Melissa Meschke, Director and Consultant
Melissa Meschke is the Director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Melissa oversees and conducts direct assistance to small business persons in a nine-county area, along with the center's consultant, Mark Speirs. Melissa comes to the SBDC after years in the private sector managing a small business in the marketing field. The marketing company she ran worked with small to medium sized businesses to create needed graphic design pieces, websites, videos, and digital marketing campaigns. Though the company worked in many business sectors, they provided many services to the manufacturing industry, specifically to attract and retain top talent.
Her passion is to help small businesses start as well as to watch existing companies succeed and grow. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a bachelors degree in Business Administration (focused on marketing) and a Business Communication Certificate.
Mark Speirs, Consultant
Mark Speirs is a Consultant at the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. In addition to dual Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Information Technology, Mark is a graduate from the Temple University’s School of Environmental Design with a Master of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning. Professionally, Mark has spent the last two years with the State of Virginia’s SBDC, counseling over 150 businesses and clients from the Fredericksburg area. Successes include processing loan financials for a start-up concrete manufacturer to successfully obtain financing for trucks and equipment, advising several new businesses on the procedures and business planning of opening retail establishments in downtown Fredericksburg, and guiding clients through the processes and procedures of selling goods and services to the State and Federal Government.
Prior to working in the public sector Mark spent eighteen years in the commercial and residential construction field, eight years of which was spent as a business owner/licensed contractor working with communities and building professionals on real estate development projects in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Zia Yang, Associate Outreach Specialist
Zia Yang is the Associate Outreach Specialist at the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Zia will be coordinating the Entrepreneurial Training Program in addition to the Lenders Conference and Central Wisconsin Digital and Social Media Conference in her role for SBDC. Zia has spent the last two years with UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education’s operations team as their Unit Administrative Assistant, successfully providing support for the Learning is Forever Program in addition to working with the Central Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Program and serving on their advisory board. Zia is also an active adviser to the Hmong and South East Asian American Club on campus, guiding the students with all aspects of their event planning and fundraising efforts.
Prior to working at UW-Stevens Point, Zia managed a small medical spa and knows what truly drives the day-to-day operations and decisions of small business owners on a tight budget. There, she honed her skills in relationship building with not only clients but also external partners and community business supporters.
Zia holds a B.A. in business administration and international studies from UW-Stevens Point.