Our Expert Staff



Jeffrey Saelens, Ph.D., Regional Center Director, received his B.S. in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Albany Medical School, and did his post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School. Following 24 years in Research and Development in the pharmaceutical industry, Jeff worked in New York State government technology-oriented agencies for 17 years. Prior to joining the SBDC here at Stony Brook, Jeff was the Director of Research at the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation in Albany.





Ann Garbarino, 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, 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.


 dan oconnell

Dan O'Connell, NYS Certified Business Advisor, joined the Stony Brook Small Business Development Center in June 2010 after a 32 year career with the U.S. Small Business Association as the manager of the Albany office.  For the last 15 years of his SBA career Dan was the SBDC Project Officer for the all of New York State, giving him an in depth knowledge of the NYS SBDCs and the needs of small businesses.  Dan holds a BBA and an MBA from St John's University and lives in Southold NY.  Living on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island and working at Stony Brook University's Southampton campus allows Dan to cover the entire East End of Long Island.




ronni rosen

Ronni Rosen, 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.


 Bernie Ryba, CPA/MBA,  Senior Business Advisor; 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.


matt stadler



Matthew Stadler, 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 Wackett, 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, Intake Coordinator at the 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.


Kate Derryberry, Administrative Manager, joined the Stony Brook Small Business Development Center in 2008 from the Office of Student Affairs, Stony Brook Southampton Campus. As Administrative Manager of the Stony Brook SBDC, she handles a variety of duties including: budget and purchasing matters, implementation of marketing programs, webmaster and email list, as well as HR needs.  Kate's experience working in higher education and with local small businesses afforded her the logistical knowledge necessary to work with students, University departments and vendors for planning events.




Upcoming Events 

Please click on the workshop you are interested in for more information.  For a full Google Calendar of Events, please visit www.stonybrook.edu/sbdc/events.


How To Write A Business Plan
September 19, 2016
November 14, 2016

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Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

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