Consultants & Staff
Dawn Black is a Business Consultant with the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center in Augusta. Her business career spans nearly 20 years in the banking industry as a loan officer and credit analyst. Her lending experience has primarily been in rural and agricultural lending with Farm Credit and small community banks.
She grew up in South Florida working in her family’s BBQ business and cattle operation. She resides with her husband and two children on UGA’s Southeast Research and Education Center in Midville, GA. This site conducts agricultural experimentation for Georgia’s major row crops including corn, cotton, peanuts, and soybeans. She enjoys the travel ball and Junior Rodeo circuits with her children. She attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics both from the University of Georgia. Additionally, she holds a vocational degree in Livestock Production.
- B.S.A. in Agribusiness, University of Georgia
- M.S., Agricultural Economics, University of Georgia
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.
- BA, AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY (Finance)
- BS, AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY (Chemistry)
- MBA, AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY (Management)
- SAVANNAH RIVER NATIONAL LABORATORY (Intellectual Property Management)
- SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION (Loan application review)
- SUMMERVILLE ACE, INC. (Wine Sales)
- GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA (Laboratory Instrumentation Design)
- Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer Award 2007
- R&D 100 Award 2011
- Leadership Augusta Class of 2007
- Technology Association of Georgia – Advisory Board Member
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.
- MSE, William Woods University (Leadership and Administration)
- BSE, Central Missouri State University (Mathematics Education)
Rick brings over 33 years of business experience to the UGA SBDC. 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 UGA SBDC.
- MBA, Oklahoma City University
- BBA, East Central University (Marketing)
Phone: (706) 650-5655
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