Press Releases

JEDCO, Jefferson Chamber to host business resources seminar

Louisiana’s small businesses represent 80% of jobs in the state. It’s no wonder there are so many resources available to support them. 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. These organizations enhance networking opportunities and advocate for Jefferson Parish businesses.

As part of the Prosper Jefferson seminar series, JEDCO & the Jefferson Chamber teamed up to bring you 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. You’ll hear comments from individuals representing the following groups:

  • Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Delgado: 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 Procurement Technical Assistance Center: Assists businesses in obtaining contracts with federal, state, and local government agencies
  • 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

Join us Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at the JEDCO Conference Center (701A Churchill Parkway, Avondale, LA 70094) from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. for our upcoming Prosper Jefferson seminar. This event is free and open to the public. Please register at

Meet Our Speakers
Carla Coury, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Delgado, Executive Director
Carla has spent more than 20 years focusing on community and economic development, building organizational capacity, and developing workforce-enrichment programs in higher education specializing in communications, organizational systems, and business development. As Executive Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in New Orleans, Carla works with partners across the region and a high-performing team at Delgado Community College to provide small business owners poised for growth with an experience many have called transformational. Carla earned a B.S. degree in Workforce Education & Development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and M.A. degree in Organizational Communication from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Also a seasoned entrepreneur, Carla understands the passion and hard work it takes to succeed in a competitive environment.

Eileen R. Lodge, Louisiana PTAC, Counselor
As a LA-PTAC Counselor, Eileen is responsible for counseling Contractors in 10 Greater New Orleans parishes. She has been working with LA-PTAC since December 2015.  Before she joined the PTAC team, Eileen worked for the U. S.  Army Corps of Engineers as a Contract Specialist/Contracting Officer with over 30 years of government contracting experience.  She has worked with the Corps in the New Orleans District, Kansas City District, Gulf Region District North and South, Afghanistan Engineering District South and Transatlantic Programs Center (TAC) with an unlimited Contracting Officer warrant.   Eileen has a Bachelor Degree in Business Management from Northwood University and retired from the government with the highest level in contracting, Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III.   Eileen is currently a member of Women Impacting Public Policy, (WIPP).

Todd Murphy, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, President
As President of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Todd is the primary spokesperson for the organization driving advocacy, membership development, and marketing. Todd currently services on the boards of Greater New Orleans Inc. and the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Todd 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 Todd’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 US Chamber of Commerce.

Dartanian Sanders, SCORE, New Orleans Chapter Chair
As the Chapter Chair of SCORE – New Orleans, Dartanian works with small business owners to help them succeed. He has 22 years of business consultation experience and currently serves as the Head of Investment Compliance/Senior Investment Advisor for Primerica Advisors New Orleans Region, a position he’s held for 17 years.  Dartanian is active in the community. He is the CFO of Unity Bible College, a Community Impact Board Member for United Way Southeast Louisiana, and a mentor to the NFL Players Trust. He is the former CFO of the Follow Your Dreams Foundation. In 2015, Dartanian was recognized as the United Way Volunteer of the Year.

Kelsey Scram, JEDCO, Marketing & PR Manager
As Marketing and PR Manager for JEDCO, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, Kelsey oversees all aspects of JEDCO’s marketing approach, including media outreach, advertising campaigns, social media content, and event implementation for the organization. In 2013, Kelsey spearheaded the launch of the first-ever Jefferson Parish-based pitch competition for local entrepreneurs. Most recently, she assisted with the development of a new brand and logo for the economic development organization. Kelsey has been with JEDCO since May 2012. Before joining the JEDCO team, she was a television reporter and fill-in anchor for NBC33/Fox44 in Baton Rouge. She currently serves as the co-chair for the Jefferson Chamber Young Professionals organization. Kelsey is also a 2014 graduate of Leadership Jefferson and a Jefferson Chamber board member.

Carmen Sunda: LSBDC Greater New Orleans & Bayou Region, Director
Carmen is responsible for the management and operations of a 14-parish regional Small Business Development Center with multiple collaborative partners. She has dedicated the last 30 years to assisting small businesses in achieving growth, profitability and sustainability while also contributing to the economic growth of the region. Carmen’s areas of specialties include strategic marketing, loan packaging, market research, management and risk management. She was named the Louisiana SBDC State Star in 2007 and awarded the SBA 2009 Financial Services Champion of the Year for the State. In 2015, she was honored as one of the 50 Women of the Year by CityBusiness and awarded a Louisiana Economic Development Collaborative Excellence Award for collaborative partnership with St. John the Baptist parish. Over the last ten years, LSBDC GNORBR has assisted nearly 10,000 small businesses generating nearly $169 million in capital formation and retaining nearly 8,000 jobs.