Celebrating Veterans
We are privileged to have a great relationship with the veterans in our area, both as our SBDC clients and community partners.  This month we're dedicating our ENews to the veterans with whom we've worked.  For their service we say "thank you".

Veterans Small Business Management
In 2011, we offered a 9 session book and DVD course to our local business owners who were also military veterans, entitled " From Business As Usual to Business Like Never Before", by Dr. Thomas Jones.  The group met once a month, and after completing the series they discovered a real camaraderie amongst themselves, and they wanted to continue meeting.  Facilitated by SBDC Advisor Michael Braden, the group, Veteran Small Business Management (VSBM) has continued meeting. In the five years that have passed the numbers have fluctuated, but the core group has remained the same, and they have developed friendships and good business relations because of VSBM. 

The group has used their time together to explore academic curricula, enjoy various presentations, entertain guest speakers, and of all these endeavors have enhanced the businesses represented by the group. Their collective feedback was that their greatest benefit from participating  in this group has been the networking and friendships that have arisen.  When asked, Michael Braden said  "This group consists  of people I admire for their business decisions and their community relations. I learn from them every time we meet. I aspire to live a life and that inspires others as much as they inspire me. They are military service veterans, business owners, and friends worthy of my appreciation."

If you would like more information about this group, please give our office a call at  541-881-5772 or drop us an email.
Meet a few of our VSBM veterans...
Oregon Trail Hobbies

Local hobby store, Oregon Trail Hobbies has a motto: "We Sell Serious Fun", and it lives up to its motto!  Owners Dale and Cheryl Cruson started the business in 1984, as Horizon Hobbies, providing remote controlled aircraft supplies. They quickly expanded their store, their inventory and the variety.  One name change, three moves and 32 years later, Oregon Trail Hobbies is still going strong.  They offer  a wide selection of hobby supplies, fine art supplies, quality kids' toys, and much more. Dale and Cheryl still love coming into work, and they pride themselves on helping customers find those "hard to find" items.

The Cruson's have worked with the SBDC in many ways over the years; receiving advising services, mentoring, taking classes, and they are members of the VSBM group.  Cheryl says that their relationship with the SBDC has helped them become life-long learners. 

The Cruson family has been involved in the military in one way or another for three generations.  Cheryl's father was a career airman, Dale served for three years with the Air Force, and their son currently serves in the Air Force as an F-22 fighter pilot. 
Nazrat Promotions

Merv and Patsy Leavitt are another local couple who are small business owners and veterans.  Owners of a local promotion company,  Nazrat Promotions , the Leavitts currently publish premium fairbooks for five local county fairs, as well as the Caldwell, Nyssa, and Weiser Chamber of Commerce Business and Visitor Guides. 

Merv and Patsy began their business in 2008 after many years of success in other careers. They began a local advertising paper, Crossroads, but after a few years decided to move away from that, as new publishing jobs were coming, such as the county fairbooks.
Patsy says "success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out", and they apply that concept to their business.  

The Leavitts say that the advice provided by the advisors at the SBDC as been "invaluable", and they have been able to tap into many resources offered, including networking, advising and training. They are also regulars at the monthly VSBM class.

Merv served in the US Navy during the Vietnam era, from 1967 to 1970. 

Soaps on the Trail

After retiring from his career as an aerospace engineer, John and wife Barbi Dailey moved from Colorado to a ranch outside of Vale, Oregon in 2011.  

Though the couple had owned goats previously, their soapmaking endeavor began when they moved to the area.  In 2011, Soaps on the Trail (a nod to the Oregon Trail history in the area) became a reality.  Barbi sought out help from the SBDC with many of the initial start-ups tasks, such as marketing materials (logo design, business cards), website layout, and finance planning. 

Barbi's began selling her soaps at a few local farmers markets, but the Ontario Farmer's Market became her main outlet, and she began to invest her time and assistance in helping the organizers of the Market. Even though Barbi' soaps are available online, the Farmer's Markets are what she loves, and she enjoys the community of the local vendors. 

In addition to the start-up assistance the SBDC staff was able to provide, John and Barbi have continued to stay connected to the SBDC and Barbi says "the education opportunities have been outstanding".  The Dailey's are members of the VSBM group.

John and Barbi met while both were serving in the Air Force, John from 1971-1976 and Barbi from 1973 to 1977.
Jerome Goettch
Jerome Art Studio

Jerome (Jay) Goettch is a local artist who owns  Jerome Art Studio  in Payette, Idaho. In addition to fine art, his studio also provides art lessons, and logo and t-shirt design.  

Jay's military career deeply influenced his voice as an artist.  His time in the armed forces allowed him to travel all over the world; Europe, China, Japan and Africa, and these travels gave him perspective and new ideas.  After the military, Jay pursued art as a career, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Cal State-Fullerton, with a minor in Business Administration in 1996.

Jay displays and sells his art at local establishments, including the Agape Coffeehouse in Payette Idaho, and The House That Art Built, in Ontario Oregon.  His art has also received national distinction. He created a Vietnam self-portrait that was displayed at the Pentagon for a year, and his work was included in the  Strokes of Genius 4: Best of Drawing , a compilation of talented artists, published by Rachel Ruben Wolf, North Light Publishing.

Jay says the biggest help the SBDC has provided has been to help him focus on enhancing and strengthening the business side of his occupation. He is also a regular at the VSBM meetings. 

Jay served in the US Marine Corp from 1964 - 1975, and the US Army from 1975 to 1990, including two tours in Vietnam. 
Ron Verini
President & Chairman, Veteran's Advocates of Ore-Ida

The relationship between the SBDC and Veteran's Advocates of Ore-Idaho (VAOI) is different than our average client relationship. Because the VAOI is a non-profit organization, our SBDC looks to this establishment as a partner in our community, looking for ways to help each help our local population of veterans.

The VOAI was started in 2008 by Ron Verini and his brother Doug Dean. VAOI was created to ensure veterans and their dependents have access to every service to which they're entitled. "We're not here to compete with the local VFW, the American Legion or veterans services agencies," says Ron Verini, chairman and president. "We're here to complement them. What we do is help veterans make connections with service agencies." (from veteranadvocates.org)

The VAOI also invests in the community, providing Color Guard services for public events, and educating the community on flag protocol and patriotism. The Veteran Visitation program connects volunteers with retired military members who are living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Other programs assist troops currently deployed (Treats for Troops), send items that bolster good relationships troops and the locals in the countries they're deployed to (Pencils for Peace), and send donated quilts to military members serving overseas, or to the family members of fallen soldiers (Quilt Program).

Ron  (who also happens to be mayor of Ontario, Oregon) served in Vietnam as a member of the Air Force. He has continued to stay involved in the local community and in the veteran community.
Did you know that veterans are 45% more like to become business owners than non-veterans?  Or that approximately 9%, or 2.4 million of all US businesses are owned by veterans?  
-from bootstobusiness.gov

Boots to Business is a program created by the Small Business Administration in partnership with the Department of Defense, in the form of a curriculum that is designed to " provide valuable assistance to transitioning Service members exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. In addition, participants are introduced to SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance.  Boots to Business and the Department of Defense collaborate with its Resource Partners, such as the SBDC's and located around the country, to offer this program."  

This program is offered at our TVCC SBDC.  For information on the next Boots to Business class, please call our office at 541-881-5772.

NOVEMBER Learn Away Thursday

Dealing With Difficult Employees

Presented by local educator, Sherri Hironaka, Dealing With Difficult Employees will focus on  making your business strong by having strong employees, and strategies to deal with the less-than-ideal employee. 
You will learn strategies on how to:
  • listen
  • give positive behavioral feedback
  • document
  • be consistent
  • identify consequences
  • support sound decision-making

Whether you want to strengthen the relationships you already have with your employees, or you have a situation that could be improved, this class if for you.  


Class information
Date: November 17, 2016
Time: 8:00-10:00am
Location: TVCC Weese Building, Rm #110
Ontario, Oregon
Cost: $10

Click  HERE  to register! 

DECEMBER Learn Away Thursday

In this workshop, Deming's 14 principles  of key management will be used to identify and remove obstacles to success in how we plan our work, execute for success, and create   customers who are "raving fans".  Case studies will be shared to facilitate interactive exercises that will send participants back to their organizations armed with new insights and enthusiasm. 

International speaker Ron Price, presenter, has taught Deming's principles of total quality management around the world; utilizing these principles across industries to improve customer experiences, streamline processes, and accelerate business performance.  Ron founded Price Associates, a global leadership advisory firm, in the Treasure Valley in 2004 after more than 30 years in organizational leadership roles and is the author of six books.  

Class information:
Date: December 15, 2016
Time: 7:30am-12:00pm
Location: Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario Oregon
Cost: $10

Click HERE to register!

An investment in knowledge  always pays the best interest.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Do you use your financial data in your favor, as a tool with which you can analyze your business and make profitable changes where necessary? Before you head to your local accountant to drop off this quarter's figures and calculations, read this month's Malheur Enterprise article, Opportunity Knocks: Analyze Financials for ideas on what to look for and how to see your financial data in a way that is helpful. You may just find another way to make the data work for you. 

The countdown to Black Friday has started, but do you know about Small Business Saturday? Sponsored by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a national event that encourages holiday shoppers to shop their locally owned businesses on Saturday, the day after Black Friday. One  online article states that approximately $68 out of $100 spent at your local small business stays in the local community, compared to just $43 out of $100 spent at a big box, chain establishment. When you think about the fact that there are at least 23 million small business in the US, you can see the crucial role small businesses play in the life cycle of their local economy and how YOU, the consumer, can be a part of it! 

Small business owners can visit the "Small Business Saturday" website and sign up for free marketing materials to help get their business engaged in the upcoming holiday shopping season. And if you're a shopper, consider ways to shop small on November 26th - call your local businesses, check sale ads, look around in a shop you may not have considered before.  You never know what treasure you'll uncover, and you'll be supporting something great while you're at it! 
Andrea R. Testi, Director 

Treasure Valley Community College | Center for Business, Workforce and Community Learning

Small Business Development Center

 650 College Drive, Ontario Oregon  97141  |  541-881-5772

Website  |    Email |   Facebook