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Meet the Team

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Meet the Team 2024-02-01T15:30:11+00:00

MEET THE TEAM

Rich-Shocley

Rich Shockley
Executive Director
Certified Business
Advisor

rshockley@highline.edu
(206) 592-4150

Phon Sivongxay
StartZone Program Manager

psivongxay@highline.edu
(206) 592-3220

Andrew Powers

Andrew Powers
Certified Business
Advisor

apowers@highline.edu
(206) 592-3876

Njambi Gishuru

Njambi Gishuru
Associate Business Advisor

ngishuru@highline.edu
(206) 592-4157

Veronica Ochao Chavira

Veronica Ochoa Chavira
Associate Business
Advisor

vochoachavira@highline.edu
(206) 592-4291

Carolyn Sinay

Carolyn Sinay
Program Assistant

csinay@highline.edu
(206) 592-3588

THE TEAM MEMBERS

Rich-Shocley

Rich Shockley
Executive Director
Certified Business
Advisor
rshockley@highline.edu
(206) 592-4150

Rich has been an SBDC Certified Business Advisor since 2008 and has also been certified as a global business professional through NASBITE, the world’s leading organization for training and education in the field of global business.

Rich has been the director of Highline College SBDC since 2012 and in 2013 Rich was recognized as the State STAR Performer, an annual SBDC award that recognizes the top performer from each state who demonstrates exceptional performance and embodies a strong commitment to small businesses.

Rich holds a BA in business from Western Washington University and has a diverse background in business. He has been an owner or partner in multiple businesses for more than 20 years, including high tech; computer sales and service; business consulting, where he focused on process improvement and change management; a software company; property development; and a partner in a specialty coffee retail and franchising company.

Rich enjoys working with businesses where he can contribute as part of their team and with business owners who are willing to learn.

Areas of specialization include:

  • Business sale/acquisition
  • Business valuation assessment
  • Financial forecasting
  • Loan package development
  • Business startup
  • Assisting businesses with developing a growth plan
  • International trade and export

Phon Sivongxay
StartZone Program Manager
psivongxay@highline.edu
(206) 592-3220

Phon has over 25 years of combined experience in banking and real estate. Before joining the Washington SBDC at Highline Community College, she began her career in residential and commercial lending and moved up to Compliance Manager. As Compliance Manager, she oversaw denied applications and adverse loan actions under the ECOA (Equal Credit Opportunity Act).

Phon owned and operated a Thai Restaurant in Renton, Washington, for eight years. She provided jobs to immigrants and refugee families. Over 70 percent of her work staff were BIPOC communities, immigrants, refugees, and people with LEP (Limited English Proficiency). In addition to her certification as an SBDC business advisor, she received her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Washington. Phon is fluent in Lao and Thai.

Phon advocates for immigrants, refugees, women, and people with disabilities to start, expand, and achieve financial success in their businesses. Additionally, she volunteers, providing financial training to immigrant and refugee families.

Areas of specialization include:

  • Commercial and residential lending
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement and Lease Review
  • Financial and Business Plan development
  • Business startups
    • Restaurant
    • ITIN’s
    • AFH (Adult Family Home)
    • Child Care
Njambi Gishuru

Njambi Gishuru
Associate Business Advisor
ngishuru@highline.edu
(206) 592-4157

Njambi is an Expert Community Organizer with 25 years of experience building collaboration between low-income refugees and immigrant communities and institutional partners including K-12 schools, colleges, social welfare organizations, businesses and local governments. She has a strong track record of success in leading African immigrant groups and community stakeholders in developing and advancing community development objectives related to small business entrepreneurship, leadership development, health and nutrition, farming and civic engagement.

Njambi understand the experiences and circumstances confronting refugees and immigrants from her own personal experience.  This recognition and her leadership in facilitating community efforts helps address the root causes of poverty, social, cultural, spiritual and linguistic isolation. Njambi is active in the immigrant communities in King County and the geographic areas. Njambi is fluent in Kikuyu and Swahili.

Areas of specialization include:

  • Community Engagement Specialist
  • Spice Bridge Food Kiosk
  • Farming
Veronica Ochao Chavira

Veronica Ochoa Chavira
Associate Business
Advisor
vochoachavira@highline.edu
(206) 592-4291

Veronica owns a hybrid retail and online business that has been catering to the food industry for over ten years.

She takes pride in community engagement and understanding of the community’s needs, contributing to the success of various startup ventures. Her passion for helping and being engaged in the BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee communities has helped other business owners become community leaders. Veronica is committed to empowering new entrepreneurs by providing essential knowledge and resources to help them succeed and protect their investments.

Areas of specialization include:​

  • Business advising with startups​
  • Business Consulting
  • Market Research and Analysis​
  • Financial Analysis and Modeling​
  • Financial Administration
Andrew Powers

Andrew Powers
Certified Business
Advisor
apowers@highline.edu
(206) 592-3876

Andrew is a dedicated BIPOC entrepreneur who co-founded Key Tech Labs, a 501(c)3 nonprofit mobile maker space. The organization is passionately committed to bringing emerging technology to underrepresented areas, aiming to foster self-sustainable communities. Since its inception in 2015, Andrew and his brother, Adam Powers, have spearheaded the BIPOC-led nonprofit, ensuring that equitable and accessible STEM education reaches the most diverse and undercapitalized communities in Seattle and South King County.

Throughout his journey, Andrew has collaborated with over 500 nonprofit and community-focused organizations in Washington state. In 2018, Andrew shifted his focus towards offering technical assistance to small businesses.

He has since earned several notable certifications, including Google Level 1 & 2 Educator,  Google Professional Project Manager, and Google Data Analyst.

Areas of specialization include:

  • Pre-venture and startup business development
  • Green business and circular economy
  • Technology business advising
  • Business growth planning
Carolyn Sinay

Carolyn Sinay
Program Assistant
csinay@highline.edu
(206) 592-3588

Carolyn is a seasoned administrative support professional with 24 years of experience working in higher education. She works alongside the Executive Director to coordinate budget strategy and auditing, organize administrative support services, and oversee logistics associated with Business Development Center on and off campus. As a longtime employee of Highline College, she is adept at relationship building across campus and is very effective at training new employees. In her spare time, Carolyn has served as a Shop Steward on behalf of the classified employees for the WPEA Union and helps coordinate the Highline College Annual Athletics Fundraiser.