Seasoned entrepreneur joins SBDC office in Everett, Edmonds

By Hope Belli Tinney, Washington SBDC

Kathy Rupert

EVERETT, Wash – Kathy Rupert, an entrepreneur with more than 30 years’ experience in small business accounting and finance, has joined the Washington Small Business Development Center.

Rupert will be meeting with clients in Snohomish County, with offices in Everett and Edmonds, as well as traveling to other locations as needed.

As an SBDC business advisor, Rupert provides one-on-one, no-cost business advising to small business owners who want to start, grow or transition a business.

Rupert has owned two different businesses and has been the chief accounting officer of more than two dozen businesses in a variety of industries, including insurance, heavy equipment, hotel management, restaurants, recreational facilities and property management.

In Snohomish County, Rupert joins SBDC international trade specialist Sharon Sappington and administrative assistant Giselle Saguid.

“We are thrilled to have Kathy join our collaborative team of 28 advisors serving the state,” said Washington SBDC State Director Duane Fladland. “She adds a comprehensive background to a team of experts in all components of starting, operating or growing a small business in Washington.”

SBDC advisors typically meet with small business owners who need assistance with a specific issue such as obtaining financing, improving profitability, creating a marketing plan or setting up business systems. Over the course of a year, an advisor might meet regularly with more 100 different business owners.

Rupert said she looks forward to the challenge. “My jobs have been a lot of things,” she said, “but never boring.” One of her employers, she said, owned 23 different businesses, and she was the chief financial officer for all of them. “I am very good at learning about companies quickly.”

One of the skills she hopes to share with clients is her ability to cut through the noise and focus on system changes that can help transform a business.

Rupert said there is a temptation for business owners to work in their comfort zone, doing what they enjoy doing or feel most competent at. As an advisor, she said, she hopes to help clients expand their business savvy, and their comfort zone.

Rupert earned an MBA from California Coast University and is certified as a fraud examiner, professional coach and an accredited business accountant.

The Washington SBDC Network includes more than two dozen SBDC certified business advisors and two international trade specialists working in communities across the state, from the Canadian border to the Columbia River. The network is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other institutions of higher education and economic development.

For more about the Washington SBDC or to find contact information for Rupert, go to


  • Hope Belli Tinney, director of communications, Washington Small Business Development Center, 509-432-8254,
  • Kathy Rupert, SBDC business management counselor, 425-640-1435,