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Small Business Development Center Network

SBDC Staff

Program Management

Maria D. Juarez-Serna, Director

Maria D. Juarez-Serna serves as the SBDC Director since April 2005. She oversees the program and works with staff in delivering quality counseling and training to the business community.

Through strategic and tactical planning as well as through key stakeholder relationships, Ms. Juarez-Serna guides the SBDC team to meet and exceed goals in the areas of business development as a way to positively impact the economic climate of the Rio Grande Valley.

Ms. Juarez-Serna holds a Master of Arts in English Literature, Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science, Biology major, and Chemistry minor from The University of Texas-Pan American.

Partner Relations

Esperanza Pérez Delgado, Marketing Coordinator

Esperanza Pérez Delgado manages the promotional aspects for the SBDC in its service delivery area. In this capacity, she assist the team with social media management, collateral development, media campaigns, targeted outreach to strategic resource partners with regard to training coordination, and project management assistance.

Ms. Delgado holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business Management with a specialization in Economics from The University of Texas-Pan American.


Bianca A. Hammond, Assistant Training Coordinator

Bianca A. Hammond supports the SBDC’s training coordination efforts. In this role, she works closely with business advisors to schedule training with resource partners and promotes them through the center’s calendar. Bianca also assists the center’s marketing coordinator with media campaigns and with collateral development for outreach.

Ms. Hammonds holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a specialization in Journalism and Broadcasting from The University of Texas-Pan American.

Business Development Specialists

Janie Caballero, Senior Business Advisor

Janie Caballero joined the SBDC in February 2008, where she provides business counseling, business plan assistance, and English and Spanish training. Her expertise includes experience with start ups in the medical industry and the restaurant industry.

Ms. Caballero holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas-Pan American


Arturo Gonzalez, Business Advisor & International Trade Coordinator

Arturo Gonzalez joined the SBDC in February 1997, and has since provided business counseling, business plan assistance, and training in both English and Spanish to countless of clients. Mr. Gonzalez is credited with developing and creating the original business Start-up Guide for the SBDC and charged with maintaining partner relationships for the center with the Cities of Brownsville, San Benito, South Padre Island, and Matamoros, Mexico.

Mr. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from The University of Texas at Brownsville.


Marcela Arredondo, Business & International Trade Advisor

Marcela Arredondo joined the SBDC in 2008, where she provides one-to-one counseling, business planning assistance, and English and Spanish training. Her expertise includes purchasing and supply chain management in the Maquiladora industry.

Ms. Arredondo holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business management and Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas - Pan American. Ms. Arredondo is also Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP).


Cristina Cantu, Business Advisor

Cristina Cantu joined the SBDC in March 2009 where she provides one-to-one bilingual counseling, business plan assistance, and training. Ms. Cantu’s expertise includes tax regulations with state agencies, payroll compliance, and retail.

She has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from The University of Texas-Pan American and an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting from South Texas College.


Aaron Gonzalez, Rural Business Advisor

Aaron L. Gonzalez serves as a Rural Business Advisor with the SBDC and Rural Business Program since 2009. He provides one-to-one counseling, business planning assistance, and training. Mr. Gonzalez has worked with farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses for several years prior to joining the SBDC. Mr. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin with a Business Foundations certification.


Balde Morales, Rural Business Advisor /i>

Balde Morales serves as a Rural Business Advisor with the SBDC since 2012. He provides one-to-one counseling, business planning assistance, and training. Mr. Morales has worked as a branch manager in the financial services industry for several years prior to joining the SBDC. Mr. Morales holds an MBA, a BBA in Finance, and a BA in Political Science from The University of Texas – Pan American.

Administration & Client Service

Eva Martinez, Office Supervisor

Mariana Hernandez, Client Services

Laura Martinez, Client Services