Farmingdale SBDC Staff
Erica Chase-Gregory,Regional Director
Erica Chase-Gregory joined the Farmingdale SBDC in 2011. Erica owned and operated her own consulting business prior to joining the Small Business Development Center. Her previous experience working with Federal, State and Local government agencies has become a valuable asset to her clients who wish to pursue government contracts. She specializes in assisting clients with the federal, state and/or local certification processes.
Mrs. Chase-Gregory was appointed the Regional Director of Farmingdale SBDC on September 10, 2015. She sits as an advisory board member to the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence - Women's Resource Center and the Child Care Council of Suffolk, Inc.
Erica conducts business workshops for various community organizations as well as being involved with many long island business networking groups.
David Chiaro, Certified Business Advisor, Veteran Business Advisor
David joined the Farmingdale SBDC in 2014. His 27+ years working in the public and military sector make him a unique link to the military community as the Veteran Business Advisor.
His military career started in the Army as enlisted and ended with his Honorable Discharge retirement from the Navy at the rank of Commander, USNR (05), Veteran OEF/OIF/OND. His prior experience(s) with assorted military disciplines and certifications as an Intelligence Offer (MOS/NOBC: 35L, 35M, 163X, 9617) make him exceptionally qualified to assist many Veterans located in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
David holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Criminology from St Johns University as well as other degrees and certifications from the US Military as a NYS and Federal Instructor.
Lloyd Clarke, Business Advisor
Lloyd has 21 years of experience as an SBDC business advisor specializing in business and marketing plans. He has conducted many business seminars using motivational techniques that encourage entrepreneurs.
His prior experience as plant manager, director of distribution, and terminal manager for Continental Trailways brings a wealth of practical knowledge to his counseling skills.
Lloyd has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Baruch College and several post graduate Certificates in Communications and Multimedia from N.Y.U.
Troy A. Diaz, Business Advisor
Troy joined the Farmingdale SBDC in 2019 and brings more than 14 years of experience as a commercial banker within the Long Island market. He has worked with clients from various industries in the expansion and growth of their businesses, assisting with cash management strategies as well as securing funding for working capital, equipment and real estate needs.
Troy's background brings an added benefit to SBDC clients who are seeking to understand what banks look for and how to best navigate the process of securing financing.
Troy has a Bachelor's in communications from NYIT. Prior to working in the banking sector he spent several years in public relations and served as director of PR for a local non-profit agency.
Stacé Hansen, Certified Bilingual Business Advisor
Stacé Hansen has been a member of the Long Island Business community for 20 years and is a co-founder of Copenhagen Bakery in Northport. Copenhagen Bakery is a tremendous success that grew from a tiny "mom & pop" to a "name brand" operation with devoted customers ranging from the original local patrons to corporate clientele throughout the greater metro area.
Ms. Hansen has an extensive knowledge of customer relations, management, operations, and growing a small business. She brings her enthusiasm for business and bi-lingual skills to the SBDC team, helping to broaden connections between our business development services and the local Hispanic community.
In addition, with a Bachelor's degree in Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Ms. Hansen has a trained, esthetic eye that is especially effective with product development and marketing.
Pierre Lespinasse, Certified Business Advisor
Pierre has over 25 years of business experience in Management Accounting and Financial Reporting at global banking institutions, including JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse. His responsibilities and expertise have ranged from financial forecasting to cost analysis and internal transfer pricing.
Joining the NYS SBDC at Farmingdale State College after several years of association with the SBDC at Stony Brook University is a fitting extension of his long-held interest in community based economic development through education and entrepreneurship.
Mr. Lespinasse holds a BS in Management from Adelphi University and an MBA from Long Island University.
Lauren I. Linakis, Business Advisor
Lauren joined the Farmingdale SBDC in 2019. Before arriving at the SBDC, Lauren was the Associate Director of the LaGuardia Community College Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), where she helped small businesses understand government contracting and how to market their goods and services to the government. In recognition of her expertise in government procurement assistance, Lauren earned her Certified Procurement Professional Certificate from the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers in 2016. Lauren has a history of working with small businesses on many levels and environments.
While she worked in the Office of the President at the American University in Cairo, Lauren dedicated her time to working with Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women. The program was designed to provide female entrepreneurs in Egypt with best practices to develop their businesses. In addition, while she worked for Tony Blair at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem, Lauren helped small businesses in the city find partnerships and funding.
Lauren holds her Bachelor's degree in political science from Barnard College and her Master's in economic development from Columbia University.
Walter Reid, Advanced Certified Business Advisor
Specialties: Inventions, Import/Export, Technology
Walter has been a Business Advisor with SBDC since 1998. He originally worked at the Staten Island office and has been at the Farmingdale SBDC since January 2002. Walter was twice the recipient of the New York State Star Performer Award in 2007 and 2010. This is the highest award given by National Association of Small Business Development Centers to Advisors throughout the country He also won the NY State SBDC Counselor of the Year Award in 2006 and 2014. In 2000 he was recognized by the Staten Island Advance and the Staten Island Chamber for his role in a project that resulted in amending a federal regulation. This accomplishment was credited with impacting the continued operation of 32 small businesses and saving 190 jobs along the northeast corridor from Maine to Maryland. For this effort he received the NAMTAC Award for the "Outstanding Project of the Year" in 2000.
Mr. Reid has advised over 2,000 businesses since his tenure with the SBDC which resulted in the formation of 780 new small businesses creating 2,400 jobs and investing over $110,000,000 into the local economy. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Suffolk County Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club, The Long Island Business Exchange, The Business Resource Group, the Nassau County Inventor and Entrepreneur Club and The Safe Water Source, a charitable organization.
He obtained advanced certified advisor status with the SBDC in May of 2011. Before joining the SBDC, he worked for many years in the toy industry as a retail store buyer. He has also been a principal partner in two businesses: New York Business Brokers Inc., and R and M Toy Sales.
He received a B.B.A. from Hofstra University in 1972.
- Maria Darrow, Administrative Assistant
- Margaret Finn, Administrative Assistant