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Meet Our Team

Joe Harper, Executive Director

Joe joined the Texas State SBDC team as its Director in 2011 with over twenty years experience as an entrepreneur.  He has directed other SBDC programs at Southeastern Louisiana University, Sam Houston State University, Galveston Community College, Houston Community College, and the University of Houston-Victoria. 

Joe’s education and experience includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management, an MBA and extensive business consulting experience in a broad spectrum of business issues addressing entrepreneurship, business planning, marketing strategies, market research, and financial management. 

Joe spends the majority of his time meeting with community stakeholders, funding partners and SBDC advisors. The best way to reach him is by email through our Compliance Coordinator, Francisca Arana

Francisca Arana, Training / Compliance Coordinator

Francisca Arana is Training/Compliance Coordinator at Texas State SBDC, an organization that provides technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Francisca has been with the SBDC for over 8 years and has grown from temp to Jill of all trades within the organization. She is a true Austinite (a dying breed), mother of two, and currently pursing her degree all the while keeping her crown in place. 

If there are any questions or comments regarding SBDC or the team, please feel free to reach out and she will gladly be in contact.

Bill Thompson, Senior Certified Business Advisor

Designated as our primary Rural Business Advisor serving Bastrop, Burnet, Fayette, Lee, Lampasas, Llano, San Saba and rural Williamson counties. Bill specializes in business model development, feasibility analysis, financial analysis and forecasting and positioning clients for successful funding. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and holds a Masters in Education from Texas State University. Bill’s career includes residential mortgage lending, sales and marketing, B2B wholesaling, computer information systems, and teaching at the secondary level in Williamson and Travis counties.

Exceptional coaching skills, refined over many years of professional counseling, make Bill a favorite of SBDC clients throughout our 12-county service area. He has the winning combination of an easy-going, likable personality, dependability and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty for his clients. He's a dedicated professional who is passionate about helping his clients succeed.

Peg Richmond, Senior Certified Business Advisor

Peg Richmond helps companies drive growth and business results using 20+ years market development, sales and distribution, customer engagement, technology commercialization, financial analysis and capital strategy experience with companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 organizations.  She currently focuses on helping clients in food and CPG manufacturing, as well as, in technology commercialization.  She was also recognized in 2013 and 2017 as TX State SBDC Advisor of the Year.  

Prior to joining the SBDC, Peg owned and operated her own marketing and communications consulting practice. She holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and both a Master of Arts in Advertising and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas. Peg has also completed specialized post-graduate training in public communications and issue management, supply chain management and business analysis.

Orlando Colmenero, Senior Certified Business Advisor

Recognized as the Texas State SBDC "2012 Business Advisor of the Year" and again in 2016 for the outstanding success of his small business clients, Orlando has cultivated relationships with an extensive network of lenders and specializes in matching client financial needs to available funding programs and funders.

He is particularly adept at financial re-structuring and developing workout and exit strategies for small business owners. Orlando is certified as an international trade specialist (CGBP) and particularly enjoys assisting clients with: land acquisition, construction of commercial projects, retail and mixed-use developments, medical businesses, hotels and motels, exporting and importing, and the purchase of franchises.

Rex Steele, Senior Certified Business Advisor

Rex is located in our San Marcos office and primarily covers the counties of Hays, Caldwell and Blanco.  He disseminates a very positive attitude and is passionate about obtaining business growth results. Rex has worked for three SBDC’s in Texas to include Lamar State College in Port Arthur, The University of Houston and now Texas State University. Rex holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management & Technology and an M.B.A. from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  He is also a U.S. Veteran and served his time in the U.S. Navy.
Rex’s certifications include, “Certified Technology Commercialization Business”, Nasbite International – “Certified Global Business Professional” (CGBP), and “Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) Certified Assistance Counselor.

Rex specializes in business strategic management, process lean practices, manufacturing and service companies, business marketing, real estate, construction and development, and Exit strategies.
Rex’s career includes working for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana and assisting manufacturing companies improve and grow their business.  He owned his own business as a Business Broker and Commercial Real Estate Specialist. He spent six years as a Sheet Metal Mechanic in construction. He has also worked with PTAC which aides businesses to obtain government contracting.

Funded in part through the State of Texas and a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the cosponsors’ or participants’ opinions, findings, conclusions, recommendations, products or services. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Texas State University SBDC by phone at 512.420.9379 or via email at