Our team’s focus is on helping Accelerator companies grow and thrive in the Treasure Valley. While the team has much diversity in expertise and experience, we share a common passion for working with entrepreneurs and building sustainable companies.

Marie Baker

Marie Baker

Regional Director: Nampa Business Accelerator

Marie joined the SBDC in March of 2019.
Marie Baker is passionate about entrepreneurs and their journey. Marie’s skill set is the ability to work collaboratively and assist clients with achieving their goals.

Marie received her BS in Business from Fresno State and Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from University of San Francisco. Marie spent five years in banking before starting her own business. Combining her education and experience, Marie went on to consult, coach, and educate small businesses in the Central Valley of California before moving to Idaho.

In her spare time, you will find her hiking, volunteering on a local Rotary project, visiting family, or enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and dog.

Ruth Schwartz

Lead Consultant: Boise Business Accelerator

Ruth Schwartz joined the Idaho SBDC in March of 2020, She has been a life-long entrepreneur and business owner. She spent 25 years in the music industry: radio, publishing, producing, retail.

Most notably, Ruth started, built and sold a $10 million, wholesale, music, distribution company. She has owned and operated a leadership training and coaching company, a debt collection company and an Amazon store.

Ruth is a Professionally Certified Business Leadership Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation and is the author of the book, The Key to the Golden Handcuffs: Stop Being a Slave to Your Business. She is certified in over four assessment sciences and the creator of the Fail Proof Hiring Program. She is a Distinguished Toastmaster and a member of the National Speakers’ Association.

Hailing from the Sierra Foothills in Northern California, Ruth taught at the Sierra Commons Business Incubator and became a consultant with the California SBDC before her move to Idaho in 2017.

Marissa Goff

Business Accelerator Building Manager

As the “Building Queen” of the Nampa Business Accelerator, Marissa wears many hats while keeping the 38,000 square foot facility standing. She helps our acceleration clients get moved in, she addresses all facility issues and requests and keeps the phones and networks running like clockwork. She handles everything from keys to leaks in the roof.

Before coming to the SBDC, she worked at Hewlett Packard testing (or breaking) printers for quality assurance. At home she is a full-time dance, soccer, and basketball mom who loves to spend time with her family.

Shaunda Gates

Shaunda Gates

Regional Administrative Assistant

Shaunda is a small business enthusiast, currently pursuing a degree in business and eventually a small business of her own. Shaunda has experience working for both large and small businesses, as well as within the State of Idaho and the US military. Shaunda is an energetic and enthusiastic individual constantly seeking new challenges to overcome.