Virginia SBDC Capital Region | Small Business Owner on Phone with iPad

A network of expertise and support.

The Capital Region Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by America’s SBDC, Virginia SBDC, and George Mason University.

Thanks to our host, Virginia Community Capital, we are able to provide education, consulting, and economic research to support potential and existing small business owners throughout the Richmond area.

Meet the Team

Virginia SBDC Capital Region | Rodney Williams

Rodney Williams

Executive Director

Originally from Richmond, VA, Rodney grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. In 2017, he graduated from Drexel University with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial studies. Rodney also played basketball at Drexel and received multiple awards for his athletic talents. After graduation, he left to play professional basketball in Europe where he went on to play in Israel, Spain, France, and Sweden. While playing basketball abroad, Rodney received his MBA online from UMD Global Campus.

Upon his return to Virginia, Rodney forged a new path in management consulting. Rodney has always had a passion for entrepreneurship and loves helping individuals achieve their lifelong dreams. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends and family, going to the movies, and his annual trips to Walt Disney World.


Virginia SBDC Capital Region | Tatiane Pena

Tatiane Pena

Assistant Director

Tati has proudly been with the re-launched Capital Region Center since day two. She began her tenure with us as a social media and operational consultant and was subsequently brought on as the Program Manager before ultimately settling into the role of Assistant Director.  Prior to working with the SBDC, she spent a handful of years in Richmond’s boutique management consulting space and over a decade in the hospitality industry.

A first-generation Richmond native, Tati attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she studied English with a focus on 16th and 17th-century Paleography; namely the works of Elenora Wyatt Finch and John Donne. In her free time, Tati prioritizes pouring back into the city that raised her. She is a lover of stories, people, food, and her dog. Ultimately, Tati highly values courageousness and care and strives to center joy and intentionality in all that she does.


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Lisa Shope

Program Coordinator

Born & raised in Henrico, VA, Lisa is a first-generation Chinese American. Having grown up in a family of restaurant entrepreneurs, Lisa has a passion for small businesses & cultivating the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Richmond. As the Program Coordinator, Lisa will be your initial touchpoint at the SBDC. She is responsible for initial intake sessions, coordinating & managing events, and social media engagement.

Lisa graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008 with a BA in History.  She continued her education abroad & obtained her MA in International Business from Concordia University, Irvine.  Her time abroad nurtured her love for travel & exploration.  She has been to 14 countries and hopes to one day retire in Thailand. (Fun fact: she loves the beach but can’t swim!)


Charese Chambers

Charese Chambers

Business Advisor

Charese’s love is numbers and she’s been told that entrepreneurship is in her blood.  She has been an entrepreneur from a young age- pushing candy, popcorn, and girl scout cookies- so it only seemed natural to start her own business.  Charese’s passion is educating other entrepreneurs from a place of experience and expertise.  She’s definitely your secret weapon and resource in the Capital Region.


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Duc Truong

Business Counselor

Duc Truong has been involved with small businesses all his life. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, he has been involved in running restaurants, grocery stores, warehouses, and construction.

For the past 10 years, he worked at the Department of Business Assistance and then the Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity where he worked as a Project Manager for the Small Business Jobs Grant Fund and did one-on-one business counseling all over the Commonwealth.

In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his wife and hanging out with his two chihuahuas.


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Megan Nolde

Business Counselor

Megan is a longtime Richmond resident and a proponent of acting locally with a global mindset. Originally from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, she came to Richmond for college at VCU. She’s worked in public schools, nonprofits, the service industry, and for Virginia Community Capital’s PPP loan program as well as the Commonwealth’s RebuildVA Small Business Grant program. She also owns two small businesses – one in communications and design, the other in vintage & art resale – and is an artist with a studio in downtown Richmond.

Megan holds BFAs in Printmaking and Art Education, a Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking, and a Masters of Public Administration. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and is a Level 1 CrossFit certified trainer. Megan is passionate about the power of compassion and empathy, creativity, and relationship-building. She brings a holistic-yet-detailed way of thinking to her clients, encouraging reflection, practicality, and imagination.

Outside of her various responsibilities at work (and in her own businesses), she makes art, enjoys the outdoors and exercising, and spends time with loved ones whenever possible. You might run into her outside her gym in Shockoe Bottom, along the river taking photos with her partner Stuart, or cuddling her cat, Neptune (who does like to make appearances in video calls!).


Our Partners

From non-profits to public entities to private companies, the Capital Region SBDC is coming back to the Richmond region due to the generous support of the wider community. We are so grateful to the following partners:

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