Meet our team

Carmen Sunda


Carmen Sunda is responsible for an SBDC region of ten parishes. She assists and advises a diversified group of business owners and manages a team of independent contractors, small business consultants, graduate assistants, students and interns. She was named the Louisiana SBDC State Star in 2007 and awarded the SBA 2009 Financial Services Champion of the Year for the state of Louisiana.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) Greater New Orleans Region earned the Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award in 2011. Sunda has more than 25 years experience working with small businesses, including owning her own business. Her areas of expertise include small business disaster preparedness and recovery, strategic marketing, loan packaging, market research, and management. She also has taught business courses at both Loyola and the University of New Orleans for the past 20 plus years. She holds an MBA from the University of New Orleans.

Tori Rayne

Assistant Director

Tori Rayne has worked in the LSBDC network since 2006.  Tori specializes in loan packaging for both start up and existing businesses, and covers both New Orleans and Bayou Region parishes.

Tori is NASBITE certified for International Business Consulting. Tori has helped clients close on over $7 Million worth of business loans since 2006. Tori has an MBA in Finance and a Bachelor's in Marketing, both from Loyola University.

Wayne Aucoin

Business Continuity Consultant

Wayne Aucoin is a Business Continuity Consultant and Trainer specializing in business continuity, financial management, operations, disaster planning and marketing. He is also a catastrophic claims adjustor. Wayne is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of small business experience.

He has been a franchisor/trainer distributor in the disaster restoration industry, has owned multiple retail operations throughout south Louisiana, and has also worked as a marketing representative for a forensic engineering consulting firm. Wayne is a former charter member and executive board member of the Algiers Economic Development Foundation. He earned a BS in Economics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Haritiana Langlois

Business Consultant

Haritiana Langlois is a Business Consultant specializing in startups, research and strategy. Prior to joining the LSBDC, she spent twelve years in health care, public health, program management, and international development as a medical doctor working for UNICEF.  Haritiana's experience spanned 10 countries on 4 continents and allowed her to gain a wide variety of skills.

She is fluent in four languages including French and Italian. She has a passion for international trade and culture, and social entrepreneurship, and is currently pursuing an M.B.A at Loyola University New Orleans. Haritiana combines her business education with her background in medicine and social work to bring a unique perspective to the clients she assists. She holds a medical degree from Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and a Master's of Public Health (MPH) from Tulane University, New Orleans.

Richard A Melancon, CPA

Business Consultant

Richard Melancon, Business Consultant and Trainer, has over twenty five years of experience in accounting, tax, and business consulting services for small and medium sized businesses. He owns an accounting practice and has expertise in accounting services, strategic planning, product/service pricing consulting, income tax preparation at the corporate and individual levels, tax planning services and computer consulting.

Richard has served as an adjunct professor at University of New Orleans, the same university where he received his BS in management, BS in accounting, and MBA. He has been acknowledged for outstanding performance by the SBA and the National Speakers Association, and is the author of the book You Can Afford the Good Life, a self-help book on financial management for individuals who are in financial crisis.

Albert Overman

Business Consultant

Albert Overman is a Business Consultant, Trainer, and Professional Business and Life Coach specializing in business growth strategies, legal issues and employment issues.  He has a bachelor of science degree in engineering and a juris doctor in law.

After working as an engineer on U.S. Space and Defense programs, Albert became the corporate legal counsel and consultant for four Fortune 500 corporations, and has worked extensively in the areas of business consulting as well as business, real estate and employment law. He is an adjunct professor of Business at a local community college, and has nearly 40 years of business experience. He is also experienced in disaster recovery and rebuilding.

Mike Pennison

Business Consultant

Mike Pennison is a Business Consultant and Trainer specializing in business planning, strategy, operations, financial projections, and marketing. He has over 30 years business experience including project management, purchasing contracted services, information technology, engineering, construction, and oil & gas. Mike is also experienced in disaster recovery and rebuilding.

He has an MBA from Loyola University and certifications for C.P.M. (Certified Purchasing Manager) and CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management), and is also a certified trainer of the Covey 7 Habits for Small Business Managers and a member of the National Speaker's Association.

Dianne F. Sclafani

Business Consultant, Restaurant & Food Specialist

Dianne Sclafani specializes in the hospitality industry with an expertise in restaurants for new and existing entrepreneurs. Her greatest desire is to assist others achieve their career and business dreams by sharing her over 25 years of experience. She has a BS in Business Management, is a trained chef instructor and an experienced business owner.

Dianne’s extensive food business experience provides many insights when consulting and training  restaurant owners, chefs, general managers, food manufacturers, and wholesale and retail food sales vendors in all aspects of administrative and operational needs for their business success. She is past president of the New Orleans Chapter and active member of the National Speakers Association.

Shari Taylor, MBA

Accounts Manager

Accounts Manager for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center for the Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region. Shari is responsible for maintaining all financial records for the center and managing the daily operations for all SBDC accounts. She has extensive experience in coordinating grant programs and small business development.

She previously facilitated business outreach sessions and presentations for a local no-profit and the City of New Orleans Economic Development Department. Shari is experienced in grant funded programs with strong and polished interpersonal skills. In addition, she is skilled in case and data management, disaster recovery, developing and managing budgets, hiring, and training, supervising and assessing personnel. Shari holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Lauren Polson

Special Projects & Events Manager

Lauren Polson is the Special Projects and Events Manager for the Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region. She helps manage entrepreneurial programs that LSBDC facilitates in partnership with our many community partners, as well as providing administrative support to the LSBDC consulting team.

She came to the LSBDC in April 2014 as the assistant to director Carmen Sunda. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Counseling at the University of New Orleans.

Jimmy Nguyen

Business Consultant

Jimmy Nguyen began his career as a Manager Trainee for Tower Loan, one of the industry’s leading finance companies serving over 200,000 customers. He continued to pursue his career in finance and joined South Central Planning & Development Commission in 2011.

In a short period of time, Jimmy became the Underwriter for the organization servicing a $12 million dollar portfolio. Within 3 years, Jimmy was responsible for lending over $9.6 million dollars to aid small businesses in Louisiana with disaster recovery loans. In 2015, Jimmy joined the Small Business Development Center team and specializes in financial analysis, funding proposals and underwriting.

With a bachelor’s degree in business administrations from Nicholls State University and an extensive finance background, Jimmy strives to give back to the community. He actively supports breast cancer fundraisers and participates in the Susan G. Komen races every year. Jimmy also contributes to the Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence by donating and competing in the 5K events.

Erik D. Waters

Business Consultant

Erik D. Waters is a Business Consultant at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center – Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region.  He has been a SBDC Consultant and staff member of the Division of Business at Xavier University since November 2011.

 Prior to working with LSBDC, Erik served as Vice President (formerly Business Development Manager and Certification Manager) for the Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council for 7+ years as well as a private Consultant for business development and certification programs.  His areas of service expertise include; Certification, business start-ups, Internet marketing, loan packaging and business expansion and development.  Erik has a BBA from Loyola University with a concentration in Finance.  He has been a private consultant for startup businesses as well as has provided contracting assistance and joint venture development for existing firms.

Sarah Burch

Business Consultant

Sarah Burch has been working with the Small Business Development Center since 2011.  Sarah is a Business Consultant who works with both start-up and existing businesses in the Bayou Region.  Sarah specializes in loan packaging for small businesses and entrepreneurial training.

Sarah has a background in sales and marketing, as well as human resources.  In addition, she has experience in managing funds and event coordination.

Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and her master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Louisiana Tech University.

Roman Starns


Roman Starns has over 20 years experience as a successful entrepreneur and small business owner. He has founded and succeeded in establishing 3 financial service enterprises serving the loan, credit, and business development needs of entrepreneurs and businesses. He has expertise and a vast knowledge of finance, financial planning, accounting, business plan development, human resource management, marketing, strategic planning, business growth and development. He has a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs establish their businesses on a firm foundation and guiding them to successful, profitable futures. He understands the formula and exactly what is required for an enterprise to succeed in any economy. Roman holds an MBA from LSU, and is well qualified to help entrepreneurs and business owners to establish and grow their enterprises.

Richard Pearce


Richard Pearce has over 24 years experience analyzing and assessing the credit and financing needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. Richard is a business owner and expert at packaging and presenting financials in the precise manner required by the SBA and lending institutions. In essence, he is a financial situation analyst and underwriter with deep knowledge of blending capital markets and business financing to enhance community economic development. As a business consultant, Richard has a record of success in developing positive, productive relationships with stakeholders including clients, businesses, partners, agencies, as well as government and community representatives to move business projects forward - even in challenging circumstances. Richard is a degreed and certified business professional and consultant well qualified to help entrepreneurs and business owners succeed.

Ron Markham

Ron Markham has over 26 years experience as a business consultant and success coach. He is a performance improvement expert and has helped business owners and organizations reach their full potential and succeed. He specializes in performance improvement, customer service, marketing/sales, teambuilding, and synergistic teamwork. Ron owns a training and development company helping business professionals build high performance organizations and high performance people. He has earned a reputation as a consultant of integrity with a gift for inspiring and equipping people for greater achievement. He is a knowledgeable, caring, and effective teacher and coach helping enterprises to succeed strategically. Businesses he serves build solid foundations for organizational and financial growth. Ron is a degreed business professional well equipped to help entrepreneurs and business owners achieve their goals.  

Bob Breaux


Bob Breaux has over 30 years of experience as a professional business counselor and mentor, and is a highly sought after expert seminar and workshop leader. He is a long time business owner with a passion for guiding people to succeed. Bob has traveled extensively as a result of his reputation for delivering high impact workshops and training sessions to entrepreneurs and business owners. Several high profile business organizations regularly employ Bob’s coaching and counseling expertise to advance their own organizational initiatives. His vast knowledge and expertise shared in his sessions are enhanced by his warm and friendly style of delivery, and his unique ability to connect with everyone in the audience. Bob is a degreed business professional who creates and delivers training sessions on various business topics for Capital Region clients.  

Jonathan Menyon

Assessment Consultant

Jonathan is a Business Administration graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana.  He is responsible for all new client assessments, office operations, managing all interns and graduate assistants and reporting requirements for the SBDC training programs.   His goal is to impact the future success of the SBDC’s triple bottom line, while aiding in the creation of environmentally sustainable businesses and practices.  Jonathan is experienced in sales and customer service and co-manages an urban farm on the campus of Xavier University of Louisiana, a business he assisted in starting.  

Xavier University of Louisiana, Division of Business, Xavier South – ROOM 203
909 S. Jefferson Davis
New Orleans, LA 70125
Phone: 504-831-3730

Mailing address:
LSBDC Greater New Orleans
& Bayou Region
Division of Business, Xavier South
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive, Box 52
New Orleans, LA. 70125

M - F 9:00 am to 5:00 pm



Parishes Served: 
Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist

Call Toll Free: 1- (866)-782-4159

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, hosted by Louisiana Delta Community College, is an accredited member of the National Association of Small Business Development Centers and funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and participating universities. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or limited English proficiency will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.
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