SkinnyGirl Founder and shark tank's newest judge
Bethenny Frankel is a businesswoman ahead of the curve, who has always identified and capitalized on business opportunities, from becoming a natural food’s chef and marketing Bethenny Bakes, her healthy baked goods to selling “Princess Pashminas” at house parties, and ultimately creating the low calorie cocktail category, with the launch of Skinnygirl Cocktails.
The runner up on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” led her to Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City,” followed by the spin-off series, “Bethenny Getting Married?” and “Bethenny Ever After…” Viewers were captivated by her wit, wisdom and humor as they followed her personal life becoming a mother and her professional journey creating her Skinnygirl empire, leading to her being named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities by Forbes magazine. She brought her distinct voice and candid point of view to “Bethenny,” her nationally syndicated daytime talk program. Most recently, it was announced she’ll join ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” as a guest shark.
A true entrepreneur, to further build Skinnygirl Cocktails, Bethenny partnered with Beam Suntory in 2011 to grow the portfolio to include wines, flavored vodkas, and ready-to-drink cocktails. Since the launch of Skinnygirl Cocktails, she has expanded the Skinnygirl brand into a lifestyle empire, featuring products for women that offer practical solutions to everyday problems. Some of the many Skinnygirl products include non-alcoholic beverages, microwave popcorn, candy, luncheon meats, salad dressings, coffee, tea, liquid sweeteners, water enhancers, and shapewear.
Bethenny started her own TV production company, B Real Productions, producing two seasons of FYI’s “Food Porn,” and creating, producing and, staring in Bravo’s new real estate show, “Keeping it Real Estate with Bethenny and Frederik.”
She is the five-time New York Times bestselling author of Skinnydipping, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out Of Life, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, The Skinnygirl™ Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life, and I Suck At Relationships So You Don’t Have To. She has also authored Skinnygirl Solutions: Simple Ideas, Extraordinary Results, the children’s book, Cookie Meets Peanut, and the cocktail book, Skinnygirl Cocktails.
Not fulfilled with business alone, Bethenny’s life’s experiences have inspired her to help other women in crisis find their own strength and resilience with the launch of B Strong, in partnership with Dress for Success. B Strong: Find Your Yes is a crisis intervention initiative that will provide real time emergency assistance to women who face crises on their road to success.
Entrepreneur and host of CNBC's "The Profit"
Presented by T-Mobile
As an impressionable youth, Marcus Lemonis read the description of Entrepreneur to his mother from the dictionary while working on a school project, which inspired him to challenge himself and make his dreams come true. His humble beginnings and journey through life represent the heart and soul of what true entrepreneurism is. Although he was not born in America, he is proud to be living the American Dream through hard work, determination and believing; striving to take risks and show initiative while motivating people to do their best not by telling them what to do, but rather by showing them how to do it. Those who have had the chance to hear his story through his moving speaking engagements would say that he is humble, down to earth and 100 percent brutally honest.
On CNBC’s reality series, The Profit, Marcus lends his business expertise to struggling businesses in various industries across the country while using his famous people-process-product principle. Through his 3P mantra, he analyzes every business by the quality people, whether they have an excellent and relevant product, and the best possible process for creating, delivering, and selling that product. Over 4 seasons of The Profit have aired since July of 2013 and more than $40 million dollars of his own money has been invested into helping these small businesses, and after experiencing tremendous success, his mission continues. While many people frequently call him the “business turnaround king,” he will be the first to say that he really helps people with tough love so they can use the experience to inevitably succeed. His new show, The Partner, will also premiere in 2017, in which candidates from diverse business backgrounds will compete for the opportunity of a lifetime – a position working alongside Lemonis and an equity stake in a multi-million-dollar company.
Lemonis was recognized for having “more impact on the industry than any single individual or company in recent memory as an agent of change and retail consolidation,” when RV Business Magazine named him their 2007 Newsmaker of the Year. In addition, Crain’s Chicago Business featured him in their 2005 edition of “40 under 40,” and in 2008, Ernst & Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year. Prior to The Profit, he appeared on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2011 and 2012, and was also featured on ABC’s television show Secret Millionaire in 2012.
Netflix co-founder, Executive Mentor and Angel investor
Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor, investor and keynote speaker. Marc was co-founder of the online movie and television streaming service Netflix, serving as their founding CEO, as the executive producer of their web site, and as a member of their board of directors until his retirement in 2004.
Although best known for starting Netflix, Marc’s career as an entrepreneur spans more than four decades. He’sbeen a founder of more than half a dozen other successful start-ups, a mentor to hundreds of early stageentrepreneurs, and an investor in numerous successful (and an even larger number of unsuccessful) tech ventures.
Most recently, Randolph co-founded an analytics software company Looker Data Sciences, and currentlyserves as an advisor to numerous other startups, serving variously as a mentor, CEO coach, and/or board member.
He is a frequent speaker at industry events, works extensively with young entrepreneur programs, and is a trusteeof the non-profit National Outdoor Leadership School.
Marc Randolph is charming, handsome and modest; and whenever possible avoids referring to himself in the thirdperson. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.
CEO of Predictable Success
Les McKeown is the author of the WSJ and USA Today best-seller Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There as well as The Synergist and Do Lead. He is a renowned speaker, author and advisor on accelerated business growth.
Les has created more than 40 companies in his career, and participated in the creation and growth of hundreds more organizations worldwide. He has presented his growth and leadership model to world leaders such as Harvard University, Google, Gartner, United Technologies Corporation, the NSA, Pella Corporation, the US Army and many more.
As the CEO of Predictable Success, Les and his team offer consulting services to fast-growth organizations of all sizes. He has a proven track record of improving leadership effectiveness and organizational performance to deliver significant business growth. Prepare to make the most of your event by taking the quick Leadership Styles Assessment at www.predictablesuccess.com/events.
25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration
Linda McMahon serves as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of President Trump’s cabinet, she advocates on behalf of the almost 29 million small businesses in America, which employ nearly half of all American workers and account for 56.8 million jobs.
McMahon has been a longtime advocate for women in leadership and business. She is a co-founder and former chief executive officer of Women’s Leadership LIVE, LLC, a company that trains women to launch and expand their own businesses. She hostedan interview series with high-profile role models at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She highlightedthe advances of women in education, business and entrepreneurship in a series called “Women in America” that she co-hostedwith Burt Wolf, which airs on PBS stations nationwide.
McMahon has been widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives. In 2014, she was honored by Fairfield/Westchester County Business Journal as one of its “Women Making an Impact.” In 2013, she was named one of Moves Magazine’s “Power Women.” In 2007, she was named one of Multichannel News’ “Wonder Women,” recognizing her accomplishments as a leader in the cable television industry.
In 2009, McMahon served on the Connecticut Board of Education as an appointee of Governor M. Jodi Rell.
Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, McMahon served on the boards of Sacred Heart University of Fairfield, Connecticut; the Close Up Foundation, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that works to educate and inspire young people to participate in ourdemocracy; and American Corporate Partners, a New York-based organization that pairs returning veterans with mentors in the workforce. She also served as President of the Advisory Board for Operation Helmet, which provides comfortable and protective helmet pads for U.S. combat troops; and was a member of the Advisory Board for SoldierStrong, which provides scholarships and rehabilitation technology for returning veterans.
McMahon has been widely recognized for her numerous philanthropic contributions. She was recently honored with the Humanitarian Award from the Catholic Big Sisters & Big Brothers in New York City and the Spirit of Hope Award from Liberation Programs in Norwalk, Connecticut.
In 2014, McMahon received the Prescott Bush Award from the Connecticut Republican Party, the organization’s highest honor. In 2013, she received the Public Service Award from the Women’s National Republican Club.
McMahon is a graduate of East Carolina University. She and her husband, Vince, have two adult children and six grandchildren.
Thomas J. Donohue
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming this position in 1997, Donohue has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe.
During his tenure, the Chamber has helped secure business victories on Capitol Hill, in the regulatory agencies, in politics, in courts of law and in the court of public opinion, and before governments around the world.
In an era of economic and fiscal challenges, Donohue has led efforts to expand trade and domestic energy production, rebuild America’s infrastructure, combat an avalanche of new regulations, protect intellectual property, revitalize capital markets, and aggressively advocate legal, tax, education, and entitlement reform. In addition, he has vigorously challenged attacks on free enterprise, while working to protect the business community’s right to speak and participate in the political and policy affairs of the nation.
Under Donohue’s leadership, the Chamber has emerged as a major political force in races for the Senate and the House of Representatives. As part of this bipartisan effort, millions of grassroots business advocates, as well as the Chamber’s federation of state and local chambers and industry associations, mobilize in support of pro-business candidates.
Donohue established the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, which advances significant legal reforms in the courts, at the state and federal levels, and in elections for state attorneys general and Supreme Court judges. He has dramatically expanded the activities of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s law firm, which represents the business community’s interests in the courts. And he has reinvigorated the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which houses Hiring Our Heroes, a program that identifies job opportunities for returning veterans and military spouses.
Previously, Donohue served for 13 years as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, the national organization of the trucking industry. Earlier in his career, he was deputy assistant postmaster general of the United States and vice president of development at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
Born in New York City, Donohue earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Adelphi University. He holds honorary degrees from Adelphi, St. John’s, Marymount, Bradley, and Pepperdine universities, as well as the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.
He is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award and the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds the highest civilian honor from Germany and South Korea, as well as the Order of the Crown (Commander Class) presented by the Crown Prince of Belgium.
Donohue and his late wife, Liz, have three sons and five grandchildren.
Senior Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Suzanne Clark is an American business leader and entrepreneur whose career has spanned the fields of media, financial services, policy advocacy and business management. She is currently Senior Executive Vice President at the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest business federation in world.
As the Chamber’s number two executive, Ms. Clark focuses on strategy, government relations and market innovation working in support of its more than 3 million member companies internationally. She leads a wide range of policy and operational initiatives at the quarter billion dollar organization, and is the first Senior Executive Vice President and the first female COO in the institution’s 104-year history.
Prior to re-joining the US Chamber in 2014, where she had previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Clark acquired and led a prominent financial information boutique – Potomac Research Group (PRG) — which was recognized by the Inc500 as the 135th fastest growing private company in 2013. PRG almost immediately became a brand leader in the field of policy research and analysis for institutional investors – connecting “Washington to Wall Street;” and, the firm was sold to a larger macro research organization where she is a non-executive partner. As a seasoned business owner, Ms. Clark remains passionate about the need to create an environment where companies can innovate, grow and flourish.
In 2007, Clark was named President of the National Journal Group (NJG), a premier provider of information, news and analysis for Washington’s political and policy communities. NJG is an arm of Atlantic Media Company, and for three years Clark led NJG’s 6 distinct print and online businesses and guided an evolution from long form journalism to cutting edge digital and mobile media, with the result that her group produced record-level margins and profits and received multiple journalism awards.
Clark served on the Board of New Media Strategies – described by the Washington Post as “the largest social media agency in the world”– until the company’s sale to the Fortune 500 media conglomerate, Meredith.
Ms. Clark earned a BA, magna cum laude, and an MBA from Georgetown University, and lives in Virginia with her husband and their daughter.
Community Partnerships, Square
Erin Archuleta leads awareness initiatives at Square, collaborating with community and educational partners across the United States. As a small business owner herself, Erin brings a passion for making it easy to start, run and grow your business. She owns Michelin-recommended, Zagat-rated ICHI Sushi, and is a recipient of a San Francisco Small Business Week Award. She cofounded a San Francisco merchant association and collaborates on small business initiatives through board service. Erin’s business has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, USA Today, AAA, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Prior to joining Square, Erin worked for 826 National, a literacy project and blended retail model changing the face of nonprofit engagement. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and a recipient of their Alumni Achievement Award.
Hector V. Barreto
Chairman, The Latino Coalition
The Honorable Hector V. Barreto is Chairman The Latino Coalition (TLC), one of the largest and most effective Latino advocacy groups in the nation. TLC’s stature in the business community and the political community has grown steadily since Barreto took the helm of the organization in 2006.
His vision for TLC is based on what he calls the “four C’s,” the issues that are the keys to success for the organization’s small-business membership, Capital, Capacity-building, Contracts and Cost control. TLC’s growing influence, membership and partnerships are all evidence of the effectiveness of his leadership approach.
Barreto is internationally recognized for his successful business ventures, community leadership, government service and as a leading voice for Latinos across the country. He is a frequent public speaker, media guest, panelist and commentator on business, politics and the Latino community.
Barreto served five years as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 25, 2001. During his tenure, Barreto led the SBA to record heights of support for small-businesses, especially minority and female entrepreneurs who had historically been under-served, by leveraging a loan portfolio that exceeded $60 billion.
Born into an entrepreneurial family, Barreto gained invaluable business experience during his youth by helping to run his family’s restaurants, import/export business, and construction company. After graduating from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., with a degree in Business Administration, he became the South Texas Area Manager for the Miller Brewing Company. In 1986 he moved to Southern California and formed Barreto Insurance and Financial Services, serving the needs of California’s rapidly growing population. Later he founded a securities broker/dealer specializing in retirement plans for individuals and businesses.
Barreto founded Tributo a Mi Padre Tequila in 2011 in honor of his late father, Hector Barreto Sr., an accomplished businessman and community leader. In 2013, Tributo tequila was awarded the prestigious 5 Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, making it the only tequila to hold this distinction.
His community service includes being the founder and former chairman of Business Matchmaking, a highly recognized non-profit that has helped small-business owners, especially women, minorities and veterans, to gain access to key procurement representatives at the federal, state and local levels, as well as many major corporations. Since its inception, Business Matchmaking has facilitated more than 90,000 in-person meetings and generated more than $80 billion in contracts for small businesses.
He also serves as President of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization seeking to promote and advocate economic advancement and U.S. job growth in America.
Barreto has been inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and recognized by many organizations including the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, the YMCA and the American Red Cross. In 2006 he was presented with the prestigious Aguila Azteca Award by President Fox of Mexico, which is bestowed for significant contributions to Mexico from a citizen of another country. He recently received the Latino Leadership Magazine Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship.
Founder and CEO, CultureIQ
Greg Besner is a veteran New York-based entrepreneur who specializes in using technology to manage, measure, and strengthen company culture. When he is not running his business and foundation, Greg teaches entrepreneurship at NYU, where he lectures on how to launch and build companies. Currently the founder and CEO of CultureIQ, a software platform that helps companies strengthen their corporate culture through people analytics and strategy, he has been featured in publications including Entrepreneur, Inc. and TechCrunch. Greg was previously the CFO of SecondMarket Holdings and CEO of Restricted Stock Systems (“RSS”) which he both founded and sold. He was also an early investor in Zappos.com.
Senior Advisor and Head of Operations, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Michelle Bolles is Senior Advisor and Head of Operations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business federation with more than 500 employees across the globe. As a Chamber officer, she is part of the leadership team helping to shape the future of the organization.
Prior to stepping into this role, Bolles served as Vice President, Administration where she provided strategic oversight of Talent Solutions and Building Operations and served as part of the team responsible for the Chamber’s small business membership division.
Since joining the Chamber in 1990, Bolles has held a variety of other positions including Director, Small Business Marketing and Operations; Director of Operations, Federation Relations; and Vice President, Human Resources. She has also served as an advisor to the Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC), part of the U.S. Chamber of
Bolles is a member of the American Red Cross National Capital Region’s Board of Directors as well as chairs its Mission Capacity Committee.
Bolles earned her B.A., in marketing, as well as her M.A. in education and human development from The George Washington University.
Head of Community Development, Small Business, and Financial Capability Initiatives Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
Janis Bowdler is a Managing Director within Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co, a global leader in corporate philanthropy with more than $200 million invested in communities annually.
Janis Bowdler joined JPMorgan Chase’s Global Philanthropy team in 2013 to lead the firm’s philanthropic strategy in three strategic areas: Financial Capability, Small Business, and Community Development. Under her leadership the firm invests more than $80 million each year to advance strategies that connect distressed communities and underserved individuals and entrepreneurs from around the world with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary to prosper. In her short time at the firm she has launched several high profile initiatives, including Financial Solutions Lab, PRO Neighborhoods, the National African American Loan Fund, and blight mitigation initiatives in Detroit, MI.
Janis has authored a number of publications on financial opportunity and economic mobility. Recent publications include: All In: Building the Path to Global Prosperity through Financial Capability and Inclusion, Latino Financial Access and Inclusion in California, Affording Citizenship and Securing a Sound Financial Future, and The Foreclosure Generation: The Long-Term Impact of Foreclosures on Latino Children and Families.
Prior to coming to JPMorgan Chase, Janis served as the Director of Economic Policy at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, where she led research, advocacy and policy analysis issues on financial capability and asset-building. She advised the CEO and worked closely with NCLR’s senior leadership to expand the organization’s visibility and impact in the areas of job creation and job quality, retirement security, housing, banking, community development and consumer protection. Janis also served as a project manager at Famicos Foundation, a community development corporation working in the Hough and Glenville neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio.
Janis serves on the board of Raza Development Fund, the nation’s largest Hispanic Community Development Corporation.
Janis received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Malone College in Canton, Ohio and a Master of Science degree from Cleveland State University.
Marketing expert and Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe Corporation
Amanda Brinkman is a small-business marketing expert and Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe Corporation, where she leads a team of experts who provide marketing services to millions of small businesses across America.
Amanda also produces and stars in the acclaimed Small Business Revolution – Main Street series, in which she and her team provide a $500,000 revitalization to one lucky small town and its Main Street businesses. The series has garnered thousands of news stories, including praise from top outlets like Inc. magazine, which named Small Business Revolution – Main Street’s upcoming second season among its top recommended shows for entrepreneurs, alongside the likes of HBO’s Silicon Valley and Showtime’s Billions.
Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec, who stars alongside Amanda in Small Business Revolution – Main Street, was so impressed by Amanda and her Deluxe team that he tapped them to provide marketing services to the small businesses in which he invests on Shark Tank. Amanda and her team provide expert advice and services to Robert’s investments, including website development and hosting, email marketing, social media, search engine optimization, logo design and more.
Prior to joining Deluxe, Amanda held executive marketing roles at UnitedHealth Group and Allianz, worked as a consultant with General Mills and Digital River, and experienced success early in her career at major marketing agencies, building businesses and brands of all sizes, all around the world.
Founder and CEO, CakeLove
The owner of the Washington, DC-based CakeLove and the former host of the Food Network’s Sugar Rush, Warren Brown is an entrepreneurial icon. Taking an unconventional career path, he left his job as an attorney for the federal government to pursue his dream.
Warren founded CakeLove in 2002 and fell in love with a relentless pursuit of perfecting his recipe for success. He is the author of four cookbooks in which he reveals his baking secrets and time saving tips in the kitchen.
Warren has been recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit by local and national media including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, NPR, CNN, and Inc. magazine. He has been featured in national advertisement campaigns for American Express and in numerous books on career change.
Warren continues to innovate in the bakery space with his latest iteration of the business, CakeLove in a Jar, a ready-to-eat packaged dessert distributed nationally to retail and food service.
President and NDC Director of DC Advocacy, Women Impacting Public Policy
Jane Campbell is the President and NDC Director of DC Advocacy for Women Impacting Public Policy. In her role as the director of the Washington office of the National Development Council (NDC), Jane Campbell brings the expertise of NDC’s 40 years of experience working to bring capital to underserved communities — both urban and rural — into the federal public policy debate. In 2016, Women Impacting Public Policy partnered with NDC to provide support for WIPP’s coalition activities.
Jane has had an impressive career in the U.S. government system. Jane was the first woman elected Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. She has also served as a Senior Advisor and Staff Director to the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Jane worked as the chief of staff for Senator Mary Landrieu for four years and was an Ohio State Representative for 12 years. Jane worked as a County Commissioner for 9 years and served as the Managing Director for Public Sector Solutions. Jane was also the Principal of her own consulting company, Jane L. Campbell Consulting LLC.
Jane was a Fellow for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and sat on the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority for 3 years. Currently, Jane sits on a number of boards including the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity.
Jane received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University.
CEO and Founder, CRAFT | Media / Digital
With close to two decades of experience in the political and public affairs arena, Brian managed four federal election campaigns, and served on two presidential election staffs. After serving as a target state Executive Director for Bush-Cheney ’04, Brian became the National 72-Hour Director at the Republican National Committee. Brian served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former Congressman Mike Ferguson. Prior to launching CRAFT, Brian was a partner with a national political media firm.
A veteran strategist, Brian has developed communications and advertising campaigns for some of Washington’s leading political and advocacy organizations, and helped elect members of Congress and U.S. Senate. He also executed campaigns affecting the top issues facing the business industry, among other private sector clients.
Brian has presented media and digital strategy as part of numerous panels and campaign schools. He has been frequently featured in national news outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, CNN, Roll Call, The Hill, National Journal, ClickZ and POLITICO. Campaigns & Elections Magazine named him a Rising Star in 2006.
Brian is an occasional political commentator on FOX News Channel and has regularly appeared on MSNBC. Brian has taught Political Marketing as an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
Brian holds a B.A. degree from the George Washington University, and a campaign management certification from American University.
Founder and CEO, Dolcezza Gelato
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Violeta Edelman studied communications, film, and media arts. She started her career in production working in television and documentaries. Violeta met her husband Robb Duncan while he was traveling through South America. Duncan was relocated for work back to Washington DC and the two decided that it would be the perfect international city to understand and embrace their dream.
In her role as CEO, Violeta is the glue that holds the company together. She has done everything from cleaning, scooping, delivering, accounting, marketing, legal, and more. Currently, Violeta oversees operations at all levels. No two days are alike and are packed with designer and event meetings, talking strategy with their CFO and COO and working with Robb to develop menus, all the while, making sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
The freedom and the power to shape the company as well as tackle each day’s different challenges are her biggest payoffs. Her current favorite Dolcezza flavor? Dulce de Leche Stracciatella.
Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division and Chief Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Dr. J.D. Foster is senior vice president, Economic Policy Division, and chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He explores and explains developments in the U.S. and global economies. He also participates in discussions around the country regarding the economy and economic policy and supports other functions at the Chamber with economic analysis and guidance.
Prior to joining the Chamber in June 2013, Foster was the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy at The Heritage Foundation, a longstanding nonprofit, Washington, D.C., research organization.
Before coming to Heritage in 2007, Foster spent five years as associate director for economic policy (chief economist) at the Office of Management and Budget, the White House. In 2001, Foster served as economic counsel in the Office of Tax Policy, the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to that, he served as legislative director to Rep. Crane (R-IL), vice chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives.
From 1993 to 1999, Foster was executive director and chief economist of the Tax Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected nonprofit research organizations. Before that, he was chief of staff at the White House Council of Economic Advisors under Dr. Michael Boskin. Earlier he served consecutively under Sens. Armstrong (R-CO), Symms (R-ID), and Nickles (R-OK) representing them on the Senate Finance, Budget, and Policy committees.
Foster writes extensively on tax policy and entitlement reform, as well as on matters of monetary policy and international economics. He received a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Colorado, an M.A. in economics from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Georgetown University.
Co-Founder and President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Cvent, Inc.
Chuck Ghoorah is the Co-Founder and President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing of Cvent (NYSE: CVT), a publicly-traded cloud-based software company focused on event management. Ghoorah has been instrumental in Cvent’s growth from a two-person startup to a 1,450-person company with a $1 + billion market capitalization. To date, Cvent has helped more than 12,650 organizations manage hundreds of thousands of events in more than 90 countries.
Chuck is responsible for Cvent’s top line revenue across all product lines worldwide, including the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN), the world’s largest free online marketplace that connects event planners with hotels and venues.
Prior to joining Cvent, Chuck was a corporate attorney with Hale and Dorr, where he specialized in venture capital financing and technology transactions. Before Hale and Dorr, he served as an Associate Director at the Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO) and launched his career as an attorney at Williams & Connolly, one of the top-rated litigation firms in the country.
With more than 14 years of experience in the meetings industry, Chuck has spoken at over 100 conferences and tradeshows; advised dozens of Fortune 500 organizations and large associations on strategic meeting planning, event marketing and web surveys; and built relationships with some of the world’s top hotel chains, including Hilton and Marriott.
Chuck graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University. He then earned his master’s degree in political science from Duke University’s Graduate School and his Juris Doctorate with honors from Duke University School of Law.
Director, Office of Small Business Programs
Department of the Navy
Ms. Emily Harman is the Director, Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) for the Department of the Navy (DON) serving as chief advisor to the Secretary on all small business matters. She is responsible for small business acquisition policy and strategic initiatives. Ms. Harman joined the Secretary of the Navy Staff as member of the Senior Executive Service in August 2015 and has over 30 years of federal service.
Prior to receiving this appointment she served as Associate Director of the Naval Aviation Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) OSBP from November 2005 to August 2015. Ms. Harman’s previous experience includes serving as a Division Director in the Major Weapons System for Air-Antisubmarine Warfare, Assault, Special Mission Programs Contracts Department and as the Multi-Mission Helicopters Program Office’s (PMA-299) Contracting Officer. Ms. Harman has NAVAIR experience as a Services Contracting Officer, as well as Contracting Officer for the AV-8B Weapon Systems Program Office (PMA-257). Prior to joining NAVAIR in 1997, Ms. Harman served as a Contracting Officer for the Naval Supply Systems Command’s (NAVSUP) Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC), Norfolk Detachment Washington. Ms. Harman served as a Supply Corps Officer in the Navy from 1985- 1992 and retired from the Naval Reserves. She served onboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) and earned the Supply Corps Surface Warfare pin. Her other duty stations include: Supreme Allied Command Atlantic, Commander in Chief U. S. Atlantic Fleet, United States Naval Academy, and FISC Norfolk Detachment Washington.
Ms. Harman is a member of the DoD Acquisition Professional Community and is Level III certified in Contracting. A Certified Professional Contracts Manager through the National Contract Management Association, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science from the United States Naval Academy, and a Master’s degree in Management/Acquisition and Contract Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Ms. Harman is a member of Leadership Southern Maryland’s Class of 2010.
Ms. Harman is a graduate of NAVSUP’s Corporate Management Development Program, NAVAIR’s Senior Executive Leadership Development Program, and the Federal Executive Institute. Ms. Harman has a number or personal and command decorations including the DON’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, DON’s FY2010 Acquisition Excellence Award, and the 2015 Public Servant Award from the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce.
Darnell Holloway is Yelp’s Director of Business Outreach. Darnell joined Yelp in 2009 as one of 12 Account Managers at Yelp HQ in San Francisco. After relocating to Scottsdale in 2010 as part of the team that founded Yelp’s Arizona operation, he was promoted to begin working more closely on building up Yelp’s Business Outreach efforts.
As the Director of Business Outreach, he oversees a North American team dedicated to building communities and educating small business owners across the country about strategies for success in a feedback driven economy.
He comes from a family of small business owners and is passionate about working with the local business community. He is a California native, and UC Davis alumnus.
Founder and CEO, The Marketing Zen Group
Shama Hyder is the CEO of the award-winning agency, The Marketing Zen Group, and best-selling author of two books, The Zen of Social Media Marketing and Momentum.
As a keynote speaker and strategist, she’s worked with many leading brands, including AT&T, Cox Communications, Mary Kay, Dippin’ Dots and Chase and has been featured across all major media channels, including MSNBC, Fox Business, Forbes, Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award as well as one of the “Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs” by both Inc. Magazine and Forbes. Additionally, Shama has been honored at both the White House and The United Nations as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country.
Bolles earned her B.A., in marketing, as well as her M.A. in education and human development from The George Washington University.
Executive Director, Pigtown Main Street
Ben Hyman serves as Executive Director of Pigtown Main Street, a nonprofit organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. Pigtown Main Street’s mission is to revitalize Pigtown, a neighborhood in Southwest Baltimore, by supporting the small business owners and commercial property owners along the Washington Boulevard commercial corridor. Ben joined Pigtown Main Street in October 2012, and has presided over a period of record organizational growth. In his time at Pigtown Main Street, the organization has welcomed more than twenty new businesses to Washington Boulevard, which have created dozens of new jobs and investment in commercial storefronts.
Prior to his appointment at Pigtown Main Street, Ben served as Special Assistant to Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Baltimore’s second highest-ranking public official. In his nearly three years in City Hall, Ben staffed the Board of Estimates, Baltimore City’s spending board. He also worked on minority procurement issues and organized special events, including the Baltimore Hockey Classic and The President’s Cup. Ben holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from The George Washington University in Geography and is a candidate for a Master’s of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University.
Senior Vice President, T-Mobile for Business
Mike Katz launched his career with T-Mobile over 18 years ago and currently serves as SVP of the company’s rapidly growing B2B division of T-Mobile. Mike was one of the architects of the “Un-carrier” revolution, the radical change and relaunch of T-Mobile’s brand and value proposition. As the Un-carrier, T-Mobile’s relentless focus on solving customer pain points and bringing disruptive solutions to life has led to industry-leading growth and T-Mobile becoming the third-largest wireless carrier in the U.S.
Currently, Mike leads all marketing activities, sales, operations and business development for T-Mobile’s B2B business. Prior to his current role, he had responsibility for all brand and acquisition marketing activities for T-Mobile, including messaging and offers strategy, segment, product, channel, and local marketing. When he’s not working to empower T-Mobile’s business customers, you can find Mike traveling with his family and cheering on the Broncos or his alma mater team, the Colorado State Rams.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
For nearly twenty-five years Karen Kerrigan’s leadership, advocacy and training work has helped foster U.S. entrepreneurship and global small business growth. She is President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and is the group’s chief advocate for its members.
Kerrigan regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress on the key issues impacting entrepreneurs and the economy, and has been appointed to numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialog, the U.S. Treasury’s Taxpayer Advisory Panel, and the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements. Kerrigan regularly engages with the President’s cabinet and key advisors, and has spoken or led roundtables at several White House economic summits, scores of events hosted by the Small Business Administration, U.S. Treasury Department and other federal government agencies and departments.
Kerrigan is a collaborative and well-respected individual within the advocacy community who has led numerous coalitions and initiatives with diverse partners and business organizations. She has written hundreds of Op-Eds and newspaper columns, and regularly appears on national television and talk radio programs. She has been called America’s “entrepreneurial envoy” and “small business ambassador” for her extensive speaking, knowledge sharing and capacity-building work overseas.
Kerrigan is a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and regularly provides counsel to governments and business associations across the globe regarding entrepreneurial development, capacity building and policy formation and implementation. She has traveled to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Nepal, the Palestinian territories, among many other nations on behalf of the U.S. State Department to work with business leaders, young entrepreneurs and government officials on reforms and programs to encourage entrepreneurship and small business growth.
Kerrigan is a former board member and Chair of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, which works to strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market oriented reforms.
Executive Vice President, Legal Reform Initiatives U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform
Harold H. Kim serves as the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. He is responsible for providing strategy, policy guidance, programmatic management, and leadership support for ILR’s comprehensive program aimed at improving the nation’s litigation climate.
Before joining ILR, Kim was special assistant to the President in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. In that position, he served as former President George W. Bush’s liaison to the Senate on matters involving national security, the judiciary, civil justice reform, intellectual property, and criminal law enforcement. During his tenure, he helped win confirmation for several of President Bush’s judicial and executive nominees and worked closely with Congress to advance the administration’s policy priorities.
From 2003 to 2007, Kim served as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as deputy chief counsel to ranking member Arlen Specter, and as senior committee counsel for then-Chairman Orrin Hatch. During the passage of the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act, Kim was the committee’s chief civil counsel and advised Republican members during the bill’s committee markup and Senate floor action. He also advised the committee members in the areas of asbestos, class action, medical malpractice, and bankruptcy litigation reform.
Sarah Miyazawa LaFleur
Founder & CEO, MM.LaFleur
Sarah LaFleur was your typical woman in finance whose closet was packed with blah-feeling pantsuits. Back then, she dreamed of a more inspired wardrobe for herself and all professional women. When she launched MM.LaFleur in 2013, she made it her mission to put the fun (and the ease) back into the ritual of dressing for work—and to rethink the shopping process altogether.
Sarah joined forces with luxury designer Miyako Nakamura, former head designer of Zac Posen, and Narie Foster, former consulting colleague, and set out to fill the void. Together, they help today’s professional woman build a wardrobe full of gorgeous, versatile pieces that reflect both her personal style (sophisticated silhouettes, ingenious design details) and her dynamic lifestyle (machine-washable, travel-friendly).
Before founding MM.LaFleur, Sarah worked in the luxury goods group of Starwood Capital in New York and Paris. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at Bain & Co. and TechnoServe, where she advised consumer packaged goods and financial services companies as well as agribusinesses.
She graduated from Harvard and sits on the junior board of the International Rescue Committee. MM.LaFleur is named after her mother, whom she calls her biggest inspiration.
CEO, Founder & President of Mindgrub Technologies
Todd Marks, a 40 under 40 and 2x EY Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee, is the teacher-turned-technologist Founder of Mindgrub Technologies. Mindgrub voted Inc. Best Workplaces, Innovator of the Year, and placing #520 on the Inc. 500/5000is a technology innovation agency, working with companies and organizations in a variety of industries to bring their brand to digital. Marks founded Mindgrub in 2002 and has developed enterprise systems for a wide range of clients such as Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Mercy Medical Center, Inova, Exelon, Wendy’s, Crayola, DELL, Adobe, Geico, Motorola, Polk Audio, Ya maha, ORACLE, A&E, The Economist, and Discovery Communications.
Marks maintains his status as Chief-Everything-Officer for the agency. He leads information architects, user experience specialists, creative interface designers, and top-notch developers to solve business and consumer challenges in application and web development and rapid prototyping. Always the visionary and future-thinker, Marks pays attention to emerging technologies in the market. Most recently, he built a Holodeck at headquarters to serve as a facility to research and develop virtual, augmented and mixed reality training applications and games for clients. In addition, Marks has spearheaded Mindgrub’s robotics division and will launch the agency’s first robot in summer of 2017 that will serve as digital docent of Mindgrub and will deliver snacks and drinks to employees and guests.
Todd Marks was born in Syracuse, New York and spent his first few years living in upstate New York. Todd began his professional career teaching Math and Computer Science in Maryland. With the dot-com bubble at a high in 2000, Todd decided to take the leap and started a Digital Agency with friends that focused on websites and eLearning. In 2002, Todd went out on his own to found Mindgrub and consulted with and worked for several companies from Baltimore to New York City, Austin and Chicago. When Apple released the iPhone in 2007, Todd saw the disruption in technology and knew this was the next, big paradigm shift. Todd quit his job and began developing mobile, web and marketing solutions. In the beginning, times were tough. While trying to support a family of 6, Todd ate Ramen noodles and biked to meetings. Eventually, his hard work and vision paid off as Mindgrub has grown to over 90 employees and no longer resides in his basement.
Head of Global and Government Relations & Public Policy, Square
Chris Massey leads Global Government Relations and Public Policy for Square. Chris brings to Square a wealth of government advocacy experience at the International, Federal, State, and Local level. On behalf of Square and its millions of small business partners, Chris works with policymakers and regulators to understand the benefits of the Square platform to their small business constituents and where policies can be addressed or created to empower entrepreneurs. Whether it is a Prime Minister’s office, a member of a legislature, or a Mayor, Chris uses his over 20 years’ experience in Government Relations and Public Affairs to share critical stories of economic empowerment and develop policies focused on growth for Square’s merchant partners.
Prior to joining Square, Chris was the Vice President of Government Relations and Business Development at Zenefits where he was part of an executive team tasked with working with regulators and policymaker at the federal and state level to promote the platform’s solution around small business growth and healthcare. As the Director of Government Relations at Lyft, Chris helped plan strategies for Lyft’s market launches in their first 65 cities and regions across the United States. His work with Mayors, Governors, Congress, and the White House helped set the course for how Government regulators and policy makers viewed the launch of disruptive technologies at a local level.
Chris has spent his career focused on giving a voice to constituents, consumers, small businesses, nonprofits and companies alike. His professional mission has been to develop strategies with universal support. As the founder and President of The Impact Group, he assisted corporate and nonprofit clients to develop their approach to government. He has held senior roles inside Fortune 100 companies and nonprofit organizations, including CBS/EcoMedia, CBS Outdoor Advertising, and the Fan Freedom Project. And has represented the interests of Kronos, Cisco Systems, The LA Dodgers, and Time Warner on the corporate side and secured federal funding for numerous City, County and School District clients.
Director of Grassroots Marketing and Advocacy, American Express
Erin Maxwell is the Director of Grassroots Marketing and Advocacy on the Small Business Saturday team at American Express. In her role, Erin oversees the Neighborhood Champion program recruiting and supporting over 6,700 Champions in communities in all 50 states. In addition to the Neighborhood Champions program, Erin leads the Brand Partnerships & Experience team at American Express leading activations at key events such as Coachella, Art Basel and the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Prior to this role, she worked on brand communications and public relations for the Global Advertising & Brand Team and Digital Partnerships & Development. Before joining American Express, Erin has worked for brands including Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Godiva on events, branding and public relations. Erin lives in New York City, is an avid University of Kansas Jayhawk fan and is originally from St. Louis.
Director of Supplier Diversity, United Airlines
Ruby was appointed Director of Supplier Diversity with United Airlines in 2008. In this role, she is responsible for developing United’s Corporate Supplier Diversity/Supply Chain strategy across multiple product lines and services. Under her leadership, United’s supplier diversity spend has grown to over $1B annually; creating a Best in Class Supplier Diversity brand at United. As a nationally recognized advocate on behalf of Women and Minority Business Enterprises, United has been named Corporation of the Year by the WBDC in 2017, Corporation of the Year by CMSDC (Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council) in 2013 and 2016; one of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s America’s Top Corporations for WBEs (women business enterprises) six consecutive years and a host of other accolades.
Before joining United, Ruby lead U.S. Cellular®’s Supplier Diversity initiatives and Supplier Diversity Business Development at SBC (one of the original members of the Billion Dollar Roundtable for Supplier Diversity). As a former business owner herself, she presents unique insights to business owners. As President of R. McCleary Consulting she provides successful diversity strategies tailored to meet her client’s individual corporate objectives. Ruby has taught leadership and development seminars for business owners at the Univ. of Wi-Madison (WSDC- Business Seminar), for WBENC, the MBDA, WBDC and CMBDC. She has a successful track record in the areas of Diversity and Inclusion, Procurement and Customer Relationship Management. Through her course “How to Market your Way to Yes”, suppliers are taught what works and what doesn’t when marketing to potential customers, how to develop a business marketing plan and how to successfully respond to an RFP.
Prior to her strategic engagement in the Supplier Diversity Industry, Ruby was the Director for IT Contracts, responsible a $660 Billion Outsource Agreement for Data Center Operations at Ameritech. She started her career at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Division in the Contracts, Proposal Management and Gov’t Regulations department.
As a Director for United Airlines, Ruby was named Supplier Diversity Professional of the Year 2017 and one of Top 25 Women in Power in Diversity by Diversity Plus Magazine in 2012 and 2015. Ruby has a strong financial and strategic management background supported with her MBA and B.S. in Accounting. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors on the CMSDC. She also is on the Board of Directors for WBENC and chairs the Program Committee. Ruby participates as a Corporate Partner with WBDC, serves as Chair of the NMSDC Air Transportation Group and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
President, National Small Business Association
Todd McCracken currently serves as president of National Small Business Association (NSBA), directing all activities of the advocacy-oriented association. Mr. McCracken became president of NSBA in 1997. Mr. McCracken started with the association in 1988, previously serving as vice president of government affairs. Mr. McCracken is a registered lobbyist before the U.S. Congress, representing the organization in myriad settings.
As director of its government affairs arm, Mr. McCracken plays a key role in developing NSBA’s policies on issues and the strategies in implementing them. Since coming to the association, Mr. McCracken has testified before Congress numerous times about issues ranging from fundamental health care reform to tax code restructuring. Mr. McCracken also is a frequent commentator in the media, having appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and NBC Nightly News as well as in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and myriad other publications. As a non-partisan organization, NSBA works proactively with elected and administration officials to promote policies that support small business growth and development. A native of New Mexico, Mr. McCracken is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in Economics.
Clay McDaniel is a digital media and technology marketing executive who also serves as an Advisor to several early-stage marketing SaaS companies.
Clay currently serves as COO at Ripl, Inc., a pioneering mobile marketing software company with apps used by hundreds of thousands of small business marketers worldwide. Prior to joining Ripl, Clay ran Global Marketing for information services company ProQuest and managed the global social media practice for the Mediabrands Audience Platform division of Interpublic Group [NYSE: IPG]. Clay joined Mediabrands after the digital marketing agency he founded, Spring Creek, was acquired by IPG. Prior to Spring Creek, Clay worked in a variety of technology product management and marketing roles in both software and e-commerce. Clay holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an AB in Economics from Princeton University.
Managing Director, Editorial and Insights, Atlantic Media Strategies
Lymari leads editorial strategy and insights development for Atlantic Media Strategies, overseeing a team of digitally-savvy writers, editors, and social media strategists. Lymari joined Atlantic Media from Gallup, where she oversaw global communications and architected the daily news strategy for Gallup.com. Lymari has also held editorial roles at NBC News, MSNBC, MSNBC.com and Fox News.
In 2015, she was named to the Folio:100 list of the top 100 leaders in media. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University. Lymari has also served as an adjunct professor of journalism at American University.
Vice President, Regional and Small Markets Strategy, MetLife
Jessica Moser is vice president of MetLife’s Group Benefits Regional and Small Markets Strategy organization. In this role, Moser is responsible for creating and implementing strategies to drive growth for the group insurance businesses with 2 – 5,000 employees. She ensures strategic plans are in place for both Regional and Small markets based on analysis of key internal frameworks, competitor developments, and overall market trends.
Prior to her current position, Moser was responsible for building out new distribution capacity through benefit administration, private exchange and technology platform deals, as well as ensuring effective onboarding of these entities and overseeing continual refinement of additional capabilities to drive growth and business impact.
Before this role, Moser was responsible for developing and driving MetLife’s public exchange strategy and leading the execution of MetLife’s Health Care Reform program. She has driven customer implementations, including MetLife’s largest group customer, the TRICARE Dependents program. Moser has also been responsible for directing Insurance Products strategy and managing the technology and business planning process for a complex of portfolio of multiple products and services.
Moser joined MetLife in 1998, with over 10 years of experience in the information management field at companies including EMI-Capitol Music Group and Ernst & Young. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany and a Master of Arts from Hunter College.
President, Americans for Tax Reform
Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR works to limit the size and cost of government and opposes higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels and supports tax reform that moves towards taxing consumed income one time at one rate.
ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to the American people to oppose all net tax increases. In the 115th Congress, 212 House members and 45 Senators have taken the pledge.
Norquist chairs the Washington, DC – based Wednesday Meeting, a weekly gathering of more than 150 elected officials, political activists, and movement leaders. The meeting started in 1993 and takes place in ATR’s conference room. There are now 60 similar center-right meetings in 48 states.
Entrepreneur and Co-Founder, SWATCHROOM
Maggie O’Neill is an artist, designer, and creative entrepreneur based in Washington, D.C. Living and working in the neighborhood of Shaw, her work is inspired by local landscapes and cultural icons, her travels abroad, notable women, and fashion. In 2012, Maggie had the honor of personally delivering a portrait to President Obama, and in 2014 her “DC Uncle Sam” was featured on the front page of The New York Times.
She is the co-founder of SWATCHROOM, a full-service design, art and fabrication studio. Through SWATCHROOM, she’s designed notable commercial spaces and private residencies throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including more than twenty restaurants and the offices for incubator 1776 in Washington, New York, and Dubai. She has also designed custom installation pieces for real estate developers, private commissions, and companies like Twitter and Microsoft.
Maggie is a fine artist, best known for her iconic pop impressionistic paintings of iconic Washington, D.C., landmarks and people, like her “Pop Capitol” and “Flynn’s Jefferson Memorial.” She’s been the featured speaker for Creative Mornings DC, a two-time winner of the design category for DC Inno’s “50 on Fire,” named a “Woman of Influence” by Capitol File in 2015, and her art was featured on the cover of DC Magazine’s December 2016 issue, among other accolades.
In addition to her work, Maggie is focused on giving back to her community and paying it forward. She is the founder of SUPERFIERCE, a national traveling art exhibit that highlights female artists, benefits local charities and mentors aspiring artists. Proceeds from her artwork have benefited organizations like Research Down Syndrome, Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity, DC Central Kitchen, and Project Soar. Additionally, Maggie is active in her local community as a board member of Shaw Main Streets, a commercial revitalization and historic preservation non-profit.
Host, Twin Cities Live
Steve joined 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in December of 2013. Before coming to the Twin Cities, Steve spent 4 years working for Hubbard Broadcasting in Los Angeles, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico for the company’s entertainment cable news network REELZ. During his time there, Steve was as a correspondent and anchor for the network’s daily entertainment news program, interviewing many of the biggest stars in Hollywood along the way.
Steve studied at Azusa Pacific University in southern California, earning a degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Media Studies. During his time in college, he anchored various campus television shows. After graduation, he took a job at his alma mater working in the Undergraduate Admissions Office as an Admissions Counselor. By day, he helped students and their families’ work through the admissions process. By night, he covered various red carpet events for an entertainment website he created. It was a non-profit. Wait, nope. It didn’t make a profit. That’s what he meant. As in zero dollars. For the first two and a half years. But the hard work paid off when his website was purchased by REELZ. Before leaving REELZ, Steve co-created, wrote, produced and hosted a weekly comedic show called “Who Said What?
While working for 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Steve was asked to guest-host for Twin Cities Live, in February of 2014. He had no idea what it would turn into. After multiple fill-in appearances, Steve joined Twin Cities Live on a full-time basis, which gave him the opportunity to return to his entertainment roots.
Steve also enjoys writing in the third person. He doesn’t think anyone actually reads an entire bio. So if you haven’t given up on this just yet, kudos! You done good, kid.
Corporate Supplier Diversity Leader, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Susannah (Suzanne) currently serves as Corporate Supplier Diversity Leader of Lockheed Martin. In this position, Ms. Raheb identifies strategic initiatives to help Lockheed Martin achieve its supplier diversity goals and objectives to maximize the corporation’s utilization of small businesses through subcontracting and partnering initiatives. Ms. Raheb is also responsible for the operations of the Supplier Diversity function, compliance and reporting activities as well as outreach efforts. In her prior assignment, Ms. Raheb served as the manager and corporate focal point for Government Programs, including Mentor Protégé, Indian Incentive and Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs.
Ms. Raheb possesses 22 years of professional experience and is widely recognized for her innovation and leadership. She held a variety of increasingly responsible positions with Lockheed Martin, including Innovation Program Manager, Business Unit Resource Manager, and Communications Specialist.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. Her professional boards and memberships present and past include: National Veteran Owned Business Association board member (NaVOBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Corporate Advisory Board member, Coalition of Veteran Owned Business committee member, National Veterans Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) advisory committee member, Florida 8(A) Alliance board member, Space Coast Central & North Florida Minority Supplier Development Council president, Alliance of Supplier Diversity Professionals (ASDP) board member and communications chair, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Orlando program graduate, Brevard County Business Advisory Council member, and NASA/KSC Prime Contractor Board Working Committee member.
Her recent awards include: Small Business Administration’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, Women’s Enterprise USA’s Top 100 Leaders in Supplier Diversity, MBN USA “Champion of Supplier Diversity” Award, Lockheed Martin Leadership Association Leadership Excellence Award and Computerworld’s Innovation Best Practices Award Finalist.
Head of Square Capital
As head of Square Capital, Jackie oversees the team working to expand access to funding for small businesses, enabling them to grow and achieve their goals. Square Capital, which has extended over $1bn in advances, applies innovative machine learning models to inform underwriting decisions, manage risk and ultimately extend the right loan amounts to qualified sellers. As People Lead, she also oversees all human resources, recruiting and culture programs. Jackie joined Square in October 2015 and brings over 20 years of financial and leadership experience to her roles and a personal passion to help transform the economy through the foundational support of small business.
Prior to Square, Jackie was the Chief Development Officer for Yahoo. In this role, Jackie focused on developing revenue and product partnerships ($1bn+ annual revenue), strategic acquisitions (M&A) and significant corporate and tax transactions, as well as the operational and people transformation of Yahoo.
Jackie was also on the Board of Directors of Alibaba Group, China’s largest online and mobile commerce company. There, she co-chaired the audit committee and the compensation committee of the Board of Directors and also managed strategic M&A, banking and f inancial services transactions for both Alibaba and ANT Financial, one of China’s largest financial institutions.
Prior to joining Yahoo in 2012, Jackie led the U.S. media group at Apax Partners (2001-2011), one of the largest global private equity firms with over $40bn in assets. While at Apax, she made some of the firm’s largest and complex investments in TMT including Intelsat, Cengage Learning, and NEP Broadcasting. Jackie had a particular investing focus in companies which developed online solutions to improve the outcomes in education and she also managed significant LP and credit relationships on behalf of Apax. Jackie served as CEO of iBuilding Inc., a real estate software business spun-out of Tishman Speyer which was sold to Realeum Software in 2001. Jackie also spent seven years at Goldman Sachs (1992-1999) in mergers and acquisitions and the principal investment area. There she worked on many keystone M&A and financing transactions.
Jackie also supports a number of organizations and non-profit institutions. She sits on the advisory board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Board of Directors of the Wharton School. She previously served on the Investment Committees for the endowments of both The Peddie School and The Brearley School. She has additionally been on the boards of numerous non-profit institutions such as Baby Buggy, City Meals and Springboard Enterprises.
Jackie was named one of Crain’s New York Business’ “Most Influential Women,” and was one of Dealmaker magazine’s “Dealmakers of the Year.” She has a patent pending for “Systems and Methods for Equitably Determining Employee Compensation”. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jackie and her husband have three children and live in Woodside California.
Lisa A. Rickard
President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
President, Workforce Freedom Initiative
Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Lisa A. Rickard is one of the U.S. Chamber’s top leaders on a wide range of issues, with a strong focus on legal reform. She plays a significant role in maintaining the Chamber’s long-term position as the world’s most influential advocate for business.
Rickard has served as president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) since 2003. Under her leadership, ILR has developed from a strong national legal reform organization into a comprehensive, multifaceted global legal reform campaign with cutting-edge legislative advocacy, communications, and voter education initiatives.
In addition, Rickard has grown ILR’s annual Legal Reform Summit into a premier showcase of ideas and issues for the movement, and she established an initiative to reform the overzealous federal and state civil and criminal enforcement regimes.
Rickard’s notable accomplishments include leading the effort to enact the landmark Class Action Fairness Act law in 2005; presiding over the creation and expansion of the Madison County Record enterprise—a wholly owned ILR subsidiary chain of nine legal newspapers that count millions of readers annually; and guiding the global expansion of ILR into Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.
Previously, Rickard led government affairs practices for Fortune 500 companies Dow Chemical and Ryder System, Inc. She was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and she worked on Capitol Hill for two senators.
Rickard has received multiple honors, including two from The National Law Journal, naming her as one of the nation’s Most Influential Lawyers (one of only four in the Government Affairs practice area) and one of Washington’s Most Influential Women Lawyers. In 2015, Rickard received the Burton Foundation Legend in Law award. She serves on the board of directors of the Carlton Club, is a member of the Business Government Relations Council and International Women’s Forum, and is an honorary board member of the Burton Awards.
Rickard graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and received her law degree from American University in Washington, D.C., where she was executive editor of the Law Review. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Chief Community and Culture Officer, DC Brau Brewing Company
Mari Rodela is the Chief Community and Culture Officer at DC Brau Brewing Company. She is also the President of the District of Columbia Brewers’ Guild and sits on the Board of Directors for Think Local First DC. As a native of the Washington, DC Metro area, Mari is proud to be in a key role in a business that contributes to the sustainability and growth of DC’s local economy and community. She is also a major advocate and lover of all things craft beer!
Prior to her work with DC Brau, Mari served as public health community organizer, public policy analyst and advocate, and manager of programs focusing on health behavior and education. She has worked with various organizations, both governmental and community based, to develop, implement, and sustain partnerships and programs in the areas of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, mental health wellness, and violence prevention. Mari is also an experienced and trained meetings facilitator. Throughout her career Mari has had the pleasure of facilitating strategic planning, action planning, and implementing various programs with community partners.
Mari has a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She also received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Social Psychology and Philosophy from Trinity University located in North East Washington, DC.
COO of Guideline
Jeff Rosenberger is COO at Guideline, the company transforming retirement savings with the first all-inclusive, fee-free 401(k) platform. Previously, Jeff was the Head of Product Strategy at Earnest and the VP of Research and Customer Development at Wealthfront – dating all the way back to when it began as kaChing. Before moving to the consumer world, Jeff worked in enterprise sales for three years and generated $20 million in bookings with large banks during the financial crisis.
Director, Go Fish Digital
Daniel Russell is the Director at award-winning agency Go Fish Digital, where he has worked with several of the world’s largest organizations in addition to well-known public figures to build their brands online. His innovative strategies cover nearly all digital platforms, from improving Yelp scores to creating new sales channels through social media. In just the last year, Daniel’s work has hit the front page of Google, earned the #1 spot on YouTube, and has been featured in The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Yahoo News, and Inc.
Daniel graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Economics and History and received his J.D. from George Mason School of Law. He is also a licensed attorney.
President, Salis Holdings, Owner, Kramerbooks, Co-Founder, &Pizza
In 2012, at the age of 27, Stephen Salis co-founded and led &pizza as CEO from concept to one of the fastest growing restaurant companies in the mid-Atlantic region. When launched in 2012, &pizza was called “a classic pizzeria with a modern twist.” One report said the restaurant had “done to the pizza parlor what Quentin Tarantino did to the crime genre with Pulp Fiction.” Following a period of expansion in 2015, &pizza was mentioned alongside Chipotle, Sweetgreen and Cava Mezze Grill as among the influential restaurants representing a new trend toward build-your-own, fast-casual dining in the Washington, D.C. region. Today the company has 20 locations in three states and DC and continues to grow at a rapid rate.
In mid-2015, Salis stepped down from his role as CEO of &pizza to expand his holding company with a range of hospitality, leisure, real estate, and retail businesses.
In late-2015, Salis was approached by the founders of Kramerbooks to consider acquiring the company, in an attempt to save the business from shutting its doors in 2020. Salis agreed to purchase the company in late-2016 and quickly focused on turning the business around and revitalizing the brand. As the successor of a landmark independent bookstore and cafe of both social and historical significance, Salis is committed to preserving the history and legacy of Kramerbooks while positioning the business for the next generation.
In 2016, Salis’ holding company also invested in one of the most successful new restaurants openings in DC, Federalist Pig, an American barbecue restaurant, founded by Salis in a partnership with renowned pitmaster, Rob Sonderman. The restaurant features a menu of smoked meat and vegetarian options flavored by “atypical tree logs” including pear, persimmon and honey locust. At the restaurant’s location in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, you will find a convergence of Carolina, Texas, and Kansas City-style barbecue. Reviews have been wildly positive, with The Washington Post calling Federalist Pig’s chopped pork “subdued,” “ephemeral” and “refined.” The restaurant has also been called one of the “hottest restaurants in D.C.” by Zagat in 2017.
Throughout his career, Salis has created strong cultural identities around the brands he has founded, acquired and led. He has strengthened the communities where these brands exist through job creation, corporate social responsibility and a profoundly keen sense of what it takes to become a connected community.
Managing Director & Senior Vice President of Development, International Council of Small Business
Winslow Sargeant is the Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Development for the International Council of Small Business, where he has worked for over 2 years. Previously, Winslow served as the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the Small Business Administration where he directed Advocacy’s operations such as conducting research on the U.S. small business sector, advocating for small businesses within the federal government’s agencies and rulemaking processes, reaching out to small business advocates and policymakers, and fostering public awareness of small business contributions and concerns.
Before working with SBA, Winslow served as the Managing Director for Venture Investors LLC and as the Co-Founder and CEO of Silatronix Inc. Winslow was also a Kauffman Fellow for the Kauffman Fellows Program, a Program Director for the National Science Foundation, an Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as an engineer at several technical companies.
Winslow earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and went on to earn his Master’s at Iowa State. In 1995, Winslow graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Vicki Saunders is an entrepreneur, award-winning mentor, advisor to the next generation of changemakers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world.
Vicki is Founder of SheEO; a two-decade long initiative to dramatically transform how we support, celebrate and finance female entrepreneurs building new models, new mindsets and new solutions for a better world.
Vicki has co-founded and run 4 ventures in Europe, Toronto and Silicon Valley including Zazengo (an online platform for consumer and employee engagement for Fortune500 companies focused on sustainability), KidsNRG/The NRG Group (which went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2000) and Impactanation, a global consulting firm focused on engaging youth to tackle the grand challenges we are facing.
Vicki was recently named one of the 100 most influential leaders of 2015 from “EBW – Empowering A Billion Women”, alongside Marissa Mayer, Melinda Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and Michelle Obama. In 2001, Vicki was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. She has spoken regularly at events around the world including; The World Economic Forum in Davos, Women of Influence Series in Canada, TEDx Conference, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs events and the Tallberg Forum.
Founder, Flags of Valor
Brian’s military service began in the US Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne. He briefly left active duty to attend the University of Alabama, when he witnessed the attacks of 9/11 and knew he had a calling to return to active service. Upon graduation, he attended Air Force pilot training and became a special operations pilot.
After 8 consecutive combat deployments to the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa, he found himself rehabbing from a service related injury. He needed a new way to focus his mind while he rebuilt his body. Throughout his military journey he was constantly surrounded with symbols…flags, coins, patches, people, efforts…all reminders of the motivation to serve. During rehabilitation he didn’t wear a uniform…he didn’t wear his flag. He had a lingering question, “Where’s your flag?”
He began wood working, devoting himself to build a handcrafted custom piece of pure Americana. Many attempts failed to result in a product he was proud of. His woodworking went from a hobby to an obsession. His abilities transformed from novice to craftsman, and his focus became a passion. He began producing world class works of art. After donating several pieces to the families of fallen soldiers, he realized there was a lot more work to do.
Brian transformed his passion into Flags Of Valor, a Veteran owned, Veteran operated, Veteran made company, crafting beautiful works of American art. His dream became a reality…employing veterans, raising money for veteran and first responder charities, and providing Americans with an exceptional product. Whether you are military, first responders, public servants, educators, business people, or simply proud Americans who love your country, he has one question…”Where’s your flag?”
Jayson E. Street
Live Hacker and Infosec Ranger, Pwnie Express
Jayson E. Street is an author of the “Dissecting the hack: Series”. Jay is well versed in the ten domains of Information Systems security defined by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ([ISC]2). He specializes in intrusion detection response, penetration testing, and auditing. He also has an in-depth working knowledge of the implementation and administration of major firewalls, vulnerability scanners, and intrusion detection systems.
Jayson also works as Global Coordinator for the DEF CON Group. He has also spoken at DEF CON, DerbyCon, UCON and several other ‘ CONs and colleges on a variety of Information Security subjects. His life story can be found on Google under“Jayson E. Street”. He is a highly carbonated speaker who has partaken of Pizza from Beijing to Brazil. He does not expect anybody to still be reading this far. But, if they are, please note that he was chosen as one of Time’ s persons of the year for 2006.
Strategic Partnerships & Program Lead, Google
Aisha Taylor is a Strategic Partnerships & Program Lead at Google. She recently launched and oversees Google’s new Digital Coaches Program to equip and empower women and minority-owned small businesses with digital marketing training across 9 U.S. pilot cities (Atlanta, Austin, Bay Area, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Miami, NYC and Washington DC).
Aisha joined Google almost 3 years ago after completing her MBA at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where she focused on brand strategy and corporate social responsibility. She started as a Sr. Account Manager in the Media & Entertainment vertical, helping some of the largest media brands better understand the digital marketing landscape and how to leverage Google’s products and platforms to scale their reach.
Sarah Van Dell
CEO and Founder, Plum Relish
Sarah Van Dell is the CEO and Founder of Plum Relish, a digitally-native platform powering catering demand for restaurants brands. Previously, Sarah spent ten years in account management, finance, and marketing roles across Beijing, New York, and Washington, DC. Most recently, she served as a Senior Director at The Advisory Board Company. Sarah earned her MBA from New York University and her BA from Emory University.
President and CEO, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
Stephen Waguespack is the president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). As the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturer’s association, LABI is the largest business advocacy group, representing more than 2,200 business members and 324,000 employees. Under Stephen’s leadership, LABI has developed innovative research and policy initiatives as well as a number of other successful initiatives, including LABI’s Free Enterprise Program, Federal Outreach Tour, and the Emerging Leaders Council.
With nearly 20 years of experience in federal and state politics, Stephen has earned a reputation as an active voice for reform policy in Louisiana. In addition to numerous personal outreach efforts, he writes a weekly political column that runs in publications throughout the state.
Before joining LABI, Stephen served as a member of the State Board of Education and as a special counsel for Jones Walker, a Louisiana-based law firm. Stephen also served as a top advisor in several roles for former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, including chief of staff and executive counsel. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working on Capitol Hill.
Stephen is a Louisiana native and holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University as well as a law degree from The Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Director of Business Research, JPMorgan Chase Institute
Chris Wheat is the Director of Business Research for the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Prior to joining JPMCI, he served as the Director of Analytics at a financial technology startup, where he led the development of advanced analytics algorithms. He previously was an Assistant Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers Business School. As a faculty member, he taught and researched topics in strategy, entrepreneurship, global microfinance, economic sociology, and social network analysis.
Chris earned a B.S.E. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, an M.A. in Sociology from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University.