Athens Office


The UGA SBDC in Athens is located on The University of Georgia campus in the Chicopee Complex (same building, but different office than the State Office).

1180 E. Broad Street – Chicopee Complex
Athens, GA 30602-5412

Phone: (706) 542-7436
Fax: (706) 542-6803




Featured Program

Maximum Money – Improve Cash Flow & Boost Profits
30 Aug 09:48 pm

Evaluating a company’s financial health is an essential skill for all business owners. This Maximum Money Course...

Consultants & Staff

Stacy Johnson - UGA Small Business Development Center

Stacy Johnson

Program Coordinator

Stacy Johnson has over 15 years of experience in advertising and marketing working as a graphic designer for small advertising agencies in Dallas, Texas. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma being involved in her own family’s frozen food business, seeing first-hand the challenges and rewards of owning and running a small business. She currently runs a small crafting business out of her home, offering classes and selling crafting supplies.

Since joining the UGA SBDC at Athens in December 2014, her role as Program Coordinator is to be the first point of contact for the office, to provide entrepreneurs with basic business information and resources to help start or expand their small business, to advertise and organize continuing education programs, and to promote awareness of the SBDC through speaking engagements, social media, and other public relations activities.


BBA, Baylor University (Management Information Systems)

AA, in Culinary Arts, The Art Institute of Dallas


Phone: (706) 542-7436


Laura Katz

Laura D. Katz

Area Director

Ms. Katz has extensive experience in marketing and business development for both large corporations and small business. She has helped develop, price and bring to market new products for companies such as Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Levi’s. In the second part of her career, she has worked with small business owners implementing business development and marketing plans.

In 2011, Ms. Katz joined the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center as a consultant and since then has earned several awards: an UGA SBDC Consultant of the Year (2014), recognized as an ASBDC State Star (2015), three UGA SBDC Flewellen Awards for consulting excellence (2013, 2015, 2018) and an UGA SBDC Program Innovation of the Year Award (2017).

In 2015, Ms. Katz achieved the rank of UGA Public Service and Outreach Associate Faculty and was promoted to Athens Area Director. Katz is a nationally recognized speaker on Marketing, Work/Life Balance, and Agribusiness. Her program “FarmSMART” is implemented nationally by the SBDC’s of Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri in response to the SBA’s Rural Initiative.

Recently, two of Katz’s client’s won SBA awards for the state of Georgia for their achievements as business owners: Tonya Barr-Dugas, CEO and Pete Dugas, COO and owners of TSAV were awarded “SBA Small Business Owner of the Year 2018” and Tiffany Hines, President and owner of Global Escapes was awarded “SBA Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2019.”

Ms. Katz enjoys working with small business owners, utilizing her education and experience to help transform their businesses.


  • B.S., BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY, BINGHAMTON, NY (Organization Behavior & Leadership)


  • PEACHMAC DIGITAL, LLC (Vice President SMB Sales)
  • FINGER LAKES ENGINEERING (Director Business Development)
  • AMPHENOL INTERCONNECTS CORP. (Product Marketing Manager)
  • PAXAR CORP. (Marketing Manager)


  • Magna Cum Laude, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 1992
  • “2013 New Faculty Bus Tour,” nominated and selected to attend the University of Georgia, five day tour of the state of Georgia; August 2013


  • STEPS TO TAKE WHEN NAMING A BUSINESS  Jul 2013 on Athens Banner Herald, Sunday
  • TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS NETWORKING  May 2013 on BIS Business in Savannah, Savannah Morning News
  • TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS NETWORKING  Mar 2013 on Athens Banner Herald, Sunday
  • SIX BEST HIRING PRACTICES THAT MAKE SENSE  Jan 2012 on Georgia Trend Small Business Guide


  • Program Lead, “Women’s Business Expo,” Athens SBDC, full day program for 50+ women business owners with speakers, luncheon, and booths. November 30, 2012; lead role on program development based upon attendee research and organization of day’s activities.
  • Invited Speaker, “Medical Practice Marketing Strategies,” developed and facilitated 2 hour program, to residents of the Mercer Medical School Practice Management Rotation program; May 2013.
  • Invited Speaker, “Organizational Strategies to Enhance Work/Life Balance” developed, presented and facilitated exercises for a 1-1/2 hour program to 26 women business owners at Valdosta State University SBDC Women’s Symposium; November 2011.
  • Committee Chair, “Annual Consultant’s Training 2013” for the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center statewide training conference. Over-all development and management of 6 person committee to put on 3 day statewide training conference; June 2012-May 2013.

Honors and Awards

  • “Flewellen Award for Consulting Excellence 2018” earned for outstanding performance as a valued public service professional in the Georgia SBDC Network for 2018.
  • “Innovation of the Year Award 2017” nominated and selected for developing module 1 of the “Beginning Farmers and Ranchers: Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program.” The award recognizes an outstanding continuing education program, that results in a significant impact on the operations or services of the UGA SBDC. The program may be a single class or a series of classes that leads to measurable impact and outstanding outcome.
  • “Flewellen Award for Consulting Excellence 2016″earned for outstanding performance as a valued public service professional in the Georgia SBDC Network for 2015.
  • “ASBDC State Star of Georgia 2015” earned national award as an America’s SBDC “State Star” which recognizes SBDC employees exhibiting exemplary performance, those who made a significant contribution to their state or regional SBDC program and show a strong commitment to small business.
  • “Consultant of the Year 2014” nominated and selected for outstanding accomplishments during the year, including his/her work with the business community, program development, research, publications, presentations, professional development activities, involvement in business-related organizations, projects and programs 2014.
  • “Flewellen Award for Consulting Excellence 2013” earned for outstanding performance as a valued public service professional in the Georgia SBDC Network for 2013.


Phone: (706) 542-7436


Michael Myers

Michael Myers


Michael Myers joined the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Athens Area Office< on October 1, 2015. Before joining the SBDC, Michael was a C-Level executive in the retail  industry for 23 years and has owned his own Contract Consulting firm. Michael has extensive knowledge in the area of franchising, being both a Franchisor and Franchisee. A native of Kansas City, Mo, Michael and his wife Debbie own and operate a small franchised business in the Athens Area.


  • BSBA – Financial Management – University of Northern Colorado
  • MBA – Management  – University of Phoenix


  • Vice President of Operations – Luxottica – Sears Optical North America  – day-today operations of 700+ Retail Optical and Optometrist offices located in within and Sears retail location.
  • Vice President Operations – Solantic Urgent Care managing he day-to-day operations of 35 Urgent Care Centers in the State of Florida
  • President and COO – Back Yard Burgers, Inc. – Michael lead the successful turnaround and subsequent sale of this Publicly traded Restaurant Company.


  • Michael has earned the “Food Management Professional” certification form the National Restaurant Association.
  • “Restaurant Finance Monitor”  – top Performing Restaurant Stock of the year – 2002.


Phone: (706) 542-7436


David Stob

David Stob


David J. Stob brings to the SBDC a diverse background of over 24 years in various marketing and business development roles with executive management experience. He has built a career creating new incremental business and product lines that have generated million’s in sales internationally and has managed product lines with gross sales of over $80 million.

Stob started his career combining a Journeyman Plumber’s License and an MBA degree to go work for Kohler and Masco subsidiaries marketing plumbing fixtures. Since then he has been involved with numerous industries from packaging components to cooking oil, which he marketed and sold into grocery retail and food service channels. He also has experience with starting up companies and turn-around situations.


  • MBA – Marketing Management
  • BS – Business Administration – Marketing


Phone: (706) 542-7436

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