Issue: Innovation, Growth, Job Creation Section: Advisory Board
Director, South Metro Denver Small Business Development Center
Contact Marcia McGilley:
Marcia McGilley is currently the Director of the South Metro Denver Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce in Centennial, Colorado. The Center, which services over 1,500 individuals each year in pursuit of launching or growing their own businesses, has recently achieved national recognition as one of the top ten SBDC’s in the country by the U.S. Small Business Administration. On May 3, 2011, Greg Lopez, Colorado District Director for the U.S. SBA – Region VII, presented Marcia and her Center the 2010 Small Business Development Center of the Year Service Award for Excellence and Innovation.
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, she grew up in a rich entrepreneurial setting. In fact, twelve of her immediate relatives are entrepreneurs including her father, mother, two sisters, two grandfathers, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and brothers-in-law. The family seemed to see business opportunities in life’s every moment, from her mother’s wedding consulting to her father’s funeral business.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Kansas with a double major in Political Science and Speech & Drama, Marcia’s first step was to learn as much from corporate America as she could while creating an entrepreneurial nest egg. During that time, she held various sales and marketing positions with Hyatt Hotels, The Lee Apparel Company, and Showtime Networks.
After 10 years of incubating her own skills, and with $5,000 in hand, Marcia visited the local SBDC to start her first business in 1989. Based on her initial training, she quickly worked up a business model, bought her first computer, joined the local Chamber of Commerce, and began a marketing consulting firm focused on providing companies with full-service marketing assistance. The result of her first foray in the family footsteps was impressive indeed, as she succeeded in assisting over 1,000 new companies launch in the next 10 years.
She went on to launch five other companies of her own including a motivational speaking company, a murder mystery theatre troupe, and most recently, Limelight Presentations, LLC, a presentation skills training and consulting firm.
While money is often important, it is not Marcia’s central driving force. She believes that the true score card in her personal life is the number of people she has helped. Throughout her career, Marcia has donated her time as a consultant to four different SBDC’s across the country and believes in their mission of being the number one resource for small businesses, while assisting them in starting, growing and prospering — making their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Moreover, Marcia has held leadership positions supporting those people with cancer at The Cancer FitSpa and QuaLife Wellness Center, all the while running her own business as a national motivational speaker.
She grew up attending summer camp and going on winter ski vacations in Colorado, remarking on her 13th birthday that someday she would live in Colorado, own her own business and a mountain home. In 1993, she embarked on just this path, moving to Colorado, owning a successful business, and by 1996, owning a home in Silverthorne. This solidified her dream. Since joining the South Metro Denver SBDC in 2008, Marcia has added such prestigious programs as the Colorado Leading Edge business planning program, a unique pilot project for SBDC’s and the Cleantech Open, and grew the capital formation for the Center’s clients from $1M to $7.5M in two years. She built strategic alliances with public, private and governmental entities such as the South Metro Denver Chamber, the Cleantech Open and the WIRED organization, to deliver best-of-practice training and individualized business consulting, planning and market research for the five state regional teams.
Marcia is both a professional speaker and actress. She has been a member of the National Speakers Association for over 10 years and is represented by Big Fish Talent for film and commercial work. She is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur and she is likely to continue launching others’ ideas, and her own, for a long time to come.