Our Team

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Christel Brown


Christel aids in the daily operations of the Center, such as data collection and reporting, event registration and administrative support for the Executive Director, she is the first to welcome clients, listen to their needs and guide them to their next step.

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Nakiea Cook

COVID Recovery Task Force

Nakiea S. Cook is the Founder of NC Accounting & Consulting Solutions (M/WBE Certified NYS & NYC) where she provides consulting services for bookkeeping, tax preparation and planning, accounting advisory services, and training.


Cheri Carter

Advisory Group: Elevate

Cheri Carter is an accomplished, entrepreneurial business leader with a diverse background in empowering teams to address organizational challenges impacting growth and profitability. Her business experience is multifaceted and spans across many business functions: Operations, Supply Chain, Finance, Quality, Marketing and Engineering.


Kenyana David, MBA

Advisory Group: Grow

Kenyana David, MBA, is a WBC success story!  After taking advantage of many WBC resources she has a focused and growing business based on her talents, expertise and passion.  Kenyana is the CEO & founder at 81Eighteen, LLC, a boutique marketing firm specializing in email marketing.

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LaToya Fonville

Advisory Group: Launch

Within the Advisory Groups LaToya helps our clients within their first year of business and launching ideas phase.

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Heather Jason

Assistant Director

Heather works with the Executive Director to research funding opportunities, ensure grant compliance, maintain financial records and assist in strategic business planning and analysis.

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Lena Levine

Facilitator / Mentor:
E-Commerce Business Builder

Lena Levine is a leader in the web design industry with more than 10 years of experience. Lena has worked with Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 companies on both national and local levels.

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Samantha Long

COVID Recovery Coordinator

Samantha aids in the daily operations of our COVID-19 business recovery programming.

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Jessica Marinelli

COVID Recovery Task Force

Jessica Marinelli is an articulate speaker and savvy strategist adept at working with organizations of every size and growth stage, from entrepreneurial startups to Fortune 500 companies, to help achieve marketing and business goals.

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Elisabeth Marino

COVID Recovery Task Force

Elisabeth Marino has worked in sales for over 35 years. Her work as a sales rep, manager, director, and vice president of several sales organizations has earned her local and national awards in sales excellence, commercialization, team building, gross sales numbers, and more.

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LaTashia Martin

COVID Recovery Task Force

LaTashia  Martin has a passion for coaching busy professionals and small business owners to discover their authentic selves.  She uses her 16 years of experience to provide the environments, resources and tools a professional needs  to be their authentic self.

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Rahim Melon

Graduate Assistant

Rahim aids in the daily operations of our marketing and advertising department. In addition to being part of the standard daily procedures.

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Christie Nelson

COVID Recovery Task Force
Business Development Specialist

Christie R Nelson, MBA has been serving the Western New York and New York City Area for over 20 years. She is the President and CEO of New Dominion Enterprises Inc, a real estate sales, development, property management and consulting firm that focuses on building wealth through real estate education, particularly for historically disadvantaged individuals and business owners.

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Crystal Rodriguez, Esq.

COVID Recovery Task Force

Crystal Rodriguez-Dabney is a dynamic diversity, equity and inclusion professional as well as an attorney. She specializes in helping women and minority owned businesses get the legal part right by making everything Crystal Clear (pun intended)!

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Lynn Rybak

Ignite Session / E-Network

Lynn guides business owners/ professionals to communicate their message within the group as well as in the business community by teaching the skills of effective networking, refining their branding message and practicing sales techniques.

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Sara Vescio

Executive Director

Sara leads the Center with a vision to create connections and collaborations that support economic opportunities, and programs that drive business growth, for women through all stages of business ownership.

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Royce Woods

COVID Recovery Task Force
Access to Capital

Royce Woods moved to Buffalo in 2016.  A Pittsburgh native, Royce helps entrepreneurs and real estate developers secure the financing they need to accomplish their goals.


Lindsey A. Zajac

Advisory Group: Master

Lindsey A. Zajac is a Human Resources professional turned entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of excelling in fast-paced organizations ranging from a start-up to a Fortune 50 organization. Training and Development, Talent Management, Employee Relations, Recruiting, and Succession Planning are Lindsey’s areas of expertise.

The Women's Business Center | Canisius College | Buffalo | New York
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