Barbra Boeta, Executive Director
Barbra Boeta has delighted in working with entrepreneurs to start or grow their business for over 13 years, and since 2011 at EGBI. Prior to being named the executive director of EGBI in 2017, Barbra spear-headed EGBI’s small business one-on-one consulting services, entrepreneur training programs, and programs to connect industry experts to our clients.
She has helped nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs throughout Central Texas realize their dream of opening a business in a variety of industries such as beauty shops, lawn care services, food production, restaurants, and many other areas. She is a master of QuickBooks, Salesforce, and Excel.
Barbra sits on several area boards and committees, including the FDIC’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI), the City of Austin’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) and Small Business Advisory Committee. Barbra chaired AEI’s inaugural Small Business Forum. She is an active member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Austin Leadership (HAL) Alumni. In 2016, in recognition of her community involvement, Barbra received the Hispanic Austin Leadership – Distinguished Alumni Award.
Prior to joining EGBI, Barbra worked for PeopleFund as a small business lender to entrepreneurs. Barbra graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
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 has a long history of building successful businesses in the culinary, professional services, retail and entertainment industries. He successfully guided the creation of nearly 200 small business enterprises in Puerto Rico, where he was born and raised, before going on to live and work in California, China and Japan. After fulfilling his dream to work, study and live abroad, Josely decided to settle in Central Texas where he was able to assist the community and veterans in how to start and grow their business.
He 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.