Small Business Development Center

Erica Chase-Gregory, 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 in 2015. During her time with the SBDC the center has assisted over 9700 small businesses, helping them access $215 million dollars to start or to expand their businesses.

Erica conducts business workshops for various community organizations as well as being involved with many long island business networking groups. Under her leadership the Farmingdale Center has won numerous awards for excellence and the center is a top performing center in NY State.

Lauren I. Linakis, Assistant Director

Lauren Linakis 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. 

Throughout her career, Lauren has focused on helping small businesses get registered to work with the government, get certified as an MWBE or disadvantaged business, and apply for contracts with the government.  In 2020, Lauren was awarded the New York SBDC’s Lead by Example award in recognition of her collaboration with New York SBDC advisors in helping their clients understand the government procurement space. In 2022, she was awarded America’s SBDC Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals Award, a recognition of SBDC staff from across the national network who demonstrate innovation, leadership, and commitment to the SBDC mission.  

Lauren holds her Bachelor's degree in political science from Barnard College and her Master's in economic development from Columbia University.

Troy A. Diaz, Certified 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.

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.

Christina Loggia, State Coordinator, NYS Center for Disability Entrepreneurship

Christina joined the Farmingdale SBDC in 2013. She came to the SBDC as an advisor helping Hurricane Sandy victims with the NY Rising grant applications and succeeded in obtaining over 4 million dollars in grant money for her small business clients. With over 30 years of experience in business, specifically in the areas of Retail, Purchasing, Human Resources, Marketing and Education, she has a myriad of experience to bring to the small business community. In 2016 Christina was awarded with the NY SBDC State Star Award.

Christina holds a M.S. degree from Dowling college in Secondary Education and was NYS certified to teach High School Business. She holds B.S. and A.A.S degrees from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Marketing/Communications and Fashion Buying & Merchandising. Christina is also a John Maxwell Certified Trainer.

Matthew J. Lostaglia, Business Advisor

Matthew Lostaglia joined the SBDC in January 2023 as the Center’s Veteran Specialist and will provide entrepreneurs with information and resources that will help them start or expand their businesses.      

Prior to joining the Farmingdale SBDC Matthew founded a talent consulting firm in the Midwest, built a digital training company near Washington DC, and launched a podcast with an international audience.   Matthew Lostaglia spent over a decade in the military providing both tactical and strategic intelligence for the 82nd Airborne Division while serving as the United States’ Global Response Force. Matthew was later hand-selected to create a social media exploitation cell which led to Matthew becoming the first enlisted intelligence analyst to ever deploy overseas in direct support of the protection of the DoD’s highest-ranking members including Secretaries of Defense Carter and Mattis. 

Matthew’s military leadership expertise, his 7,600 hours dedicated toward the study of organizational behavior, interpersonal communication, and his experience in building resilient teams will all be a great asset to the Farmingdale SBDC as well as the individuals and business owners Matthew advises in his role as a Business Advisor for the Center.  

Jeffrey B. Sherman,  Business Advisor

Jeff Sherman joined the Farmingdale SBDC in 2023. Jeff brings more than 20 years’ experience as a commercial banker within the Long Island and Metropolitan NY markets. He specialized in commercial lending by securing funding for small business clients in various industries, for working capital, expansion, purchasing equipment, vehicles and commercial real estate.

Jeff’s diverse background in public accounting, internal auditing, owning and operating a small business and his vast banking experience brings valuable benefits to SBDC clients.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Brooklyn College.


Admin Staff

  • Maria Darrow
  • Margaret Finn
  • Sarah M. Shilstone

Small Business Development Center

Small Business Development Center
Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm


Erica Chase
Director of SBDC

Last Modified 4/24/24