregon University’s 2001 Distinguished Alumnus.
Send Greg a Note or Submit a New Region 3 Client Inquiry
Dorian Corliss – Southern Oregon (Region 4) CAT Advisor
Dorian has worked with the SBDC since 2010 as an SBM and NLP Advisor offering his expertise in financial matters. He has been a CEO of three different banking institutions in the Pacific Northwest, and was instrumental in the formation of two of those banks.
Dorian was born and raised in Medford, Oregon and attended St. Mary’s School where he participated in sports and excelled in academics. He then attended Brown University in Providence RI, receiving a B.A. Degree in Economics. He later attended Rutgers University at the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and graduated with honors, having his thesis published. Dorian has also operated his own small business that developed a water toy, and with two other partners to create Water Sports Inc. to manufacture and market the “Dip Stik”, a very popular water and rafting toy. He is a sport enthusiast having rafted many of the rivers in the western US and loves to ride his Harley “Ultra” any time he gets the opportunity.
Send Dorian a Note or Submit a New Region 4 Client Inquiry