Who We Are
We are an eclectic mix of current and former entrepreneurs who share the same passion for business as our clients. Along the way we also just happened to have earned advanced degrees in business or management and have developed extensive practical experience that helps both emerging and growing businesses design strategies to make better business decisions.
We start by taking the time to get to know you and your business and your vision for success. We will also seek to understand the unique challenges or opportunities that your business is facing.
This approach is part of our long-term relationship with your business that is designed to help insure you have the knowledge, tools and processes you need to take your business wherever you want it to go.
CJ Seitz - Director, Certified Business Advisor, MBA
CJ’s experience includes nearly 20 years of executive planning, administration, financial strategy and marketing in both the non-profit and private sectors. She served in leadership positions withseveral of Bellingham’s nonprofit and governmental organizations. She has also held a senior level position with a successful rapidly growing commercial construction firm.
CJ first brought her passion and business management skills, to the Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, in Bellingham as a Certified Business Advisor in 2005. CJ’s strong financial analysis and marketing skills assisted SBDC clients by counseling over 300 businesses, generating over $10,000,000 in new investments and saving or creating over 300 jobs in Whatcom County.
One of the key positions CJ held prior to rejoining the SBDC team as the Interim Director, was serving as the Northwest Area Director for the Employment Security Department, or ESD, for Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties. Serving for over 3 during the great recession, CJ was responsible for ESD’s service delivery in Bellingham, Mt. Vernon and Oak Harbor centers, serving the four county area’s job seekers and employers through the WorkSource system.
CJ has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University.
Eric Grimstead - Certified Business Advisor
Eric has been working for the SBDC since 2008 and enjoys helping clients solve complex business problems. During his time with the SBDC, Eric has ounseled hundreds of clients throughout Whatcom County and helped clients with over $12 million dollars of capital formation.
Prior to joining the SBDC, Eric's work experience included:
Manufacturing - where he helped launch a new boat company and grew sales from $0 to $4 million
Marketing - where he worked on direct mail campaigns for clients like the Washington Nationals (Major League Baseball) and Jafra Cosmetics
Web Development - running his own successful marketing consulting and internet development company.
Eric enjoys working with clients to increase business profitability, wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities. He is a recognized business growth strategist and direct response marketing expert. He has presented a number of training programs on how to leverage social media and digital marketing to grow sales and increase brand awareness.
Eric is dedicated to growing businesses and advancing personal achievement. He believes strongly in ethical business practices. Eric welcomes meeting with any entrepreneur who wants to grow their business, increase their personal wealth and add to their personal growth.
Sherri Daymon - Certified Business Advisor, MBA
After a ten year hiatus working in budgetary development and control, management reporting, and financial and operational data analysis, Sherri Daymon returned to the SBDC as a Certified Business Advisor. In addition to assisting business owners one-on-one, Sherri provides strategic guidance and continuity of client-driven analysis and secondary research resources through the ongoing hiring, training, and supervising of MBA Graduate Assistants. Sherri is also the SBDC’s key liaison for WWU faculty sponsored student projects and other administrative initiatives or projects. In addition to her Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Washington SBDC Advisor Certification, Sherri is a Certified GrowthWheel Advisor, who has a specialized interest in working with business owners serious about making decisions and taking action to grow their company. Sherri has a passion for planning, thinking through “what-if” scenarios, bridging strategic alliances, and developing the strengths in others. She also believes that creating a dynamic and fun working environment contributes to successful and sustainable businesses!
Asche Rider - Business Advisor, MBA
Asche comes to the SBDC with experience in the agriculture, finance, and hospitality industries. Growing up in a rural area and a family owned ‘all-hands-on-deck’ agricultural business instilled in her a deep respect for the hard work and numerous skill sets needed to run a business. Asche has primarily worked in high-growth businesses over the past 15 years, including restaurants, wealth management, and meat fabrication. Most recently, Asche was the general manager of a local start-up meat producer’s cooperative. With the co-op Asche utilized her strategic, operational, financial, sales, marketing, food safety, and analytical skills to launch and establish the co-op’s wholesale meat label and a USDA inspected mobile processing unit.
Asche has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Simpson College in Iowa and a master’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University. She believes deeply in creating strong local economies by equipping businesses with the tools they need for success, and has a personal drive to use business to create positive community impacts. In her free time, she can most often be found hiking, sailing, reading, or biking.
Haley Halverson - Program Specialist, MBA
Haley joined the WWU SBDC team in 2013. She recently completed her WWU MBA in the Spring of 2018. Her education, career, travels and athletic pursuits have cultivated her leadership skills; contributing to her success in communications, interpersonal relations and project management.