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.

Program Coordinator

Rebecca Callis Kruckow
BSE, Mathematics Education, Central Missouri State University
MSE, Leadership and Administration, William Woods University

Rebecca has been with UGA-SBDC at Augusta since November 2014 in the role of Program Coordinator. She provides scheduling, information, and marketing for consultants and clients, presents recurring classes including “Starting Your Own Business,” “Boots to Business,” and assists with other programs hosted by the local office. In addition to class duties, Rebecca Kruckow provides aspiring entrepreneurs with basic business information and direction in becoming a business owner. Her extensive business and education background provides a solid foundation to guide clients toward success. She is the first point of contact for the office and continually works to improve the presence of the SBDC in Augusta.

Before moving to Georgia, Rebecca lived in Missouri where she completed a successful career in education, training and coaching, owned and operated her own retail business, and continues involvement in agriculture through family farm operations. She received recognition for growth and accomplishments in business and education including being named “Young Careerist” by the Business and Professional Women, State Runner-Up in Individual Development Program through BPW, served as a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, and was selected as District Representative for “Distinguished School Performance Award.” She has presented at various conferences at the local, regional, and state levels on the topics of “Stress Management,” “Workplace Safety,” “Crisis Mitigation,” and “Personal Improvement.” Rebecca believes that attitude, flexibility, and a sense of humor are keys to success in business and in life.

Ms. Kruckow’s ability to identify with business ownership, vast knowledge of characteristics for the aspiring business owner, experience in group dynamics and goal setting, and training in customer service all factor into knowledge to be shared with SBDC class participants and clients. As a former small business owner specializing in retail markets, Ms. Kruckow knows how to read market trends, develop target marketing for small businesses, and develop visually appealing displays in addition to image consulting. She is certified to teach Maximum Service courses through the SBDC and works to develop other opportunities related to client needs including personal presentation and improvement. Her education background aids in identification of skilled and unskilled labor markets for growing businesses as well.


Jeff provided an educational experience I will carry with me for years to come. If it had not been for his efforts in the classroom and the field, I would not be where I am today.

- Dr. Dan Carter DVM