Colleen Merrill, Director
Colleen Merrill is no stranger to small business ownership and management. She currently owns and operates an area rental properties management business and Oshkosh's first coworking space. Her background includes deep experience in mechanical contracting, high impact sales, project management, and business consulting. Having that essential, in-the-trenches understanding of the challenges and needs of small business is integral to her role at the Wisconsin SBDC at UW Oshkosh.
Tom McDermott, Consultant
Tom McDermott brings a broad base of business experience to the SBDC including over 27 years as president and owner of the A.I. McDermott Company, a multi-location distributor of water well, wastewater, plumbing, heating and water treatment equipment to installing contractors in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Northern Illinois. During his career with McDermott’s, Tom was actively involved in the introduction of new pumping and onsite wastewater treatment technologies, private label branding of pumps and water treatment equipment and dealer marketing programs.
Additionally, Tom served on a number of manufacturing and government advisory committees and trade and professional association boards including the National Groundwater Association (NGWA). After selling the A.I. McDermott Company to the national distribution firm Drillers Service in 2014, Tom obtained his real estate sales license and works in commercial real estate sales with the First Weber Group in Oshkosh – a position that he continues part-time.
Tom earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Management from Miami University of Ohio. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Lourdes Academy Oshkosh and is a member of Oshkosh Downtown Rotary.
Jordan Rhodes, Consultant
Jordan graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2016.
When he was an undergraduate, he founded the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and quickly grew it to one of the largest business clubs on campus. He was the recipient of the Certified Student Leader award, the Innovation and Creativity Award, and was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. After graduating he joined the family business as the Director of Marketing and Operations and helped develop streamlined systems and processes to implement during the acquisition of another firm. Outside of work, he created multiple online businesses that serve the needs of niche specific audiences leveraging Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and Affiliate Advertising. In addition, he was a co-organizer of the first “Startup Weekend” hosted in Northeast Wisconsin and developed a “Lean Startup” curriculum which helped participants take their ideas to first customers in less than 3 months.
Now he is an SBDC Counselor and the Program Director of the Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW Oshkosh. He remains actively involved in the UW Oshkosh Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization and volunteers through the local Junior Achievement chapter, teaching 3rd and 4th grade students about business and the joys of entrepreneurship.
Sandra Krasniewski, Administrative Assistant