Leila Roberts


North Coast SBDC

About Me:

Leila has served as Director of the North Coast Small Business Development Center since August 2016. In this three year span the Center has grown consulting services 15%, training clients 450%, and its operating budget by 137%. Clients are reporting 7.3% more access to financing, 236% more successful start-ups, and 214% more employees hired and retained.

Leila brought 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 community service 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 business and nonprofit clients across California on strategic marketing, public relations, sales, and fundraising.

She serves on College of the Redwoods Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and Humboldt State University’s College of Professional Studies Advisory Board, as well as both Humboldt’s and Del Norte/Crescent City’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) working groups.

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, Publisher of the Times-Standard newspaper, and their pointy-eared dog Benny.

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