December 17, 2015

Our Team

Sign-Up-ButtonAbout Our Team of Consultants … Mike Bell, Lt Colonel ret. (Consultant)

Specialty: Government Procurement, Government Contracting, Women/Minority/Veteran Certification, Process and Quality Control.

Mike Bell is a Certified Business Consultant specializing in Government Procurement. Mr. Bell has a 40 plus year career background in operations and production in pharmaceuticals and high technology electronics. His experience covers planning, procurement, engineering, and production in both start-up companies and Fortune 25 companies, including facility layout and construction experience. Mr. Bell has considerable expertise in the design and delivery of employee training at all personnel levels.  As an Army Lieutenant Colonel, he served as Faculty Director for the US Army Command & General Staff College.

Mr. Bell brings a solid business philosophy to support our clients. He is a highly sought after presenter and trainer in the area of Government Procurement and is often invited out of state to give presentations at major business conferences. Anil Chang, MBA, CGBP, EDFP (Consultant)

Specialty: International Trade, Export Market Planning, Market Research, Finance

Anil Chang is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) specializing in work with companies interested in expanding their markets via International Trade. Prior to joining the SBDC, Mr. Chang was the Procurement and Logistics Manager for a privately held international trade company.  He is well versed in export documentation and working with suppliers and clients both internationally and domestically.

Mr. Chang is also Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) and works with clients on finance and financial analysis.

Mr. Chang received his Masters of Business Administration degree from Florida International University and a Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University. Parbatee Chang, MBA, CGBP (Consultant)

Specialty: International Trade, Export Market planning, Quality Management Systems, Continuous Improvement, Strategic Audits.

Parbatee Chang is a Certified Business Consultant specializing in work with companies interested in expanding their markets via International Trade. She is also a highly respected and sought after expert in the areas of Quality Management Systems and Accreditation and Quality Audits . Mrs. Chang develops export marketing plans for clients and is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). She also holds an Executive Certificate of Global Finance from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Mrs. Chang brought eighteen years of experience to the Florida SBDC at FAU, including having served as the Executive Director of the Trinidad & Tobago Bureau of Standards. She was also the Vice Chair of the Caricom Common Market Standards Council; a Board Member of the ISO General Council in Geneva, and worked closely with industry, private and public sector. She acquired training in Ireland, England, Canada, Argentina, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Italy, Tunisia and the Caribbean.

She was the owner of a successful flower shop business which she sold and which still operates successfully today. She has also been a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank and has done work with over thirteen countries re: World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. She is also a certified FastTrac Trainer and an ISO 9000 Lead Auditor. Mrs. Chang is the author of “Strategic Audits – A Necessity for Transforming Businesses,” which was given a Five Star (out of five rating) by Foreword Reviews. She has delivered presentations at the ASBDC, FSBDCN and NASBITE Conferences. Gary Cole, MBA (Consultant)

Specialty: Access to Capital, Business Financing, Loan Development, SBA 7a & 504 Loans, Business Planning, Franchising, Buying/Selling Businesses, Exit Strategy.

Gary Cole is a Certified Business Consultant specializing in finance and loan package development. He was employed as a National Bank Examiner with the United States Comptroller of the Currency where he examined National Banks in the Southeastern United States. After four years as a National Bank Examiner, he joined the private banking sector taking various positions in the lending area of banking for the next twenty-seven years. His highest position was Executive Vice President in charge of all lending activity in a three bank holding company having 12 offices in South Florida.

Next in his career, he became an entrepreneur and opened a successful flooring company which he ran for 14 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and an MBA in Finance from the University of Miami. Mr. Cole served in the Army National Guard for six years attaining the rank of Specialist E6. Rafael Cruz, MBA, CGBP, EDFP (Regional Director)

Specialty: Strategic Planning, Branding, Marketing, Finance, Executive Development, Creative Economy, Non Profit Strategy, International Business

Rafael is the Regional Director in charge of all operations for the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University, serving Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The Florida SBDC has the distinct honor of being designated by the legislature as the State of Florida’s “Principle Provider of Small Business Assistance.”

Under his leadership, the Florida SBDC at FAU produces consistent economic development results for the region and is an important partner in the economic development community.

He leads a Team of Certified Business Consultants that work one on one with entrepreneurs and business owners in all critical aspects of starting, running and growing a successful business. Some key areas of the team’s specialization include international trade, government contracting, creative economy, financing, strategic planning and execution, and entrepreneurship. Jim Deam (Consultant)

Specialty: Marketing, Advertising, Branding, Data Metrics Analysis & Management, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Media Strategy/Buying, Digital Marketing & Advertising

Deam joined the Florida SBDC in 2016 as a consultant and has lived in Florida for more than 40 years; he is a graduate of the University of Florida. He has spent almost his entire career in marketing and advertising, evenly divided between major ad agencies and client side positions. Earlier in his career in New York, he worked on major national campaigns, including those for Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Wendy’s, IBM; later, he directed the marketing for the Florida Marlins and Miami Dolphins.

He was the first Media Director at AutoNation, and helped create that company’s brand identity. Prior to joining the FSBDC, Deam spent 17 years managing the marketing and advertising for AT&T, responsible for more than $500 million in spending. His most significant accomplishment was securing the national sponsorship of Fox TV’s “American Idol” and its text message voting component, which is widely credited with spurring the texting revolution in the US.

Deam is an expert at advertising, branding and media planning, and is an accomplished writer (he also was a partner in a creative development company that conceived a variety of TV programs). In addition to his marketing background, he is also recognized expert in the rum industry, serving as a judge at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. George E. Gadson, MA (Consultant)

Specialty: Business Start-ups, Business Plan, Non Profit Strategy and Development, Minority Owned Businesses, Artist Development, Web Development

George E. Gadson is a Certified Business Consultant specializing in working with creative economy entrepreneurs. He has over 20 plus years of management experience with large banking Institutions, as well as small private and public corporations. He has worked in economic development as the former Vice President of Business Development at the Broward Alliance (currently the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance), Principal Planner of regional economic development for the South Florida Regional Planning Council, and Associate Director for Business and Corporate Development at Florida Atlantic University.

Mr. Gadson is one of Florida’s most well-known and highly sought after artist and has been commissioned to create works of art for many high profile events and individuals. In 2008 he was invited to create an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree.  In 1995 and 1999 he created two South Florida Super Bowl bronze commemorative sculptures named “The Quarterback” and “The Kicker.” Each sculpture was given to the National Football League Team owners. Working in a variety of mediums, he has also created a bronze relief portrait sculptures for Darden Restaurants and JM Family Enterprises, Inc., (a Fortune 100 company), and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Mr. Gadson holds a Bachelors of Art from Duke University, completed studies at the University of Valencia in Spain.

He received his Master of Art in Education in 2008 from Brewer Christian College and Graduate School.  He also holds a Leadership Development Certification and Development Dimensions International Certification (an international performance skills training and consulting company). Zenger Miller- Achieve Global Training Certification (an international performance skills training and consulting company). Lean Six Sigma Excellence-Brown Belt- Harrington Institute, Inc.

He has done graduate studies in Nonprofit Management at Florida Atlantic University and is sought after by non profits for leadership development and strategic planning. A small selection of his many community involvements include, Jim Moran Foundation- Board Member, United Negro College Fund- Regional Advisory Council, City of Tamarac Public Art Board – Chairman, Cultural Foundation of Broward- Board Member, Artist as Entrepreneur Institute- Faculty, City of Tamarac Economic Development Foundation, Stranahan House-Past Board Member, Leadership Broward Alumni- Class XX, Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Uptown Business Council- Board Member. Carole Hart, MA (Consultant)

Specialty: Government Procurement, Government Contracting, Veteran Certifications, Business & Strategic Planning Assistance

Carole Hart is a Business Consultant specializing in government procurement. She has twenty-five years of experience in the private sector, working in the aerospace procurement industry and as a Subcontracts Manager, worked with commercial airline suppliers and major subcontractors for commercial and federally let contracts.

Hart holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Barry University and a Master’s degree in Counseling from New York Institute of Technology. Additionally she holds a Department of Veteran Affairs Certification as a Veteran’s Certification and Verification Program counselor.

Hart, who specializes in government procurement, contracting and certifications, is currently responsible for training and one-on-one consulting. Hart has worked for the Florida SBDC for 16 years. Betina Jean-Jacques, MPA, EDPF (Associate Director)

Specialty: Access to Capital, Cash Flow & Business Management, Business & Strategic Plan Assistance, Start-Up Assistance, Market/Sales Growth Assistance, Economic Development

Betina Jean-Jacques is the Associate Director for the Florida SBDC at Florida Atlantic University. Jean-Jacques provides supportive services and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small to medium-size business owners throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Jean-Jacques earned a BS in International Economy from Florida Atlantic University and an MPA from Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. She is a certified Project Manager and has also earned the designation of Certified Economic Development Finance Professional. Prior to joining the Florida SBDC, Jean-Jacques worked as a Business Development Specialist for Career Source Broward, where she consulted with business owners to identify growth needs and matched them with available grants.

Jean-Jacques has over ten years of experience in higher education and enjoys mentoring young adults. Her focus on community growth has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Jean-Jacques is a committed mentor and advocates for youth empowerment and education. She is the Founder and Chair of Engage & Educate, an organization dedicated to underprivileged college students of Caribbean heritage striving towards secondary education. Debbie Lanford, MBA, CGBP (Consultant)

Specialty: International Trade, International Market/Export Assistance, Business & Strategic Plan Assistance, Market & Data Analysis

Debbie Lanford is responsible for guiding small businesses through the complexities of developing export marketing and international expansion plans as well as teaching seminars on basic international trade and market research. As the leader of the Export Marketing Plan Team, Lanford works closely with the 10 international trade specialists within the Florida SBDC Network and its strategic partners, including Enterprise Florida and local U.S. Department of Commerce officers.

In 2016, the EMP program won the President’s E-Award for Export Assistance. Other awards include SBDC Consultant of the Year, 2015; Florida Innovative Service and Best Practice of the Year Award, 2014; Florida SBDC Regional Employee of the Year, 2013.

Lanford has a passion for analyzing both financial and market data to help clients determine the best growth strategies. She is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and holds an MBA in International Business.

In addition to providing international trade assistance, Lanford is experienced in business modeling, strategic planning, and financial management and has broad knowledge of the service, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. She has developed webinars and presented for organizations such as NASBITE International, Florida Makes, SCORE, the US Superyacht Association, and local chambers and economic development organizations. Jazmine Loiselle (Consultant)

Specialty: Strategic Marketing and Branding, Marketing Communications, Digital Media Strategy, Print and Web Development, SEO and Social Media.

Jazmine Loiselle has held creative positions with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Apple Computer, and Levi Strauss. She has a wealth of knowledge in marketing, branding, content management, creative direction, digital media, web and print design, and digital photography. As a marketing director, designer, educator and successful entrepreneur, she enjoys imparting her knowledge to help others succeed. She is known as a tenacious digital media specialist who looks to find smart solutions. While located in Northern California, she specialized in creative technologies and multimedia studies as a founding faculty member of the first digital arts programs at San Francisco State University, the Academy of Art University, and the College of Marin.

As a consultant for the Florida SBDC at FAU, Loiselle assists her clients in strategic marketing and tackles the online challenges businesses face in marketing their brand and creating content that engages audiences. Her expertise includes strategic development of marketing campaigns, creative direction, and technology management.  From luxury real estate to major retail and software, her extensive marketing experience in diverse industries gives her the ability to assist a variety of businesses and help them reach their marketing goals. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jackie Ramirez, MBA (Consultant)

Specialty: Business & Strategic Plan Assistance, Market/Sales Growth Assistance, Start-Up Assistance

Jackie Ramirez is a highly regarded speaker, facilitator and Emotional Intelligence (EI) coach to both corporations and individual leaders. Her most recent interest is in the field of Emotional Intelligence, where she worked under Ben Palmer, Phd. of Genos International, Australia.

She has over 25 years of experience positively affecting organizational improvement through the alignment of systems, culture and human behavior. Experienced in organizational redesign, team design, and leadership development she has successfully filled the roles of Sales Executive, Regional Director, Internal Consultant, Regional Vice President, and Managing Director within the learning and development field.

Ramirez began her career in the banking industry where she led executive development activities including oversight for the management recruitment and training program, and communications coaching for C Suite executives. She then began a sales career with Zenger-Miller and Achieve Global. For Achieve Global, Ramirez also served as an internal consultant to design the merger of three competing sales forces, including the realignment and mapping of a new Customer Relationship process. Her industry experience encompasses High Tech, Finance, Publishing, Manufacturing, and Service with projects that include:
• Leadership Development Implementations
• Quality and Process Improvement Initiatives
• Team Design and Development
• Executive Development Programs
• Internal Communications Planning

Ramirez holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Inter American University, Puerto Rico. She also has multiple certifications, some of which include Certified Professional 12 Driving Forces Analyst, Certified in the Genos International Emotional Intelligence Assessments and Learning Experiences, Certified in Hay Group Emotional Intelligence Assessment, Frontline Leadership, Team Leadership, GroupAction – Zenger-Miller; and Sales Training – McGraw Hill Learning Systems. Angel Rentas (Consultant)

Specialty: Access to Capital, Business Financing, Loan Development, SBA 7a & 504 Loans, Business Planning.

Angel Rentas is a Certified Business Consultant for the Florida SBDC at FAU specializing in finance and loan package development. Mr. Rentas has more than 35 years of experience in banking and finance and as a portfolio manager serving private and public corporations. Most recently he has served as Finance Vice President in charge of business development and the SBA Guaranty Loan Program for a major bank. In 1983, Mr. Rentas started his banking career with Barnett Bank where he worked in the credit department analyzing financial statements. Then he became a Commercial Lending Officer. He then joined the US Small Business Administration (Disaster Loan Program) in Miami and later served in Chicago, IL, Los Angeles and Sacramento, CA.

Mr. Rentas graduated from the Harford Institute of Accounting with an Accounting Degree concentrating in Business Administration. Since 1975 he has been working with different Business Development organizations including the Office of Minority Business Enterprise, the National Economic Development Association and the Hialeah Dade Development, Inc. as Business Financial Analyst Phil Scruton (Consultant)

Specialty: Financial & Capital Access Assistance, Financial Analysis, Business Continuation/Disaster Assistance, Start-Up Assistance, Marketing

Phil Scruton is a Business Consultant specializing in accounting, small business taxes, finance, marketing, and disaster assistance. Scruton holds considerable experience in small business accounting and taxes, having owned his own accounting and tax business for more than 20 years. He has undergone extensive training with the U.S. Small Business Administration in disaster mitigation.

Prior to joining the Florida SBDC in 2001, Scruton worked as a newspaper reporter, accountant, freelance writer, and musician. He enjoys applying his humanistic approach to consulting to help his small business clients from business conception to growth.

Scruton holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from New York University and is the recipient of several Florida SBDC Regional Consultant of the Year Awards: 2003, 2011, 2013 & 2016. Teri Takahashi (Consultant)

Specialty: Business Planning, Accounting

Teri Takahashi is a Certified Business Consultant and our Business and Training Manager at the Florida SBDC at FAU. She oversees the budget and records functions of the SBDC operation. She also works with clients to develop business plans for start-ups and existing companies. Ms. Takahashi owned her own successful property management company.