Louisiana Small Business Summit
SB Summit 2023 PPT3

Louisiana Small Business Summit
October 24, 2023

Hosted by Louisiana Economic Development
Presented by Lafayette Economic Development Authority and OneAcadiana

Cajundome & Convention Center | 444 Cajundome Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506

The 2023 Louisiana Small Business Summit will give attendees the opportunity to connect directly with state departments and procurement representatives plus obtain information on resources for small businesses. For small businesses wishing to potentially increase their sales of goods and services to the state government, this is a fantastic opportunity. Ticket includes lunch and registration.

*Tickets for the 2023 Louisiana Small Business Summit are now sold out* 

•A room block is available at the Hilton Garden Inn Lafayette/Cajundome. Guests can make reservations here or by phone at 337.291.1977. Use group code LASBS when making your reservation.



REGISTRATION | 8:00 A.M. - 9:00 A.M.


  • Governor John Bel Edwards
  • Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson


BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1 | 10:00 A.M. - 10:45 A.M.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law/IIJA Local Opportunities
Learn more in this panel about the different types of processes and information for projects that will happen at the local level as well as other contracting opportunities.
  • Moderator: 
    Matthew Campbell – Strategic Partnerships Program Manager, Delta Regional Authority
  • Panelists: 
    Brian Baker – Project Engineer, Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, LDH
    Blake Canfield – Executive Counsel, Department of Natural Resources
    Christina Dayries – Deputy Director, Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
How to Do Business with the State of Louisiana
This presentation is an overview of the Office of State Procurement’s purchasing processes, their website, and the benefits of Hudson and Veteran Initiatives certifications & vendor registration.
  • Presenters: 
    Austin Bachman – Assistant Director, Office of State Procurement
    Tatiana Bruce – Senior Program Manager, LED
Resources to Accelerate your Growth
Challenges and triumphs will be discussed along with how LED and other entrepreneurial support organizations have helped them along the way.
  • Moderator: Bobby Fruge – Co-Owner of Under Pressure
  • Panelists: 
    Dan Ducote’ – CEO, Enginuity Global LLC
    Trivia Frazier, PhD, MBA – Co-Founder, President and CEO, Obatala Sciences, Inc.
    Missy Rogers – President, Noble Plastics
Establish or Expand your Bonding Capacity
Hear from industry experts on how to establish and expand your bonding capacity and learn about the state’s bonding assistance program.
  • Presenters:
    Camille Campbell – Program Manager, LED
    Miller Hilliard – Vice President, R.A. Brunson, Inc.
Access to Capital
This session will offer guidance and feedback from panelists whose organizations offer financing to small businesses whether for traditional capital needs or to aid in the recovery of Louisiana’s recent natural disasters.
  • Moderator: Kelly Raney – Business Development Manager, Business Incentive Services, LED
  • Panelists: 
    LeVar Anderson - Vice President Senior Commercial Relationship Manager, Home Bank
    Natalie Carlis - Disaster Recovery Manager, Office of Community Development, ED&I
    Sylvestor Johnson - Business Development Officer, NewCorp
    Todd Adams - Vice President, Business Development Officer, Lendistry

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 2 | 11:00 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law /IIJA State Opportunities
In this panel, learn from state agencies receiving BIL funding on procurement processes and information for upcoming projects and how small businesses can prepare to pursue opportunities.

  • Moderator: Jackson Wright – Director of Special Projects, Office of the Governor
  • Panelists: 
    Greg Grandy – Executive Director, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
    Paula Merrick Roddy – Compliance Programs Director, DOTD
    David Lehman – Program Manager, State of Louisiana, Connect LA
Information from Presenters:
How to Respond to an Invitation to Bid
This presentation will go over the steps to filling out the bid document that can be found on the LaPac website.
  • Presenter: 
    Austin Bachman –  Assistant Director, Office of State Procurement
Leveraging Resources for Small Business Growth
Business owners will address the audience to share their experience with the tools provided by LED’s Small Business Services designed to help them successfully run, sustain and grow their businesses.
  • Moderator: Heidi Melancon – Assistant State Director, Louisiana Small Business Development Center
  • Panelists: 
    Sherilyn Hayward –  Owner, Leroy's LipSmack'n Lemonade
    Christopher Hebert – Chief Visionary, ArisAlex Digital
    Carolette Wright –  Owner, Wright Management Solutions
Success with Government Contracting
The intent of the panel is to discuss government contracting success amongst Louisiana-based small business and primes, and how utilizing government resources and certifications played a role in that success.
  • Moderator: Cindy Carrier – Program Manager, LA APEX Accelerator
  • Panelists: 
    Ben Diebold – Executive Vice President, LEMOINE
    Bridget A. LaFleur – CEO & Cofounder, Third Eye Business Solutions
    Darrin Elliott Sr. – President and Managing Member, Elliott Security Solutions, LLC
Information from Presenters:
Cybersecurity - Prepare, Protect, Respond
The intent of this panel is to provide business owners practical information to safeguard their digital assets, protect against cyber threats, and how to respond in case of a breach.
  • Moderator: Jason Bergeron - CEO, Stratify
  • Presenters: 
    Henry Thomasson - Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service
    Danielle Metoyer - Cyber Crime Analyst, Louisiana State Police Cybersecurity Division
    Dr. Aisha Ali-Gombe - Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, LSU

LUNCH | 12:00 P.M. - 1:15 P.M.

Mandi Mitchell - President and CEO, Lafayette Economic Development Authority

Jewel Burks Solomon
Managing Partner of Collab Capital 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 3 | 1:30 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. 

Certifications to Benefit Your Business
This presentation will provide an overview of certifications that can help small businesses get connected with additional technical assistance and contracting opportunities.

  • Moderator: Kenyatta Sparks – Program Manager, SJB Group
  • Presenters: 
    Jo Ann Lawrence – Deputy District Director, SBA
    Paula Merrick Roddy – Compliance Programs Director, DOTD
    Stephanie Hartman – Director Small Business Services, LED

How to Respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP)
This presentation will provide an overview of the State's RFP process. The presentation will also provide best practices for responding to RFPs.

  • Presenter: Austin Bachman – Assistant Director, Office of State Procurement

Hosted by:


Presented by:

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Sponsors and Partners:

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