Meet the Mentors
Kathie Taylor, APR, Chief Marketing Officer, manages content development for blogs/online media, campaign strategies, press releases and copy editing. She specializes in integrated marketing campaigns leveraging social, web, and print media; guerrilla and traditional marketing strategies; employee and stakeholder communications; and public relations for companies including manufacturers, sales performance and high tech.
Renee Plain, CEO
Renee Plain, CEO and office conversationalist extraordinaire, leads IPSM’s digital marketing strategy, community and government relations and media buy projects. She founded IPSM nearly a decade ago and it has grown from a one-woman agency to a team of seven marketing and communications professionals.
Gin Nikoloff, Certified Mentor
Gin Nikoloff has the passion to support those with the dream of entrepreneurship! Gin has an extensive background in manufacturing purchasing, supporting startups as a Sales Engineer, and Sales Management for 30 years in Silicon Valley, CA.
She later started a small Fitness business, and later moved to a successful restaurant catering business for 9 years. In 2015, She moved a $8MM manufacturing business from Belmont, CA to Dayton, NV, where Gin held the titles of COO and CFO, and brought the business to solvency before retiring in 2020. Gin Nikoloff holds a Batcher degree in Management at the University of San Francisco.
Carl Gerhardt, Certified Mentor
Carl Gerhardt is a 30 year veteran of entrepreneurship and is retired Chairman of Alliance Franchise Brands. He also owned his own franchise business building it from a start-up to a very profitable business with over $2 mil. in sales. During his career he has consulted with hundreds of small business owners helping them start and profitably grow their business.
He is currently a franchise consultant that matches individuals wanting to own their own business with franchise opportunities. Carl is also a volunteer with SCORE offering free counseling for small business entrepreneurs.
Amanda Long is a special breed of marketer. Most of her expert work you never see. Digital marketing is behind the scenes, but what her clients do see is business growth. Amanda’s superpower is helping small business owners take their marketing, and ultimately their businesses, to the next level through digital marketing, direct email marketing, and creating business synergies that integrate to drive the business forward.
Small business marketing is where her heart lies. “Main Street USA businesses are my roots and my passion. This is where I can serve small businesses, share my knowledge and give them what they need most to grow their businesses,” says Long.
Cindy Fencl, Owner of Alzaria, LLC
I’m certified in Six Sigma from Villanova and am currently recertifying through Aveta Business Institute. My Kaizen Facilitation Certification is through the Management and Strategy Institute.
Alzaria assists clients in identifying areas within their businesses that need improvement. Together we create solutions that produce measurable increases in quality and efficiency resulting in higher profits and customer satisfaction. By using tools such as Six Sigma Methodology, Kaizen Facilitation, Blue Ocean Strategy, or a combination of all three we build a workable and concise plan for improvement.
Outreach and Marketing Specialist
Alfredo is a outreach and marketing specialist in the Nevada District Office of Carson City and is a Northern Nevada native. He works with businesses and lenders alike to bring awareness of SBA resources.
With fourteen years of business banking experience, Alfredo brings financial industry knowledge to his role.