Our Counselors

North Country Small Business Development Staff

Angela Smith

Regional Director

Angela is a small business owner and Certified Business Advisor with the NYS SBDC. Working with seasoned entrepreneurs and bright-eyed startups is a dream job. Her mission is to fight tenaciously to help her clients reach their goals and have an absolute blast on a daily basis while doing it. 

As a business owner, Angela developed a real-life understanding of the challenges facing entrepreneurs and this enables her to relate to their unique position. Her hands on approach to teaching and “just-do-it” methodology offers common-sense advice to business owners based on solid business experience and real-life experience.

Angela has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs with business plan preparation, market research, financial analysis, funding and other aspects of starting and operating a small business. Angela lives with her husband Todd in beautiful Keene Valley.


Mark Dame

Certified Business Advisor

Mark grew up surrounded by small business in a family with five brothers and parents who were self-employed.  His first business was operating a small concession stand handed down from his older brothers when he was eleven years old at a seasonal Adirondack motel his parents owned. He learned and was mentored by his parent’s example of hard work and with his older brother’s assistance and support.  

Ever since his graduation from SUNY Plattsburgh years ago, he has been a self-employed small business owner. In his career he has owned and operated several businesses including fast service restaurants, retail establishments, a home improvement construction company, currency exchange service and recreational vehicle dealerships.  Some of them prospered and some of them didn’t.

One of Mark’s favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.  Two years ago, after he sold his last business he was not quite ready for retirement and was fortunate enough to join the SBDC team as an advisor where he could use his lifelong hands on experience to assist budding entrepreneurs.  “There is much satisfaction in being a little part of someone’s success”.

Anthony Searing

Certified Business Advisor

Tony is a small business owner and recently joined the North Country SBDC as a Business Advisor. He enjoys assisting people to reach their goals in both work and life.

Tony grew up in the Detroit, Mi. metro area.  He is a Vietnam Era Navy veteran of 6 years.  Using the GI Bill he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  He has worked for several major Corporations as an engineer and into the General Manager Responsibilities.  Tony has worked in Michigan, California, and locally in Plattsburgh.  During this period he has also owned his own small companies.  “My success in the business community has come from the many managers and employees who coached me!”

Tony lives with his wife Margaret and has two wonderful grown sons.  He is and has been an active member of the community serving on many community boards, in his church community, Rotary International, and Handicap International - US. He also is an active Ironman and Whiteface Mountain Volunteer Ski Patroller.

Barbara Brisson

Certified Business Advisor

Prior to joining the SBDC, Barb spent a number of years in the private sector as a marketing, communications and development manager, a special events management for numerous non-profit organizations, a project manager for international trading companies specializing in medical, oil and mining and a television producer/editor. In addition to a degree in International Business and Marketing, she holds certifications in leadership, and entrepreneurship education.

Barb joined the North Country SBDC as an area Business Advisor.  She has an extensive background in both large and small business and the non-profit arena; with experience in marketing, operations management, import/export, and consulting with small business owners.

She has always had a creative focus to her career; owning and operating a painting and woodworking design company, creating educational programming, video/graphic design and web/content management with an educational video production company.




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The North Country Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the US 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.