Augusta SBDC Office

The University of Georgia SBDC
1450 Greene Street, Suite 3500
Augusta, GA 30901
Phone: (706) 721-4545
Fax: (706) 721-4554
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Featured Program

start smart

Manage Better...Grow Faster


35 hours of in-depth training and coaching for qualified, established businesses.

  • October 20 Module 1
  • October 27 Module 2
  • November 3 Module 3
  • November 10 Module 4
  • November 17 Module 5

CLICK HERE to complete on-line application

CLICK HERE to download informational brochure & printable application

Susan Caldwell
B.S. in Marketing, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
M.B.A. University of Georgia
Area Director in Augusta

Susan joined the SBDC in 2005, has served as a business consultant in three SBDC network offices and became the area director in Augusta in 2009. Prior to joining the Georgia SBDC, Susan worked in both the private and public sectors, across several industries, including textile, aluminum, polystyrene, healthcare, retail and tourism. As a business consultant, Susan has worked in twenty-four rural and urban counties serving Georgia’s entrepreneurs. As a result of her assistance with loan proposal preparation, Susan’s clients have obtained millions of dollars in funding for their businesses. Additional areas of interest include strategic planning, financial analysis and marketing.

She is a certified instructor for GrowSmart and received the Flewellen Award for Consulting Excellence in 2011 and 2012. Susan was also a member of the SBDC teams that received statewide recognition for 2009 Outstanding Project of the Year and 2008 CE Program of the Year.

Eric Frickey
B.S. in Chemistry, Augusta State University
B.B.A. in Finance, Augusta State University
M.B.A in Management, Augusta State University

Prior to joining the SBDC, Eric worked at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) where he focused on licensing federally-funded technologies to small businesses. For over a decade, Eric’s work involved assessing technologies, securing patent protection, commercial marketing and negotiating patent and copyright licenses. With Eric’s assistance, small businesses were able to secure funding under the DOE-SBIR program.

Eric also served on the Savannah River Plant Federal Credit Union’s Credit Committee where he reviewed and assessed loan applications. In addition, Eric has several years of retail experience in the wine industry.

Rick McMurtrey
B.B.A. Marketing – East Central University
M.B.A. – Oklahoma City University

Rick brings over 33 years of business experience to the SBDC Network. Prior to joining the SBDC, Rick spent more than 20 years as a Sonic Drive In franchisee, developing the Augusta, GA market to 13 stores and over 500 employees. Rick brings extensive knowledge in franchise development along with significant experience in marketing, advertising, human resources, and personnel management needed to grow from a one store operation to a mid-size business. He served two terms on the Sonic Franchise Advisory Council and was heavily involved in moving Sonic Corporation into its national cable advertising program. Rick served on the committee that interviewed ad agencies and selected a former agency, Barkley & Evergreen Partners, which developed and implemented the national cable advertising program. While a franchisee, Rick was awarded the Brand Leadership Award and the Marketing Award.

Prior to becoming a Sonic Drive In franchisee, Rick spent 13 years at Southwestern Bell Corporation in Oklahoma. He graduated from ECU in December of 1980 and began his SBC career in January of 1981 as an entry level marketing manager in Lawton, Oklahoma. Rick worked his way into middle management while working in Marketing, Public Relations, Installation and Maintenance and Human Resource departments. Rick received significant training in marketing, management, leadership, human resources and management development training that he utilized to start and grow his own successful company and now brings to the SBDC Network.


I thought I was doing great, having written a four-page business plan. But it was a joke. After (SBDC consultant) Carol (McDonell) finished advising me, I ended up with a 45-page plan.

- Amanda Rodriguez Crook, owner and founder