Lunch and Learn will offer strategies on how small businesses can stay afloat during turbulent times

Northwestern State University’s College of Business and Technology in partnership with the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce is launching a new monthly lunch and learn series. The first session of the virtual business series will focus on small business sustainability in turbulent times. The session will take place from noon-1 p.m. Thursday, May 14.

Featured speakers will be Dr. Vianka Miranda, assistant professor of finance, and Dr. Elizabeth Prejean, assistant professor of management.

Registration is available at

During the session, Miranda and Prejean will introduce practices that small and emerging businesses should implement to remain sustainable during an unexpected business interruption such as COVID-19, as well as resources that may be useful during uncertain times.

Miranda is a business professional and consultant with government sector and private industry experience encompassing administration, finance, data analysis, strategic planning and organizational development. She operated a business in the Greater New Orleans region during and after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill. Miranda has been a small business owner since 2004 and maintained operations before, during and after the disasters.

She is an assistant professor of finance at NSU, where she holds the Tommy Johnson Endowed Professorship in Business, Miranda holds a Doctorate of Business Administration in finance with special research interest in entrepreneurship and small business development and sustainability, a Master of Business Administration in finance, a post-baccalaureate certificate in applied business studies and a bachelor’s degree in financial economics. She is a licensed Louisiana real estate broker and Six Sigma Black Belt candidate.

Prejean is a business professional and consultant working with small business in the private sector and has industry experience in human resources, administration, strategic planning and organizational development. She has a Doctor of Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration and holds a certificate in human resources. She is also the recipient of the Valley Electric/SWEPCO Endowed Professorship for Business at NSU where she is assistant professor of management in the College of Business and Technology. She has worked in seven different industries using her expertise in human resources and management and currently teaches strategic management at the university which is the capstone class for undergraduates. Her students were recently recognized for their efforts in helping local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

The new monthly series will feature guest speakers and seminars aimed at assisting local businesses and the community in remaining strong and intact in a turbulent economic climate and the “new normal” to follow.