Two new business professionals are available to help with ongoing or startup business challenges.
Blue Mountain Community College’s Small Business Development Center has hired Kristy Athens and Dennis Sands as business advisers for the program. Rick Bombaci, who has served as adviser since June 2016, will continue to work with current clients part-time.
Advisers, who are or have been business owners themselves, provide free and confidential one-on-one advice to small business owners at all stages of business development. In addition, they have the benefit of connection to 20 other related centers statewide and can draw on their wealth of experience to answer difficult questions or make appropriate referrals.
Some of the resources include information and assistance with inventions, patents, market research, business statistics and getting ready to export products.
Athens has a master’s degree in Food Systems and Society from Marylhurst University and is the author of “Get Your Pitchfork On!: The Real Dirt on Country Living.” She has been a freelance writer, editor and project manager for more than two decades.
Athens’ areas of expertise include start-up businesses, public relations, traditional and online marketing and alternative financing.
“Wallowa County is a very special place that requires people to be flexible and creative in order to find success,” Athens said. “I love helping others formulate a plan to make a life here.”
Sands worked for 42 years in sales and owned several small businesses, including a business brokerage where he assisted small business owners with purchasing and selling businesses. This experience provided insight into the rigors of owning a small business.
“I love small business owners,” Sands said. “It is a tough but rewarding career, and I think helping an owner succeed is a reward in itself.”
The center is in the Wallowa Resources building at 401 NE 1st St., Ste. 13, Enterprise.
Info: 541-278-5864 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.