Prosper Jefferson: Meet 6 Business Organizations That Can Help Your Company Thrive

AVONDALE, LA – As part of the Prosper Jefferson seminar series, JEDCO and the Jefferson Chamber have teamed up to present an informative seminar on the various resources and organizations that are available to help your business thrive. Six organizations will be represented at the upcoming Business Resources seminar on Wednesday, March 29, at the JEDCO Conference Center, 701A Churchill Parkway, in Avondale, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

         This event is free and open to the public.

         Event reps said Louisiana's small businesses represent 80% of jobs in the state, and in the Greater New Orleans region, small business owners have access to a variety of business organizations designed specifically to provide guidance and access to tools that will enhance growth. They are there to help business owners gain skills in negotiation and marketing, write business plans, access working capital and better understand state incentive programs, they said. These organizations enhance networking opportunities and advocate for Jefferson Parish businesses.

         At the seminar, you'll hear comments from individuals representing the following groups:


• Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Delgado Community College: Provides a world-class business education and connections to those individuals who can grow your business at no-cost

• The Louisiana Small Business Development Center: Provides a myriad of services available to small businesses, including assistance with marketing, financing, market research, business plan development, and the development of a loan proposal

• Louisiana Economic Development Small Business Services Program: The state's economic development organization provides a variety of resources and programs to help build capacity, accelerate growth, and increase opportunities for small businesses

• The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce: As the leading voice for the Jefferson Parish business community, this non-profit, membership-driven organization is an effective advocate for small businesses at the local, state, and federal levels

• Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO):

The economic development organization for the Parish attracts, grows, and creates new business in the area while also assisting local businesses with tax incentives, small business financing, site selection, Parish interface and a variety of other programs

• SCORE: Offers free mentoring services and workshops for small business owners and entrepreneurs


         Speakers will include:

• Dr. Barbara B. Holloway, SCORE, New Orleans Vice Chapter Chair

         Holloway is the current volunteer vice chapter chair for SCORE, counselors to America's small businesses. SCORE is a volunteer organization supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organization's role is to offer small business counseling and or mentoring services, and a variety of workshops as need by clients in business or desiring to start a business. The core asset is that SCORE offers face-to-face sessions in addition to email, Skype, or telephone counseling. Originally from New Orleans, Holloway has 30 years telephony experience while living in Southern California, and is currently the campus college chair for the school of business with University of Phoenix.


• Christopher P. Cassagne, MBA, EGc, LED Small Business Services, Business Development Officer

         Cassagne joined the Small Business Services group within Louisiana Economic Development in October of 2014. He is responsible for programs and initiatives related to accelerating the growth of second-stage companies throughout the state of Louisiana. In April 2015, he was awarded a Professional Certification in the Principles of Economic Gardening (EGc) by the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG), which focuses on organization and implementation of a high fidelity Economic Gardening program. Cassagne was born and raised in the Greater New Orleans area where he graduated from Brother Martin High School in 2008. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing from Louisiana State University (LSU) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the LSU Flores MBA Program with a dual-concentration in Human Resource Management and Global Entrepreneurship.


• David B. Payton, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Executive Director

         Payton is the Executive Director for the Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program at Delgado Community College in New Orleans. He started with the program in 2012 as a Business Advisor providing strategic consulting services to the CEOs in the program. Bringing with him 25 years of professional, leadership and consulting experience in multiple industries, he has led and assisted businesses and government in building effective organizations and developing practical strategies to address their biggest challenges. He and his team have achieved notable success with helping businesses regarding change management, identifying strategic opportunities, growing profitability, reducing cost, managing risk and leveraging talent and resources. He has a passion for working with others and empowering them to realize and achieve their goals and dreams. Payton earned a Master's in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans with a concentration in Management Information Systems, a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and an A.S. in Engineering Technology at Delgado Community College. Before joining the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, he worked as a Management Consultant and Business Development Specialist for an international consulting firm.


Erik D. Waters, Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Consultant

         Waters is a Business Consultant at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center – Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region.  Prior to working with LSBDC, Waters 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; Marketing and branding, Certification, Internet marketing and social media, loan packaging and business expansion and development. Waters has a BBA from Loyola University with a concentration in Finance. He has also worked in the private sector as a marketing consultant, specializing in creating and managing businesses' internet presence and reach as well as providing contracting assistance and joint venture development services.


Jerry Bologna, CEcD, JEDCO, President & CEO

         Bologna serves as President & CEO of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) after being chosen to lead the organization in 2012. He previously served as the organization's Deputy Director. Since 2000, Bologna has played a significant role in industry recruitment and business retention efforts throughout Jefferson Parish, bringing companies like Dyno Nobel America, Smoothie King's international headquarters and NOLA Motorsports Park to Jefferson Parish. Most recently, his work with Ochsner Health System is helping to develop an underutilized stretch of Jefferson Highway into an international healthcare destination through nearly $400 million in capital improvements and the creation of an additional 3,200 jobs. His contributions to the region's recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill have been recognized by business and political leadership, including the White House and members of the US Senate. Bologna is a Certified Economic Developer and was recognized by the International Economic Development Council as the New Economic Development Professional of the Year. Bologna was also named to the first-ever "40 Under 40" in International Economic Development.


Todd Murphy, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, President

         As President of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Murphy is the primary spokesperson for the organization driving advocacy, membership development, and marketing. Murphy currently serves on the boards of Greater New Orleans Inc. and the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Murphy is a graduate of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI). He has served on the Jefferson Parish Charter Advisory Board, the "Jeff 2000" committee, the Jefferson EDGE 2020 steering committee, Kenner Mayor's Transition Team, and the Kenner Economic Development Committee. In 2012, he was honored as one of the People to Watch by New Orleans Magazine and in 2015, he received JEDCO's Economic Development Champion Award. Under Murphy's leadership, the Chamber has taken several notable public policy and legislative positions, grown membership and high investor revenue by more than 20% and received a four-star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


         Register for the event here


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