CARMEN DEHART Regional Director • Missouri Small Business Development Center at UMKC Director of Outreach Programs • UMKC Innovation Center
Carmen DeHart directs a team of SBDC 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 SBDC Excellence & Innovation Award, Missouri SBDC State Star by Association of Small Business Development Centers, Economic Development Contribution Award by MU Extension and MO SBDC and the Economic Development Contribution Award by MU Extension and MO SBDC.
She is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, a Missouri SBDC Certified Transformational Coach, Certified Economic Development Finance Professional and Certified Kauffman 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.
JACQUE EIDSON Business Development Consultant
A UMKC Bloch School graduate, Jacque Eidson has corporate experience in audit and compliance, business development, and strategic planning. In addition, Jacque and her husband have owned multiple businesses through the years and she loves working through the inevitable challenges that entrepreneurs encounter.
Jacque learned through an accidental opportunity to teach business courses for a private college that she indeed has the heart of a teacher and believes in the power of relevant learning paired with real-life experiences. Currently, Jacque is a field faculty member for the University of Missouri’s Business Development Program, working specifically with the SBDC and PTAC programs housed in the UMKC Innovation Center.
She feels honored to work daily with small business owners throughout Missouri to provide educational resources, collaborative opportunities, and strategic planning. In addition to being an Organizational Psychology PhD candidate, non-profit board member, and community volunteer, Jacque is an unpaid Uber driver for her four children.
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.
JILL HATHAWAY 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.
DELIA MARIN Business Development Consultant
Delia Marin developed her entrepreneurial acumen through more than 30 years growing up in a family business and her own broad base of experience in diverse industries.
As a business development consultant with SBDC, Delia works with established businesses providing one-on-one coaching to address a variety of entrepreneurial and growth business management issues, including assistance with accessing capital needs, financing and equity, marketing, international trade, strategic planning and business assessment.
Delia is bilingual in English and Spanish and offers a multi-cultural and community outreach expertise that bridges the gaps in business teams, enabling organizations to expand opportunities for business development across all markets.
Through Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), Delia also assists clients with understanding federal, state and local government requirements applicable to contracting for services, manufacturing, construction and other markets. She advises and assists clients with government application preparation, certifications, registrations, procurement counseling, bid preparation and matching proposals.
Delia’s background includes work in human resources, event management, higher education, work skills training and development, public affairs, not-for-profit management and culinary curriculum management. She earned a BA degree in human development from St. Mary’s University.
SALLY WILLIAMS 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 Missouri SBDC at UMKC, 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 Missouri SBDC at UMKC. Her role is to help entrepreneurs find the correct trainings or counseling for their stage and type of business. She coordinates registrations, 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.
JOEL BARRETT Business Development Consultant – Contractor
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 co-instructor for ELEVATIONLAB NEW VENTURE and facilitates Entrepreneurial Mindset Program and First Steps 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.
DAVID NEAL Business Development Consultant – Contractor
After David Neal worked for three 8A firms, he turned work into passion when he started working as a consultant. My goal is to help small, minority, woman and veteran owned companies sell their product or service to the federal government.
David brings this consulting background to his role of contract business development consultant at the SBDC. He is a coach for GROWTH360.
As an adventurer at heart, he is a scuba diver, bike rider, runner and cruise enthusiast. He brings this same excitement to his ability to help clients grow their businesses. David enjoys his time with family and attended Bethel College in North Newton, KS.
DEBBY PRATT Business Development Consultant – Contractor
Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, it was inevitable that Debby would ultimately pursue a career where she could work with entrepreneurs and provide coaching and business consulting in her role as contract business development consultant at the SBDC.
Debby brings more than 30 years of business experience, working as part of the executive marketing team at a Fortune 100 company, working with small businesses and being an entrepreneur herself. In addition to working with the SBDC, she runs Pratt Market Insights LLC where she provides market research consulting and business coaching to businesses large and small by helping them uncover invaluable insights, allowing them to act on that knowledge and move forward.
Debby is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, holds a Doctorate of Theology with an emphasis in transpersonal psychology, a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and a Bachelor of Science in journalism.
JILL MEYER Director of Innovation • Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center Senior Director of Technology Ventures
Jill Meyer is an experienced and successful senior manager with more than 20 years of leadership, marketing, human capital and consulting experience. In her role with the UMKC Innovation Center, she will drive the strategic vision, direction and development of the center’s technology pillar.
At Missouri SBDC, Jill will continue to work with technology companies 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 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.