Our Staff & Consultants
Main Office Staff
Marketing and Management
Gita Runkle has several years of experience in marketing at companies such as Procter & Gamble, Royal Caribbean, and Bacardi. She also has many years of experience working in higher education institutions. Gita has an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Marketing from the University of Southern California, an MA in Higher Education from New York University, and a BA in Multi-Media from UC Berkeley.
Peter J. Abode
Website Design, SEO, and eCommerce
PJ Abode is a freelance web designer, consultant, and instructor for multimedia software at SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology. He has taught at Los Angeles Valley College and ITT Technical Institute. PJ has also conducted trainings in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver for the apparel industry. He has a BFA in Theater from the University of Miami, an MFA in Theater from Rutgers University, and a Certificate of Interactive Media from Santa Monica College.
Accounting & Quickbooks
Miriam Aguilar is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. She has her own business offering training and consulting in Spanish for the Latino business community, focusing on administration, management, and accounting computer programs. She co-authored and translated The Business Tool: A Business Start Up and Reference Guide, and was honored by the newspaper La Opinion for her contributions. Miriam has a BA from UCLA and completed the Instructor Development Program at UCLA Extension.
Government Contracting, 8a Certification, Budgeting / Cash Flow
Eleanor Beasley is an entrepreneur and financial services professional with 33 years of specialized experience in senior level management and customer service delivery. Eleanor is a Certified Treasury Professional, motivational and keynote speaker, and recipient of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Moises Cisneros has 12 years of professional experience in international trade, marketing overseas, foreign direct investment, and economic development. Currently, he is principal at a firm providing international market-entry solutions and value-add propositions to globally minded clients. Moises is certified as an SBA Export & Trade Advisor. He holds a BA in International Relations and an MA in Leadership, both from the University of Southern California.
Retail Sales and Marketing
Johanna Hulme has a strong foundation of theory and practice in the sourcing, production, and marketing of retail products in local and national markets. She has worked directly with manufacturing and quality control teams to develop products and packaging that respond to consumer psychology and trends.
Robert Klepa is a California licensed attorney with 20+ years experience in business law. He currently teaches legal classes for UCLA Extension, mentors business owners, and works for the U.S. District Court. In addition, Robert acts as a volunteer mediator, arbitrator, and judge pro tem for the Los Angeles County Superior Courts. He is also an LA County hearing officer in employment cases. Robert has a BA in Political Science and Business from UCLA, and a JD from Loyola Marymount University.
Loans, Access to Capital, and Business Plans
Jeffrey-Francis McAuther’s background includes 25 years of banking with a specialization in small business lending. He is an avid speaker and recently won Toastmaster “Division B” Champion Speaker. Jeffrey-Francis holds a BA in Economics from Cal State University LA, and an MBA in Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Loans, Access to Capital, and Business Plans
Ron Sardisco has 30+ years experience as a banker and small business owner. Now a small business consultant, he was a commercial banker, SBA loan officer and public relations officer with two major banks. He also operated a small construction sub-contracting company for 10 years. With formal education in business administration and organizational behavior, he brings a unique perspective to the management of a small business. Ron is Franklin Covey certified in Leadership.
Trevor D. Shickman
Operations and Business Plans
Trevor Shickman owns a special events company that serves clients such as the World Wrestling Federation, Fox Sports, and other organizations. He has strong knowledge of finance, strategy, regulatory/audit issues, and technology. Trevor holds a BBA in Business from Loyola Marymount University, and an MS in History, Technology and Society from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Green Business, Online Advertising, Business Planning
Steve Sedlic has a diverse background in both finance and online advertising. He is a former Nasdaq Market Maker and Director of Market Research for an investment banking firm and a Chinese venture capital firm. Steve also worked for an online advertising agency and is co-founder of a health and sustainability-oriented online marketing firm. Steve holds an MBA in Marketing & Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California, and a BA in Economics & Philosophy from UC Berkeley.
Claudia Shah has more than 18 years of HR experience in different industries from manufacturing to financial institutions. This experience has given her insights into the dynamics of successful companies and individuals. She also manages her own human resources consulting and staffing agency. Claudia holds a BA in Business from EAFIT University.