Press Releases

JEDCO, Jefferson Chamber to host seminar on small business financing

(AVONDALE, La) — As small business owners and entrepreneurs know, access to capital plays an important role in the success of a company. Understanding your financing options (both traditional and non-traditional) and learning about the best ways to connect with investors can help with everything from hiring new employees and securing enough inventory to meet the demands of your consumers to purchasing a new building or equipment as your company expands.

As part of the ongoing Prosper Jefferson series, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and the Jefferson Chamber have teamed up to bring you a seminar on a variety of lending and investment options available in the Greater New Orleans region to help your business grow. Join our lending experts as they cover topics such as:

  • Angel Investment
  • How to prep for a meeting with investors/lenders
  • Startup competitions
  • Gap financing
  • Tax Incentives for growing businesses

Join us Wednesday, February 22nd, at the JEDCO Conference Center (701A Churchill Parkway, Fairfield, LA 70094) from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Admission is FREE. This event is open to all businesses and entrepreneurs. Please register online in advance at

Meet Our Speakers
Mike Eckert, NO/LA Angel Network Chairman
Originally from Chicago where he began his professional career in media and media technology, Mike’s career brought him to New York City and Atlanta. He was on the launch team of The Weather Channel and served as its President and CEO. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Pathfire, a technology start-up that became a leading provider of digital media and asset management capabilities to large media companies. In the summer of 2013 Mike moved to New Orleans to be closer to family.He has been, an active angel investor, angel group leader and LP in venture capital funds since the late 1990s. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the national Angel Capital Association, serving as Chair of its Public Policy Committee and of its Strategic Planning Activities; is Chairman of the NO/LA Angel Network, and is a member of the Investment Committee of the New Orleans Start-Up Fund. Prior to moving to New Orleans Mike was Chairman of the Atlanta Technology Angels, a top ten angel investment group nationally.

Shafin Khan, Director of Technology Commercialization, New Orleans BioInnovation Center
As Director of Technology Commercialization, Shafin Khan oversees the Center’s commercialization program and its consulting team of life science experts, providing technical assistance and programming aimed at growing the life sciences industry and knowledge-based economy in the region. Shafin earned his J.D. from Loyola University of New Orleans and gained his B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University. Additionally, he has four years of life science research experience, performing research at the LSU Health Sciences Center.

Alberto Queral, JEDCO Director of Finance
Alberto has been with JEDCO since 1995 where we oversees JEDCO’s finance program, which provides loans for acquisition of fixed assets, working capital and initial inventory for Jefferson Parish-based businesses, both new and established. Prior to his employment at JEDCO, Alberto worked within the banking industry for approximately 15 years, where he developed commercial banking experience, including both consumer and commercial lending. He is also fully bilingual in English and Spanish, a skill that allows him to serve the Parish’s Spanish speaking constituency.

Alberto has also completed courses in financial accounting, management, economics, business and other general studies while following a business administration curriculum at UNO. He graduated from Leadership Jefferson, a program of the Jefferson Chamber. Until 2014 he assisted and lectured students from UNO’s ExCel course, a business program with the purpose of preparing persons with disabilities from across Louisiana start businesses.

Kate Moreano, JEDCO Economic Development Manager
Kate Moreano oversees JEDCO’s Economic Development Services department, which has a focus on retention and expansion of local businesses in Jefferson Parish. This is accomplished through facilitating business development programs on state and local levels, such as tax incentives and workforce development programs. While dedicated to assisting existing Jefferson Parish businesses, the department’s efforts also include the recruitment of new businesses to the area. Kate has been with JEDCO since 2013.

Kate is a 2016 graduate of the Leadership Jefferson program and the recipient of a 2016 Millennial Award in Economic Development. She currently serves on several committees focused on economic development, strengthening JEDCO’s partnerships with the Jefferson Chamber and Harvey Canal Industrial Association. Before joining the JEDCO team, she was an Intern Architect for a large architecture and design firm in Biloxi, MS. Kate graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and the University of Southern Mississippi with a Master’s degree in Economic Development.