Meet Our Advising Team

Meet Our Advising Team

Patrice McElfresh

Senior Business Advisor


  • Marketing and promotional plans
  • Financial projections
  • Day care centers
  • Car washes
  • Business startups and expansions

Patrice joined the SBDC in 2005. She has over 10 years of experience in commercial lending and property management. Patrice holds a BS in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Economics, as well as a Master’s in Public Administration, from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Patrice is a UTSA Lifetime Alumni Member and is also involved in the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Leon Springs Business Association. She is also a Masterpiece Theater addict.

Patrice primarily works out of the San Antonio office, but travels to Kerrville to assist clients.

  • Location: San Antonio Office

Crystal Darby

Senior Business Advisor


  • Marketing
  • Social media
  • Website development
  • Ecommerce
  • Business plans
  • Financial projections
  • Proposal writing
  • Certified Technology Commercialization Advisor
  • Customer service
  • Communication skills

Before joining the SBDC in 2011, Crystal owned a communications consulting business for 12 years. Prior to that, she worked in the nonprofit sector writing grants, creating newsletters and other publications and coordinating volunteers. She also worked in government providing services to employers who hire people with disabilities. Crystal holds an MPA from the University of New Orleans and a BS in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin.

Crystal is a VIA rider and Riverwalk walker. She is a devoted grandmother and movie buff.

Crystal primarily works out of the UTSA downtown campus, but also spends time at Geekdom, at 110 E. Houston.

  • Location: San Antonio Office

Larry New

Project Manager

Larry New is the project manager at the UTSA Small Business Development Center Satellite Office in New Braunfels. He assists aspiring and established small business owners in New Braunfels Seguin and surrounding communities.

Prior to joining the SBDC in 2015, Larry owned and operated a small business for 20 years. He has also been an airline pilot, a Marine Corps Officer, a fighter pilot and instructor and a director of safety and standardization. Larry earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Larry enjoys dancing to Two Tons of Steel at Gruene Hall with his lovely wife and enjoys traveling with his family. Another one of his loves is flying his Van’s RV7 experimental airplane that he built in his spare time.

  • Location: Satellite Office in New Braunfels

Sam Morgan

Senior Business Advisor


  • Financial Projections
  • Business Plans
  • General Business Counseling
  • Certified Technology Commercialization Advisor

Sam joined the SBDC in 2016. His background includes service in the U.S. Army, government contracting and restaurant managing. Sam holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Business Administration from Franklin University.

Sam’s hobbies include weight lifting, UT Longhorn football, and anything history related. He is an active Franklin University Alumni and University of Phoenix Alumni. He enjoys spending time with his family and pets.

Sam works primarily out of the San Antonio office, but travels to assist clients in the New Braunfels Satellite Office (SPARK office) on Tuesdays.

Lisha Garcia

Senior Business Advisor


  • Fundable Business Plans -financial projections
  • Business start ups and expansions
  • Franchises – Franfit liaison
  • Marketing and sales – Gov’t contracting
  • Strategic growth plans and execution strategies
  • Spanish speaking and training

Lisha has been serving small businesses as an SBDC advisor for over ten years. She was previously with the Arizona SBDC Network as the Diversity and Women’s Business Coordinator. She was with the Austin SBDC for 3 years before transferring in May of 2016 to the UTSA SBDC. Lisha has extensive experience growing small businesses. Lisha holds a BA from the University of Arizona, MFA from Vermont College and MIM from the Thunderbird School. She is a Certified Global Business Professional in good standing.  Lisha was awarded the San Antonio 2017 Advisor of the Year.

Lisha is a widely published poet and has recently completed her second book. She is a Certified Life Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation.

Lisha primarily works out of the San Antonio office, but travels to Medina, Frio, Wilson and Atascosa counties to assist clients.

Hector Ramirez

Business Advisor


  • Business Model/Planning
  • Access to Capital/Financial Projections
  • Bookkeeping
  • Productivity Tools (Google App for Business)
  • Bilingual (Spanish)

Hector joined the UTSA SBDC as a Business Development Specialist in June 2019. He has over nine years’ experience working for various non-profit economic development organizations and state institutions. Throughout his career, Hector has helped start, grow, and sustain small businesses by providing technical assistance, small business micro-lending, and business venture planning to Texas entrepreneurs.

Hector is a UTSA Alumnus and holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management, with a concentration in small business/entrepreneurship.

He enjoys outdoor recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and camping; is an avid sports fan, enjoys playing basketball, and spending time with family and friends.

Tracie Shelton Hervey

Senior Business Advisor