Larissa Davila, Executive Director
Larissa Davila is an expert in business development, and a business strategist with a focus in multicultural community engagement. She has a passion for helping small business owners use their talents for the benefit of the community while developing their own profitable and sustainable businesses.
In 2014, Davila launched BCO Consulting Group, offering services to micro, small and mid-sized business owners, government agencies and nonprofit organizations around strategic planning, budgeting, pricing strategy, process improvements, market research, marketing services, and bilingual community outreach. Larissa started her company after over a decade of corporate experience with companies such as Bentoli, FedEx and Sony Corporation. Her experience includes community, project, and process management, international logistics, customer support, and business in general. Simultaneously, Davila has served as the Executive Director of Latino Arts, Culture & Education Organization (LACE) and Amhiga Hispana in Austin, Texas.
A graduate from Texas A&M International University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with concentration in Management and currently working in her master’s degree of Business Administration at McCombs School of Business in the University of Austin, Larissa seeks continuous development in the field, and is always committed to serve her community.
JONI FOSTER, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Joni Foster is an experienced consultant, a skilled trainer, a former manager of a local loan fund for the revitalization of inner city communities, and a serial entrepreneur, having launched her own businesses and numerous nonprofit organizations with net assets today in the millions.
Joni’s strengths include budgeting and forecasting, business and strategic planning, setting up systems, financing, project management, launching new ventures and writing. She is passionate about nutritious food production, small, sustainable agriculture, arts and crafts businesses, and industrial arts. Joni is also very experienced in real estate development and finance, having supported the development of over 1000 units of affordable housing and commercial facilities in her career.
With over 25 years in the field of community economic development, Joni has worked for two national support organizations, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Rural Community Assistance Corporation, providing consulting, financing and resources to grassroots organizations.
Joni is also on the board of El Porvenir, a nonprofit that works in Nicaragua on water, wastewater and reforestation issues. Joni worked in Nicaragua for El Porvenir in the 1990’s and joined the board in 2007. Early in Joni’s career she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Joni is bi-lingual, English/Spanish.
MONICA PEÑA, MARKETING MANAGER
Monica Peña is a well-known figure in the Greater Austin area as an organizer of business networking groups for Hispanics and the broader community and as a trainer & skilled user of social media. Monica brings her skills to EGBI and our clients as a strategist on business marketing and promotion, social media, web site development, project & time management, and follow-through. She has a strong passion for helping small businesses succeed.
As co-founder of a family owned business and social media manager, the company won The Austin American Statesman Social Media Awards for providing readers great tips on everything from past projects, renovations, community outreach, and ways to be more environmentally friendly.
She still runs MUNDU Media, a company that helps clients with their online presence and marketing efforts. In addition, clients are coached on how to make the most of networking opportunities, how to use their membership benefits, and how to initiate long lasting connections to generate more capital.
Monica has a proven method to help small business owners and professionals stand out in their local community through a combination of offline and online efforts. She is founder and organizer of the North Austin Influencers, a group that meets to exchange ideas, learn through educational workshops, and use their expertise in different fields to enhance leadership skills.
She has been recognized by Economic Growth Business Incubator and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber as Volunteer of the Year for her community service. She was honored by Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas as Estrella de Tejas for her significant contributions to the community and for being a role model to fellow members.
LEONARDO (LEO) POZZOBON, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Leonardo, an Engineer and MBA with experience in Agriculture, Technology, Government, and Entrepreneurship, brings a diverse skill set and a dash of good humor everywhere he goes. In his first role after college, he coached over 60 different community organizations receiving Public Grant funding on good business practices, good execution and progress reporting.
Today Leo channels this previous experience and wants to help startups and small businesses become profitable success stories. Leonardo has also worked as plant manager for a Grain Elevator Company, a consultant for Fortune 500 businesses and Startups alike, and owned and ran a DJ business for seven years while getting his Engineering degree. Native Spanish and English speaker, he’s a Venezuela native, with Cuban and Italian roots, who loves to experience diverse cultures through their food.
JOSELY LOPEZ, ACCOUNTING SPECIALIST
Josely Lopez is an accounting specialist at EGBI, assisting clients with setting up and managing business financial systems using QuickBooks Online. Josely comes to EGBI with over five years of small business development with a focus on marketing, networking and training. He most recently worked as a business counselor at the Killeen Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, he was General Manager of an international school in Tokyo, Japan, a Marketing Instructor in Hangzhou, China, and a Business Developer for a nonprofit in his home country of Puerto Rico where he guided the creation of nearly 200 small businesses. Josely holds a BA in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in International Business.
In his spare time, Josely enjoys preparing authentic regional dishes from many cultures and having a good time with his friends and family. Josely continues to pursue his passion for international travel, but also enjoys exploring the unique areas surrounding his new home in Texas.