Kathy Plisko

  • Posted by Macy Thomas
  • On July 26, 2022
Kathy Plisko is the area director of the UGA SBDC at Georgia State University.   She brings a wealth of experience in financial services and process improvement to the organization. She spent 25+ years in the financial services industry, specifically underwriting and analyzing companies and negotiating legal documents for corporate asset-based transactions as an underwriter, underwriting manager, and portfolio manager.   Kathy has extensive experience in analyzing financial trends, running sensitivity analysis on cash flows, mentoring and training junior employees, process improvement, developing underwriting tools, and developing training programs for underwriters and portfolio managers. She also spent 7 years with a large multinational conglomerate as an auditor, process improvement facilitator, underwriter, and portfolio manager within their financial services division. Her experience spans across a broad range of industries including healthcare, transportation and shipping, manufacturing, service, and technology.  

Education

B.S. Erskine College, Due West, SC MBA, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA  

Experience

  • Wells Fargo Capital Finance (SVP/Managing Director - Underwriter, Underwriting Manager, Portfolio Manager)
  • GE Capital Commercial Finance (AVP – Auditor, Underwriting, and Portfolio Management)
  • Office of Thrift Supervision (Auditor)
  • AlliedSignal Company (Staff Accountant)
   
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Kim Knight

  • Posted by Breeanna McBee
  • On October 5, 2020

Kim Knight is the area director of the UGA Small Business Development Centers at Clayton State University. A native of Alabama, Kim is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, economic development, and small business outreach. She began her career with TSYS in Columbus, Ga., where she served as editor of the company’s official newsletter, speechwriter for executives, and manager of the narrative section of the company’s annual report to shareholders. She also interfaced with local, national and international media on behalf of the organization.

 

Serving in numerous roles in Georgia state government, Kim’s work as a marketing coordinator supported the Governor’s Small Business Center’s outreach efforts to include the Governor’s Mentor Protégé Program, the first of its kind, state-funded program in the country partnering large and small businesses for an 18-month engagement.

 

At the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDECD), Kim worked in marketing, research and business development. Small Business Outreach Program Manager was her final role at GDECD through which she assisted small businesses with navigating the vast resources of the state of Georgia via one-on-one consultations, speaking engagements, and partnering with various community organizations.

 

Kim also worked with Invest Atlanta as the small business opportunity zones program manager. Her work with Invest Atlanta helped deploy more than $1.5 million into the small business community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked with the opportunity zones team, assisting small businesses with information and opportunities in the City of Atlanta’s 26 Federal Opportunity Zones.


Education

  • MA (Management), Troy University
  • BA (English), Auburn University

Experience

  • Georgia Department of Administrative Services
  • Georgia Department of Economic Development
  • Invest Atlanta
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Laura D. Katz

  • Posted by Meredith Reeves
  • On July 3, 2019
Laura Katz Laura Katz is the area director of the Athens office and is a public service associate within UGA's Public Service and Outreach unit. She 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, Laura joined the UGA Small Business Development Center as a consultant and since then has earned several awards: UGA SBDC Consultant of the Year (2014), ASBDC State Star (2015), UGA SBDC Flewellen Awards for consulting excellence (2013, 2015, 2018) and an UGA SBDC Program Innovation of the Year Award (2017).   In 2015, Laura 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 SBDCs of Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri in response to the SBA’s Rural Initiative.   Laura enjoys working with small business owners, utilizing her education and experience to help transform their businesses.

Education

  • MBA (Marketing), Binghamton University
  • Bachelor of Science (Organization Behavior & Leadership), Binghamton University

Experience

  • Peachmac Digital, LLC (Vice President SMB Sales)
  • Finger Lakes Engineering (Director of Business Development)
  • Amphenol Interconnects Corp. (Product Marketing Manager)
  • Paxar Corp. (Marketing Manager)

Leadership

  • 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.
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Rick McMurtrey

  • Posted by Meredith Reeves
  • On July 3, 2019
Rick McMurtrey 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 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 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 HR 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.

Education

  • MBA, Oklahoma City University
  • BBA (Marketing), East Central University
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Todd Anduze

  • Posted by Meredith Reeves
  • On July 3, 2019
Todd Anduze Prior to joining the Georgia SBDC, Todd Anduze served in the United States Navy during the Desert Storm campaign as a Plane Captain for the A-6 Intruder. After service, he worked for four years as a warehouse manager for WAWD-EAP. He then spent 12 years as a manager in the mining industry for Lafarge North America. He was involved in numerous projects including the “Big Dig” in Boston Massachusetts, and the runways at Dobbins Airforce Base and Hartsfield International Airport in Georgia.   During this time he earned his degrees and eventually became an accountant for Jack F. Gamel, CPA. As an accountant, he provided tax services and financial advice and planning to businesses. Todd utilizes his experiences in the military, retail and manufacturing environments, and accounting services to promote the UGA SBDC.

Education

  • BBA (Accounting),
  • MPACC (Accounting), University of West Georgia
  • BBA (Industrial Psychology), University of West Georgia

Experience

  • Jack Gamel CPA
  • Lafarge North America (Assistant Plant Manager)
  • United States Navy

Accomplishments

  • Awarded Service Ribbon - Desert Storm (1991)
  • Developed and Maintained the current hiring process for Lafarge North America

Leadership

  • Nominated for the Villa Rica Economic Development Authority
  • Carroll, Douglas, Polk and Coweta counties Small Business Committee
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Todd Carlisle

  • Posted by Meredith Reeves
  • On July 3, 2019
Prior to joining the UGA SBDC, Todd worked in the areas of banking and logistics. During his four year banking tenure, Todd worked at Columbus Bank and Trust in various capacities, including underwriting, branch management and lending. He also spent several years as a logistics manager for Wal-Mart Stores. During his time at Wal-Mart, Todd managed the day-to-day operations of various departments and provided support to other facilities in the areas of alternate training, coaching, and production techniques.      

Education

  • BA (History), Columbus State University
  • MBA, Troy University

Experience

  • Columbus Bank and Trust Company (Branch Manager)
  • Daniel Construction (Carpenter)
  • Wal-Mart (Logistics Manager)

Accomplishments

  • UGA SBDC Flewellen Award for Consulting Excellence (2012)
  • QuickBooks Certification (2013)
  • Alumni of Retail Banking School for Synovus
  • Alumni of Leadership Columbus Class of 2012

Leadership

  • Small Business Recognition Committee for the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce
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Drew Tonsmeire

  • Posted by Meredith Reeves
  • On July 3, 2019
Drew Tonsmeire serves as the Area Director with the UGA SBDC at Kennesaw State University. With more than 21 years’ experience within the UGA SBDC organization, his consulting expertise in strategic marketing, financial packaging and overall business management has impacted thousands of business owners. His background includes service as President and CEO of a local Chamber of Commerce, as well as experience in retail, manufacturing and service environments.   Drew is a certified instructor for Google, eBay University and GrowSmart. He serves as Chair for America’s SBDC conference, which brings together over 1,500 SBDC professionals from across the U.S.    

Education

  • MBA (Marketing), Georgia State University
  • BBA (Marketing), University of Georgia
  • AA (Business Administration), Oxford College of Emory University

Experience

  • Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce (President & CEO)

Accomplishments

  • Certified Google Small Business Trainer
  • Certified eBay Education Specialist
  • GrowSmart Facilitator
  • FastTrac Facilitator
  • UGA SBDC Consultant of the Year (2004)
  • America’s SBDC State Star (2005)
  • UGA SBDC Project of the Year Winner (2011)
  • UGA SBDC Best Continuing Education Winner (2014)
  • UGA SBDC Robert Dixon Professionalism Award (2022)

Leadership

  • Chair for America’s SBDC  Professional Development and Conference Committee
  • Kennesaw State University Economic Development Committee
  • Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Cobb Competitive Edge Seed 2 Committee Member
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Lisa Rackley

  • Posted by Meredith Reeves
  • On July 3, 2019
Lisa worked in Human Resources for a manufacturing facility prior to joining the Small Business Development Center. Her previous experience includes working with consulting firms specializing in retirement and disability plan administration. Lisa's areas of interest include employee benefits and recruiting.              

Education

  • MBA (Business Administration), Georgia College
  • BS (Human Resources Management), Florida State University

Experience

  • RJ Reynolds Tobacco Corp. (HR Specialist)
  • Aig-Valic (Financial Services Specialist)
  • VPA Inc. (Quality Assurance Administrator)
  • Northern Trust Retirement Consulting (Implementation Manager)

Accomplishments

  • UGA SBDC Best Continuing Education Program of the Year for Maximum People (2012)
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