CARMEN DEHART Regional Director • Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center Director of Outreach Programs • UMKC Innovation Center
Carmen DeHart directs a team of SBTDC business advisors, working with public, private and educational organizations, to support business development and technology commercialization to promote economic growth in the region.
With extensive business experience and expertise, Carmen offers comprehensive and personalized coaching for clients. Her portfolio of skills includes executive leadership coaching, business strategy, financial analysis and business operations from start-up to acquisition.
An entrepreneur for more than 20 years, Carmen co-owned and managed several successful businesses in industrial sales and engineering and fabrication for the metal manufacturing industry. Her family business twice earned the Boeing Eagle Award for Outstanding Performance.
Carmen has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBTDC Excellence & Innovation Award, Missouri SBTDC State Star by Association of Small Business Development Centers, Economic Development Contribution Award by MU Extension and MO SBTDC and the Economic Development Contribution Award by MU Extension and MO SBTDC.
She is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, a Missouri SBTDC Certified Transformational Coach, Certified Economic Development Finance Professional and Certified Kauffman FastTrac NewVenture and GrowthVenture Facilitator.
Carmen is an alumnus of the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, University of Missouri-Kansas City, receiving a BS in business administration and finance. She earned a master of theology degree from Holos University.
REBECCA GUBBELS SBTDC Business & Program Development Consultant
Rebecca Gubbels brings a banking and business entrepreneur background to her role of SBTDC 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 SBTDC 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.
JILL HATHAWAY SBTDC Business Development Consultant
Jill Hathaway brings her expertise to start-up and established businesses to create opportunities for growth. As a former business owner with an extensive background in sales and marketing, she teaches ELEVATIONLAB courses and coaches business owners on financial analysis and marketing strategies.
With corporate experience in banking, sales and management and entrepreneurial experience as an owner of multiple retail and consulting businesses, Jill share her 20 years of experiences with business owners. She understands the foundation and strategies necessary for small businesses to succeed.
Jill earned a BA degree in economics and French from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She serves on several non-profit boards and committees in the community.
JILL MEYER SBTDC Senior Business Development & Commercialization Consultant
Jill Meyer is an experienced and successful senior manager with more than 20 years of leadership, marketing, human capital and consulting experience. A specialist in technology commercialization, strategy development, financing and business development, Jill brings a practical perspective to supporting entrepreneurs and their businesses. She works with start-up organizations as well as multi-national corporations to impact change and drive profit
At the SBTDC, Jill works with technology companies at all stages to assist in innovation, product development, grant and capital sourcing, management improvement and revenue growth.
Previously, Jill had her own consulting practice, working with entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through innovation and operational execution in alignment with business priorities. Her experience as an executive coach as well as business driver further insures the implementation of her clients’ new strategies.
Jill is an ELEVATIONLAB course instructor and a member of the Digital SandboxKC Selection Panel and LaunchKC Steering Committee. She is on the board of the National Charity League and is an active speaker and participant in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community.
Jill earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and public policy studies from Duke University and a MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
SALLY WILLIAMS SBTDC Technology Development & Commercialization Consultant
Sally Williams is an innovation expert with a focus on driving growth through business innovation, new product development and commercialization, marketing and strategy. 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 national brands.
At the SBTDC, Sally works with entrepreneurs developing various technologies, with products ranging from mobile apps to medical devices. She helps business owners focus on research and potential technology within the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), providing consulting and entrepreneurial training to UMKC’s faculty and researchers. Her expertise is helping entrepreneurs move technology from the lab to the consumer. She is an ELEVATIONLAB instructor, specializing in technology venture courses.
Sally has a bachelor of music degree in vocal music education from the University of Mississippi, and a master of business administration degree with marketing specialization from the University of Illinois at Urbana. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Honorary Fraternity and Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity.
MICHELLE KRETSINGER Program Coordinator
Michelle Kretsinger is the first person most clients contact when they are looking for assistance from the SBTDC. Her role is to help entrepreneurs find the correct classes for their stage and type of business. She coordinates class registration, updates website information and ELEVATIONLAB course materials.
Michelle previously worked in the fields of education, insurance and program administration. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
MARK ALLEN Contract Business Development Consultant
Mark Allen is an experienced business professional who has started and operated a group of companies focused in the building materials industry. The companies employed over 500 hundred people and were based in the Kansas City area with operations in 12 states.
Mark is contracted by SBTDC to provide training programs and counseling services to a wide range of business clients. His experiences working in diverse communities and specific industries has given him an in-depth understanding of small business opportunities and challenges.
Currently, Mark serves as managing director for WRS Solutions, an entrepreneurial training and consulting company that has programs in Kansas City, St. Louis and other U.S. cities. The company delivers entrepreneurial training programs in markets where new entrepreneurs and second-stage entrepreneurs can learn how to grow their passion and their businesses. He is one of the leading trainers in the U.S. for entrepreneurial programs and the resulting economic impact created from the programs and consulting services.
Mark has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has master’s credits in finance from the University of Kansas. When not working with small businesses, Mark works with urban youth and also serves on four corporate boards and two, non-profit foundation boards.
JOEL BARRETT Contract Business Development Consultant
Joel Barrett brings a coaching/consulting and business entrepreneurship background to his role of contract business development consultant at the SBTDC. He is a coach and co-instructor for FastTrac New Venture and Ice House Entrepreneurship Program.
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 serves as a board member of Transformations: a KC Trans and Gender Expansive Youth Group and as a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Joel earned a master’s degree in liberal studies with a sustainability focus from Indiana University.