The Alameda County SBDC is staffed with experienced leaders who assist SBDC clients grow and develop their businesses.
Aleks Aris obtained his PhD in Computer Science from University of Maryland, specializing in UX / HCI (User eXperience / Human-Computer Interaction). He also holds MS and BS degrees in Computer Science
as well as a minor degree in Psychology. Before entering college, in a standardized college entrance exam, out of 1,350,000 students, Aleks Aris ranked 26th. He worked at Google as a Software Engineer from 2011 to 2014. Then, he started his business as a software consultant & researcher in 2015. He has researched the wellness field by offering individual consulting to find the gaps that software might fill. First, he started offering (1) Relational Consulting (RC), to help individuals resolve issues in their human relations and then, in 2017 he created the Money Abundance Project (MAP) and started offering (2) money abundance consulting(also known as MAP consulting), to help people resolve issues with money and related issues.As a money abundance consultant, he has helped individuals, including business owners, resolve issues at a high level (mental, emotional, spiritual) that otherwise block the natural flow of money into their life and/or business. Recently, he has also created a version of MAP for businesses, MAP for Business, which is money abundance consulting for multi-person (2+ people) businesses (incl. non-profits, institutions, & agencies, etc.). MAP for Business is to optimize the operations and improve the money flow into a business. Aleks Aris has also taken formal business courses since 2017 towards a business degree program and completed & looked into various business programs by other business owners typically designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Ron is a native East Bay resident with more than 40 years of entrepreneurial and financial services experience.
Most recently, Barrett served as Manager of Government Guaranteed Loans for Bank of Alameda. Previously, he was a business development officer at Wachovia Small Business Capital and earlier served as a broker and financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. He also has had his own international marketing and sales counseling practice including assignments for the likes of the CEO of Kinko's Graphics and ACT Teleconferencing.
In addition to his experience in the banking and brokerage industries, Barrett was recognized numerous times for his leadership as founder and CEO of Pride Electronics in San Diego, California, a company with 150 employees who sold its manufactured products in over 26 countries. Pride was named by the President of the United States as "Employer of the Year."
Ron has been affiliated with the Alameda County SBDC as a generalist business counselor for over five years.
David Bokash has more than 20 years management consulting, marketing, business strategy, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Information Technology (IT), engineering and project/product management experience. Over the past few years he has served as a consultant advising startups and established companies on product marketing, internet commerce, website development, business strategy, IT project management and SCM.
In 2001, Mr. Bokash came to the bay area to work as a product manager at SAP Labs where he helped incorporate electronic commerce and SCM functionality into their applications. Prior to SAP, David held positions at Federal Express in field (operations) engineering and third-party logistics. As an IT project manager for Fed Ex Logistics and Electronic Commerce, he supervised several client implementations in both North America and Europe. As a field engineer for Fed Ex ground operations, he led several initiatives improving productivity and service, and advised station management on operations strategy and tactics.
After business school, he was a consultant in the Strategic Consulting Group of Price Waterhouse, working with clients on strategic uses of IT and SCM. Prior to business school, he spent four years as a systems engineer, working on several commercial and government spacecraft programs.
Mr. Bokash holds a BS and MS in Engineering from Purdue University, and he received an MBA from Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration. David finished his Engineering Masters Degree as a Hughes Graduate Fellow. And before beginning his graduate studies at Purdue, he was selected by the governor of Indiana to serve a two-year term on Purdue University's Board of Trustees.
Paul Bozzo, MBA
Paul Bozzo is a scalable entrepreneurial and technology ventures expert in the San Francisco Bay Area. Paul’s background blends over 25 years of professional experience in start-up strategy, angel and venture capital financing, strategic planning and SBA lending. His specialty is working with entrepreneurial ventures to refine their business model, create an investment-driven business plan and prepare an effective funding presentation. He also advises CEOs and founding teams on these common start-up issues: legal entity selection, equity financing structures, financial forecasting and exit strategies. Paul is an adjunct faculty member in both Sonoma State's Executive MBA program and Dominican University's Green MBA program.
A private consultant, a business owner and an investor for nearly 20 years, Tom calls himself a Financial Strategist, one who integrates Business Strategy with Financial Management. In private practice, Tom's early focus was on the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries and their growth strategies through acquisition, licensing and partnering, in recent years clients have covered a range of industries, and sizes and include business expansions (both organic and through acquisitions), start-ups and turnarounds. Tom’s work history includes more than 10 years commercializing biological technologies in the very early years of the Biotechnology Industry and his educational background includes Master’s Degrees in both Biochemistry and Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University.
Frank Cancila is a Real Estate Broker and Owner of FCC Realty Group. He has gained financial experience by doing loans for 3 years and he has also owned and operated a large restaurant which has given Frank a variety of professional expertise. He draws on that experience when advising clients and considers his role at the ACSBDC as one of a problem solver, using both personal insight and professional experience to help his clients’ businesses thrive by having a better understanding of their business, focusing on efficiency and products as a way of strengthening their business.
Frank shares is knowledge by consulting in Mortgage, Real Estate and entrepreneurship to every ACSBDC client he works with.
He is the Founder and CEO of the Bay area Community Services a Not-For-Profit organization that organizes the Berryessa Art & Wine Festival to help raise funds to benefit the students from the Berryessa Union School District, also President of the Berryessa Business Association and Advisor to the California Small Business Association. I Real Estate Frank is on the B.O.D of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors and at the State level B.O.D for the California Association of Realtors.
Vaneese Johnson is an Executive and Small Business Coach, Brand Strategist, International Author and Speaker. She has served as president of operations and business development in the staffing industry where successfully took the company from start-up phase to seven-figure revenue growth in 3 years.
Vaneese brings a comprehensive understanding of all the elements necessary to start-up and run a successful service-based business. She has hands on experience in business plan development, human resources, operations, business branding, and leveraging social media platforms to grow your market reach.
She is also is a small business advisor and instructor with organizations like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and several non-profits dedicated to creating entrepreneurial and small business success in San Francisco Bay Area communities.
Prior, Vaneese was the President of On the Move Staffing Services where she managed a staff of 500 plus employees. She has received numerous entrepreneurial and small business awards
Bob Komoto has worked with diverse types and sizes of businesses in technical, retail, and agricultural industries to help them successfully envision, create, nurture and grow their businesses. Bob has held positions in engineering, project management, business development and consulting.
Bob has started and grown businesses, launched new products, and qualified as a CertifiedNEI/SBDC Export and Trade Counselor and as a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). He has hands-on experience in launching products and services in the telecommunications, computer manufacturing, software, hardware, retail, agricultural and green/clean tech industries.
Today, as President of American Products International and as an entrepreneur, Bob consults for companies in the areas of global business development, product development and positioning, and go-to-market strategies. Clients include companies offering products and services domestically and globally.
Previously, Bob has taught chemistry and business in English and Spanish; and been a project manager, consultant and engineer launching new processes, products and businesses.
Bob earned a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College, an MS from Santa Clara University and is ABD for a DMat University of Phoenix.
Jesse holds a B.A. from CSU, East Bay, an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, and is currently completing a business administration doctoral journey at Grand Canyon University. He has worked in administrative, construction, software development, marketing, education, and sales capacities for small, medium-sized, and Fortune 100 organizations. He is passionate about being a life-long learner, making a solid contribution to society, solving wicked businesses problems, and encouraging those who cross his path to growing to their fullest potential.
David Mitroff, Ph.D. is a business consultant, marketing expert, keynote speaker and author who has held numerous consultative positions for diverse organizations such as LexisNexis, United Healthcare, U.S. Department of Justice, Providian Financial, Nordstrom, Limited Brands, Constant Contact, Ben & Jerry's and the YMCA. David brings to the SBDC his experiences as the Founder and Chief Consultant of Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc. through which he provides business consulting and marketing services to create brand awareness, strengthen customer loyalty and generate new opportunities. David works with a diversity of clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond such as restaurants and retail specialty stores, franchises, professional services firms, start-ups and individual entrepreneurs.
Dr. Mitroff leverages his extensive professional and educational background, including a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to motivate people to create change, while understanding the psychology behind business and marketing decisions. David is an active member, on the executive board, or advisory committees for several organizations. He continually collaborates with several consultant groups, merchant associations, and charities to best serve the community. David brings a deep knowledge of the entire San Francisco Bay Area marketplace and is a fourth generation San Franciscan who is proud to have been born in San Francisco. David is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics from Social Media Management to the Psychology of Marketing and through his consulting, lectures, training, and keynotes has educated more than 35,000 business owners.
Dr. Mitroff is an Instructor at the University of California, Berkeley for the International Diploma Program and teaches courses in marketing, entrepreneurship and Innovation. David has also taught at General Assembly, John F. Kennedy University and 15+ other colleges in addition to conducting 100’s of workshops for the Small Business Development Centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Deborah served as the chairperson before taking over as director in 2009.She attended SJSU where she studied business. Some years later, she completed the ACPWC course and became a Certified Wedding Consultant. She started her wedding planner business in 1995 after joining the Association.
Deborah is an international speaker and has represented the ACPWC at conferences in Las Vegas, Maui and Cancun, as well as Limerick, Ireland and at the first International Bridal Expo in Beijing China.
Deborah has been quoted in Black Enterprise, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Perspective Newsletter and the San Francisco Chronicle. She had written articles for numerous wedding publications and Women of Wealth magazine. She was also a guest on the KDOW radio - Business on the Edge segment and the Associated Press Television Network. She has been acknowledged in the Cambridge Who’s Who for leadership and achievement in her profession.
Deborah has just released her first book called Persevere Through the Fear, a collaboration of stories by six professional women, sharing their journeys.
Deborah attends Maranatha Christian Center where she serves on several ministries. She is also a member of Eta Phi Beta Sorority and Company of Women book club, established in 1994.
Rick rejoined the Alameda County Small Business Development Center as an Advisor in 2018. Previously, from 2007 through 2013, Rick worked as a Business Advisor and, subsequently as Director of the Alameda County SBDC. While with the SBDC, Rick has worked with over 100 Bay Area small businesses to develop successful strategies addressing growth, operations, funding, and marketing challenges. As Director, he hired and managed a team of 12-15 highly regarded professionals with complementary skillsets to assist local businesses.
From 2014 until today Rick has consulted with an LA-based designer of products for the theme and pet products industries. His responsibilities have included evaluating business opportunities; developing business plans/strategy for entry into new markets; and interfacing with primarily Chinese-based manufacturers on issues of material selection, manufacturing and design of new products. With a focus on innovation and intellectual property protection, he was successful at creating networks of subject matter experts from academia and industry to advance the customer’s initiatives.
For 20 years prior to the SBDC, he was employed in executive positions with small businesses in the areas of business operations, new product development, product marketing, business development, marketing management, sales management, and sales.
He began his career as a plant floor Industrial Engineer and later moved into sales and marketing for IBM and also served as Vice President, National Sales Manager for an affiliate of the General Electric Capital Corporation.
Rick received a MBA degree from Harvard and a BS in Industrial Engineering degree from Purdue.
Devin Oten has been an executive and sales & marketing professional for over 20 years. He has been a motivational speaker for over 15 years teaching such courses as Building YOUR Dreams a topic dealing with achievement, Executive Level Mentality a topic dealing with proper attitude determining altitude, It’s Time to Lead Not Follow a subject addressing a need for taking charge of a cause, 7 Steps to Financial Freedom which attacks the poverty issue and Become a Protégé to a Trusted Mentor with subject matter bringing attention to the fact that we need help to ascertain a purpose in life.
He was the founding Senior Pastor of Mighty Strength of Jesus Ministries and New Life Christian Center of New Orleans, Louisiana for 15 years. He is the founder of Standard of Life Community Development Corporation, In His Presence Media Ministries and MSJ International Missions and Outreach.
He has also launched and successfully run businesses in the real estate and services sectors, 3D Real Estate Ventures, LLC and 3D Lawn Care Services, LLC.
Devin is married to Michele Oten, the Father of five children, and the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren.
He is an alumnus of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia and served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force and Louisiana Air National Guard
Mary Passarella is a CPA (certified public accountant) with over 22 years of experience. She provides services to both nonprofit and for-profit industries.
Her career path began as an internal auditor with Bank of the West where she assisted the bank’s external auditors, Deloitte, with the annual bank financial statement audit. After obtaining her BS in Business Administration, Accounting Option, she worked for a public accounting firm in San Francisco, CA in their audit and tax departments. When she received her MS in Taxation, she started her own public accounting practice providing business consulting, tax and financial services.
She has delivered and facilitated seminars in small business accounting, internal controls, auditing, corporate income tax and individual income taxation.
BS, Business Administration Cal State East Bay
MS, Taxation, Cal State East Bay
Jackie Welch Certified Coach, Facilitator and Trainer receiving her credentials from CTI (Coaches Training Institute) Jackie is also a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation) and has also completed her required studies in Learning & Development in the area of Instructional Design and Delivery. She is President of Tiro Life Coaching, LLC (Time Is Running Out) specializing in Talent Development in the following areas: Soft Skills, (Collaboration, Leadership) Organizational Workshops, Staff Assessment Tools for Hiring Onboarding (PI) / Succession Planning, Time Management, Diversity and Project Management etc.
Jackie’s diverse Leadership background, 28 years of corporate experience with Xerox Corporation allows her to transfer knowledge and teachable moments as a Workshop Facilitator.
Her Credentials consist of: Extended team member Leadership Dynamics Certified Predictive Index assessment tool, DDI Certified Facilitator, Instructional Design, Certified Coach, CPCC, Certified Workplace Excellence Facilitator and Minority Business Owner
. In addition, she has worked with many organizations as a guest Speaker, workshop Facilitator including Clorox, Silicon Valley Business Journal, County of Santa Clara – Safety; County of Santa Clara TOPS Program; Ohlone College Staff Development Day, Bright Horizons, San Jose Community College, Ohlone Leadership Academy and many more.
As a longtime resident of Fremont, Jackie is also a Community Leader supporting many organizations. She is a Board Member for Non-profit Tri City Health, former Girl Scout Troop Leader for over 10+ years, Member of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, ABWA, (American Business Women Association) Ohlone College Advisory Committee, and former member of the PTSA and active Life Member member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Rho Delta Omega Chapter, Palo Alto CA.
Her message allows others to move forward, being more intentional each day and to Live Life with Purpose.
Deagon was born in California, but her cultural and culinary training ground was Paris, where she moved as a teenager in order to undergo formal culinary training. Deagon earned her Grand Diplôme d'Études Culinaires at l'Ecole de Cuisine, La Varenne, and then apprenticed with Michel Comby and La Maison du Chocolat.
As a chef, Deagon ran a 25 person kitchen staff with a daily changing menu as well as created new businesses from scratch. In order to build organizational expertise, Deagon studied systems and organizational theory, earning a BA in Sociology as well as an MBA at Mills College.
Deagon was Client Services Manager at the Center for Culinary Development, where she worked on business development and food innovation marketing for multinational corporations. She is now the principal of Culinary Business Strategy, a boutique consultancy that offers understanding and bottom line results to the food business sector.
As a SBDC counselor, Deagon enjoys working with clients to create and empower strategic roadmaps to success. This often includes completing a well-crafted business plan, financial analysis and strategic growth, branded marketing and operational excellence.
With over 21 years of sales, marketing, branding, and advertising experience gained at The Los Angeles Times, Fremont Investment & Loan, Deutchebank, RO-Studio, the design firm behind the Tesla car brand, Velocify (an Ellie Mae company), a leading CRM and lead management system, and Minoa Marketing, founded by the former VP of Marketing for 1-800-Dentist, Onna provides tangible steps to improve B2B and B2C revenue production, through implementation of strategic sales and marketing processes.
As a marketing and sales revenue production specialist, she guides business’s trajectories upward and helps CEOs achieve their goals faster. Her ability to help businesses identify key initiatives and the blind spots preventing their momentum, discover areas of process improvement and their current deficits, and teach business owners how to avoid costly mistakes makes working with her invaluable and rewarding.