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about us

Our Resource Board includes a diverse group of community supporters and entrepreneurs from all walks of life and local neighborhoods who know the complexities of economic development and the challenges of doing business in our city.


Strengthen Our Community’s Economic Base; to help people start and grow businesses in Bernalillo County by offering unique, on-the-street, one-on-one assistance. Our extensive network connects entrepreneurs to community resources to turn their business dreams into reality. Dream… Plan… Do…


Primary Programs:

STEPS was founded to help businesses in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights neighborhoods get started and expand – providing advice, coaching and connections to important small business resources. In 2008, we expanded our services to all of Bernalillo County. Our diverse Resource Council of community supporters and entrepreneurs provides expertise to the budding business. Our knowledge of economic development and doing business in Albuquerque is available to our clients.

STEPS is all about you – the business owner. We meet with you personally to discuss your dreams and plans. Our Executive Director helps you work through the reality of doing business in Albuquerque. We will help you build and find the resources needed to be successful.

Jim Strozier, AICP



President/Planner, Co-Founder

Consensus Planning

302 Eight Street NW

Albuquerque, NM  87102


James Strozier has 34+ years of planning experience in both the public and private sectors throughout the western United States. His focus is on the integration of zoning regulation with urban design in order to achieve our client’s goals resulting in added value to each project through timely approvals, high quality design, and exceptional market performance. Jim is a dynamic public speaker with extensive experience representing and obtaining approval for a wide variety of projects before public boards, commissions, and

Eileen Jessen

Vice President


Community Activist Extraordinare



George Kenefic, MBA



Director of Enterprise Empowerment

The Loan Fund

PO Box 705

Albuquerque, NM  87103


As the Director of Enterprise Empowerment for The Loan Fund, George leads the strategic selection and management of collaborating partner organizations. George also leads and manages the relationships with various Federal agencies as part of the overall organizational funding strategy.

In addition to his responsibilities at The Loan Fund, George sits on the Boards of Directors of community-based economic development organizations in Albuquerque, has started and managed family businesses, and is currently participating in two start-ups. Besides undergraduate studies in Architecture, George holds a post-graduate degree from the Anderson School of Management of the University of New Mexico, and a certification as a Certified Global Business Professional through NASBITE International.

Bill Kostel


Accomplished leader with a background in corporate and small businesses as well as start-ups. Bill has experience in team management, customer relationships, business development, business analysis, contract negotiation, strategic planning, financial modeling, budgeting and Lean Start-up Methodology.

Background highlights:

  • Bill has run two companies, started two small businesses, and has assisted on several additional start-ups
  • Bill was a consultant for 12 years, including managing the firm, ATBD, for three years.
  • Bill has been an active mentor for start-up and small businesses in Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico. That includes:
  • Being a SCORE-Certified mentor
  • Serving as ABQid’s Mentor Liaison for the two years. ABQid is Albuquerque’s venture-backed business accelerator.
  • A local advocate for Lean-Start-up entrepreneurial methodology

In his current role at Rural Sourcing Inc., Bill leads a high-performing team of 100+ software developers using an agile programming methodology to deliver with quality, consistency, timeliness, innovation, and strategic perspective.

  • Bill has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Texas Christian University.

Mark Joiner



Arina Caster

CEO and Founder

Sustainable Planet Solutions

Albuquerque, NM


Arina grew up in the Albuquerque South Valley in a completely off-grid solar home. Her parents taught her about energy sustainability, the significance of taking care and having respect for our planet and understanding the value and importance of using the sun as a source of power. Arina has served in the US Peace Corps and has consulted many small businesses in sustainability. It was her time abroad when she realized the need for accessible power and how so many people don’t have it.

John C Moore

Executive Director


Visionary Business Development Specialist

Click for Linked-In Profile


A little history:

Business Development specialist and Independent Contractor, John’s extensive, successful career in business development, marketing, high-tech recruiting, sales, and community activism span 30 plus years.

John’s Business Development career started as a founder and the executive responsible for Marketing and Sales for a highly successful Silicon Valley venture. The sale of that company, Nevada Western (a manufacturer and supplier of datacom installation hardware) facilitated a move to Napa, CA.

The move to the Silverado Trail in Napa resulted in an active Business Development and Business Community role working with Kathy, his wife as Silverado Consulting. He worked as an Outsourced Business Development Executive, together they provided branding, websites, logo creations, sales, and marketing services. They worked with all the Napa Valley Chambers of Commerce, Visitors and Conference, Destination Marketing services, and the very first tourism portals. Clients included wineries, restaurants, and many local, small business commercial companies.

John moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Northern California in 2012 to be closer to his daughter, Tami Moore, an IT & Social media specialist in Santa Fe, NM. His wife, Kathy Moore is connected to a large, extended family of long-time New Mexico residents. Kathy is a Sales Manager at the Albuquerque Journal responsible for all National and Major Accounts.


April 1, 2013, John was selected for the position of Executive Director for STEPS, Albuquerque’s Entrepreneur Resource Team. He is responsible for directing, planning, and all direct client contacts and relations.

Get In Touch

308 8th Street, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102