The Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties recently named media and brand-building expert, Darren Elliot, and international business expert, Michelle Zdybowicz, to its list of advisors, available to area businesses for free consulting services.
“We’re excited to be able to expand our list of advisors to include two high-demand areas of expertise, these being international business and media and marketing,” said Ray Bowman, director of the SBDC of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. “Darren and Michelle will help strengthen our capacity to service those businesses looking to move forward into new marketing strategies and others needing help accessing global market opportunities.
As creative director for UNet Solutions, an agency providing professional web design, media advertising and marketing, Elliot has extensive experience helping businesses develop their image and design for print and electronic media. Prior to UNet Solutions, Elliot served as an independent marketing director, supervising a variety of advertising campaigns and managing the marketing teams. His experience includes evaluating the effectiveness of an advertising campaign by analyzing the impact the campaign had on market share and consumer perception.
With a bachelor’s degree in public relations/image management from Sonoma State University and an associate degree in fine and studio arts from Los Angeles Pierce College, Elliot draws from a unique blend of creative ingenuity and promotional know-how that fine-tunes a business’s branding to be accessible and effective via all communication platforms. An active member of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, Elliot have twice received rotary recognition awards, and currently serves as the club’s marketing director. He is also a member of the Sonoma Business Association.
Zdybowicz is a licensed customs broker with over 10 years’ experience in manufacturing responsible for international business, import/export, logistics, product registration overseas, compliance to customs requirements and trade regulations, international marketing and new business development for Animal Nutrition Division at JH Biotech, Inc. in Ventura, a leader in crop nutrition, agricultural research and product development. Trilingual in English, Mandarin Chinese and Korean, Zdybowicz will help SDBC’s ongoing outreach efforts to increase strategic partnerships between Chinese and Southern California businesses, particularly in California’s renewable energy and clean tech sectors. Zdybowicz is currently on track to complete her master’s degree in Supply Chain Management, expected Summer 2018.
The SBDC is funded by the SBA and provides professional business assistance at no cost to businesses. Participating businesses are required to follow a well-defined scope of work and report their economic successes. These SBA milestones are defined as job creation, increase in sales, capital investment, jobs retained and businesses started.
EDC-VC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Ventura County by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region. For more information about the Small Business Development Center, loan programs, manufacturing outreach and international trade program, or other services available to small businesses through EDC-VC, contact Bruce Stenslie at 805-384-1800 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.edc-vc.com.