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We are the Aurora-South Metro SBDC

Our Team

All SBDC consultants and staff must undergo a statewide certification process in order to meet with clients and provide consulting services. All team members listed below are certified SBDC consultants.

SBDC Administration

Executive Director

Marcia McGilley

Marcia McGilley has jump started over 1,000 companies and reads approximately 100 business plans per year. She has owned six companies and her experience lies in business launching, strategic and business planning, marketing, cleantech and advanced presentation skills. McGilley is a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Cleantech Open (CTO) business competition, where she served as regional and national workshop chair. Under McGilley’s leadership, the Aurora-South Metro SBDC was named the 2012 U.S. Small Business Administration – Region VIII – “SBDC Center of the Year for Excellence and Innovation.” McGilley was also the 2013 State Star Award winner.


City of Aurora Development Services Manager; Urban Renewal

Andrea Amonick

Andrea Amonick serves as the host manager of the Small Business Development Center. Andrea has been with the SBDC for five years and works to coordinate the center’s activities with development opportunities around the city. She is active with the Arapahoe Douglas Work Force Investment Board, and serves as staff to Aurora’s Business Advisory Board. Andrea came to Aurora from Dayton, Ohio, where she managed redevelopment and job creation activities in that city for more than 20 years.


Economic & Business Development Supervisor

Elena Vasconez

Elena has more than 20 years of experience in business development, strategic planning, and organizational development. As a bilingual business consultant, she has helped launch more than 500 businesses and has taught a variety of business courses both in English and Spanish. As former Director of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Mi Casa Resource Center, she led a team of seven staff and six consultants who helped more than 1,000 startup and existing businesses annually by offering entrepreneurial training, micro-lending, intellectual property support, financial literacy, and individual business counseling. Under Elena’s leadership, the Small Business Administration recognized the Denver Women’s Business Center as the 2014 Women’s Business Center of Excellence for Region VIII. Additionally, in 2017 the WBC was recognized as the National Women’s Business Center of Excellence for the United States.

Elena served as a Board Member and Treasurer for the National Association of Women’s Business Centers. She also served as a community member for the Advisory Board for Colorado Enterprise Fund and Chair for the Advisory Board of the Business Program at Arapahoe Community College.

Elena has an MBA and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Azusa Pacific University in California. She also owns High Impact Solutions, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping businesses and organizations achieve higher levels of productivity and profitability.


SBDC Program Coordinator

Frankie Anderson

Frankie has been with the SBDC for more than 20 years. As a business program specialist, she works directly with the center’s Executive Director and helps run the operations of the center. She supports the center’s marketing efforts and implements each year’s program offerings. She puts a high emphasis on customer service. In addition, she is staff to the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership, a nonprofit under Spirit of Aurora, which has a goal to create a high quality of life for Aurora’s Asian Pacific Americans through business assistance and cultural programs.

Administrative Specialist

Leslie Epperson

Leslie comes to the SBDC with 10 years experience owning a business with her husband in Tucson, AZ. She had recently been with the City of Aurora for four years at the Griswold Water Purification Facility. Leslie will be working with clients in customer service. She will set all client one-on-one appointments, arrange workshops and greet you at the door.

Aurora Team

Small Business Consultant

Laurie Womer

Laurie is a Sr. Small Business Specialist with the City of Aurora and the Aurora-South Metro SBDC.  Laurie’s strengths are in financial analysis and strategic planning.  She can work with SBDC clients on budgets, cash flow analysis, pricing, buy-sell analysis, and review of business plans.  She currently owns and manages the sales, marketing and financial pieces of Denver Tent, a manufacturing company which she helped turn around into a profitable position, thinking outside the box to rebrand and grow the company and motivate employees.  She has also been successful as an entrepreneur in retail sales.  She is excited to be a trusted advisor with the Aurora-South Metro SBDC team, and is full of enthusiasm to inspire SBDC entrepreneurs.

Small Business Consultant

Claudia Yáñez

Claudia is a Bilingual Sr. Small Business Specialist with the City of Aurora and the Aurora-South Metro SBDC.  She is a business generalist with deep expertise in a variety of start-ups including food and childcare businesses, and the formation of cooperatives. She can work with SBDC clients in business plan development, business start-up strategies, cash flow development, pricing and sales projections, marketing strategies, and basic QuickBooks. She is the instructor for the Leading Edge Business Planning class and Cooperative Development classes in Spanish. She has assisted over 250 small businesses in launching and growing. Claudia is a Certified Colorado SBDC Network consultant.


Small Business Consultant

Gary L. Gilliard

Gary is a business generalist with a deep expertise in banking and lending, financing sources, financial documents, business planning, inventory control and start-ups.  He will be teaching some of our webinars and has assisted over 1,000 small and medium sized business in starting and growing. Gary is a Certified Colorado SBDC Network consultant.

Small Business Consultant

Kelyn Lanier

Kelyn is a business generalist with a deep expertise in start-up, business planning, pricing and cost projection, buy/sell and market analysis  He is well versed in the minority business community and assists businesses in exploring if government sales or needing government certification is right for you.  He will be teaching some of our webinars and has assisted over 400 small businesses in starting and growing.  Kelyn is a Certified Colorado SBDC Network consultant.

Small Business Instructor

Neil Pollard

Neil is a small business instructor for the Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center.  He specializes in the financial aspects of small business, including financial analysis and projections as well as start-up strategy, building and implementing sound business plans, and launching/growing small-to-medium-sized businesses.

After earning his undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurship and his M.B.A. in International Business, Neil worked for a large fortune 500 company, as well as a small professional services firm in sales and marketing roles, and went on to start and run successful entrepreneurial ventures.  He is now an instructor for the entrepreneurship and small business management program at the Community College of Aurora.  Neil has helped many aspiring entrepreneurs conceptualize, launch, and grow their own small business and looks forward to doing the same with SBDC clients.

Small Business Consultant

Anthony Russo

Anthony is a business generalist with an expertise in manufacturing companies.  He is a Certified Colorado SBDC Network Consultant and assists manufacturing companies through the SBDC’s program, the Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE.  His manufacturing specialties include processes, automation, supply chain, sourcing and distribution strategies, pricing strategies, market penetration, business planning, sales channels, import/export and compliance.  Anthony established TradeHub International in 2005 as a hybrid service and trading company that offers education and training, market research and penetration strategies or door-to-door import/export services to companies in over 60 countries regardless of their size or industry.  Anthony has combined his years of experience with small businesses, vast global network and proven process to mitigate risk and cut costs for companies looking to enter the global market place.  He has worked with small businesses, manufacturing companies, government agencies, universities, chambers, industry associations and World Trade Centers across the globe.  He holds a BA in Marketing and MBA in Business Administration from Charleston Southern University.

Small Business Consultant

Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo

Jennifer is a business generalist with a deep expertise in marketing strategy and tactics, branding, digital marketing, messaging and business planning.  She will be teaching our marketing webinars beginning this month and has assisted over 500 small businesses in launching and growing.  Jennifer is a Certified Colorado SBDC Network consultant.

Business Librarians

Arapahoe County Library District, Business Librarian

Alicia Cartwright

Alicia has been a consultant with the Aurora-South Metro SBDC since February 2014. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in French and International Studies with an emphasis in business and economic development from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Masters of Information and Library Science from the University of Denver. With a professional background in consulting and public libraries, she is passionate about research and teaching clients the skills necessary to use library resources to start and grow their businesses through Arapahoe Libraries.

Douglas County Libraries - Business Services, Business Librarian

Colbe Galston

Colbe Galston is the Business Analyst for Douglas County Libraries, leading the BizInfo team in providing research and training to the entrepreneurs and business support organizations of Douglas County. Colbe has been with Douglas County Libraries for ten years. She received her bachelors of arts degrees in English literature and Spanish from Tulane University and her masters of library and information science from the University of Denver.

Connect2DOT Consulants

Connect2DOT Consultant

Adriane Sanford

Adriane is founder and principal of The Sanford Group, LLC a professional service consulting firm headquartered in Colorado that provides their clients with innovative solutions to diversity program development and approaches in the transportation, construction, government, and economic development markets. Recognized for her passion and being a strong advocate and proponent to the small and disadvantaged businesses, Adriane built her entire career on that reputation.

Adriane brings more than 18 years of experience providing small business and economic development consulting; diversity participation programs; community outreach programs and the creation and development of technical assistance support services that leveraged best practices for the small, women and disadvantaged businesses in the construction/transportation industry. She has a strong community involvement and currently serves in a number of key leadership roles in the business community, including member of the Construction Empowerment Initiative for the City and County of Denver. She served in various capacities that reshaped the City & County of Denver 2014 Ordinance that governs the minority and women business enterprise program. She currently serves on the RTD Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advisory Committee (DBEAC), CEI Airport Concession DIA Subcommittee and the Colorado Black Chamber- Black Construction Group Subcommittee. Adriane received her Associate of Art’s Degree in Human Services from Colorado Women’s College in Denver.

Connect2DOT Consultant

Robert Smith

Bob Smith has 23 years of construction management experience, and 10 years as consultant to subcontractors with SBDC. Bob is the owner of Eaton Cole Construction services and is currently performing construction management services. He worked as a consultant for Denver Transit Partners on the $2.7 Billion Eagle P3 project, providing bonding and financial guidance, contractor monitoring and technical assistance to subcontractors. Bob has significant expertise in providing technical assistance to subcontractors on public and private construction projects. He has been a consultant with CDOT for over ten years. He works in tandem with owners and prime contractors to exceed project goals and aid in the growth of local, small, and disadvantaged businesses.