Small Business Course

Dodie Jacobi
Small Business Consultant and Entrepreneur -

From sole proprietor start-ups and "Mom & Pop" shop owners to multi-million-dollar-funded gazelles, Dodie has consulted with more than 100 companies from various industries in her 30-plus-year span creating marketing and growth strategies with entrepreneurial ventures. A three-time entrepreneur who also co-founded three not-for- profit organizations, Dodie was instrumental in developing business plans for several entrepreneurship support programs funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Currently, Dodie consults with small businesses in the for- and not-for-profit sectors, teaches courses for small business owners at Missouri Bank, hosts Circles of Trust (peer think tank groups), and is a frequently quoted media source, having appeared in the Wall Street Journal, NPR's Marketplace, and Good Morning America. Recently, Dodie was honored as one of the three women KC Makers, selected from among 50 nominees for her work in entrepreneurship. Dodie graduated with a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Hyde Park with dog Pippa, and can be found quilting, dancing the Samba (really!), or riding horse Sami on the trails at the Saddle & Sirloin Club.

Julie Nelson Meers
Senior Vice President, Missouri Bank -

Julie has been in the Kansas City banking community for more than 25 years, 17 of those with Missouri Bank. During that time, she has earned a reputation as an advocate and financial educator for small business and entrepreneurs. Julie has shared her expertise with many in the Kansas City community, serving on numerous boards and committees and as a frequent guest speaker on all things entrepreneurial, banking and financial. Originally from a small town in western Kansas, she is a 1988 honors graduate of the University of Kansas, and a 2003 honors graduate of the Graduate School of Banking – Colorado (GSBC). Julie has been a GSBC Faculty member since 2004 and is currently serving on the board of the Charlotte Street Foundation. Julie is a member of Missouri Bank’s senior management team, with responsibilities in commercial banking, marketing and customer experience development. She works with a wide array of customers and particularly loves working with creatives. Julie is an enthusiastic cyclist, a lover of all things Kansas City, and the proud mom of daughter Katherine and golden retriever Boulder. She and her husband Sam live in Brookside.

Margaret Lawlor
e-media bloc, llc -

In 1995, following 12+ years in print, direct mail and publishing, Margaret shifted her focus to the web. It's been a wild ride ever since. A seasoned marketer, Margaret works with companies of all sizes to develop web sites, choose third-party vendors, create user-and-search-friendly content, design and build sound email programs, develop on-site merchandising plans, build and manage cross-channel campaigns and strategize on customer acquisition programs. Formerly a founding partner of BOLD Internet Business Solutions, Margaret now heads e-media bloc, inc., based in Kansas City, and focuses on ecommerce marketing and online operations. e-media bloc helps such ecommerce ventures as Russell Stover Candies, J. Schmid & Associates, and Peruvian Connection use the Internet to work smarter, faster, and more cost-effectively. Equally adept at strategy and implementation, Margaret combines proven experience and a commitment to best practices with a passion for capitalizing on the latest opportunities in the fast-evolving web world. Margaret loves her peaceful, quiet home in Olathe and spends much of her time working outdoors.

Danielle Rodenbough
Trouble at Work -

Danielle is the principal of trouble at work?, a human resources consulting firm founded in 2000 that provides outsourcing and consulting services. She works regularly with non-profits, the federal government, municipalities, the hospitality industry, architectural firms, service and manufacturing organizations. Through her work, Danielle is regularly providing counsel about employee relations issues, performance management, culture development, time off practices, recruitment and selection, organizational development, conflict management and legal compliance. Before founding trouble at work?, Danielle was the Director of Human Resources for Hallmark's Crayola subsidiary, the Director of Sourcing and Immigration for Pasteur Merieux Connaught, an Aventis company, and consulted to Merck, General Electric and TransAmerica Financial Services. Danielle asked to use a picture of Katherine Hepburn instead of her headshot, but you’ll just have to come meet her in person if you want a face for the name.

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