About the Kitsap SBDC

Western Washington University was honored to bring Small Business Development Center (SBDC) services back to the Kitsap Peninsula in 2019. Part of Western’s 'University on the Peninsulas' initiative, the Kitsap SBDC was a collaborative effort of WWU leadership, community stakeholders and the WWU Foundation.

Staffed by Certified Business Advisors and supported by the WWU SBDC team and resources, the Kitsap SBDC serves businesses throughout the Kitsap Peninsula with one-on-one advising, training and research to help local businesses and entrepreneurs succeed.  

Your Kitsap Team

It's a calling.

Each team member in your SBDC is chosen for their experience, commitment to small business success and dedication to life-long learning. After being selected for the role, each advisor must complete a mandatory, rigorous, six-month peer reviewed on-boarding process where the new advisor assesses their knowledge across 12 dimensions of business operations, works with mentors and senior advisors to learn our unique craft and prepares diligently to serve you our clients.

Headshot of Joyce Oswald

Joyce Oswald, M.Ed. - Center Director/Certified Business Advisor

Joyce has a Bachelors in International Business from San Francisco State University and a Masters in Career and Technical Education from Northern Arizona University and has worked in banking, tax accounting, technology training, business management and academia. Joyce has shown tremendous talent and dedication in providing valuable insights concerning business plans, financial statements, and proposals for commercial finance. Joyce has most recently worked as a professor of business at Tacoma Community College and has taught in colleges and universities in Arizona, Alaska, California and New Mexico.

In addition to her considerable traditional business and academic background, Joyce brings an important new dimension to Kitsap SBDC services. As a long-time Silverdale resident, Joyce brings over three decades of business technical assistance service delivery to business owners and entrepreneurs who find themselves farthest from opportunity.

With her experience working with underserved, rural, Spanish speaking and BIPOC business owners, Joyce will help make the Kitsap SBDC a more inclusive service provider, part of Western’s university-wide commitment to equity, justice and respect for the rights and dignity of others. The WWU Kitsap SBDC welcomes all business owners and is particularly focused on helping entrepreneurs overcome structural barriers to success.

Business Advisor Melissa Tanno smiling

Melissa Tanno, MBA - Business Advisor

Melissa Tanno was born and raised in Kitsap County, WA. After earning a BA from the University of Washington, she began a career in marketing and communications. Working as a freelancer exposed her to a wide variety of subjects and industries, which satisfied her craving to learn new things.

After a jolt-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night idea, Melissa began reading every business book she could get her hands on, which ignited a passion that led to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, earning her MBA. The following year the "midnight" idea was realized in a 3,000 square foot retail fabric store in downtown Bremerton, WA.

After being tapped to consult with companies launching proprietary cryptocurrencies, Melissa has been consulting and advising organizations of all size for nearly 10 years, with specialties in technology implementation and infrastructure. She excels at root cause analysis, understanding the time and revenue sacrifices that come with trying to fix a symptom rather than an unidentified problem. A jack of all trades, Melissa is an expert in one: drawing on vast general knowledge to find holistic solutions for multi-faceted problems.

headshot of Asche

Asche Rider, MBA - Certified Business Advisor

Growing up in a family-owned business was the beginning of Asche’s business education and instilled in her a deep respect for the hard work and numerous skills needed to run a business. Over the past 20 years, she’s worked in restaurants, wealth management, value-added ag and as a Certified Business Advisor. Asche is particularly good at analysis and finding the root causes in complex issues.

Asche has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and an MBA. She believes deeply in creating strong local economies, giving businesses the tools they need for success, and has a strong personal drive to use business for good.  She likes limes, deep belly laughs, and getting lost in the woods.

Our Kitsap Partners

America’s SBDC is a nationwide business advisory network, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. In Kitsap County, the SBDC is hosted by Western Washington University. Local funding is provided by Kitsap Bank, Kitsap Credit Union, First Federal, City of Bremerton, Port of Bremerton, Port Orchard, Kitsap County, and City of Poulsbo. The Kitsap SBDC is partially funded by and works collaboratively with the statewide Washington SBDC network.

Many of our client meeting spaces throughout Kitsap County are provided as in-kind contributions by the Kitsap Regional Library.


Connect with us

Phone: (360) 650-7232

Email: kitsapsbdc@wwu.edu

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