The Capital Region SBDC is hiring!

The Capital Region SBDC is currently seeking a full-time Program Coordinator. The SBDC Program Coordinator will be responsible for all administrative duties supporting center success. The position reports to the SBDC Director and will work closely with Director and Assistant Director to accomplish team tasks. Interested in supporting the region’s small business community? Learn more here.


Virginia SBDC Capital Region | Small Business Owner on Phone with iPad

A network of expertise and support.

The Capital Region Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by America’s SBDC, Virginia SBDC, and George Mason University.

Thanks to our host, Virginia Community Capital, we are able to provide education, consulting, and economic research to support potential and existing small business owners throughout the Richmond area.

Meet the Team

Virginia SBDC Capital Region | Rodney Williams

Rodney Williams

Interim Executive Director

Originally from Richmond, VA, Rodney grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. In 2017, he graduated from Drexel University with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial studies. Rodney also played basketball at Drexel and received multiple awards for his athletic talents. After graduation, he left to play professional basketball in Europe. He played in Israel, Spain, France, and Sweden, and he received his MBA online from UMD Global Campus during those years.

Upon returning to Richmond, Rodney has been supporting his family’s small business (Lady Sharon’s Soul Food Kitchen – yes, you should hunt it down and try it!) in the areas of marketing, operations, and strategy, and has been instrumental in its successful pivot in response to the impact of COVID-19.


Virginia SBDC Capital Region | Tatiane Pena

Tatiane Pena

Program Manager

Before her full-time employment at the Capital Region VA SBDC, Tatiane (Tati) Pena worked as a social media and operational consultant for the center as it was finding its footing. Prior to this, she spent a couple of years in management consulting and over a decade in the hospitality industry.

Tati attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she studied English with a focus on 16th and 17th-century Paleography; namely the works of Elenora Wyatt Finch and John Donne. In her free time, Tati prioritizes pouring back into the city that raised her by way of civic engagement. She is a lover of stories, people, food, and her dog. Ultimately, she highly values connection and strives to center both joy and care in all that she does.


S.Crawford Professional

Shirley Crawford

Business Counselor

Shirley Crawford is the Executive Director of the Women’s Business Center RVA and the owner of 2nd Chance Consulting.  An experienced entrepreneur, author, consultant, radio host, teacher and speaker addressing a plethora of entrepreneurial and motivational subject matters.

Born into an entrepreneurial family and operating as a small business consultant for over 20 years Shirley seeks opportunities on a daily basis to impact her community. Understanding that everyone has a vision or a dream but possibly doesn’t understand or have the tools to convert them to reality.

As a consultant her philosophy is to reverse engineer problems in order to establish goals, benchmarks and a foundation for realistic success. Shirley assists individuals to recognize their potential and to provide them with guidance to discover their Road to Great.


Carols 2017 redandblack headshot

Carol Walker Reese

Business Counselor

Carol Walker Reese, President of ReeSources, Inc. has dedicated her career to supporting small, women and minority-owned businesses, business communities and community organizations. Over the last 25 years, she has acquired a plethora of experience. These experiences include strategic planning, business plan development, community engagement, data transformation, project management, and business coaching services.

Carol’s integrity, dedication, and passion make her a sought-after consultant, coach, and speaker. She has spoken in a variety of venues regarding best business practices, business motivation and business strategies. Carol’s mission is to have a galvanizing economic impact on individuals, businesses, and business communities.

Carol is a graduate of Virginia Union University, Cum Laude in Marketing, BS; a graduate of the Virginia Scaling4Growth program which earned her a Streetwise MBA.  Carol recently completed the University of Richmond, MBE Executive Management Program, Northwestern Kellogg, NMSDC Advance Management Education Program, and Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth.


Phil Ray

Phil Ray

Business Counselor

Phil Ray has spent the past 10 years building and operating two breweries in Virginia. His experience as a founder and operator, especially during the past year, gives him a unique and intimate understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs.

At the breweries he worked with his team to develop manufacturing procedures that standardized and streamlined their processes.  He believes collaborative leadership without strict hierarchical titles creates a strong, dynamic, and inclusive team which generates the best outcomes for everyone. He has learned making effective financial decisions requires a combination of accurate up to date data and careful consideration of the impacts on employees and the P&L.

Entrepreneurship is a challenging and rewarding career path and the responsibilities of being an employer should not be taken lightly. Honest, direct two-way communication will keep your team engaged and build the trust that will make you all successful.

Our Partners

From non-profits to public entities to private companies, the Capital Region SBDC is coming back to the Richmond region due to the generous support of the wider community. We are so grateful to the following partners:

Now Hiring

Assistant Director for the Capital Region Small Business Development Center at VCC

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