Pamela Patterson became the CEO of West Company in July of 2004 at a time when the organization was in need of restructuring. Since taking the lead as West Company's CEO, Pamela has successfully secured over a million dollars in grants from diverse funding sources, and has been instrumental in growing and expanding West Company Services to include hosting the Small Business Development Center and in securing funds from the City of Fort Bragg and County of Mendocino through the Community Development Block Grant Program.
Pamela has been assisting businesses in Mendocino County for over 10 years. Prior to becoming the CEO of West Company Pamela held positions of the Director of the Women's Business Center, Office Manager, and Business Consultant with West Company. Pamela has a vast knowledge of business and economic development in Mendocino County which has helped many local businesses start and grow.
Susy Valle, Women's Business Center Director
As West Company’s new Women's Business Center director, Susy Valle is excited to focus her efforts on conducting workshops and one on one consulting on business related issues throughout Mendocino County with an emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged women. Also being a recent graduate student from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and returned Peace Corps volunteer, Susy brings with her both academic and field experience in public administration and community economic development. Prior to this Susy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Minor in Spanish from Oregon State University, at which time she learned about Muhammad Yunus and became determined to pursue a career in enabling sustainable economic development for disadvantaged communities.
Sarah Gossman began working with West Company in the fall of 2013 after two years of being an AmeriCorps member with the Watershed Stewards Project. Before her time with AmeriCorps, Sarah got her bachelor degree in Environmental Studies from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota where she got her first taste of the non-profit world while being a student worker in the college’s Prospect Management department. Her West Company duties include coordinating and performing client orientations and marketing and preparing for classes. If you call or visit West Company’s coast office you will most likely first be greeted by Sarah.
Raised in the Ukiah Valley, Sandra has an AS in Mathematics and has worked as a Math Tutor, and a Therapeutic Residential Counselor for Redwood Children's Services. She is also a graduate of Leadership Mendocino. Her West Company duties include coordinating and performing client orientations and marketing and preparing for classes. If you call or visit West Company’s inland office you will most likely first be greeted by Sandra.
In addition to our staff, West Company contracts with local and regional professionals to provide business advising to our clients:
Nancy Banker, Wreckless Enterprises
Nancy Banker, owner of Wreckless Enterprises, joined West Company as a contract consultant in 2009. Since that time she has advised more than 100 West Company clients. Nancy has over 20 years experience in multiple markets including small rural business development and operations, financial software, healthcare, and education. She currently devotes her time to mentoring and assisting rural small businesses to thrive, overcome financial obstacles, and succeed in a difficult economic area and climate. She has helped small businesses with turnarounds, buying and selling a business, securing financing, operations, strategic partnership development and management, recruiting and HR, and contract negotiations. As Nancy says, “There is no satisfaction as great as being able to help a business owner achieve his or her dream! Except perhaps going on a trek in Peru.”
Donna Montag, Certified Management Accountant
Donna Montag joined West Company as a contract consultant in 2012 and specializes in management accounting. Donna has over 20 years of experience doing senior accounting work and is a certified management accountant with both broad and deep experiences in the analysis of financial statements and in computer systems. Donna can assist business owners in evaluating bookkeeping systems and bookkeepers, and in determining what individuals can and cannot do for themselves. She has experience as a “fixer” who can go into a complicated situation, clean up a mess, and get the business back on track. She is also skilled at helping business owners streamline and improve the efficiency of financial systems. Donna is known for always looking at financial management and with a positive, non-judgmental attitude and a sense of humor. As a 40-year resident of the Mendocino Coast, she says she really enjoys “helping local businesses improve their business models and experience greater financial success through a better understanding of their numbers.”
Steve O'Mara, Omara Consulting
Stephen “SteveO” O’Mara is the owner of O’Mara & Company Consulting which provides development and training resources for individuals, agencies, organizations, and entities seeking feasibility research, planning, training, and support for business and work-readiness interests and activities. He has been working with West Company microenterprise clients in inland Mendocino County since 2002. He began professionally in Microenterprise in 1995 in Sacramento. SteveO has assisted clients in a myriad of business sectors including retail, wholesale, light manufacturing, service, and community service. SteveO is also one of the trainers for West Company’s Inland workshops such as the Building a Better Business series. SteveO also teaches Business courses at Mendocino Community College and provides training and curriculum for job seekers at MPIC, Inc., one of West Company’s economic development partners in Mendocino County. SteveO also has a background in theatrical production and was the founder and producing director of Stagewright Presentations, a live theater company in Sacramento County.
Ruth Dobberpuhl, Bookkeeper
Ruth Dobberpuhl has been working as West Company’s bookkeeper for almost six years, and she uses her experience of almost 30 years of bookkeeping to help some of West Company’s clients understand the ins and outs of accounting, charts of accounts, POS systems, Quickbooks software, budgeting, office organization, and other essential business issues. She is a certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor, and is known for her meticulous reconciliations that are always accurate to the penny. In addition to extensive bookkeeping experience, Ruth is also a certified water treatment operator and chemist and has worked for the US Geological Survey, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, and as a substitute teacher. Ruth is an avid cycler, music lover, gardener, and storyteller, and if you ask nicely she may tell you about one of her first jobs: working as a carhop at an A&W restaurant in Wisconsin.
Steve Lamb, Consultant
Steve Lamb is the Owner and Director of Client Services for Interview Team and started working with West Company clients in the Ukiah area in 2012. Steve brings over 20 years experience in management and operations in the telecommunications industry. Steve’s particular areas of expertise include strategic and tactical planning, budgeting and financial analysis, project development and management, and creating and maintaining positive relationships with governmental and regulatory agencies. Steve also excels in a number of human resources areas including maximizing employee productivity and maintaining high employee morale, managing high risk employees, and developing supervisors and managers. Steve says that one of his favorite things about working with West Company clients is “suggesting the client look at a particular issue from a perspective which is different from any they have previously considered. Suddenly I can see from their body language and facial expressions they now understand the point I’m trying to make and the impact it can have on their business venture. This is the advantage of the clarity and non-emotional analysis of being on the outside looking in.”
Maggie Watson, Consultant
Maggie Watson has a long history with the West Company. In the early days when the W stood for Women, Maggie attended a 16-week business development class to build her organizing business “Simple Systems”. In 1992, after a trip to Bangladesh to visit the Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus, Maggie was hired to lead the Peer Lending program, lead workshops and offer start up business consultation. Maggie left to pursue her professional organizing business full time and raise her son, Julian. In 2005, she and her husband bought Mendocino Solar Service where Maggie managed staff and the office, did marketing and sales, and helped build the business. Maggie returned to West in 2013 as a contract consultation, offering start up and organization support. Maggie attended East Stroudsburg University and served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She is taking her organizing skills to another level and becoming a licensed professional fiduciary. She is involved with her community on many levels and loves that her work can support this commitment.
John Keleher, Consultant
John Keleher brings over 10 years of consulting and entrepreneurial experience to West Company clients. Previously, John founded and served as Managing Director of Benton Consulting, LLC. where he had the opportunity to work with a mulitude of small businesses, non-profits, and large corporations. John later became founder and CEO of ARMS, a database product company where he led three years of over 300% revenue growth and a successful transition to new ownership. John loves the art of starting businesses. He values helping clients set and achieve their goals and has a knack for driving sales growth. When not consulting, John can be found pursuing his passion for sustainable food--in the field farming or in the kitchen conjuring delicious and healthful food.
Paula Manalo Gaska, Project Coordinator for the USDA FMPP and Consultant
Paula owns and operates Mendocino Organics, a diverse family farm in Inland Mendocino County. She and her husband raise sustainable meats, organic produce, and grains for local and Bay Area markets. Since college, Paula has been drawn to financial management, and before farming, she worked as a natural resources economist for a national environmental non-profit organization in Washington, D.C.. Paula has brought her accounting, administration, and marketing skills to Mendocino Organics, helping to double the farm's revenue and set the operation on a sustainable path of growth. At West Company, she has coordinated business trainings and one-on-one consulting for small-scale farm businesses, as well as worked one-on-one with clients on business plan development.
John Brorsen, Consultant
John Brorsen joined West Company as a consultant in 2013. John is a third-generation Californian, grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from U.C. Berkeley before entering the business world. When he retired in 2012, John was a successful sales and marketing executive in the S.F. Bay Area. For more than 30 years his career spanned industries as varied as computer hardware and fine English china. In addition to his work at West Company, John volunteers in the S.F. Bay Area as a mentor in the Oakland Public Schools, a zookeeper’s assistant at the Oakland Zoo, and a docent at the Oakland Museum of California. A part-time resident of Mendocino, John enjoys helping local businesses in Mendocino County showcase their unique qualities by expanding their concepts of marketing and brand awareness without the need for a lot of capital.
Sheilah Rogers, Consultant
Sheilah is the founding CEO of West Company in Mendocino County, one of the first domestic microenterprise development organizations that focused on low- income women’s economic challenges and their paths to social and economic well-being. As the leader of West Company, she participated in national initiatives to achieve best practices to bring disenfranchised women into the economy and to advocate for public policies that support their entrepreneurship. She counts 30 years of leadership and advocacy for microenterprise as the sustainable economic development strategy for rural economies.
She is a founder and former board member of CAMEO, the California Association for MicroEnterprise Opportunity and AEO, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity. Sheilah holds a Masters Degree in International Development from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.
In retirement, Sheilah has focused on one of the Six Targets of Opportunity for economic growth on the North Coast – Specialty Agriculture, Food and Beverage including producers, value added manufacturers, distributors, local vendors. She currently serves on the Mendocino County Food Policy Council, the North Coast Regional Food Systems Network and the Mendocino College Culinary Arts Advisory Committee. Each of these efforts is working to build a sustainable local food system that reduces hunger, increases healthy eating and expands economic vitality.