NO-COST BUSINESS CONSULTING (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE)
MCSC provides no-cost business consultations as one of our primary services. MCSC and The Women's Business Center has an elite team of consultants that have extensive expertise in fields including marketing, organizational development, finance, management, etc. Consultations are offered as an individual service, or as a supplementary service to MCSC graduates to assist them in starting or profitably growing their business.
Meet our SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY CONSULTANTS
Serving All of San Luis Obispo County
Monica Alderette is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with CEO’s, executives and solopreneurs to grow their ideas and build their brands. After spending nearly a decade working in sales and marketing for multi-million dollar brands and startups, Monica knows what truly drives conversions, sold-out launches and spotlight interviews—and it’s not mastering the marketing flavor of the week. It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them.
Monica holds an MBA from Presidio, San Francisco, and an expertise in B2B Software, Green Tech, and Not for Profit leadership. Specific areas of specialization include: Marketing, Sales Strategy and Team Development, Public Relations, Social Media Management, Online Advertising, Social Sales, and Search Engine Optimization.
Stacey Aragon attained her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. She has knowledge in all aspects of business from strategic planning, marketing, finance, to HR management, organizational behavior, and organizational development. In the two years she attended Cal Poly, she received presidential recognition among her peers for her extraordinary dedication in serving a highly underrepresented population, students with children.
Stacey has brought her passion of serving people to MCSC, and she is eager to be an advocate for entrepreneurs within the local and surrounding business communities. The source of her inspiration is fueling entrepreneurs who are at a disadvantage, but have the heart and perseverance to pursue their dreams.
In addition to working with MCSC, Stacey and her son proactively volunteer at Cal Poly, local churches, and other local non-profit organizations. Originally, from San Diego County, you can find Stacey at the beach, hiking, and adventuring all over the coast.
Business & Marketing Consultant
Experienced international digital marketing and sales executive. Uli has over a decade of experience managing design, development and sales talent for international brands. Her areas of expertise include marketing, communications, public relations, and sales team management.
Uli has extensive experience formulating effective and strategic marketing and sales campaigns with clear and trackable goals and outcomes. Her exposure to large-scale trade show and client events with sponsorship and sponsorship activities can help all levels of business with her outreach and public relations. Uli is able to guide and focus clients on all aspects of marketing for products and services, including print, web, and video.
Uli has extensive experience developing and implementing processes for hiring, training, performance evaluation and supervising daily activities for employees. Additionally, she can also help startup and growing businesses with quarterly forecasting and monthly financial reviews.
Uli is committed to the San Luis Obispo community by being involved in several women business organizations and is often found using her experience to help her fellow community business owners.
Instructor Spanish Business Start Up Class - Empezando
Carla is a Personal Banker at Wells Fargo where she has worked for nine years. In addition, Carla has been involved in the community with different organizations for the past ten years in a variety of ways. She continues to demonstrate her care for her community especially focused on the local Latino Community. Carla complements her role as a personal banker by sharing and teaching financial literacy in the Latino community.
Carla shared the need of an organization for the Hispanic Community with Sue Hubbard and their brainstorming resulted in the idea of creating the Hispanic Business Association. Carla has dedicated her minimal spare time to the Hispanic Business Association, which she calls “her baby”. As some of the members indicate: “I see you sending emails at 11:00 p.m. It looks like you never sleep.”
Her enthusiasm, organizational skills and persistence have made the organization grow and be successful in the past years. Her goal as the president of the Association is to be able to share with the entire Central Coast, from Santa Maria to King City, the vision and mission of the Hispanic Business Association.
Liz Christoffersen, inspirational thought-leader and strategist, shares her knowledge and experience working with luxury and lifestyle brands worldwide. The experience of creating and implementing business strategies that deliver sustainable success despite economic conditions uniquely qualifies Liz to provide leadership and guidance to those who want to step out of the ordinary and embrace an extraordinary level of success.
As Founder and CEO of Empower Consulting Group, an award winning, management consulting and talent development firm; Liz serves as a trusted advisor, strategic facilitator and leadership development expert to a growing list of luxury and lifestyle clients around the globe. Her strategic and loving approach helps leaders slow down to think, reflect and get the big ideas right. Her process leads to clear goals, profound realizations and a radical approach to building a heart based business. She helps people let go of fear through teachable moments. In doing so, her clients become conscious, world-class leaders who “do well by doing good.”
An experienced leader with successful management, sales and operations experience, she has a proven track record for creating top producing sales teams and leaders. Her reputation has garnered her engagements with Cisco, Paris Luxe, Swiss Development Group, Tesla, Visuals Speak, Sotheby’s, Avison & Young, Orascom Development, and more. Her extensive client list includes luxury and lifestyle industry leaders and professionals in real estate, development, hospitality, resorts, travel and tourism.
She is passionate about inspiring others to turn work into play and to live the life of their dreams. Liz is grateful to share her life with her soulmate, her family and her little dog CHIP (Causes Happiness in People). They love living their dream life which allows them to experience and discover the wonders of the world.
Advertising & Marketing, Social Media, Facebook, Wordpress Websites, Studio Photography
Owner of Ginici Studios, Gina is a Professional Photographer and Graphic Designer. She specializes in portrait photography and helping new businesses set up starter websites in WordPress and develop a social media presence. She networks regularly in the local community and is currently the BNI SLO Founding Chapter President in San Luis Obispo.
Gina received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art Photography from ASU in Tempe, AZ. After receiving her degree she worked as the lead photographer and manager of a very busy photography studio in Mesa, AZ for 11 years. After which she became a contractor for the Air Force Research Laboratory as a Media Specialist, designing logos, laying out presentations and signage, training packets and photographing employee and military portraits, special events and research exercises.
In 2010 Gina moved to the Central Coast and started her own business in San Luis Obispo to help small businesses with their marketing and/or presentation challenges of their own. Her mission is to “tell a story” and develop designs and images that convey the right message effectively about a business to their customers. In the beginning of launching her business Gina successfully completed the Start, Run and Grow Your Business course offered through the MCSC Women's Business Center.
Branding & Marketing
Nikkole is a website designer and graphic designer who supports small business owners to create an online presence and brand that they love! Here to help clients attract their ideal audience and grow their business online. Through the Women’s Business Center, Nikkole can help with brand strategy and marketing to training you on website building platforms like Squarespace and Showit.
Nikkole was born and raised in Utah before she left to explore the world. She has worked and lived in many big cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Madrid, where she gained her Spanish language skills. Nikkole currently lives in San Luis Obispo, CA where she enjoys painting, exploring, and being outside in nature. She is also the owner and creative director of Nikkole Marie Creative Studios.
Banking, SBA Loans, Funding, Micro Loans
Steve was a career banker for 42 years (33 years in San Luis Obispo), most recently as a Senior Vice President/Commercial Relationship Manager specializing in business and real estate lending. After retiring from banking in 2012, Steve started his mobile Notary Public service business and became a Certified Notary Signing Agent - handling the signing of residential mortgage documents for local clients of various lenders and title insurance companies.
Steve has served on the Board of Directors of Coastal Business Finance (SBA 504 commercial real estate financing program) since 2009 and is currently Board Secretary. Additional community involvement includes past president (and former Volunteer of the Year) of San Luis Obispo County YMCA, former Board Member of San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and past Board Member (and current volunteer) of San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. In addition, he is a longtime member of San Luis Obispo Kiwanis de Tolosa service club where he serves as incoming Board Secretary.
Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology (Law Enforcement) from California State University, Fresno. In addition, he is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington, Seattle. Steve resides in San Luis Obispo, California.
Elizabeth has an expertise in written communication; addressing the best practices of business writing for advertising, website copy, and social media. She prides herself on her ability to make traditionally dry and tedious writing concepts fun and easy to understand.
Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, speaker, and consultant with over twenty years of experience in writing, marketing, and customer service. In 2003, Elizabeth started Fine Lines Communications out of a desire to share her passion for language and help businesses locally and across the country to put their ideas into words. Her press releases have been picked up by MarketWatch.com, Yahoo! Financial, and several specialty magazines.
Elizabeth is a regular volunteer for numerous local organizations and is involved with several networking groups. She was raised in the Midwest where she attended The University of Minnesota and Lowthian College. She lives in Arroyo Grande, California.
Polly Mertens is a strategic business and marketing consultant plus life coach serving clients both on the Central Coast and around the globe. She worked in sales and marketing for start-ups in Silicon Valley and made the move to the Central Coast to pursue a change in lifestyle in 2001. She went on to receive her MBA from Cal Poly in entrepreneurship and has worked for locally based companies like REC Solar/SunRun, Etna Interactive and now runs her own consulting and coaching business called Inspired Resources (www.GetBusyThriving.com).
Her areas of expertise are business strategy, web marketing, branding and sales. While she was educated and worked in sales and marketing over her 25 year career, she also has a passion for personal development. Polly attended dozens of workshops and personal bootcamps over 10 years and continues to be a student of success and entrepreneurship. She brings an added layer to her consulting clients with a background in mindset coaching, habits reconditioning, and goal setting/planning. She not only works with clients on their business, but also their entrepreneurial success mindset.
She was one of the first teachers of the original Start, Run Grow Class (formerly Vision to Venture – a 14 week business planning workshop) and has since taught numerous classes and labs for Mission Community Services over the years. She is an inspirational speaker/blogger and enjoys exploring the US in her motorhome when she is not on the Central Coast.
Instructor Spanish Business Start Up Class - Empezando
Gabe Quiroz has more than 30 years of experience in management and 20 in broadcast media. A 10 year resident of San Luis Obispo County, he managed a broadcast facility that covered Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Before moving to the Central Coast, he oversaw the operations of Television and Radio Stations in Southern Nevada. He has been a member of the board for several organizations, among them Antioch University Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo Symphony and the Nevada Broadcasters Association to name a few. He is trilingual in Spanish English and French.
Bernard Ringer-Britz is the founder and managing member of Live Wire Systems, a perimeter control systems company. For the past 28 years, clients have appreciated his reliable and creative security solutions across the US. He expanded the systems capabilities and markets from junk yards to animal containment in zoos, and other commercial/industrial site protection. He designed and created his own systems to meet niche industries and evolving technology. His latest projects include adding mobile monitoring and expansion into the California high value crop protection. Focusing on small and medium sized businesses has provided him connection and perspective to the governance and development required by those businesses to operate. His passion for nurturing small businesses has led him to seek out opportunities to give back to this cohort. Acting as a consultant, he offers guidance and direct support to local and international entrepreneurs. He continues to volunteer as a consultant for the MCSC/ Women’s Business Center of San Luis Obispo, empowering those who want to start, improve or change their business from idea to execution, and has proudly served as Precinct Inspector in Pismo Beach for the last 4 elections.
A self-taught professional who came to the United States from Argentina almost 30 years ago, Bernard has developed a broad knowledge and experience in business operations, contracts, and interpreting complex regulations and codes through the operation of his business, and in the simultaneous managing of several others. His passion thrives on helping others achieve the realization of their entrepreneurial dreams.
Patty has well over 20 years experience in marketing and has been in the online space since 1998 where she developed an e-commerce program for a gourmet gift company into a million dollar business. She has spent 14 years helping the wine industry gain traction online and has since branched out to help other industries grow their brands including financial, legal, health and beauty, motorsports, landscape design, political activism and non profits. Golden State Marketing and her other business, California Wine Marketing, were founded in 2006.
Patty is a California native, born and raised in Los Angeles where she attended college with an emphasis on journalism and public relations. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994 and spent 21 years there helping businesses with customer support, e-commerce and marketing. She moved to San Luis Obispo in 2015. Patty is a co-chair of the marketing committee for SLO Women’s Network and active member of both SLO and Paso Robles Chamber. Patty also teaches seminars for MCSC and other local organizations on various marketing topics.
Patty lives in Los Osos, loves to ride her motorcycles, explore the central coast and play with her pugs at the beach.
Business Consultant & Instructor
Experienced Founder, Board Member, Marketing, and Investor Relations executive. Lorelei spent over 10 years with Discovery Channel and 14+ other networks creating software and managing online advertising campaigns that generated over $35M in annual advertising revenue. She is a driven entrepreneur; her strengths include executive leadership, startup strategy, and attracting key investors. Most recently, Lorelei led a team that completed the business plan and pitch deck for a Series A and within two months secured $900k in soft commitment.
She is a Founding Investor and Board Member of SLO MakerSpace and is involved in a removed oversight capacity with the CEO and COO to help continue their community reach and growth, including identifying and developing strategic partnerships with the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Lorelei is also the Founder of the San Luis Obispo County Women Entrepreneurs Group, a social and networking group for women entrepreneurs and business owners in SLO County.
Digital Marketing Consultant
Justin is a passionate communicator with 18 years experience helping small business owners develop realistic and dynamic marketing strategies. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California. He worked for many years as a journalist covering politics and public policy before entering the world of politics, working for members of Congress and the State Legislature.
Returning to his love of communication he now serves as a media consultant for the San Luis Obispo Tribune where he helps real estate companies develop marketing plans that combine print, digital and social media tactics to reach buyers and sellers.He is deeply versed in digital marketing with the latest technologies that target consumers by their specific interests.
Prior to moving to San Luis Obispo in 2006, Lorna Whiteaker lived in Ventura where she was employed in the legal industry for three decades as an administrator, accounts manager and legal assistant.
In 2008, Lorna founded MoneySmart Business Solutions which specializes in helping small businesses perfect their operations, infrastructure and money management.
Lorna is an expert in the intricacies of bookkeeping and managing money in the electronic age and is committed to helping entrepreneurs develop healthy, viable businesses based on sound financial practices. She has always been very active within the communities where she lives.
She has been a PTA volunteer, Girl Scout leader and is currently the Chapter Chair for SCORE San Luis Obispo.