Pagosa Springs SUN

March 8, 2018

Chamber of Commerce

Mary Jo Coulehan


New SBDC Consultant in Archuleta County

            The Small Business Development Center at Ft. Lewis College is an integral part of the business community in Southwest Colorado including Archuleta County.  For years, the Pagosa Springs Chamber has had a strong relationship with this organization offering monthly free consulting sessions with the director of the SBDC or a certified business consultant.  Businesses or individuals can take advantage of various mentoring services from reviewing business plans, financials, expansion opportunities, marketing, and other business topics.  Due to SBDC retirements and part-time assistance available, these consulting sessions became sporadic the past couple of years.

Under the new guidance of Mary Shepherd with the SBDC and the local commitment of a new certified business consultant, the regular free monthly consultations are back on track.  For years, Pagosa has been gifted with the expertise of Rich Lindblad through his efforts with the Community Development Corporation and his tireless consulting services through the SBDC.  His services will still continue.  The SBDC has now also added full-time Pagosa Springs resident and certified business consultant Dr. Robert Blaise to their list of business experts.  Dr. Blaise has over 25 years of business management and holds a BS in Information Technology, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Management with a specialization in strategy and innovation.  His expertise includes electronic commerce (e-commerce) and data analysis.  Dr. Blaise’s mentoring philosophy centers on three principles:  to embolden critical thinking, provide clients with a method of connecting empirical knowledge to practical applications, and to utilize impactful teaching aids to engage the client better.  He feels that business mentoring is a two-way street.  “It is not the consultant’s role to merely direct; the client is an equal partner in the process, with the consultant facilitating the client’s ability to think for themselves rather than being told what to think to become an autonomous entrepreneur”, Dr. Blaise commented.

The monthly free sessions will begin in April 13 and will be held at the Chamber conference room.  Interested clients can book a 12-1:30 p.m. or 1:30-3 p.m. appointment on the second Friday of every month.  If these two sessions are filled, an additional 3-4:30 p.m. session can be added.  Interested parties can contact the SBDC office at (970) 247-7009 to book and appointment.  The Chamber and the CDC encourage individuals or businesses to utilize this rich resource that the SBDC makes available to our communities.  Questions can also be directed to the chamber offices at 264-2360.