Meet Our Consultants

NO-COST BUSINESS CONSULTING (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE)

MCSC provides no-cost business consultations as one of our primary services. MCSC and The Women's Business Center has an elite team of consultants that have extensive expertise in fields including marketing, organizational development, finance, management, etc. Consultations are offered as an individual service, or as a supplementary service to MCSC graduates to assist them in starting or profitably growing their business.

 

Consultoría de negocios sin costo (Asistencia Técnica):

MCSC también ofrece consultas de negocios sin costo alguno. MCSC tiene un equipo de consultores que tienen una amplia experiencia en campos como marketing, desarrollo organizacional, finanzas, administración, etc. Las consultas se ofrecen como un servicio individual o como un servicio complementario a los graduados del MCSC para ayudarlos a comenzar un negocio.


MEET OUR KERN COUNTY STAFF

Serving All of Kern County

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Norma Dunn

Kern Women’s Business Center Deputy Director

A business and community leader with a proven track record known for her innovative approaches. Norma's passion for education and business, combined with her engaging personality, have earned her a reputation as a high-impact networker. She is a sought-after community leader as she is accomplished at planning and executing strategies that are both effective and efficient in addition to a proven track record of assisting private, public and non-profit organizations with forging "success partnerships". Norma is MCSC’s new deputy director of the Kern Women’s Business Center.


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Diana Quiroz

Kern Women’s Business Center Program Coordinator

Diana joined the MCSC Kern Women’s Business Center in July 2019 as the Program Coordinator. Diana comes from Celaya Guanajuato México, she is fluent in the Spanish language and carries over 9 years of experience in finance, accounting and business development combined.  In recent years, Diana has taken data management roles for multiple nonprofits in Kern County that provide essential services throughout the State of California. Diana and her husband own a landscaping and maintenance company in Bakersfield, California. Here she maintains the day to day business management activities that help keep the business prosperous.

 

Diana is passionate about the economic well-being of her community, she previously served as a member of Mexico’s Planning Committee for the United Nations Campaign “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” by partnering and collaborating with various agencies and organizations in Mexico and the United States.

 

Diana is also a self-taught Artist who favors large canvasses on which she explores color dynamics, and treasures culture conservation. In her free time, Diana likes to travel and spend time with friends and family.


MEET OUR KERN COUNTY CONSULTANTS

Serving All of Kern County

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Angel Cottrell

Business Consultant

Ms. Angel Cottrell is an energetic professional with more than 20 years’ experience in successful program development and execution of complex multifaceted strategic plans for a variety of education, non-profit, and economic development entities.

 

Angel designs, manages, and leads goal-driven projects which deliver significant outcomes. Her most recent project is the Student Professional Development Initiative launched for CSUB BPA.  Since inception in Fall 2015, the Student Professional Development Initiative (SPDI) has conducted four pilots. 289 students and 32 business advisors who represent 27 companies have participated in the program. SPDI seeks to deliver local college graduates, who are professionally career ready, to the local workforce. Angel is a leader who cultivates relationships with others that garner respect and a collective commitment to the successful achievement of goals. She has administered and managed multiple federal and state grants with varying regulatory requirements across various education, non-profit, and economic development entities. She is an experienced professional in community economic development, job creation, business and relationship building activities, and thoughtful communication of ROI to interested stakeholders.

 

Cottrell’s former positions include SBDC Director, Women’s Business Center Director, Small Business Loan Fund Director, and Director of Operations. Currently, she works with CSU Bakersfield’s School of Business and Public Administration (CSUB BPA) as the Outreach and Public Affairs Coordinator and is an Adjunct Faculty member in the School. She is a consultant with Mission Community Services, a local Women’s Business Center and privately consults and coaches business owners who desire to successfully: Advance Your Business-Advance Your Life. Angel holds a Bachelor Degree of Arts in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Antioch University.  She resides in Bakersfield.


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Circe Cox

Business Consutlant & Instructor

All her professional life Circe Cox has been a deliverance to small businesses. Her strong interpersonal skills, fluent ability in both English and Spanish languages, combined with unrelenting dedication, have proved invaluable to startups, business owners, their clients and people joining or rejoining the workforce. Circe provides uniquely practical guidance in marketing, operations streamlining, business management, training, record-keeping, regulations and information for new employees. She teaches people how to organize and structure their businesses and take full advantage of technology and e-commerce. And as a seasoned confidante, Circe tailors her assistance according to the needs of the customers.

 

Presently, Circe works as a Business Consultant and Instructor for The Kern Women’s Business Center (KWBC) in Bakersfield. She is also a Business Consultant for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in Bakersfield.

 

Circe worked for Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) as a Program Manager for its Entrepreneurial Training Program and its lending division, which assists clients in the preliminary stages of developing their business concepts. Circe also supports business owners in growing their businesses. Circe worked for the Small Business Development Center in Van Nuys and Santa Monica, as well as Valley Economic Development Center and New Economics for Women (NEW) in Los Angeles. Each of these nonprofit organizations contracted her to help diverse sets of people build and maintain successful businesses, be they startups or enterprises that have existed for generations. Her guidance has come in workshops, classrooms or in one-on-one counseling sessions with independent, usually minority business owners. Clients have learned to produce handbooks and other literature, taking full advantage of technology and e-commerce. Business owners tend to respond warmly to her charisma and bilingual abilities; in her they find an adviser and trusted advocate.

 

Her time with The Sirolli Institute afforded a different mode of promoting business small-business success. Circe, taking the renowned Sirolli approach to enterprise facilitation, helped mining companies in the USA and Ecuador establish Enterprise Facilitators who would then help entrepreneurs with the fundamental building blocks. The methodology revolved around building businesses from the bottom up.

 

Earlier, while working at three offices of the Long Beach-based Women’s Enterprise Development Corp. from October 1996 to September 1997, and again from October 1999 to February 2001, Circe assessed the needs of hundreds of entrepreneurs, then trained them in making and carrying out business plans. She recruited students and trainers for WEDC business courses, and reported progress in accordance with U.S. Small Business Administration guidelines. In addition, she taught a 12-week course on planning and launching new businesses.


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Keith C Wolaridge

Business Consultant

Keith C Wolaridge is a retired, award-winning ex-bank executive that today manages and owns business and personal development firm. With the goal of assisting people and companies to reach their highest possible potential.

After advising hundreds of customers and lending millions of dollars to small business owners Keith now uses this experience helping others protect and realize their dreams. Founder and Owner of From Above Financial. Keith provides customized solutions that match the individual.  Throughout Keith’s professional career he has built a solid reputation as a leader in both the business and civic community.  Keith’s primary strength to connect and is passionate about instruction, inspiring, and invigorate people.  He possesses the ability to convey complex material in lay terms to build support for ideas and drive decisions among diverse groups and individuals. This is done by blending an aptitude for reasoning, analysis, along with an exceptional talent for public speaking.

 

Due to his passion for education, in 2010 Keith was elected to the Panama Buena Vista Union School Board where he currently serves as Board President.  Keith possesses a M.S. Degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University, B.S Accounting from California State University Fresno.  In addition, a graduate from the prestigious University of Washington’s Pacific Coast Banking School and locally, Kern Leaders Academy.  Most recently, Keith earned his Master’s in Governance from the California School Board Association.


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Fredi Castrejon, MBA

Bilingual Business Consultant & QuickBooks Instructor

Fredi Castrejon joined the MCSC Kern Women’s Business Center as a QuickBooks instructor and bilingual business consultant in January 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management from the University of La Verne and a Master of Business Administration Degree in Accounting and Finance from the Florida Institute of Technology. Fredi has worked with small business startups and established business owners who need assistance in taking their business to the next level.

Business development and community service are important to Fredi, he serves as the current Treasurer of the Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce and served as the prior Vice President of the Chamber. Currently Fredi serves on the Arvin Chamber of Commerce Board Directors. He recently completed a 4 year elected official position in 2018 as the President (Chairman) for the Bear Mt. Recreation and Parks District, and was the Vice President on the Board of Directors. He has also served on the Budget and Finance Committee, Grant Committee and the 5 Year Plan Committee. 

Fredi believes that small business development creates economic growth and sustainability which contribute to our local economy. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in his eyes. His passion is to help mentor and coach aspiring small business owners and expand established businesses to their full potential.


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Ali Morris
Business Consultant

Ali is the Co-Founder of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce and Founder of the KCBCC Development Foundation where he served as President of both until 2013. Ali was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA., where he attended Point Park University in Downtown Pittsburgh. Ali has a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Minor in Business Administration. He spent approximately thirty years in industry working in Project Engineering and Project Management positions. 

 

Ali has recently completed courses in Leadership with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, Financial Management Training in Fresno, CA, Business Development and Management Training at San Diego State University and Mastering Business Growth, by Infinity Business Solutions, in Chula Vista, CA. Ali has taught evening classes at San Joaquin Valley College in Industrial Technology and several Business Plan Development classes for the Small Business Administration. Ali also has over 25 years of service in the non-profit arena, serving on several Boards and in many officer positions.  


As a consultant, Ali assist in business start-up and operations for individuals seeking all levels of technical assistance.


Gregorio G. Gonzalez

Business Consultant

Gregorio G. Gonzalez is a Business Owner, Public Speaker and Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with solopreneurs and local business/educational/community organizations to grow their personal and professional brands reaching the general public.  After spending nearly a decade working in sales, marketing, public relations and management for several local and national business organizations and startups, Gregorio knows that the true asset and heart of an organization is the people representing it. 

“If people are mentored, supported, and led by example, they will become confident, responsible, persistent, and happy to represent their company (or employers) by becoming active and consistent key contributors to the success of their companies/brands.”

Gregorio has written several articles that have landed coverage in print and digital broadcast outlets.   In addition to his business startups, public speaking presentations, fundraising contributions, and sales/marketing experience, Gregorio has also served as a Business and Spanish instructor for several career colleges.

Gregorio holds a BS in business marketing and an MBA and is a certified hypnotherapist designation with several specialties providing PTSD, ADD-ADHD, smoking cessation workshops, group and private sessions for veterans and the general public.


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Linda Miles
Business Consultant

Business and Startup Loans and Financing, Cash Flow Issues, Business Plans

Linda started Miles Funding Resources with her son in 1997.  She consults and helps placement of financing for small business owners.  Some of the financing provided includes SBA loans, bank, financing, factoring, asset based lending, commercial real estate, leasing, mergers and acquisitions.

Linda also consults with business owners for start-ups, companies already in business or buying a business. Linda assist clients with business plans, cash flow projections, application assistance for bank loans and SBA loans, various other financing including purchase orders financing, accounts receivable financing, marketing and other business needs. Linda also teaches a class on Starting a Small Business.


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Jeffrey Johnson
Business Consultant

Business Plans, Banking & Loan Packaging, Financial Plans, Production & Operations, Management

Jeffrey graduated from Stanford with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. He served in ever-increasing positions of responsibility with two Fortune 500 companies - Merck and FMC Corporation.

 

Jeffrey founded an agricultural machinery manufacturing company which was listed in INC Magazine Group of the 100 Fastest Growing privately-held companies in 1980.  He later headed a computer databse information service for California Agribusiness, formed as a joint venture by three California newspapers in Bakersfield. 

 

For 13 years, Jeffrey was Director of a Small Business Development Center in Bakersfield, providing advice to small business in Bakersfield, Kern, Inyo and Mono Counties. Currently, he is the Principal in a Management Consulting Firm, JLM Associates, specializing in small to medium-sized businesses. 

Jeffrey is an adjunct faculty member in the Management Department of Cal State University, Bakersfield.  He is a member of Bakersfield Rotary and serves on the Boards of both For-Profit and Non-Profit organizations. He is the past president of the Fox Theater Foundation and a prior member of the Downtown Association of Bakersfield.


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Oscar Axume
Business Consultant

CPA

Oscar has been an account since 2005, and head of his own accounting firm, Axume & Associates, since 2011. Oscar graduated with a BA in Accounting from Cal State University, Northridge, and became a licensed CPA in 2004. 


Oscar advises on preparation of tax returns, general ledger account analysis, month-end closing procedures, various accounting software, preparation of financial statements and pension plans. Oscar also teaches QuickBooks classes for MCSC in Kern County.