SBDC Template

Our Team

sbdc staff


Liz Ross, Director
970-247-7611 | bmross@fortlewis.edu 

Liz Ross joined the SBDC team as the director of the Southwest Colorado center in September 2015. Prior to the SBDC, she was the director of the MBA Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Director of Rural and Outreach for Alaska.   

Ross first began her work for the Native American community while at the University of West Florida and continues to volunteer at Fort Lewis College as the mentor/advisor for the American Indian Business Leaders student organization. Throughout the years, she has received several grants and awards for the benefit of the Native American/Alaska Native community. 

Past memberships include board membership of the YWCA, various Army Officer Wives Clubs, the Alaska Federation of Natives, the town of Londonderry Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management, the Fairbanks Family Centered Services, the Fairbanks International Quota Association, the Congregation Or Hatzafon Jewish Synagogue, 
and the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Ethics Committee.

Ross received her Associates Degree from Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland; a Bachelor of Science degree in management from the Granite State College – University of New 
Hampshire system, an MBA in management from Southern New Hampshire University, and a 
Doctorate of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Management from Nova Southeastern University.


Mary Shepherd, Office Manager
970-247-7009 | shepherd_m@fortlewis.edu

Mary Shepherd joined the Southwest Colorado SBDC as the office manager in December 2014. Prior to that, she was the campus visit coordinator in the office of admission at Fort Lewis College.

Shepherd has lived in Southwest Colorado for over 20 years, working in many industries from hospitality to public relations to education. She understands the challenges of small business ownership, having owed a small business in Durango with her husband, and wishes she had known then about the services that the SBDC provides.
Shepherd received her Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Cornell University. She enjoys travelling, camping, and all the great outdoor recreation opportunities that life in Colorado provides.


Advisory Board


Southeast Colorado SBDC Advisory Board members provide advice to the executive director and center staff to help continually improve our programming and practices. They provide community insight to ensure that the center’s strategic plans and programs continue to meet the needs of our small businesses.

Thank you to our advisory board members: