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Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook University

Our Expert Staff

Bernie Ryba bernie
CPA/MBA,  Director
Has over 30 years of business experience including public accounting, 15 years with Pfizer, Inc., and exposure to the brokerage and high technology industries. His responsibilities have ranged from financial and operational auditing to financial management, commercial development and strategic planning. In 2013, Bernie achieved New York State and national recognition as New York State's SBDC "State Star" financial advisor or the year.


Ann Garbarino ann
Advanced NYS Certified Senior Business Advisor
Joined the SBDC in 2004. She holds a BS in Organization Management from St. Joseph's College and an A.A.S in Marketing from Harriman Junior College. Ann's strengths are in marketing and management. Ann's 20-plus years of small business ownership experience provide her with a strong entrepreneurial background to assist other small business owners. In addition, she serves on the annual Women's Product Expo committee, sponsored by the Long Island Fund for Girls and the Middle Country Library Foundation. Ann is an active member of SCWBEC (Suffolk County Women's Business Enterprise Coalition) and various networking organizations for women entrepreneurs.  Ann was awarded NYS SBDC Excellence in Service Award in May 2010, obtained Advanced Certification as a SBDC Advisor in May 2012 and was selected as one of the top five Business Advisors in New York State in 2015.


Pierre Lespinasse pierre
NYS Certified Business Advisor
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 Stony Brook University is a fitting extension of his long-held interest in community-based economic development through education and mentorship. Pierre holds a BS in Management from Adelphi University and an MBA from Long Island University.

Robert B. Harrison bob harrison
NYS Certified Business Advisor
Has over 30 years of operating experience at four Long Island manufacturing companies including a profitable start-up enterprise. Daily hands-on experience included inventory/production control, production planning, shop floor control/expediting, bills of materials/materials requirements planning, assembly operations, zero defects/Statistical Process Control, Lean Manufacturing, cost reduction methodologies, fixturing, machine shop prototying, product design/development, domestic/international shipping, sales/business development/customer service, and marketing/trade shows. Bob's goals include adding value to existing manufacturers by helping to provide a range of support services to improve their product, process, and profit.

Ronni Rosen ronni
NYS Certified Senior Business Advisor and Programs Manager
Ronni’s education centered on the fine and applied arts. She has worked as a designer in the fashion industry and maintains a textile designing business when she is not counseling potential business owners. Her experience also includes co-director of an art school/gallery. Ronni brings her expertise and extensive background as a self-employed business owner to her responsibilities as business advisor. Ronni is responsible for coordinating the workshops for the Stony Brook SBDC and also initiated the Business Solutions Roundtable, a networking and problem-solving group for business owners.


Matthew Stadler matthew
PhD, Technology Entrepreneur In Residence
Joined the Stony Brook SBDC in 2013 to support the increasing number of energy and IT/web technology companies in the region as a Technology Entrepreneur in Residence. He has a PhD in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and played co-founding CFO, COO and CEO roles in four technology companies, in information systems, nanotechnology, and web-healthcare.  


Ree Wackett ree
Advanced NYS Certified Business Advisor
Joined the Stony Brook University SBDC in 2012 after a ten year tenure at the Farmingdale State College SBDC. While at Farmingdale she authored both Business Basics and The Business Plan Guide and was the center’s grant writer. In 2007, she led a study in collaboration with the Child Care Care Councils of Nassau and the Child Council of Suffolk, which examined the concept of shared services in the child care industry. After completion of the research she authored Shared Services in the Long Island Child Care Community: an Exploration , a seminal publication. Ree is an advanced certified business advisor, and while well versed in all sectors, she specializes in women entrepreneurs, procurement, international trade and child care. As an avid and enthusiastic member of the small business community, she was honored by Long Island Business News in 2008 as one of the “Top 40 under 40” people in business. She was again honored in 2009 as the Valedictorian of her “40 under 40” class. Ree been honored by the Small Business Development Center as one of the top five business advisors in New York State over the last decade.


Leslie Rurup leslie
Intake Coordinator

At Stony Brook SBDC for the past 12 years, handles calls or e-mails for appointments, workshops, seminars and directions. In addition to her reception role, Leslie handles client organization, record-keeping, and special projects. Leslie brings to the SBDC an extensive administrative background of 19 years at Grumman Aerospace.



Martha M. Stansbury martha
MBA, Staff Assistant
Martha brings to the SBDC experience in financial and operations management within manufacturing and non-profit sectors. Martha’s responsibilities have ranged from budget preparation and analysis, comprehensive policies and procedures development and implementation to business development, grant writing and project management. Martha provides a wide range of administrative and managerial support for the SBDC’s budget, operations and marketing efforts.

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