The Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties announces the addition of three Santa Barbara County-based industry experts to its roster of approximately 30 advisors offering free one-on-one business advising and workshops. Advisor Curtis Stevens is an accounting specialist who is bilingual in Spanish and English; Ken Higgins is a sales and marketing strategist; and Dolores Rivera-Neira has expertise in management training and is bilingual.
The SBDC is a program of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County.
“Our roster of SBDC advisors is comprised of high-caliber experts who offer a wide range of skill sets and experience in different sectors. With the addition of Curtis, Dolores and Ken, we are filling in our gaps in service by broadening our capabilities to serve clients in Santa Barbara County and those who are Spanish speakers,” said Ray Bowman, SBDC director.
Based in Lompoc, Stevens is an accounting professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the wind-power, high-tech, telecom and mining industries. He has held key roles in the manufacturing, service and construction industries, and is currently a business consultant for Clipper Windpower, a wind turbine manufacturing company. Stevens will assist SBDC clients in the areas of business startups, global trade, management and technology.
Higgins is founder and president of NewVista Marketing Consulting Inc., a full-service marketing consulting agency in Santa Barbara. He has more than 28 years’ experience in sales, marketing, and management. He is also the author of 101 Marketing Strategies for Maximum Profits. Higgins will assist SBDC clients in the areas of internet marketing and strategic planning.
Rivera-Neira is founder and owner of Santa Barbara-based Performance Outcomes & Associates, a corporate consulting company that specializes in organizational development through coaching, team building, and customer service and management training. Rivera-Neira has more than 24 years’ experience in corporate training and development. She will assist SBDC clients in the area of professional development.
The SBDC is funded by the SBA and provides professional business assistance at no cost to businesses. Participating businesses are required to follow a well-defined scope of work and report their economic successes. These SBA milestones are defined as job creation, increase in sales, capital investment, jobs retained and business started.