Meet The Team

the spark business institute’s Team of Experts

The spark business institute brings together a dynamic team of small business experts, contributing to our article library, and engaging with our registered small business owners on their journey to success.
Patrick Lee
CEO, Small Business Growth Ignitor

Patrick Lee CEO, Small Business Growth Ignitor Throughout his career, Patrick Lee has sought out diverse experiences, gaining insight into business and the minds of business owners. A serial entrepreneur, Patrick understands the challenges leaders face as they try to maintain…

Laura Richards
Chief Operating Officer

Laura Richards Chief Operating Officer As an entrepreneur, multi-unit business operator, and career marketer, Laura is skilled in business development, account management, B2B marketing and operations. Laura is known for her capacity to negotiate win-win outcomes and build strategic partnerships.  Laura’s…

Stephen Etzine
Finding Your Brand Voice

Stephen Etzine Finding Your Brand Voice Stephen Etzine is a Creative Strategist who excels at accurately interpreting marketing strategy with unorthodox creative solutions. He has over 33 years of deep experience building brands like Acura, Jack Daniel’s, US Airways, and…

David Cyphers
Marketing Strategy & Tactics

David Cyphers Marketing Strategy & Tactics David Cyphers is the founder and president of The Cyphers Agency, a full-service advertising agency. Over the last 25 years, Cyphers Agency has guided the marketing efforts of hundreds of local, regional and national…

Kathryn Collings Laing
Set & Reach Your Life Goals

Kathryn Collings Laing Set & Reach Your Life Goals During her twenty-year career, Kathryn Collings Laing has advised CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals, and academics. Since 1997, she has been a principal with U.S. Boston Capital Corporation and President of…

Theresa Connelly
Project Manager

Theresa Connelly Project Manager Theresa received her undergraduate degree in Management Studies from the University of Maryland, University College. She also earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Office Management from the Anne Arundel Community College. The first 15 years of…