New business advisor tailors help to communities

By Hope Belli Tinney, Washington SBDC

Don-Yates-webBELLEVUE-REDMOND, Wash. – To help entrepreneurs and local startup businesses, Don Yates, a certified business advisor with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has begun providing confidential, one-on-one, no-cost, expert business advising in Bellevue and Redmond.

His office in Bellevue is at 450 110th Ave. NE in the city offices. In Redmond he meets with clients at OneRedmond, 8383 158th Ave. NE, Suite 225. He can be reached at

“The City of Bellevue is committed to cultivating an attractive economic environment for businesses, large and small,” said James Henderson, the city’s economic development director. “Don, with his extensive experience in the tech industry, is a perfect fit for Eastside and an excellent resource for Bellevue entrepreneurs.”

“Don is our silver bullet for helping our small businesses grow and thrive,” said Bart Phillips, CEO of OneRedmond, a partnership of private sector companies and the City of Redmond to promote economic prosperity and growth in the region. “When people ask me what OneRedmond is doing for small business, I tell them we brought in the SBDC.”

‘We just saved the company’

The Washington SBDC Network ( includes more than two dozen certified business advisors working in communities across the state of Washington to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start, grow or transition their businesses. The network is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other institutions of higher education and economic development. Yates’ work on the Eastside is supported by OneRedmond and the City of Bellevue.

“Don is an invaluable resource,” said Boyd Edmondson, co-owner of UniLogical, a company focused on user-friendly electronic forms for paperless offices. Recently, Edmondson said, Yates’ input was critical to framing a pricing strategy problem and the solution.

“I left that meeting and told my partner, ‘I think we just saved the company,’” Edmondson said.

40 years in high-tech

Yates, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, spent nearly 40 years working in the high-tech industry, starting with telecommunications in the 1970s. He considered spending the latter part of his career as a university instructor, but then decided being an SBDC advisor was a better fit.

“This allows me to take everything I’ve ever learned and compress it into one-to-one advising sessions,” he said. “I’m going to give my clients access to a holistic perspective” so they can navigate around, over, under or through any obstacles along the way.

Most recently, Yates was a utilities analyst for Ecova, a Spokane, Wash.-based utilities and energy management company with offices in Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Denver and Portland, Ore. His professional experience includes working in senior management at Cisco Systems in San Jose, Calif., and at Telect in Spokane. He earned an MBA in international business in 2010 from Whitworth University.


SBDC advisor Don Yate, 425-885-4014 Ext. 8,
City of Bellevue PIO Brad Harwood, 425-452-6837,
CEO OneRedmond Bart Phillips, 425-885-4014,