Meet Our Administrative Team

Richard Sifuentes | Director

Richard was named Director of the UTSA SBDC in February 2019, after serving as Assistant Director then Interim Director, and continues to provide guidance and training to the Business Advisors of the SBDC.

His areas of expertise include business set-up, business plan development, management, operations, small business certifications, government contracting, construction and real estate.

Richard joined the SBDC in 2005 and has many years of experience in business management, construction, government contracting, real estate and mortgage consulting. His previous background as a business analyst enables him to successfully advise business owners on all aspects of starting or expanding a business. He has also owned his own small business consulting practice. Richard holds a MA from Webster University and BS from Trinity University.

Richard’s hobbies include watching sports, spending time with family, cycling and exercising. He is a San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Cowboys fan.

Ruben Lopez | Assistant Director & Senior Business Advisor

Ruben joined the SBDC in 2012. His background includes service in the U.S. Army, manufacturing operations with Mobil Chemical Co., working for a small high tech company, owning his own business, technology licensing and commercialization. Ruben’s experience allows him to help clients across many industries. Ruben holds an MBA from St. Mary’s University, MS in Technology Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio and BS in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is a certified Profit Mastery and Technology Commercialization advisor.

Ruben enjoys military history, kayak fishing, blacksmithing, and target shooting.

- Business plans
- Financial projections
- Intellectual property
- Technology Commercialization
- Manufacturing
- Advising in Spanish
- Marketing
- Profit Mastery Certified
- QuickBooks assistance

Dawn Canales | Administrative Associate
New Braunfels Spark Office

Dawn joined the UTSA SBDC New Braunfels Satellite office in May 2020 as Administrative Associate, where she currently communicates client successes to stakeholders and connects with small business owners to help promote the services of the UTSA SBDC in the New Braunfels/Seguin area.

Before joining the UTSA SBDC, Dawn worked with Alamo Heights High School as AP & Attendance Secretary. She has spent several years serving public schools and higher education in North Carolina and Texas. She earned her Associate of Applied Science in Office Systems Technology from Carteret Community College in NC.

Dawn is a mom to 3 very active kids, loves interior design, gardening and being with friends and family. She previously owned her own dance studio in NC.

Janie Paschal | Administrative Manager

Janie assists potential and existing business owners with information about the SBDC, including workshops, online training and business advising services. She produces reports for internal and external partners, and manages our client database. She also handles many of the department’s operational duties.

Before joining the SBDC in 2009, Janie spent the majority of her career working for the country’s fourth largest P&C Insurance Company where she was a Director of Insurance Operations. She brings over 35 years of managerial, administrative and customer service experience to her position. She is also a small business owner. Janie holds a BBA in Marketing from Abilene Christian University and graduated from the Executive Education Program from the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia.

Janie spends her free time working in her garden, working on projects, and spending time with family.

Annalyse Vitali | Administrative Associate II

Annalyse assists potential and existing business owners with information about the SBDC, including workshops, online training, and business advising services..

Before joining the SBDC in 2022, Annalyse held an administrative position at the George H. W. Bush Library & Museum, while attending Texas A&M University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a focus on Global Culture and Arabic.

During her free time, Annalyse enjoys art, books, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her cat.