Collaborative, Objective, Agile and Proven
Led by founder and CEO Sara Hand, Spark Growth brings exceptional talent to each client opportunity. Successfully navigating the minefield of change for business growth is intrinsically challenging by its very nature. Knowing that you need to make changes and bringing those to fruition are two very different things. With Spark Growth, it is not good enough to have great answers. Your organization deserves more than just another grand plan.
Can you afford to bring in another consulting group that leaves you a giant to-do list that never gets done like all the others? Our core team works to bring connections, resources, and solutions to help you solve your most challenging problems and we are available to guide implementation to ensure your success.
Meet Our team
Our core team members have unique backgrounds and experiences across multiple sectors. While we are diverse in viewpoints and capabilities, we are united in purpose and vision.
Chief Executive Officer
Sara Hand, Founder, and CEO of Spark Growth, works across public and private sectors to find and leverage unique value propositions. Hand has been recognized by entities such as CEED (Center for Executive and Entrepreneur Development), Harvard TECH, TiE Tampa, and others for fostering collaboration and driving action-focused agendas for business and community development. With a Master’s in Counseling, Hand has an intensive professional and academic background in problem-solving for people, businesses, and communities.
Chief Information Officer
Stan Schultes, CIO, is an engineer and professional technologist working to build smarter, more inclusive communities where we live, work, play, and learn. Microsoft Corporation has recognized Schultes for his global business and technology expertise in advanced manufacturing solutions, development, technology transfer, and commercialization, naming him Regional Director (2018 – Present) and MVP (2004 – 2018). With a BSE in engineering from Purdue and over 40 years of experience, Schultes understands the power of culturally responsive technology and the downfalls of the digital divide.
Chief Research and Data Officer
Cassandra Decker, CRDO, is a data designer driving efficiency in programs, projects, procedures, and products. Decker earned a Master’s Degree in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish, English, and Political Science from The University of Iowa. Decker also has over 15 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research, conducting results-based work in both English and Spanish. She is the owner and principal consultant of CRD Impact, which uses community research, equitable design, and inclusive marketing practices to identify, analyze, and interpret data.
Chief Technology Officer and “Tech MacGyver”
Norman Dempsey, MBA, is a technology innovator and solutions engineer widely recognized for his business, computer network, & cyber-security consulting. A former television Network Administrator, Dempsey’s grasp of responsive media development is second to none and complements the human-interfacing and management skills he developed managing and owning restaurants and supporting computer operations for DoD clients. A graduate of Eckerd (BA) and USF (MBA), he is passionate about education and loves finding opportunities for existing businesses to expand services and enhance cash flow.
Laura Elizabeth Hand
Education & research consultant
As an Education Consultant and Curriculum Development Specialist, Laura Hand, MA, has worked with a wide range of education entities across private and public, domestic and international, and for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently, Hand has worked on textbook development and program management for a large-scale WIOA/ALE-funded ESOL program. Hand holds a Master’s Degree in English and Comparative Literature and a multidisciplinary Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, English and Comparative Literature, and Comparative Literature and Society (MLS).
Get to know us better
At Spark Growth, we start by showing up. It sounds simple but is something we take very seriously. It has taken us around the world, launched incredible opportunities and projects, and is a key to our success and that of our clients.
Watch our video intro to see us in action.