UW-Oshkosh Testimonials

"Small businesses face challenges that most people don’t realize. Sometimes the harsh reality of life and business needs to be brought front and center in an effort to expose weaknesses and strengths for a company to grow. Phil Florek, Senior Consultant for the Small Business Development Center, has been instrumental in assembling a team of individuals who have the knowledge and experience to support the mission vision and values of Valley Popcorn Co. Inc.. His experience and advice has helped me grow personally as an owner manager in addition to exposing some of the buried challenges and potential bumps that, as Phil puts it, ‘never go away unless dealt with immediately.’ Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of our efforts to grow Valley Popcorn Co. The opportunities for our small business are tremendous and we need to keep pushing and growing to exceed our goals. "
Carl Freundl, Owner/Manager
Valley Popcorn Co.


"I would like to take a moment and express my gratitude to Colleen and the Small Business Development Center. Thank you for your help and guidance! Because of the SBDC I've been able to, after one meeting design and execute a gorilla marketing campaign that has increased awareness immediately. We also have already had an increase in sales in less than months and are on track for a record growth of at least 40% this year. Also we have been able to hire 3 team members to accelerate our brand awareness and expansion. I look forward to our continued development process with the SBDC and envision an extremely successful year!"
Emmie Rugotska
Shop Local


"Colleen's professional connections to business leaders in the community, business knowledge, and assistance in helping us obtain financing was invaluable. She was without a doubt key in our business getting launched."

Ray Reinders

Link Computing Solutions



"Small business is the engine that drives our economy and we must continue to support business start-ups."

Rick Gudex, State Senator


"Tom's insights were extremely beneficial to me and helped me grow my business by 200% in the 2nd year of operation. In fact, that growth allowed me to explore and start another business venture. The SBDC is a trusted partner with no ulterior motives other than my success. Within 6 months of our launch on www.fixitsticks.com business is booming. Without the SBDC I don't think our bicycle tools, Fix It Sticks would be where it is today."

Brian Davis
Fix It Sticks


"Huzzard Systems recently had an opportunity to conduct an analysis of our business with Colleen Merrill of the UW Oshkosh SBDC. We used an analytical tool called PROBE. Reviewing our answers to the PROBE questionnaire with Colleen was very valuable and a worthwhile exercise. The analysis forces you to look at your organization through a lens that accents the positive and helps surface issues (opportunities) that need to be addressed. It's a bit like an annual check-up for your business. The focus is on continuous improvement in all facets of your operation. I highly recommend for any small to medium size business that is serious about being profitable, sustaining growth, and creating a culture that strives to achieve perpetual success."

Gary Jahnke

Huzzard Systems


"Tom asked us the right questions and gave us the confidence to move forward with purchasing the assets of the clinic and starting our own entity moving forward. 
... counseling from the SBDC helped us go from employees to employers, thinking about the business aspect of our clinic, where we were and where we wanted to head ..."

Lori Dielentheis
Northshore Clinic, LLC


“Even my first meeting with Colleen Merrill at UWO’s Small Business Development Center exceeded my expectations.  I was given a wealth of resources to guide me in my business startup planning, good practical advice, and an open invitation to come back and get some more.   Colleen’s enthusiasm, drive, and support helped me accomplish an accelerated path to starting my business.  Within a month of coming up with a business idea, I was able to present the Change Management |Communication Center at Business Expo 2013 to an audience filled with potential customers and leads.   Colleen helped me identify a compelling company name and personal title. Together we coupled business identity with a survey to gather market and industry information.   I was able to present my business ideas with confidence.   Beyond all that, Colleen readily referred me to others who could help me in areas she could not.
Today, less than four months into my startup, I am living my aspirations.  I am helping local businesses and organizations  make good decisions about how they introduce, plan, manage resistance, and accomplish change.   Leaders I work with are keeping their projects on time and under budget.  I can transfer my knowledge and experience to help turn push back into push forward.    People are working with their leaders as a team and make the great ideas and goals happen.   The changes are lasting—and become the “status quo.”    The best part of my job and business is when leaders, people, and community accomplish desired and necessary changes effectively---everyone celebrates the success together!   I would not have been able to realize my goals without the support, assistance and continued guidance of Colleen and the Small Business Development resources at UWO.  I am grateful to include them as part of my Enterprise Team of Advisors." 

Tina Schuelke, Executive Director
Change Management | Communications Center