Our network is made up of committed professionals, each with distinctive credentials that qualify them to assist with both general and specialized business needs. Drawing on formal education and years of practical business experience, each consultant is attuned to the challenges business owners face. They provide relevant, realistic and sound advice you can trust in such areas as:
Barry Kirchoff serves as Director, Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center. Barry joined St. Cloud State University in November of 2006. Barry brings over thirty years of business management experience to the university. His business background includes retail, route and warehouse distribution, human resources and training. Barry is a retired Command Sergeant Major from the United States Army Reserve, and holds two degrees from St. Cloud State University a Bachelor of Elective Studies degree focusing on Business and Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Training and Development. Barry is also a National Development Council certified economic development professional.
Lisa Gambrino is a native of Minnesota residing in the city of Sartell. With over 20 years of banking experience Lisa specializes in Government Loan Programs for businesses. She managed an SBA Department for a local bank that grew from being a GP lender doing only a few loans each year to the top PLP lender in the state and one of the top forty on a national level in less than five years.
Lisa is president of Business Lending Consulting Group, Inc., (BLCG) a consulting group which provides training and support to lending institutions interested in participating in government loan programs for their customers.
Being an entrepreneur herself, currently providing consulting services to financial institutions and having owned and operated a retail business for six years prior to continuing her banking career, Lisa understands the needs of the small business community and realizes the importance of the programs being offered. Lisa dedicates time to the Small Business Development Center providing consulting services to entrepreneurs.
In her spare time she enjoys traveling, hiking, biking and boating on the Mississippi with family and friends.
Jack Gabler brings over twenty years of corporate finance experience in manufacturing to the SBDC team. Jack also founded and ran his own manufacturing company for thirteen years and clearly understands the challenges an owner faces. In time, he took those experiences to use working with a national consulting firm that specialized in organizing, training, motivating and implementing strategic plans to move companies to the next level. Jack found this type of consulting to be a very rewarding experience for both himself and his clients.
Being an entrepreneur at heart, Jack recently formed his own consulting company and soon began his relationship with the Central Region SBDC. Partnering with the SBDC has given him the opportunity to consult directly with clients, as well as present small business ownership seminars to dislocated workers, and serve as a FastTrac New Venture instructor in cooperation with the Center for Continuing Studies.
In his spare time he enjoys golf, fishing, hunting, kayaking, and boating on the chain of lakes near Richmond, MN.
Bruce Thielman is a life-long resident of St. Cloud and brings over30 years of business leadership skills, in both the private and public sectors, to the Small Business Development Center. He has worked in the banking and lending industry for 20 years as a vice-president, branch manager, and loan officer. He originated and closed personal and commercial loans, and specialized in residential real estate lending.
Bruce also worked for the St. Cloud Housing & Redevelopment Authority for over 13 years. He led the agency in the role of the Executive Director in community, housing and economic development efforts, resulting in many award-winning development projects that encompassed many areas of the community and created hundreds of jobs for the St. Cloud community.
Bruce’s business background includes private and public forms of finance and lending, organizational development and strategic planning, marketing, and human resources. He has personal experience in small business formation and has interacted with, and assisted, hundreds of individuals and businesses throughout his career.
Bruce has a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Cloud State University with majors in Business Management and Psychology, and a Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Development, with an emphasis in Human Resources from Concordia University in St. Paul. Bruce has also held numerous volunteer leadership positions in a variety of community organizations.
LaRae Ross is the Program Coordinator for the Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC). LaRae holds an Associate’s degree in Office Management and a Bachelor’s in Organizational Management and Communication. In addition to the more than eighteen years of administrative experience, LaRae has also contributed eleven years of military service between the Army and National Guard. While on active duty in the Army, she studied Arabic at the esteemed Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
As the first point of contact for the Small Business Development Center, LaRae enjoys speaking with current and future clients and strives to be a ‘resource clearinghouse’. She is truly committed to providing the best possible customer service experience for those seeking assistance from the SBDC.
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and regional support partners. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the program sponsors. Programs are open to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact LaRae Ross, Central Region SBDC Program Coordinator, at 320-308-4842.