North Coast SBDCEureka and Crescent City California

Our Team

The North Coast SBDC is staffed with experienced leaders who assist SBDC clients grow and develop their businesses.

Leila Roberts



Leila began serving as Director of the North Coast Small Business Development Center in August 2016. She brings to SBDC lessons learned from a 20-year career growing strong community institutions—from Philadelphia to D.C., Vermont to Bangladesh.

In twelve years with the global arm of United Way, Leila guided local business and community leaders in 45 countries who wanted to start up homegrown nonprofit organizations. Right out of college, she ran a small town Planned Parenthood clinic. Before coming to Humboldt to settle with her family, she consulted with small nonprofit and business clients across California on their marketing, PR, and sales or fundraising. 

She serves on College of the Redwoods Entrepreneurship Advisory Board as well as the national Board of the Move to Amend coalition, and volunteers with the North Coast’s True North Organizing Network and Centro del Pueblo.

She has a master’s degree in the management of sustainable development. Leila is the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants from England and Morocco. She lives in Eureka with her husband John Richmond, general manager of Lost Coast Communications, and their pointy-eared dog Benny. 

Leila believes thriving small independent businesses are the heart of our community and the key to our prosperity. 

Janet DePace

Business Advisor

Janet DePace is a longtime resident and entrepreneur of Humboldt County, one of the original founders of Yakima Products Inc., and has served her community as president of Arcata Economic Development Corp., and Chair of the Humboldt County Workforce Investment Board. Prior to coming to the North Coast SBDC she maintained her own consulting practice with an emphasis on artists and manufacturers.

Catherine DeSantis


Catherine DeSantis of Trinity Marketing is a Business Advisor, specializing in business issues related to marketing. She has worked in the communications field since 1980 in print media, market research and consumer goods marketing. Her advising specialties include development of sales and marketing strategy, PR, media relations, market research, identity programs, trade advertising, marketing collateral and social media.

Scott "Q" Marcus

Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Customer service (emphasis on hard to please customers), Public speaking & presenting

After a decades-long background in media and marketing, Scott "Q" Marcus lost 70 pounds and launched his career as a "THINspirational Speaker." He now inspires organizations that are facing trying times on how to break down big barriers into small goals and move past them.

Scott is the past president of the northern California chapter of the National Speakers Association. He is a syndicated newspaper columnist, author of three books, and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of, a site for people who are tired of making promises they don’t keep and are really ready to change.

Prior to his speaking and writing career, has been a DJ, talk show host, Music Director, Program Director, Operations Director and later: sales manager, station manager, and general manager of various radio and TV stations. He also served as an independent representative for an advertising agency in northern California and won two national Telly awards for TV campaigns he helped devise. He still organizes marketing campaigns and does marketing and customer service presentations across the country.

Stilson Snow

Business Advisor

Formerly the Lead Business Advisor at the North Coast SBDC, Stilson Snow has over forty years of diverse experience in a variety of fields. He has worked in major corporations, small companies, and has owned several of his own businesses. Among his own businesses have been a management consulting firm and an educational film production and distribution company specializing in medical subjects. He also was on the leading edge of the very first wave of video rental businesses and has had a flight instruction/charter flying business. Stilson has been a professional writer and editor, penning a weekly newspaper column as well as feature magazine articles. In his spare time he enjoys photography and writing novels.

Debbie Toste

BizNet Coordinator

Debbie has been newly recruited as BizNet Coordinator of the North Coast Small Business Development Center. She comes with over 20 years of local small business experience along with an International business background.

As part of her role, she is responsible for providing useful information and tools for creating a small business as well as connecting clients with the right Business Advisor and promoting our services.

Debbie is a Humboldt State University graduate, having completed her BA in French with a minor in Spanish. She then obtained her Master’s degree in French at San Francisco State University. Debbie spent the last several years studying and working in Paris and Singapore. While living abroad, she had the opportunity to do what she loves most:  traveling, hiking and exploring different cultures.

In her free time, Debbie enjoys spending time with her family and being back home in Humboldt County. She has a great love for her community and is ready to help it flourish. 

Amber Wier

Business Advisor

Amber Wier specializes in general start-up and business counseling for sole proprietorships. Amber has firsthand experience in art/craft business development, at home business set up, gallery, art shows, special event development, grass-roots and creative marketing, as well as general business practices.

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.