Whether you are in business or planning to start one, you have questions: What steps should I take to launch a business successfully? How can my website attract more customers? Where can I learn cutting-edge marketing and sales techniques? Are my financial practices providing the best advantage for my business? Have I covered legal, personnel and insurance needs adequately?
We’ve got answers. Put the combined decades of entrepreneurial experience, strategic skills and focused advice of our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business counselors to work for you. Whether you speak with one or more of our team of counselors, our no-cost counseling sessions can provide the specialized guidance and information you need for your small business operation or startup.
Please contact our office at (908) 526-1200, ext. 8516 to make an appointment. If this is a first time appointment, you may also fill out our Request for Counseling Form to request an appointment.
Our Business Counselors
Vicki Lynne Morgan – Counselor
An entrepreneur for over 40 years, Vicki Lynne Morgan has a passion for helping business owners sustain their goals and profitability. She advises clients on leveraging their expertise with strategic foundations and integrated consulting in core areas such as business and marketing plans, strategic target marketing, online resources, selling skills, customer experience management, written and verbal communication skills, and expo and trade show marketing.
A life-long sales professional, certified Guerrilla Marketer and trusted resource, Vicki Lynne has a wealth of knowledge gained from personal experience in retail, wholesale distribution, and service businesses. She has provided speaking presentations, counseling, and classroom instruction for thousands of clients and students for more than 15 years and is a frequent contributor and resource for New Jersey for Small Business Development Centers, trade organizations, networking groups, and Chambers of Commerce.
Ms. Morgan is founder and president of Califon Connection LLC, dba’s: Russmor Mentoring Group (formerly Russmor Marketing Group), Russmor Marine, and Animal Brands® Marketing, Sales Representation, and Consulting Agency – the first woman-owned manufacturers’ representation agency in the pet supply industry.
Ed Dolan – Counselor
Ed Dolan is an accomplished veteran in steering businesses to success. After years as a successful CEO and business leader in a variety of industries, Ed founded Kiva International Business Group in 2001 to work one-on-one with business owners. He also co-founded and is CEO of EPIC Results Inc. which provides training to enable companies to achieve breakthrough performance in sales, profit and customer satisfaction. Ed’s training, guidance and advice have enabled more than 2,000 entrepreneurs to successfully start and grow their businesses.
In addition, Ed is a founder of the Organization for Entrepreneurial Development, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to “unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit,” and the author of the “Murray” series of business books including “Meet Murray – Why Selling to Business Owners Doesn’t Work,” and “Who’s Running Your Business – Inside the Mind of Murray,” both of which are available on Amazon.
Ed is a fellow and trustee of the Institute for Independent Business. He is a frequent counselor and seminar presenter for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). His company, Kiva, has sponsored the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO) of New Jersey and Ed is a member of the Venture Association of NJ, Vice Chair of the Somerset Hills Business Network, which is part of the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, and he volunteers as an Ambassador for the Somerset County Business Partnership.
Carla Fallone – Counselor
Carla Fallone, MBA, CEO of Fallone Business Resources and a fourth generation entrepreneur, has been designing/launching companies for 26 years. She has launched and successfully run a food services corporation, a service based corporation and is currently designing a crowdfunding site scheduled for launch in 2016. She develops strategic business models and business plans, designed to “envision/teach/succeed” entrepreneurs to sustainable small businesses and growth. She consults finance, business development and financial software to private clients.
Carla is an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey, School of Business, teaching Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth. Since 2004, she consults for New Jersey SBDC’s and SBA, instructs accounting and financial software training, and authors business theory for Fortune 100 companies. Carla continues her public speaking, most recently as keynote during National Business Women’s Week, NJ Women’s Entrepreneurship series and at the New Jersey Governor’s Conference for Women. Globally, Carla travels to countries volunteering to support entrepreneurship and new business launches, inspiring empowerment, self-reliance and training sustainable business skills.
Salvadore Ricciardone, Jr. – Counselor
Sal is a former senior executive with three Fortune 500 companies,with more than 33 years of business experience, mainly in leadership roles. He provides expertise in all forms of business insurance.
His counseling includes: the development of insurance programs, advice about Risk Management techniques, guidance in buying and obtaining insurance, and reviews of current insurance and/or insurance proposals. Sal also specializes in working with start-up businesses. Having spent more than 20 years in the New Jersey business community, he is well versed in the state’s business environment.
Roland Reinhart – Counselor
Roland is a Digital Marketing expert who helps business owners attract new customers online. His expertise spans digital marketing topics, including: Website Design, E-commerce, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Advertising, Email Marketing, Video Production, Social Media and more.
Roland has developed and executed scores of direct marketing programs for brands large and small, in numerous industries. His company, Reinhart Marketing Group, works with businesses and non-profit organizations to attract customers and increase marketing effectiveness through technology.
Rita Auld – Counselor
Rita Auld has been a member of Senior Management teams for the past 15 years and has had direct responsibility for Human Resources, Administration and Facilities functions in companies as diverse as Accounting, Engineering, Manufacturing (semiconductor equipment as well as flexible sampling) Biotech and Specialty Pharmaceuticals. She started her career as an Executive Secretary managing offices and staffs and worked her way up to the Senior Management level most recently as a Vice President, Human Resources and Administration for a Specialty Pharmaceutical company with a global operation before starting her own Consulting business
Rita has both an AS and BS in Business Administration from Thomas A. Edison State College and is a Certified Human Resources Professional from Cornell University. Auld Consulting LLC is certified as a Women Business Enterprise with the State of New Jersey.
Esther Luongo Psarakis – Counselor
Esther Luongo Psarakis brings business experience of more than 30 years to her counseling. As President of Foodpreneur®, a strategic sales/marketing and educational consultancy, she addresses the educational needs of entrepreneurial food companies and has created a comprehensive curriculum for launching a specialty foods company.
As an advisor with the NJ Small Business Development Centers and the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Esther focuses on food- and beverage-centric companies. Her skills in mentoring, concept development, business plan and sales strategies have been applied to a wide range of companies and products, including bakery goods, baby, vegan and ethnic foods, healthy beverages, popcorn, jams and dips. One of her business plans was published in a new edition of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans.”
She has crafted effective sales and marketing strategies for launch in the United States for international companies in several countries and is experienced in trade show management, sourcing and on-boarding of personnel and resources, and developing branding and sales distribution for entry into the U.S. ethnic, specialty and food service channels.
Esther launched Taste of Crete, a gourmet food company importing artisan Greek food products, and created a line of Greek cookies and fresh meals which sold at King’s, Whole Foods, and Shoprite. She is a speaker and educator for several organizations, including the Specialty Food Association, Raritan Valley Community College, Bergen Community College and Rutgers University Food Innovation Center. Esther has a BA in Communications from Douglass College and holds a Certificate in International Market Entry from the US Department of Commerce.
Sylvester (Syl) Di Diego – Counselor
Sylvester (Syl) Di Diego is an accomplished Entrepreneur, Strategist, Innovation Consultant, Project Manager. Speaker and Professional Consultant in the areas of management, innovation, digital, venture and HR consulting. His roles were with Razorfish, Strategy Dynamix, LLC, Scient Corp. and other ventures. To date Syl’s results include 300+ ventures served, $300M+ capital raised, 50+ business launches, 10,000+ Jobs created or saved, and 200,000+ people inspired through coaching, speeches and seminars.
His specialties are strategic planning, business planning, marketing plans, investor-ready business plans, financial modeling, SWOT analysis, innovation, technology commercialization, new product development, go-to-market, business development, strategic partnering, consumer networking, network marketing, eBusiness, eCommerce, eShopping, shopper marketing, digital multi-channel marketing, procurement, logistics, supply chain, and entrepreneurship and leadership development. His market experience spans consumer goods, digital, apps, hi-tech, health care, biosciences, medical devices, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services.
Syl received his B.A. from Harvard College, was awarded a Harvard University – Michael Rockefeller Graduate Fellowship to Japan, has MBA equivalent experience and PMI PMP and PMI ACP (Agile) training, and is an alumnus of Leadership New York and the Mitsubishi Bank Emerging Leaders Forum Tokyo. He has served as Advisor on the Center for International Business and Education Committee at Raritan Valley Community College since 2000.
Karen Katcher – Counselor
Karen Katcher has produced a formula for creating successful businesses, based on strategic business and market planning. Her approach intricately examines all aspects of the client’s business. Using extensive research, she applies educated theories and evaluates the results before delivering a concrete solution certain to deliver success.
Karen’s method produces tangible results with clients. Throughout her business career, Karen has taken on challenges and achieved success. She achieved 60 percent of a unit’s profits by establishing life-cycle management of 11 diverse products. She developed a solution to increase sales by nearly 30 percent for an international risk management and fraud protection company. In another example, she worked with a poorly performing data center and within a year had made a positive change, bringing $1 million in profits to the company.
While at AT&T, she was instrumental in the development and growth of a $1 billion business known as AT&T Universal Card – which she named. Karen was involved in all aspects of this innovative and very successful product, including developing and implementing the strategic and business plans and creating the marketing campaign.
An avid public speaker on many professional topics, Karen currently conducts networking seminars for various groups. She offers seminars on business start-ups, business and market plans and training in management and sales. She provides counseling for SBDCs and mentoring for the Economic Development Authority through their Entrepreneurial Training Institute program. Karen holds an MBA degree in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is involved in a variety of business groups and Chambers of Commerce.
Karen Auld – Counselor
Karen C. Auld is a WAIT Loss Coach. No, this is not a typo. As a corporate consultant and certified Success Coach, Ms. Auld helps people conquer procrastination.
Her signature WAIT Loss program is a transformative four-step process that provides a structure for people to do the inner work to get the outer results. Ms. Auld is also the developer of the affirmation and goal setting app, Soul Goals Plus.
Myriam E. Cruz – Consejera
Myriam se une a NJSBDC como la primera consejera hispana de negocios y paquetes de préstamos. Su habilidad bilingue y capacidad profesional ayudarán a NJSBDC en sus servicios de asistencia/asesoramiento y servicios de capacitación profesional a una audiencia más variada.
En su posición actual, en el Departamento Financiero del Sindicato de Crédito de Recursos Financieros, como Vice-presidenta de préstamos para pequeñas empresas; Myriam trae consigo vitalidad, profesionalismo y un deseo profundo de ayudar a la pequeña empresa. Con su amplia experiencia como oficial de préstamos en las areas de SBA, bienes raíces comerciales, franquicias y préstamos para la construcción; y con un deseo grande de comprometerse a servir a la comunidad y sus clientes, su enfoque principal será el de ayudar a mejorar el rendimiento de organizaciones, impactando de manera positiva a dueños de empresas por medio de la creación de cultura organizacional llena de dinamismo, y al mismo tiempo proveyendo financiamiento que ayude a su crecimiento.
Antes de unirse a FRFCU, Myriam ejerció la posición de Oficial de Desarrollo Empresarial en el Banco Columbia y también la de Gerente de desarrollo de Relaciones Empresariales en el Banco JP Morgan, ayudando a empresas pequeñas medianas empresas con soluciones de préstamo hechas a la medida de sus necesidades.
Myriam se graduó en la Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, donde estudió Administración Gerencial en Recursos Humanos y Mercadéo. Ella ha servido además como Embajadora de Medios sociales en la Cámara Estatal Hispana de Comercio, y como miembro de las Cámaras de Comercio en Middlesex y Somerset. Además de su amor por la lectura y su pasión por ayudar a empresarios, a Myriam le gusta compartir de su tiempo junto a sus seres queridos.
Myriam E. Cruz – Counselor
Myriam joins the NJSBDC at RVCC as the Center’s first Spanish business and loan package development counselor. Her professional and bilingual capabilities will help the NJSBDC provide counseling and training services to broader audience.
In her current role as Vice President of Small Business Lending at Financial Resources Federal Credit Union (FRFCU) Myriam brings vitality, professionalism and warmth to her small business advocacy. An experienced business loan officer with skills in SBA, commercial real estate, franchise and construction loans and a commitment to community engagement and customer service, her primary focus is to enrich the performance of organizations, positively impacting business owners by creating thriving organizational cultures and providing financing aimed at achieving growth.
Prior to joining FRFCU, Myriam served as Business Development Officer for Columbia Bank and as Chase Business Relationship Manager at JP Morgan Chase Bank, assisting small and mid-size businesses with lending solutions tailored to their financing needs.
Myriam graduated from Salesian Polytechnic University where she studied Business Management in Human Resources and Marketing. She has served on the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey as a Social Media Ambassador, and as a member of the Middlesex and Somerset Chambers of Commerce. In addition to her love for reading good books and her passion for helping business owners, Myriam enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.
As a natural health and organic food advocate Camille has worked extensively in raising awareness around food and farming issues at the local, state and national levels. She actively promotes healing ourselves through food and nature. She is a past member in the National Organic Coalition (NOC), a national alliance of grassroots organic groups and environmental organizations working to provide a “Washington voice” for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, and others involved in organic agriculture as well as a national trained speaker for the Institute of Responsible Technology on genetically engineered food. She also served as Interim-President of the Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council, a seven-state organic farming coalition with more than 5,500 members devoted to promoting healthy food, chemical free farming practices, and a cleaner environment.
Before dedicating her full-time efforts to helping natural business owners unlock their personal potential, her professional experience included more than 30 years in senior level leadership with extensive experience in operations, sales, marketing and brand management efforts with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. In helping holistic professionals she has dovetailed her strength in business with her passion for living a natural lifestyle. She is described as a highly motivated professional with excellent communication skills and an extraordinary ability to work with, influence and motivate others.
Camille holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from the William Paterson University Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz. She is a Certified Business Success Coach, Master Sales Trainer, and top-rated instructor in all aspects of business. She is currently working on her doctorate in Natural Health Science at the University of Natural Medicine. Her primary research focuses on the role of lifestyle and nutrition in reducing the risk of chronic disease and promoting wellness as we age.
Michele Walten is a keen and earnest business professional with diverse operations, accounting and entrepreneurial experience spanning over 30 years. Her passion lies in developing and implementing cost effective and process efficient operating solutions for small businesses. Client relationships are the core of her being in this business; it is this connection that drives her desire to interpret client needs and design solutions to deliver end-to-end systematic results.
With over 12 years’ experience managing small business accounting and operations she is the principal owner operator of Walten Small Business Solutions LLC, and works as a private consultant, business coach and QuickBooks ProAdvisor. She also functions as an AR/AP Specialist for Columbia Container Services LLC. Her emphasis is tied to using QuickBooks accounting software as a tool to deliver a full range of financial and administrative solutions for small businesses.
Having worked for AT&T for over 22 years, Michele has held multiple key management and project team lead positions that included Public Stations Product Development, Call Center Operations, Human Resources User Infrastructure Design and Development, Marketing Communications, Point of Sale, Ordering, Customer Service and Fulfilment.
With experience in hand, Michele left AT&T in 2006 and began her entrepreneurial path by launching a start-up retail boutique in the heart of Chester, NJ. Philosophy Boutique was a destination point offering distinct product selection and superior customer service. As the owner operator, she managed end-to-end business operations, including procurement, inventory, merchant services, accounts receivable/payable, general ledger, sales and use tax and bank reconciliations. All functions were administered thorough the understanding and use of general accounting principles, integrated with QuickBooks accounting software.
Michele has also served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for two non-profit organizations to facilitate financial reporting, State and IRS non-profit entity compliance. Overall, she is a committed QuickBooks ProAdvisor for the simple reason that it is a powerful tool that can be used in multiple business applications (accounting, sales data, customer and inventory database). She finds joy in coaching and mentoring her clients by sharing her knowledge to teach them how to use and maximize this powerful financial software tool. It is all about healthy brainstorming with her clients to derive ideas driving solutions that ultimately organize their business and minimize worry relative to money management and business operations.
Knowing the importance of leading a balanced lifestyle Michele loves to walk and bicycle ride on nature trails as often as she can. For fun she takes drives in antique cars though whimsical towns with an occasional steam train ride on a historic railway. These diverse activities help keep her mind clear and refreshed for all of life’s tasks.