Director, Pasadena City College Small Business Development Center
Salvatrice Cummo has a unique perspective on what it takes for a businesses to succeed by having worked in family businesses, publicly traded companies and not-for-profits. Her experience started during high school working in her family business. She helped play an integral role in the daily operations, customer service and marketing.
Salvatrice left the family business in order to pursue her education. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona University with a degree in retail management. She was immediately hired by Macy’s West and quickly rose the corporate ladder. During her 10 year tenure at Macy’s West, she increased year-over-year sales, reduced employee turnover and made her stores highest ranking among the region.
Despite all of her success, Salvatrice’s true passion was for small businesses. She left Macy’s West and began working for the Montebello Chamber of Commerce as their Director of Small Business. At the Chamber she assisted small businesses with marketing strategies, business plans, business connections and access to capital. During her six years with the Chamber, her work in helping small businesses also translated into never before seen income for the Montebello Chamber of Commerce.
In September 2013, Salvatrice decided to take her knowledge and skills to a much wider audience and accepted the position of Director for the Pasadena Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a program funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Pasadena City College. Her role is to provide businesses with no cost one-on-one consulting with industry experts in areas that include, but not limited to, marketing, accounting, software training, legal, employee relations, access to capital and business planning just to name a few. In the short time Salvatrice has run the center, she has helped individuals make their dreams of starting a business into a reality and has helped businesses improve their business acumen in order to obtain their goals. Salvatrice’s interest in small business is also seen in her advocating efforts on behalf of small business at the federal, state and local levels.
Don Loewel, MBA
Business Development Consulting
With over 20 years of sales, marketing and management experience in the Medical Device industry, Don serves as a consultant and adviser to multiple startup companies in southern California. With his strong commercial strategy and business development skills, he has worked with small and mid-market companies to build long-term, sustainable growth. Currently, Don is the Director of Business Development and Partner Relationships at telemedicine software company, SnapMD. He also sits on the Board of Advisors for Blue Marble Game Company and 3D printing company, Metamason.
Additionally, Don is a senior consultant at the Pasadena Small Business Development Center, where he mentors new and existing businesses in the areas of: Lean Launch principles, value proposition development, customer discovery, sales and marketing strategies and raising capital. At the SBDC, Don has the chance to mentor startup teams at the USC Marshall School of Business and Cal State LA, and has also judged several pitch competitions. Don recently completed the Lean Launchpad Educators Seminar, and has a passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve their maximum potential.
Business Development Consulting
Albert Napoli has been a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California for the last seven years. He teaches a variety of courses including Business for Non-Majors, Feasibility, New Venture Management and Entrepreneurial Family Business. Albert has also run a number of entrepreneurial venture competitions including the New Venture Seed Competition, Silicon Beach at USC, and the Marshall School Graduate MBA Venture Competition for Women.
Prior to teaching at USC, Albert was worked in the private, public and non-profit sections. He began working in the real estate industry for various developers, property managers and real estate brokers in 1989. At the end of 1991 Albert opened his own full-service real estate business in the San Gabriel Valley. It was at this time that Albert started advocating to elected officials. He served as a director for both the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors spending his time educating legislators on industry issues. In 2001 Albert began coaching and training small businesses on improving their business acumen so that they could bid on government contracts successfully.
Albert graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance and Economics in 1989 and with an MBA in 2007, both from the University of Southern California.
Principal, Wild Horse Labs
Mike is the Co-Founder of Wild Horse Labs™, an International Education and Investment Network based in Los Angeles, California. Wild Horse Labs focuses on mentoring and training Global Entrepreneurs to fund promising early-stage companies resulting in successful and self-sustaining businesses. In his role, Mike oversees Accelerator, Incubator, University, Membership & Sponsorship Development and International initiatives. He is also the Chief Instructor of the world-class Wild Horse Labs Investment Accelerator™, a seminar created to educate entrepreneurs on how to receive funding and resources beyond capital by investors. He is also an Investor Member of Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investment group in the US.
Along with Mike’s position at Wild Horse Labs, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, California, recently appointed him to serve on the Advisory Board of their new Technology Transfer Office and Innovation Village, a 65-acre property on the University’s Campus which is currently home to 500,000-square feet of Class A office, research & development, and laboratory space. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to help the University transition research from the laboratory to the marketplace.
As a recent Visiting Professor of Management at Loyola Marymount University, Mike taught undergraduate & graduate entrepreneurship and small-business management classes and coached the students in the on-site incubator. From 1989 through early 2014, he served as an Adjunct Professor in California Lutheran University’s MBA Program for working adults. He helped create California Lutheran University’s first Entrepreneur Roundtable program, designed to support entrepreneurs starting businesses outside of the classroom, and served on the Advisory Board of the Southern California Edison/California Lutheran University Venture Forums.
In addition to his various professional activities, Mike is an active Board Member of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, where he helps facilitate trade between Sweden and the United States. The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles (SACC-LA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1988. It is one of 20 chambers across the US, cooperating under the umbrella of SACC-USA which was founded in 1906 in New York and is the oldest organization of its kind outside of Sweden. SACC-LA provides a collaborative platform for people to make connections while encouraging innovative and creative exchange. The overall objective is to create business opportunities between Swedish and American companies and talent, and SACC-LA is the only Swedish organization in Los Angeles with this purpose.
Mike started his career in Corporate America with the Bendix Corporation and AlliedSignal. Positions he held included Acquisition Manager, Divisional Chief Marketing Officer, New Product Development Manager, Distribution Manager, National Sales Manager and Marketing Communications Manager. Mike’s next venture was Management Consulting, and his clients included organizations from pre-revenue start-ups to Fortune 100 public corporations. Additionally, he has been an Owner/Partner of four firms, including: Verify Investor, and an online Clean Tech & IP Exchange Site, ongreen.com.
He earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and his M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University. He also has been certified by the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, to conduct 360º leader, manager and team assessment and development processes.
Mike is a University Guest-Lecturer & Industry Expert on Entrepreneurship for California State University at Los Angeles and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona; Lehigh University in Pennsylvania; as well as Daegu University, Daejeon University and Kookmin University in Korea.