Don Greenfield, co-founder and partner of Venture Growth, is a business development consultant and growth strategist who is always in touch with his “inner nine-year old.” While serious when it comes to increasing sales and achieving profitability, he takes a playful approach to the human frailties that hold otherwise successful entrepreneurs back. His passion is to analyze business practices and tap a client’s strengths to achieve realistic financial goals and clear social benefits.
Forgoing the lemonade stands of his peers, Don caught the entrepreneurial bug early by selling greeting cards door-to-door in rural South Dakota. Despite the small market, his pitch was a hit with friends and neighbors and he sold out the whole inventory, giving rise to an interest in market dynamics. After business school at the University of South Dakota, Don did a stint as a loan officer with the US Small Business Administration. While traveling the western region, he had the opportunity to cooperate with Lakota tribal leaders on economic development efforts for six reservations. At the same time, he was taken under the wing of a senior supervisor who introduced him to the importance of mentoring. Both experiences made a deep impression on Don, leading to a lifelong commitment to encouraging entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
Over the course of two decades, Don bought, grew and sold multiple retail businesses. During this period he served as the Chairman of the South Dakota Retailers Association and attracted respect for his business development expertise and dispensing advice that helped other business owners grow as well. When a colleague jokingly suggested he was in the wrong business and should be advising professionally, with typical clarity, he recognized the opportunity.
For the last 28 years Don has been consulting with business owners. Initially he served as the State Director of the Small Business Development Centers at University of South Dakota School of Business and later, he formed his own company, Venture Growth, now located in Boulder County, Colorado. Along with his partner Alyson Miller, a marketing specialist, Don provides business development services to leaders of entrepreneurial companies and social ventures. His insight about the inter-relationship of marketing and financial management has been an asset to a wide range of technology, service and manufacturing firms. In addition to business planning and sales implementation, perhaps his most notable talent is bringing calm to challenging situations. Don still prides himself on finding humor in the midst of the most challenging problem-solving.
Please Socialize with Don!
Alyson Miller, co-founder and partner of Venture Growth, is a marketing consultant, writer, visual artist and “connector.” Her passions include contemplative photography, storytelling, journeys in nature and professionally, helping people fulfill their own entrepreneurial visions.
For the last 24 years – initially as the Associate State Director of the NJ Small Business Development Centers at Rutgers Graduate School of Management and later as a principal with her own company, Venture Growth, now located in Boulder County, Colorado – Alyson has focused on helping other social entrepreneurs to meet their goals. She and her partner Don Greenfield provide marketing and business development services to visionary leaders involved in growing professional practices, delivering innovative services and commercializing life-improving products. In addition to consulting, Alyson continues to mentor youth and to counsel elders who are seeking creative ways of sharing their wisdom.
Early in life, Alyson was introduced to the spiritual tradition of “Tikkun Olam” – Repairing the World. Later, while a student at Boston University, she was inspired and mentored by the activist-historian-writer Howard Zinn. These influences evolved into a lifelong exploration of what it means to be human and a commitment to social change. Along this path, Alyson has applied marketing and communication expertise, as well as intuitive abilities, to a wide range of social ventures. These have included the coaching of young artists and entrepreneurs, finding adoptive homes for older children with special needs and designing advocacy and intergroup relations programs for educators, activists, community leaders and visionary entrepreneurs.
Please socialize with Alyson!