Katie Stavert Returns Home and Applies her Education to Help Others

Photo: Business Advisor Katie Stavert at the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center Thursday afternoon. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

By Carol A. Clark

She went away to college to study accounting and last spring, Katie Stavert returned home and is helping business people through her work as a business advisor at the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center in downtown Los Alamos.

“Meeting people and helping them is so great,” she said. “A business is a living, breathing thing that must be nurtured and my clients are all very busy running their own businesses – so any help that I can provide is satisfying to me.”

Stavert has already met with 40 clients since beginning her new job in March.

“I love all my clients and it’s great that I can assist them in all of their business needs,” Stavert said. “I love what I do because I get to dabble in just about everything. I spend a lot of time researching because each client’s business has its own set of circumstances. I can read 20 business plans and not one is the same and that’s the joy of the work that I like so much.”

Stavert, 26, developed a passion for accounting while a sophomore at Los Alamos High School.

“I took an elective accounting course with Sharon York and she was such a good teacher, I fell in love with accounting, it came so natural to me,” Stavert said. “Most kids go into the science field here but I chose accounting because I found it fascinating.”

Stavert holds a B.S. in Public Accounting from Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State College) in Grand Junction, Colo.

With accounting, you can go into education, public accounting a corporation, a nonprofit or the government, she said. 

Stavert’s parents adopted her and brought her home to Los Alamos from the hospital in Albuquerque when she was three days old.

Her scientist father, Doug Stavert, is now retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after 30 years of service.

Her mother, Mickey Puckett, is a retired physical therapist now living in California. Her aunt, Carolyn Stavert, is a retired special education teacher who taught at Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock.

Stavert’s brother, Casey Stavert, 23, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and is in boot camp at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.

Her grandmother, Louisa Stavert lives in White Rock. Stavert herself has lived in White Rock all of her life except while away at college and for a short time afterward.

She displayed a conscientious nature from an early age.

When Member Services Coordinator Katy Korkos of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce owned Katherine’s Restaurant in White Rock, she hired Stavert to work for her after school.

“Katie was a bus girl, hostess, waitress, ran the cash register and ran credit cards for us … she was very trustworthy and mature for her age,” Korkos said. “I always saved a place for her to work with us when she returned from college during vacations.”

In her current position, Stavert not only counsels clients in many areas relating to starting and improving their small businesses, she also directs the “Curb Appeal” grant program and the summer “Youth Business” grant program that assists young entrepreneurs, 13-19 years old, with up to $400 to start a summer business.

The services provided and resources available from the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center at 190 Central Park Square are free to the public through a Small Business Administration program that funnels down through the state to the local level.

The Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation operates the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center.

Services include:

  • Confidential business consulting;
  • Training courses;
  • Financial analysis tools;
  • Business Plan development assistance; and
  • Strategic assessment guidance.

To learn more about the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center, visit: http://www.nmsbdc.org/losalamos/


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