Business Counselors

Raymond Henry 

Raymond V Henry is a professional ASBDC Virgin Islands Business Counselor on a mission to enlighten emerging and existing small business owners about the day to day operations of running their own business. He offers high quality professional business counseling and training in operations, accounting, finance, export and trade to small businesses.  A graduate of the University of the Virgin Islands and with 25 years’ experience as a commercial banker gives him the advantage of getting the job done quicker.

In 2016, he was selected as a State Star for ASBDC Virgin Islands. He is a founding member of SCORE Virgin Islands. He can be contacted at: 340-693-1694,  www.visbdc.org  or raymond.henry@uvi.edu

Sims Lawson  

Sims Lawson - VI SBDC Business Counselor lll. Since 2015, (20+) years of achievement in the corporate environment in roles ranging from Cost Accountant to Senior Financial Analysis to Controller to Plant Manager, (28+) years owning and operating a thriving private accounting firm that assisted businesses in successful and profitable operations, professional photographer (50+) years, 1st Lieutenant, Battalion Staff Supply Officer United Stated Army 1967-1969. Education - B.S., Accounting, University of North Alabama, 1967, M.B.A., Business, Troy University,1982, TPCC & SBA Export and Trade Counseling Certification 2016, Growth Wheel Certified Business Advisor 2019

Greg Kopatch

Greg Kopatch is an accomplished entrepreneur and currently a Business Advisor with the Small Business Development Center in St Croix, USVI, providing emerging and existing small businesses with high quality professional counseling and training.  After graduation from The Citadel in 1979, Greg spent the next 8 years as an Army Officer/Aviator in Central America and Asia in strategic planning, crisis management and critical thinking.  Upon completing military obligations, he founded a successful and specialized consultancy firm that identified and developed select, successful emerging businesses into national and international franchises.  Greg also has a 17 year relationship with the SBA as a SCORE counselor.  Bilingual in Spanish, Greg cherishes the many diverse business and cultural experiences gained from living and working around the world.  His motto is, "what can't be measured, can't be managed." 

Administrative Support Staff

Debra Thompson

Debra Thompson has been with the VI Small Business Development Center network since 2001. Mrs. Thompson has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Walden University. Mrs. Thompson is responsible for assisting the State Director in managing the VI SBDC budget for both the St. Thomas and St. Croix office.  Prior to becoming the VI SBDC Program Specialist in 2012, Mrs. Thompson started as a student and eventually applied for an Administrative Assistant II position in 2001, and later became the Administrative Specialist in 2004.

Mary Joe Williams

Mary Joe Williams is currently the Network Marketing Coordinator at the Small Business Development Center. During her career at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) she has held the positions of Human Resources Technician, Financial Aid Counselor, Student Employment Officer and Business Counselor/Training Coordinator. Ms. Williams has a BA in Sociology and she enjoys working with people.

Hazel Jones

Auntlind Hazel Jones has worked for the University of the Virgin Islands for over 20+ years. She obtained a Bachelor degree from the University of the Virgin Islands in Business in 2008. She transferred to the SBDC in 2008 and currently serves as the Program Specialist at the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center.

Sherrika Industrious-Phillips

Ms. Sherrika Industrious-Phillips a native born and raised Virgin Islander of St. Thomas is an honor graduate of the illustrious Charlotte Amalie Class of 2008 and a graduate of the University of the Virgin Islands Class of 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Sciences and an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Prior to joining the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center’s team, she has worked at the VI Supreme Court, the Virgin Islands Police Department, the Virgin Islands Housing Authority and most recently the University’s Caribbean Exploratory Research Center. While on her career journey exploring the social sciences locally, she strives to build her knowledge base on economics primarily in the business world.  Already customer service oriented, she stands ready to support the VI SBDC in their initiatives by providing administrative support to improve the economic opportunities of the US Virgin Islands one small business at a time.

Ted J Gutierrez

Ted J Gutierrez is the newest member of the VI SBDC.  He takes over as the new State Director and oversees the territory.  He earned his MBA from the University of Redlands in 2004 and has a background in banking/finance, marketing, organizational management, private/public/non-profit sectors, and years of experiencing working entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Ted is proud to join a great staff and is proud of its legacy for assisting the territory.  He looks forward to growing the SBDC’s services so it can have an even bigger impact for the future of Virgin Island entrepreneurs and small businesses.