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About the Presenter(s)

Tamara Davis has served as the Southwest Michigan regional director for the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) since 2009. Having earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University, Tamara brings an extensive academic background to the MI-SBDC as well as practical business experience from both the private and public sectors. She has served as a business manager for the Governor of the State of Vermont, director of operations of the L. Lee Stryker Center at Kalamazoo College, and as a management professor before becoming the regional director of the MI-SBDC. The MI-SBDC provides a full range of services for small businesses emerging and growing throughout Southwest Michigan—including new venture companies, existing businesses, and expanding businesses. Since 2009, Tamara and her staff have assisted their clients in accessing over $425 million in capital.

John Schmitt

John Schmitt has been a Business Consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center since 2007. Prior to his role with MI-SBDC, Schmitt was a serial entrepreneur opening a number of small businesses throughout Michigan over the past 30 years. These businesses have ranged from starting a restaurant, Food Dance Cafe, to a self storage facility, The StorRoom in Canton Michigan. John received the MI-SBDC Statewide Leadership Award for Business Consultants in 2009 and in 2016. Schmitt has served over 1000 clients during his tenure as Business Consultant for MI-SBDC.

Are you considering opening a small business right now? Is this right time for you? What should you be considering before launching a business? The SBDC at WMU is hosting an open conversation with those interested in opening a business or planning to pivot their current business model as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.