About Us

Thank you for visiting the KSBDC website serving Southwest Kansas. Whether you are in business or thinking about it, our staff can assist you. The variety of experience consultants bring to work with them helps make them better equipped to work with a wide diversity of clients.

Cheryl Schmale, Regional Director

Photo of Cheryl Schmale

Cheryl joined the KSBDC as the Assistant Director in September 2009 and took on the Director’s position in June 2013.   Cheryl earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with an emphasis in Accounting from Bethany College. Prior to joining the KSBDC, Cheryl worked in public accounting for over 20 years and brings with her a strong financial and tax background. She also has experience in the private sector working as the financial manager for their family owned small business. Cheryl’s years of professional work experience combined with her extensive knowledge and understanding of QuickBooks allows her to effectively provide business consulting not only to new start-up businesses, but also to established existing businesses to help them expand and grow.

Mike O’Kane, Associate Director

Photo of Mike O'Kane Mike opened the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School outreach office in Liberal, Kansas in May 2009. He is a Liberal, Kansas resident who graduated from Liberal High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Fort Hays State University. Mike worked for AG Edwards/Wachovia Securities as a financial advisor, securities broker and investment advisor. Mike worked in senior leadership positions with Wes-Kan Oil Co., Inc., owning convenience stores and a wholesale fuel business. He also worked for DG Calhoun Inc., a retail apparel store division of Kroger Corporation, where he served in several management positions, including president of the company. Mike and his wife, Helen, also owned Cook’s Connection, a retail kitchen goods store in downtown Liberal during the late 1980s. Mike works with start-up businesses to help build their business plans and feasibility studies. He also works with existing businesses to develop and implement solutions to improve sales and productivity.

Mark Buckley, Consultant

Photo of Mark Buckley Mark graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Education and a Master of Science in Marketing. He taught Marketing for 11years at Hutchinson High School and Barton County Community College. Mark has owned numerous successful businesses including a painting & tile business, a Hallmark & office supply store and a Lionel Train Service Center. He is currently the owner of The Toy Depot in Hutchinson. In 1990 Mark went into private consulting and has worked with a full range of businesses. His widely varied background made him an ideal candidate for the recovery effort in Greensburg after the 2007 tornado. He is currently serving Kiowa, Rice, McPherson and Reno counties through the SCCC/ATS Regional Center.

Kathy Nance, Business Specialist

The anchor of our system is our administrative professional, Kathy.  She handles inquiries that come to the office via phone, fax, e-mail and in person.  She organizes the office and the staff and helps us keep the necessary paperwork done.  Kathy’s days are widely varied with questions, clients and seminar scheduling and tracking.  She attended Emporia State University.