Assisting Clients in
Long Beach and the Gateway Cities
hosted by: LBCC SBDC

The SBDC hosted by Long Beach City College

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) helps small business owners succeed with low-cost training and no-cost one-on-one consulting from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. The SBDC has been hosted by Long Beach City College since 2006 and in that time has helped thousands of area business owners increase their sales, obtain loans, streamline operations, utilize new technologies, expand into new markets, and position themselves for long-term growth.

We are part of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, which assists small business owners throughout the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

About the LBCC SBDC Team

Our experienced SBDC team is comprised of former entrepreneurs, bankers, product managers, technology experts, and business professionals dedicated to helping you grow your business. Our team is pleased to offer our consulting services in English and Spanish, as needed. Please contact us at (562) 938-5100 to schedule your appointment.


Brad Pollak

Brad Pollak

Position: Director
Business expertise: Leadership, management, marketing strategies, business development

As the Director of the Long Beach City College Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Brad Pollak specializes in business start-ups, leadership, management, marketing strategies, and business planning. Brad has 20+ years’ experience as a marketing executive and general manager in the music industry. He is also the owner of a career development consultancy in Long Beach. Brad grew up in the U.S., Mexico and in Europe and holds a BA from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

View Brad Pollak's Professional Bio


Dan Rosenfeld

Position: Business Client Supervisor

Dan Rosenfeld has been the Long Beach SBDC Client Supervisor since January 2017 and has spoken with hundreds of clients about their business goals since then. At the SBDC, he helps clients prepare to work with an advisor and then connects them with an experienced professional.

View Dan Rosenfeld's Professional Bio


Business Consultants

Joseph Jackson

Position: Business Consultant

Joseph Jackson is a strategic business consultant with extensive experience in marketing, strategic planning, sales and business development. His background includes experience in the corporate, nonprofit, and federal sectors. As an entrepreneur, Joseph has run small businesses and worked as the lead consultant responsible for developing marketing strategies and business development plans for startup companies. Joseph holds a BA from Yale University.


Business expertise: Business planning, startups, staffing, business development, strategic marketing, and business process improvement


Charles Lowe

Position: Business Advisor

Over the last twenty years, Charlie Lowe has acted as a business consultant to the Small Business Development Centers and Centers for International Trade Development for El Camino Community College, Long Beach City College, and for Loyola Marymount University. He has 30 years’ experience in small business and international trade, having done business in 45 countries throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

Charlie is bilingual in English and Spanish. He holds bachelors’ degrees in Latin American Studies and Economics and an MBA in International Management.


Business expertise: Bilingual (English/Spanish), business planning, startups, marketing, import/export, government contracting


Ed Von Leffern

Position: Finance Advisor

Ed Von Leffern has been with the SBDC since 2008. His numerous business qualifications include serving in the following positions:

  • Director Emeritus and Audit Committee Chair of US Metro Bank
  • Director of a small business with sales to Amazon, Target, Staples, and Bye-Bye-Baby
  • Eight years as a chief credit officer/loan administrator of banks or regions.
  • Twice approved by Federal and State Regulators as CCO
  • Twelve years as a team leader of $75-500 million portfolios – always with direct account management and sale of diversified bank financial products
  • President of the LA Chapter of the bank credit association in 1996-97 (awarded superior unit) and in 2000-01

Ed holds an undergraduate degree from American University, Wash D.C. as well as a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies/ International Business. He is Professor Emeritus in the Business School at California State Universities at Pomona and Long Beach.


Business expertise: Credit management, finance & business loan packaging


Max Ordonez

Position: Business Advisor

Max Ordonez specializes in providing funding advice and direction for startups and established businesses, as well as specializing in management, strategic planning and business planning. Max has 20+ years’ experience as an entrepreneur and executive in an array of industries such as construction, re-development, manufacturing and distribution. In addition, Max’s expertise includes public-private partnerships. Max is the owner of his own strategic growth and program management consultancy in Los Angeles. He is a native Angelino and resides with his family in Whittier, California.


Business expertise: Loan advising, business planning, financial projections


Lori Williams

Position: Business Advisor

Lori Williams is a business consultant, speaker, and writer. She has over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, finance, marketing, and operations. Functioning as the chief strategist for her consulting agency, she has worked with middle market companies to build long-term sustainable growth. Her eBooks are distributed through Amazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

Lori holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, a BS in Business and Management, an AA in Medical Science and a Practitioner’s license in Neurolinguistic Programming.

Business expertise: Finance, accounting, business start-ups, business plans, marketing & general business operations


Mike Huntley, MBA

Position: Business Advisor

Mike Huntley has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, oil and gas, and electronics. He has worked with companies throughout the world, including Latin America, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Mike holds a B.A. Psychology from California State University Long Beach and an MBA from California State Dominquez Hills. Mike also has an executive management certificate from the University of California at Los Angeles Anderson School of Management.
Business expertise: Sales and Marketing, Executive management

Business expertise: Sales and marketing, executive management


Karie Armstrong

Position: Business Advisor

Karie Armstrong has over 20 years’ experience helping retailers, service providers, restaurants and entrepreneurs successfully launch and grow their businesses in a wide variety of retail environments and markets. Her extensive background stems from shopping center management, marketing and development, as well as retail operations and manufacturing.

Since she began working with the SBDC, she has helped thousands of small businesses. Her consulting expertise includes the development of overall strategic business and marketing plans, financial and sales projections, as well as site selection, tenant improvement issues and demystifying lease language.


Business expertise: Retail, restaurants, business plans, marketing plans, financial and sales projections, site selection, tenant/landlord negotiations


Steve Richardson

Position: Business Advisor

Steve Richardson joined the Long Beach SBDC as an advisor in 2019. He has extensive experience leading both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, as well as acting as a professional turnaround management consultant. At the SBDC, his initial focus was on helping clients with leadership, people management and transformational change. However, it became apparent that his experience as a business owner would benefit many of our clients with other needs. Steve has advised entrepreneurs starting out in retail, personal service, construction, and other sectors. He has also helped SBDC clients with mature businesses become more efficient and profitable.

Steve enjoys working with all types of clients, especially helping existing businesses make sense of their financial situation and organizational structure.

Steve is the author of the book Become a Better Leader in 30 Days.  


Business expertise: Business plans, management, business financing, business startups


Greg Horos

Position: Business Advisor

Greg Horos is the owner and co-founder of LOCALI, a deli/market hybrid quick service restaurant concept with a keen focus on healthier versions of conventional convenience fare and has served as the Chief Operations Officer since 2008. Greg’s areas of expertise include budgeting, cost controls, labor, purchasing, vendor relations, supply chain management for startups. He also is well-versed in lease/financial negotiations, legal strategies, cost-benefit analysis, inventory control systems and risk management planning.

In addition to his consulting work with SBDC, Greg is also a personal training/fitness coach, and spends the rest of his free time training for his next Spartan Race.


Business expertise: Restaurants, food services, retail, leases


Deborah Deras

Position: Business Advisor

Deborah Deras has a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She has been a business owner since 2002, providing Fortune 100 companies with peak performance corporate training, and is also an international speaker and author. She has served as a marketing consultant to various Small Business Development Centers with her expertise in digital marketing. Her specialties include content creation, social media strategy, YouTube, SEO, Facebook, live streaming, podcasting, Instagram Sales, and how to speak with confidence on camera. She speaks English and Spanish and has been a sought-after professional speaker for over 20 years.


Business expertise: Social media, digital marketing


Herb Thompson

Position: Business Advisor

Herb Thompson is a process improvement expert who advises on Lean/Six Sigma Enterprise, project management, ERP System Optimization, safety, quality, environmental and energy audits, effective management, corporate structuring, and strategic planning. Herb has multiple years of hands-on experience in a number of industries applying Total Quality Management (TQM) and the Toyota Production System (TPS) style of manufacturing, now often referred to as Lean Manufacturing.

Herb was an Instructor/Writer at the United States Army Non-Commissioned Officers Academy. Since that time, he has worked with companies in a number of manufacturing and service industries, both as a consultant and a senior leader, to implement these techniques. His experience also includes teaching undergrad and graduate business courses at Stanton University.

Business expertise: Process improvement, strategic planning, operational management, workplace safety, quality control, team building


Michael DeDonato, JD, MBA

Position: Business Advisor

Mike DeDonato is a seasoned corporate finance executive and business advisor, with a demonstrated history of working in the manufacturing, healthcare, consumer goods, construction and aerospace/defense industries. Mike’s functional expertise is in accounting and financial management.

He has been relied upon by clients for his competencies in financial management, M&A due diligence and acquisition integration. “I am dedicated to the success of every client and very much look forward to the actualization of client aspirations and visions.”

Business expertise: Finance, accounting, business entities


Joceyln Graf

Position: Business Advisor

Jocelyn Graf is a serial entrepreneur, educator, and author. As an SBDC advisor, Jocelyn helps clients answer these questions: Will my business idea work? What would my customers really pay for? How do I get started? Where can I access funding and other resources? How do I sort out my finances and do required paperwork? Who do I need on my team? How can I grow my business, and where do I want to end up? She also provides specialty advising for tech startups and for social and professional services businesses. Jocelyn is familiar with healthcare & biotech, clean energy, hardware, cybersecurity, blockchain, and data science. 


Business expertise: International, grants (including SBIR), government contracts, diversity certifications, social enterprise


David Mitroff, Ph.D.

Position: Business Advisor

David Mitroff is a business consultant, marketing expert, keynote speaker and author. He brings to the SBDC his experiences as the founder and chief consultant of Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc. He provides business consulting and marketing services to create brand awareness, strengthen customer loyalty and generate new opportunities for new and established companies, restaurants, franchises, law firms, high-growth start-ups, retail specialty stores, professional services firms, individual entrepreneurs and other diverse organizations.

David is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics, including: Business & Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Branding, and Innovation, and through his consulting, lectures, training, and keynotes.

Business expertise: Marketing, branding, marketing strategies