Lead Consultants

Lead Consultant/ Bilingual

Jesse Esparza

As the CEO of Morning Sun Enterprises LLC, Jesse has provided guidance and supported to a variety of individuals, organizations and companies. At the present he is a certified counselor and is a business advisor to the East Colorado, the Boulder and North Metro Small Business Development Centers.

He is also certified as a Health Coverage Guide counselor for small business owners, providing direction and support for their small business healthcare needs.

He has counseled and provided needed services and resources to over 400 new potential and existing entrepreneurs. He is also currently a Board member of the Carbon Valley Chamber in Firestone, Colorado and the President of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Boulder County Work Force.

His professional career has included 31 years as an educator 21 of those years as a principal. His leadership skills include helping individual improve their performance, cross cultural education, improving organizations, business development, and tapping potential and appropriate resources. He was the Colorado Small Business Development Center volunteer of the year in 2007 and the Small Business Development Center Counselor of the Year in 2009.

Lead Consultant

John Henry

After 14 years at United Parcel Service covering assignments from delivery driver to division manager, John was recruited by FedEx to join the team that drafted the initial operation plan which served a 25 city network. Over the next 13 years he was responsible for the development of several key managers accountable for budgets in excess of $140 million. As Managing Director of Canada his team was responsible for the simultaneous opening of ground operations and airline interface facilities in nine cities across the country. This coupled with the role he played in the U.S startup, along with similar assignments while at UPS, sharpened and tested his organizational and planning skills. As if that wasn’t enough, he took on the challenge of founder/owner of Transamerican Couriers Ltd., a local courier company engaged in same day and next day services along the Front Range.

For the last 25 years he has been teaching business and management courses, including Small Business Management, at Front Range Community College. During that span he has provided guidance, counseling and experience sharing with many students in their pursuit of careers in the business community.

John’s areas of expertise include:

  • Start Ups
  • Strategic Planning
  • Operations Analysis
  • Leadership Development
  • Cash/Cost Management
  • Industrial Engineering
Lead Consultant

Nancy Barnett

Nancy has 25 years of experience in corporate training, human resources, and vocational business training. Nancy’s passion is helping business owners start or improve their businesses by understanding all the components to build a strong business foundation. She takes great pleasure in helping owners with strategic planning and business plan development. She spent ten years at national Education College in California, as a teacher, Business Department Chairperson and Director of Education, as well as 14 years with AAA Colorado as Director of Corporate Training before joining Suzy to create Apis Business Solutions.

Besides working side-by-side with Suzy to build Apis Business Solutions, she is a trainer and consultant at the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Metro Denver focusing on small business development as start-ups. She also designs and manages business training delivered through Apis. She and her husband, David have four grown children and eight grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys genealogy, bead embroidery and collecting antiques.

Nancy’s areas of expertise are:

  • Business Plans
  • Start-up questions-how to file documents to get your business up and running
  • Defining Overall Marketing Strategy
  • Using Quick Books data in your business
Lead Consultant/ Veteran’s Specialist

Ron O’Herron

As a seasoned strategic management, operational business development consultant with more than 30 years of successful corporate management and consulting experience, Ron has extensive knowledge and expertise in both domestic and international markets. His operational methodology is structured and focused on helping businesses and people research, plan and implement both short and long-term goals for successful growth. He has worked with companies as large as $500 million and as small as $250,000.

Ron attended Midwestern College on a football scholarship where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in business. He later enhanced his education with a management MBA in Business Law from Cornell and Strategic Business Development from Michigan. After college he served as a platoon leader in Vietnam with the 1st Armored Cavalry. Prior to going into the consulting arena he spent 10 years as the president of an International Electronic Manufacturing company with offices throughout the United States and Europe. He and his wife, Sheri, are avid outdoor people with four children and six grandchildren.

Ron’s areas of expertise are:

  • Business Development
  • Strategic Management
  • Operations
  • Veterans
Lead Consultant/Bilingual

Teri Sanchez

Teri use to direct the North Metro Denver Small Business Development Center’s (NMSBC) Brighton office, providing advising services and educational programs to business owners looking to start or grow their business. She helps aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, helps small firms grow, and provides the resources businesses need to make critical decisions. Teri also coordinates strategic partnerships with local education programs and higher education and Adams County Workforce Center to promote lifelong learning opportunities.

Teri has exceptional leadership skills and is accomplished in creating programs and collaborative partnerships. When she was the director for the Brighton Center Teri managed the day to day operations and was responsible for conducting community outreach efforts, developing marketing strategy, overseeing programs and recruits the center facilitators and counselors always seeking professionals who are up to date on the best business practices and knowledge about current business trends.

Teri’s background in curriculum development and as a bilingual multicultural trainer throughout the western United States lends itself nicely in working with diversified groups.
She has owned several successful small businesses, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from Metropolitan State College of Denver, an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Community College of Denver and several certificates in counseling, economic development and business modeling.

She is the 2012 MVP for North Metro Denver SBDC and a past recipient of the DIAP Best Practices in Business Award for the creation of the original Brighton Small Business Assistance Center in 2003. Her passion is helping people succeed.

General Business & Strategic Planning

Wayne Anderson

Mr. Anderson is the senior Executive Leadership Coach and Founder of the Leadership Science Institute, LLC. He is a senior executive with equal blend of technical, business, managerial and public sector skills developed during experience with several “Fortune 500″ companies and local municipalities.

He has extensive experience in helping his clients to start, build and expand their businesses. In addition, he helps them to train and develop their professional staffs. He also has the unique ability to help his clients attract, retain, develop and motivate outstanding management and professional leaders.He has served as a publicly elected official, formerly holding the positions of City Council Member and County Commissioner for the City and County of Broomfield in the State of Colorado.

He is the author of the books, “Unwrapping the CIO: Demystifying the Chief Information Officer Position”, “Powerful People Are Powerful IT Professionals: Your Daily Guide to Becoming a Powerful Information Systems Person”, “I Am Unemployed … Now What Do I Do?: An Organized Approach to Becoming Employed” & “I Am AN Unemployed Christian… Now What Do I Do? An organized approach to becoming an employed Christian”.

His areas of expertise are:

  • Leadership
  • Team-Building
  • Sales
  • Market Research and Demographics for small business
Lead/Manufacturing Consultant

Jon Jaggers

Jon is a seasoned operations consultant, specializing in optimizing organizational capabilities through implementing process systems, application of lean techniques, and developing strategic plans. He has twenty plus years of operational management experience with several Fortune 500 companies. He has been a Lead Consultant for SBDC for the last five years.

Jon utilizes a methodical approach in developing organizational capabilities through strategic planning, tactical initiatives, and operational accountability. He is a certified in lean operational techniques, that when applied drive process excellence while delivering superb customer value. He assists clients in applying metrics to measure and improve key performance indicators.

His focus is on small to medium size company’s strategic and tactical plan development and execution. He has had the opportunity over the last five years to consult with numerous companies that have financially grown and prospered.

Jon has a BA in Business Administration and an MBA in Organizational Leadership from Ashford University. He was awarded State SBDC Consultant of the Year in 2015 for his contribution to his clients for economic development.



Kendra Fernandez

Kendra Fernandez is the founder and owner of Fernandez Business Development. Ms. Fernandez received her bachelors of science in marketing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She furthered her education by attending Regis University, where she received a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Strategic Management. Ms. Fernandez has held marketing positions for several well-known organizations, including: Costco Wholesale, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Life Care Centers of America, HCR ManorCare, the City of Federal Heights, and a few privately own healthcare facilities in the Denver Metro Area. After completing the MBA program at Regis, Ms. Fernandez wanted to give back to the community by assisting small to medium sizes business with marketing and strategy services in order to accomplish their goals, which led to the founding of Fernandez Business Development. She has demonstrated her ability to formulate and implement marketing strategies, which have resulted in exceeding organizational goals.

Kendra’s areas of expertise include:

  • Marketing including marketing plan formulation and implementation
  • Strategic Management including strategy formulation and implementation
  • Inbound (Online) Marketing: website design and management, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.
Marketing Strategy & Planning

Mike Saunders

Mike Saunders holds an MBA in Marketing and is a Business Strategist and a Marketing Fanatic.

He helps Small Business Owners with his proprietary system called “CA-TA-SA” to make sure that their business growth is maximized by: Reputation, Reach, Resell and Referral. 

What sets him apart from other business advisors is that he combines personalized the academic Strategy with cutting-edge Tactics.

He is the author of Amazon Bestselling book Authority Selling™, contributor to The Huffington Post, Adjunct Marketing Professor at several Universities and member of the Forbes Coaches Council – an invitation-only community for the World’s Most Influential Business and Career Coaches.

As an Authority Marketing Strategist, Mike helps business owners build their Authority and Expertise to enhance their Competitive Advantage by helping them become an Amazon bestselling author without writing a word. The result is a spectacular Authority Positioning Portfolio™ which is the solution for opening more doors to closing more business.

Limited complimentary copies of my 162 pg. book, Authority Selling™ that Tom Hopkins endorsed are available for shipment, and give away. Details at: http://authoritysellingbook.com/

Marketing Consultant

Peter Brissette

Peter has more than fifteen years successful experience in B2B and B2C sales and marketing for small businesses.

Working in such industries as advertising, automotive, catering, financial services, computer hardware and software, senior care, high tech manufacturing, internet marketing, consumer electronics, video security and many more.

Peter can walk a small business through a discovery process to uncover the key factors that will differentiate them from their competition. This differentiation will oil the machine of digital marketing for business growth.

Peter has expertise in the following areas: Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Website Development, Internet Marketing, Video Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Content Creation, Product Development, Social Media Marketing, etc.

He is an expert at creating digital platforms, systems and tools for small businesses.


Business & Corporate Attorney

Chuong M. Le

Chuong M. Le is an attorney with 3i Law. Mr. Le has represented clients in the area of corporate and business law, trust and estate, probate and trust administration, and tax law. He has represented business clients during startup and formation, corporate acquisitions and sales, and provided counsel during loan restructures, succession planning, and contract negotiations. Mr. Le has also represented individuals and families on estate planning matters, including structuring disposition of assets, gift and tax planning, elder law, wealth preservation, and charitable giving. Additionally, Mr. Le has represented and advised clients in the areas of probate and trust administration.

At the core of Mr. Le’s practice is a commitment to personal attention and professionalism to each of his clients. For business clients, he understands the challenges a business face on a daily basis and works closely with the client to achieve their short-term and long-term goals. When representing individuals and families, Mr. Le is sensitive to their issues, personal goals, and family dynamics. Through his experience, knowledge, and background, Mr. Le advises clients with appropriate solutions that best meet their business and legal needs.


  • Business & Corporate
  • Wealth Strategies
  • Trust & Estate
  • Tax


  • University of Denver – Sturm College of Law LLM, Taxation 2011 – 2013
  • University of Denver – Sturm College of Law JD, Law 2001 – 2004
  • The Colorado College – B.A., Political Science 1996 – 2000

Activities and Societies

  • Denver Journal of International Law & Policy; Jessup International Moot Court
  • Additional Organizations
Intellectual Property Law

Samantha Peaslee

Samantha Peaslee is an international business and intellectual property law attorney for small- to medium-sized businesses and non-profits. Her practice focuses on entity formation, copyright registration and litigation, trademark registration and litigation, business transactions (cross-border and local), international commercial arbitration, and commercial and civil litigation. She also serves as general counsel for small businesses and non-profits.

Samantha has a J.D. from University of Denver Sturm College of Law, an M.A. from Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and a B.A. from Middlebury College. She placed first in the 5th Annual Shanghai International Commercial Arbitration Pre-Moot in 2015 and was a quarterfinalist in the 12th Annual William C. Vis (East) International Commercial Moot, where she also was the fourth best oralist overall. At Sturm College of Law, Samantha was Senior Managing Editor of Denver Journal for International Law and Policy and published her article “Is There a Place For Us?: Protecting Fan Fiction in the United States and Japan” in its Winter 2015 issue. In addition to her work and research in international business and intellectual property, Ms. Peaslee also researched extensively on state, national, and international energy laws with Professor K.K. DuVivier at Sturm College of Law and piracy issues with the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law.

Originally from Alexandria, LA, Samantha has also lived in Vermont, Maine, North Carolina, France, and South Korea. She speaks fluent French and can read Italian and some Korean. She has taught English as a second language in Paris at Montmartre After-School studies and in Seoul at Chungdahm April (Mapo). She currently furthers her international interests as a member of Denver’s Alliance Francaise, Denver Sister Cities Takayama, World Denver, and Denver World Trade Center’s NextGen Steering Committee. Samantha also continues to coach the University of Denver Vis Moot team.

An avid supporter of the arts, Samantha works with visual and performing artists to protect and promote their works. At Middlebury College, Samantha was a member of the Middlebury College Musical Players. Her capstone with that group was directing a performance of West Side Story in April 2010. Samantha was also involved in dance (notably tap) and choir. Although not actively performing, Samantha now supports the arts through membership in the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and Colorado Attorneys for the Arts. She is also a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Samantha is also a member of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.


  • University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies (M.A. in International Studies, 2015)
  • University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (J.D.; Order of St. Ives; International Law Certificate, 2015)
  • Middlebury College (B.A. in International Studies, 2010)

Bar Admissions: Colorado


Financial Resource

Jeff Seifried

Jeff served as the Executive Director of Mile High Community Loan Fund from 2006-2015 and during that time nearly doubled the assets and loan volume of the organization. From 1994-2006 Jeff served as the Small Business Coordinator and Urban Renewal Manager for the City of Aurora. During his tenure with the City, Jeff established and administered two small business loan programs, produced the ‘Small Business Adviser’ television series and coordinated the redevelopment projects in two urban renewal areas. From 1984-1994 Jeff worked for the Colorado Community College System where he administered employment and training programs and served as the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Red Rocks Community College.
Jeff grew up in Philadelphia PA and has lived in Westminster CO for the last 34 years. He has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Financial Resource - CEF

Lewis Hagler

Lewis Hagler is the Director of Lending for Colorado Enterprise Fund’s loan operations. Mr. Hagler joined CEF in 1994. Previously, he was the Director of the SBDC in Boulder. He is an entrepreneur with over 35 years’ experience owning and operating many successful business ventures, with special knowledge of the restaurant and food service industry. He has served as a business consultant and trainer for numerous projects. Mr. Hagler’s financial analysis skills, extensive contacts, and “real-life” entrepreneurial knowledge make him uniquely qualified to manage CEF’s marketing efforts and structure loan requests.

Financial Resource - TBK Bank

Valerie Escatel

Valerie Escatel is a lender / Branch manager with TBK Bank. Valerie represents the only bank in Brighton that is locally and family owned with a strong belief in community.

Valerie is an individual with high integrity who believes in personalizing her service to offer products meeting the needs of your company. She is a long time Brighton resident with two children.

Valerie has been a banker and servant of the community for 31 years. She was instrumental in the creation and service of the Brighton Small Business Resource Center which evolved into the North Metro Denver SBDC at Brighton and has volunteered as Chair of Brighton Economic Development Corporation Business Resources for the past ten years.

Awards & Recognition:

  • Brighton Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year 2013
  • 2013 Mary Ciancio Memorial Distinguished Service Award
  • Colorado Philanthropy Volunteer of the Year Award – 2014
  • 7 Everyday Hero – 2014

Other Specialists

Human Resources

Courtney Berg

Business humorist Courtney Berg turns typical HR and management issues into fun learning experiences. She draws from her years of human resources and operations management experience to bring boring employment concepts to life. Courtney has built HR departments from the ground up and has experience from front line supervision to vice president in both HR and operations in a variety of industries. Her goal is to bring her knowledge and experience to business owners, making management easier for them.Courtney is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In December 2008, Courtney was featured in a “How To Conduct Annual Employee Reviews” in Inc. Magazine. Courtney is also a 2009 Denver Business Journal “Outstanding Women In Business” nominee. She received the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce “Chamber Champion” award in 2011. Courtney has a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from the University of Northern Colorado.

Courtney’s areas of expertise are:

  • HR issues
  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Employee Relations
  • Unemployment claims
  • Background checks
  • Company culture
  • Time management
  • New hire paperwork
Human Resources

Frances J. Adragna-Hayes

Frances J. Adragna-Hayes is a highly accomplished senior executive and consultant with more than 20 years of success within the Human Resources field. Leveraging extensive experience in managing corporate and field groups in multi-site, multi-state environments in small to medium sized companies, Frances understands how to develop human capital, instill strong cultural values, and enhance organizational effectiveness in complex organizations while achieving quantifiable business results.

With a proven record of being a positive, energetic and dynamic leader with 20 year’s progressive leadership experience, Frances consistently provides innovative solutions to improve processes and drive change.

Frances is able to serve as an immediate asset for companies of any size and across any industry. Frances’ proven experience in developing and driving human capital solutions that align with delivering business results by providing overall execution for the operational HR systems, processes and business practices which includes overall guidance on standardized operational procedures, key strategic operational initiatives specifically in the areas of strategic recruiting, employee relations and engagement, employee communications, training, development, performance management and culture champion.

Frances has built a successful career around her ability to assess and anticipate business needs, identify unique alternatives, and develop/implement long-term solutions. Throughout her 20 years of experience, she has proven to be a forward-thinking human resources and diverse operational leader. Her genuine commitment to ongoing HR business partnerships and employee satisfaction has allowed her to develop programs that attract and retain talented peak performers, foster greater teamwork, productivity and competitiveness.

Frances has served on executive leadership teams leading human capital initiatives to ensure alignment with overall business strategy. She has formed partnerships with Operations management to facilitate change management to embrace the company’s corporate values and culture. She is familiar with and has experience in startup, venture back and privately held companies in the IT, Consumer Packaged Goods/Food, and staffing industries.

Frances currently works as a Consultant with HR Solution, LLC providing HR Consulting services to small to medium sized companies in the areas of Human Resources, Recruiting and Training. With HR Solution, she also provides recruiting services to individuals looking to take their next step in their career. At HR Solution, she is able to connect companies with people.
Frances is an active member in her community and has served as a CASA through Adams County as well as serving as an HR Consultant with the Small Business Development Center.

Lead/Manufacturing Consultant

Jon Jaggers

Jon is a seasoned operations consultant, specializing in optimizing organizational capabilities through implementing process systems, application of lean techniques, and developing strategic plans. He has twenty plus years of operational management experience with several Fortune 500 companies. He has been a Lead Consultant for SBDC for the last five years.

Jon utilizes a methodical approach in developing organizational capabilities through strategic planning, tactical initiatives, and operational accountability. He is a certified in lean operational techniques, that when applied drive process excellence while delivering superb customer value. He assists clients in applying metrics to measure and improve key performance indicators.

His focus is on small to medium size company’s strategic and tactical plan development and execution. He has had the opportunity over the last five years to consult with numerous companies that have financially grown and prospered.

Jon has a BA in Business Administration and an MBA in Organizational Leadership from Ashford University. He was awarded State SBDC Consultant of the Year in 2015 for his contribution to his clients for economic development.