Boese, the former Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center Region 7 regional director, has now taken on the newly created role of business tools specialist, serving the entire state. Villarreal, a former business consultant for Region 7, is stepping into Boese’s shoes as regional director.
“Dante brings a wealth of his own network of people,” Boese said of her successor, with whom she will still be working closely. “I think having new eyes and new blood in the position will bring new opportunities. He has some great ideas already on how to grow it and bring new opportunities.”
Villarreal said he is looking forward to bringing new opportunities to the area’s small businesses.
“I don’t think we have a new direction, but I think we have a renewed sense of commitment to the entrepreneurs here in West Michigan,” he said. “I think we want to be a little more receptive and meet the needs of the changing economy.”
Villarreal said he hopes to look for new opportunities for Michigan-based companies to expand their markets and sell in other countries such as Mexico.
“We want to make sure, if they desire, they have the ability to go down and sell to them down there,” he said.
Villarreal said he shares Boese’s excitement for their new positions.
“I’m very excited because Nancy’s going to bring an entire network of resources statewide,” he said. “Nancy’s a very talented individual and really has a niche for working close with the entrepreneurs.”
Boese said she will be working with regions throughout the state on business development issues, making sure businesses have access to development tools, such as the Fiscal Fitness, Marketing Upgrade, Market Research, NxLevel, Peerspectives, Strategic Needs Assessment, Strategic Actioning and Strategic Problem Solving programs.
“We feel they’re underutilized,” she said of the business tools that are available through the center. “We want to expand their use across the state to ensure the growth of our small businesses.”
Before coming to the center, Boese was the president and owner of a marketing consulting firm, Marketing Department; marketing and planning specialist of Perspective Consulting Groups; and executive director of the Davenport College Career Center.