JILL HATHAWAY Senior Director of Entrepreneurial Education Programs and Projects – UMKC Innovation Center
Regional Director – Missouri Small Business Development Center
Jill Hathaway leads a team of small business advisors and procurement consultants promoting economic growth through entrepreneurial education in an eleven county region.
With a degree in International Economics from Tulane University and a bank management background, Jill’s focus on financials and sales projections are keys to helping her business clients grow. Growing up in a family masonry manufacturing business and holding sales positions throughout the Midwest with national footwear brands, Jill brought her entrepreneurial spirit to Kansas City in the late ‘90s, opening a progression of retail shoe stores. Not implementing the strategies she now understand and teaches, she closed her business in 2014.
With an introduction to Missouri’s SBDC (Small Busines Development Center) at UMKC, she participated in an entrepreneurial mindset program and has previously been a Senior Business Consultant with them. Jill focuses on second stage business growth and scaling, applying learned principles and practices to help small and medium sized KC Metro businesses reach their next level. She is certified in ProfitCents Financial Analysis, LivePlan Strategic Planning, Blue Mesa Transformational Coaching, as well as facilitation of Kaufman’s Fast Trac New and Growth Venture Curriculum, GrowthWheel Curriculum and ELI Entrepreneurial Mindset Training. Jill coordinates and facilitates SBDC’s growth programs, GW360 and ScaleUP! KC. Her specialties are Cash Flow analysis, Process documentation and HR performance.
Jill has received several award recognitions from the Missouri statewide SBDC network for counseling hours, increase sales and capitalization, as well as training and client satisfaction. She was awarded Missouri State Star by Association of Small Business Development Centers, Inspirational Influencer by the International Association of Women, Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Award and has participated in the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leadership class.
Business Development Consultant
Joel Barrett brings a coaching/consulting and business entrepreneurship background to his role of contract business development consultant at the SBDC. He is a coach and instructor for ELEVATIONLAB NEW VENTURE, Formula 8 and many other courses.
Joel has decades of experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. He currently operates his own business, Joel Speaks Out, where he is a LGBTQ writer and speaker. He has worked in the public and private sectors as a general manager, director of marketing, business consultant and community organizer. Joel is recognized for his intuitive ability to determine the next steps for entrepreneurs. His coaching/consulting experience is influenced by his active involvement in community organizations.
He currently serves as a board member and director of programming for the Mid America LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Joel earned a master’s degree in liberal studies with a sustainability focus from Indiana University.
MARK CALHOUN TECHNOLOGY Development Consultant
Mark Calhoun has been a founder, co-founder, partner or investor in a wide variety of startups primarily focused on financial technology, retail or retail technology. In addition he has worked as a technologist or consultant in a variety of industries including banking, insurance, reinsurance, healthcare and transportation. Mark was recently an entrepreneur in residence at nbkc bank where he worked to develop consumer banking solutions and served as an informal advisor at Fountain City Fintech accelerator. He has experience in exiting several startups as a co-founder or investor.
Mark is a graduate of NEW Venture and TECH Venture at the Missouri SBDC. He is also a previous business coaching client.
REBECCA GUBBELS Business & Program Development Consultant
Rebecca Gubbels brings a banking and business entrepreneur background to her role of SBDC business and program development specialist and business coach. She teaches entrepreneurial courses, consults with business owners and manages special projects.
Her finance background includes managing a Small Business Administration Microloan Program, a decade of commercial lending and development of financial products for the small business market. Her entrepreneurial experience runs the gamut from packaging loans for pizza and beer money in college, to building a greeting card company and now consulting with small business owners. Her skills include financial analysis, business operations, process improvement, business coaching and classroom facilitation.
Rebecca coordinates and teaches ELEVATIONLAB courses and business training classes for partner programs Digital Sandbox and the Urban Business Growth Initiative.
In 2017, Rebecca was awarded the Missouri SBDC State Star for being chosen as the state’s outstanding business counselor for her contributions to local business growth. In 2016, she received the Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award for her leadership in providing educational programs that support the economic viability of Missouri firms.
Rebecca earned a bachelor of business administration degree in entrepreneurship from Baylor University.
JEN SPILKER ELEVATIONLAB Entrepreneurial Education Program Coordinator
Jen Spilker is the first face, voice or email you will interact with at the ELEVATIONLAB including the Missouri SBDC at UMKC, APEX Accelerator Kansas City, ScaleUP! and all other training programs.
Jen is a lifelong resident of the Kansas City area and has worked in small businesses for the past 20+ years. She has extensive administrative experience and is excited to put it to use with the SBDC.
SALLY WILLIAMS Consultant – Technology Development and Commercialization
Sally Williams is an entrepreneurial leader with exceptional ability to identify, develop, and commercialize new products/technologies. She has more than 30 years of management experience spanning a wide range of innovation and marketing positions with Bayer Healthcare, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Ralston Purina Company, Frito-Lay, Inc., and ALCOA. She has successfully led businesses from start-ups to nationally-known brands, including leading development and commercialization of more than 100 new products that collectively generated more than $1 billion in Year I revenues. Throughout her career Sally has produced impressive revenue, market share and profit growth through innovative ideas, insights, products, and relationships. Today Sally uses her knowledge and experience in management and innovation to assist entrepreneurs. She is a Consultant in Technology Development and Commercialization at the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Through the UMKC SBDC she coaches start-ups and small businesses and facilitates adult learning and course training for entrepreneurs, faculty, and university students. As Lead Technology Counselor for the Missouri SBDC, Sally specializes in training and assisting entrepreneurs with SBIR grant proposals.