Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region (LSBDC GNOBR) Director Carmen Sunda was announced as one of 50 honorees for the New Orleans CityBusiness 2015 “Women of the Year,” which was recognized at a November luncheon at the Hyatt Regency.
“It’s always good for one of our own to be recognized for strong efforts in the community,” LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said. “Carmen is a passionate and national leader in developing small businesses, which in return helps develop her local community.”
Sunda has dedicated the last thirty years in assisting small businesses in achieving growth, profitability, and sustainability and enabling these businesses to contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the region. She has been recognized nationally for her expertise and innovation.
“The work, achievements and success of the LSBDC GNOBR is a team effort,” Sunda said. “I am blessed to lead a staff of dedicated business professionals who are equally as passionate about creating success for small businesses.”
Through her leadership, the LSBDC GNOBR has become the “go to” team for creating business growth, business disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Between 2005 and 2012, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, and Isaac, in addition to the 2010 BP Oil Spill, impacted the region. Sunda and her team spent 27 months staffing 28 business recovery centers in addition to achieving non-disaster LSBDC productivity goals.
“The entrepreneurial growth in the Greater New Orleans Region has created an exciting environment of business innovation, expansion and new and emerging businesses,” Sunda said. “Being a part of this environment and assisting these businesses to grow and succeed is our greatest motivation.”
Since October 2005, LSBDC GNOBR has assisted over 8,700 small businesses, generating over $145,000,000 in capital formation and creating/retaining nearly 7,300 jobs. Four-hundred and twenty (420) new businesses have been started and LSBDC GNOBR clients have secured over $472,000,000 in public/private sector contracts and increased sales by nearly $500,000,000. The center has produced four LSBDC State Stars in eight years.
The LSBDC GNOBR was awarded the LSBDC Center Innovation award in 2011 and 2013. The center was named the top SBDC in the nation for 2013 by the U.S. Small Business Administration receiving the National 2013 Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Award.
“The Small Business Development Center program has operated for 35 years. As businesses evolve, so does our center,” Sunda said. “I consistently seek innovative, impactful and effective strategies to meet the changing needs of the small businesses in our community.”