Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming his position in 1997, Donohue has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe. In an era of economic and fiscal challenges, Donohue has aggressively advanced the American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, a plan that includes expanding trade and domestic energy production, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, combating an avalanche of new regulations, protecting intellectual property, revitalizing capital markets, and reforming entitlements and the tax system. Donohue has also spearheaded the creation of the Campaign for Free Enterprise, a positive, long-term program to defend, protect, and advance the free enterprise system. A signature project of the campaign is Hiring Our Heroes, which identifies job opportunities for tens of thousands of returning military veterans and spouses. 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. In addition, he has dramatically expanded the activities of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s law firm, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. 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, Donohue was deputy assistant postmaster general of the United States and vice president of development at Fairfield University in Connecticut. He serves on the board of Union Pacific Corporation. 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, and Bradley universities, as well as the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. He is a 2013 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award. Donohue and his wife, Liz, have three sons and five grandchildren.
Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. As chairman and CEO of Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Case partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant, ‘built to last’ businesses. Revolution entities have jointly backed more than 30 companies, including Zipcar, LivingSocial, AddThis, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Bigcommerce, and Echo360. Case began his entrepreneurial career in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL). Under his leadership, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable Internet company. In 2000, Case negotiated the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner. Case was the founding chair of Startup America Partnership—an effort launched at the White House to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship across the nation. In 2013, Startup America Partnership joined forces with Startup Weekend to create UP Global, which Case chairs. He is also co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He and his wife established the Case Foundation in 1997, which has invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives, and partnerships with a focus on leveraging the Internet and entrepreneurial approaches to strengthen the social sector. He was born and raised in Hawaii and retains active ties to his home state, but has lived in the Washington, D.C. area for more than 25 years. CNBC recently called Case, “one of the nation’s greatest entrepreneurs.”
Charlie Cook is the editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report , which he founded in 1984, and a political analyst for the National Journal Group. For more than two decades he has been Washington’s most trusted—and most accurate—voice on all things political, whether it’s the outcome of a congressional, gubernatorial, or presidential election. He writes weekly for National Journal magazine and National Journal Daily and also pens a regular column for The Washington Quarterly. Once deemed “the Picasso of election analysis” by The Wall Street Journal, Cook produces “the sharpest political handicapping in the business, serving as the one-man, go-to source for Americans who want to be truly informed.” During the 2013 spring semester, Cook was a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Cook has been featured on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs, as well as Good Morning America, TODAY, Nightline, Meet the Press, and This Week. He has also been an election night analyst for CNN, CBS, and NBC News and for every presidential election since 1994.
Michael Froman was sworn in as the 11th United States Trade Representative (USTR) on June 21, 2013. As USTR, he is President Obama’s principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on international trade and investment issues. Ambassador Froman leads the Office of the United States Trade Representative in its work to open global markets for U.S. goods and services, enforce America’s rights in the global trading system, and foster development through trade. Key initiatives ongoing under his leadership are negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in the Asia Pacific; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union; negotiation of agreements on services, information technology and trade facilitation at the World Trade Organization; and monitoring and enforcement U.S. trade rights, including through the Interagency Trade and Enforcement Center (ITEC). Prior to becoming USTR, Ambassador Froman served at the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, where he was responsible for coordinating policy on international trade and finance, energy security and climate change, and development and democracy issues. He served as the U.S. Sherpa for the G20 and G8 Summits, and staffed the President for the APEC Leaders Meetings. In addition, he chaired or co-chaired the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, the Transatlantic Economic Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum and the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ambassador Froman served in a number of roles at Citigroup and as a Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and a Resident Fellow at the German Marshall Fund.In the 1990’s, Ambassador Froman spent seven years in the U.S. Government. He served as Chief of Staff and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Eurasia and the Middle East at the U.S. Department of Treasury. He also worked at the White House, where he served as a Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council and National Economic Council. Ambassador Froman received a bachelor’s degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University and law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in California. He, his wife, Nancy Goodman, and their two living children, Benjamin and Sarah, reside in Washington, D.C.
Gary R. Herbert, Utah’s 17th governor, took the oath of office on August 11, 2009. Herbert’s focus is on education, energy, jobs, and the ability of states to solve their own problems. Under his leadership, Utah has been recognized as the best state for business and careers by Forbes magazine, the best state to live in by GALLUP.COM, and the No. 1 pro-business state by Pollina Corporate. Herbert serves on the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association (NGA) and on NGA’s education and workforce committee. Previously, Herbert served as lieutenant governor of Utah for 5 years. Before that, he was the Utah county commissioner for 14 years, president of the Utah Association of Counties, and board member of the Provo Orem Chamber of Commerce. Herbert met his wife at Brigham Young University. Shortly after their marriage, he joined the Utah National Guard, where he served for six years. The Herberts were small business owners for 23 years and are the parents of 6 children and 15 grandchildren.
Pat McCrory became governor of North Carolina in 2013. He has worked to improve the state in three key areas: the economy, education, and efficiency. McCrory signed historic tax reform into law, reducing all personal income and corporate tax rates, eliminating special interest loopholes, and putting more money in the pockets of every working North Carolina family. His economic policies have contributed to a drop in the state’s unemployment rate by more than two points. He has also reconvened the Education Cabinet, created a Teacher Advisory Committee to gain input on issues like compensation and over-testing, and pushed through vocational training legislation to give students greater educational pathways. McCrory, striving for efficient government, established the Innovation Center to test and streamline information systems throughout state government. McCrory’s focus on service reflects his lifelong dedication to improving the lives of others, a fact that was evident to the people of Charlotte who elected him mayor for a record seven terms. He and his wife, Ann, have been married for 25 years and have a Labrador retriever mix named Moe.
Susan O'Malley was the first female president of a professional sports franchise, making her a pioneer in two fields: sports and business. She knows what it takes to be a leader in a tough business environment and how to create an organization from the ground up. Once an intern with the Washington Capitals and the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards), O’Malley joined Washington Sports and Entertainment in 1986. Under her guidance, the company improved its bottom line and its winning percentage. In her first season handling off-court activities, the Wizards experienced the largest ticket revenue increase in the history of an NBA franchise. The club also achieved the highest renewal rate of season tickets ever by the franchise, including the year following the 1977–1978 championship season. O’Malley’s magic helped attract more than 21.2 million patrons through the turnstiles of the Washington, D.C.-based Verizon Center. The 2005–2006 Wizards season saw the franchise tally an unprecedented 14 sellouts, averaging more than 17,000 fans per game en route to its second consecutive trip to the NBA playoffs. Her accomplishments also include innovative marketing and customer service initiatives that are still used today. After leaving Washington Sports and Entertainment, O’Malley earned her law degree from Georgetown University, where she also taught a sports business marketing class and was awarded the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award. She was the first sports marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University and is currently teaching sports marketing and sports law at the College of Charleston.
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted more than fifty years of his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. From 1989 to 1993, Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He was not only the youngest officer to ever serve in the position but also the first African-American to do so. Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th secretary of state and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Among the many U.S. military awards and decorations Powell has received are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 oak leaf clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster), the Soldier’s Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, he received awards from more than two dozen countries, including a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and is on the board of Bloom Energy. He is chairman of the advisory board of Leeds Equity Partners, a private equity firm, and the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders.
Joseph F. Alderete has been the leader of the Supplier Diversity Program for Southern California Edison for over 18 years. In this position, he oversees the Company’s Women and Minority Business Program. He insures compliance with all CPUC rules and regulations, and all public law relating to women and minority procurements. During this time, Edison International was named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 15 companies in the United States for Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics, having won the highest percentage of spending with minority vendors. He has worked for Edison for over 40 years. Before his current position, he worked in Procurement and Material Management as a Senior Procurement Agent, and was involved in the company’s “Strategic Sourcing” effort. He has also worked in our Human Resources and Transmission and Distribution departments.He is the past Chairman of the Edison Electric Institute Minority Business Development Committee. He is the current board chair of the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council and the National Council of Minorities in Energy. And is a member of the Asian Business Association, the Black Business Association, the Latin Business Association, the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the California Black Chamber of Commerce, the California American Indian Chamber of Commerce, the California Latino Caucus Institute, and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Hector Barreto is a nationally recognized business and community leader and served for five years as the administrator of the U. S. Small Business Administration. During his years of stewardship, the SBA exceeded all previous records in small business loans, disaster relief, and procurement opportunities. Barreto serves on the National Board of the U.S. Chamber and is president of Barreto Associates, a Southern California-based insurance and consulting firm. He is also the founder of Tributo a mi Padre, Tequila in honor of his late father, a legendary Hispanic business leader. Barreto is the author of The Engine of America, which provides motivation and inspiration for entrepreneurs through stories of business leaders. Barreto has received special recognition from countless groups including the Congress, the California State Senate and Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, YMCA, The American Red Cross, and the prestigious Aztec Eagle Award from the President of Mexico. He is frequently identified in key publications as one the most influential Hispanic business leaders in the country. Aside from his private business interests, he remains in great demand as a speaker, panelist, adviser or commentator on issues of concern to small business.
Kathy Bromage is The Hartford’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president of strategy for the company’s Small Commercial Insurance Segment. Bromage is responsible for Enterprise Marketing as well as developing and driving the Small Commercial strategy and leading marketing efforts that bring The Hartford’s value proposition to life for the company’s small business customers and distribution partners. Bromage joined The Hartford in 2004 as chief marketing and strategy officer for Personal Lines, where she was responsible for strategic planning, consumer research, marketing, e-commerce, distribution, and channel management. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of eBusiness, with oversight responsibility for The Hartford’s digital assets, channels, and marketing activities. Before joining The Hartford, Bromage spent 11 years in various strategy and finance roles for a $35 billion commercial bank, 4 years developing online banking solutions for commercial banks and credit unions, and 6 years in the financial services audit practice of a “big 4” accounting firm. Bromage received a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Massachusetts and is a CPA.
Peter Cancro is founder and chief executive officer of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, which operates more than 740 restaurants in 35 states from New Jersey to California. He began his business career while in high school working at Mike’s Subs, a local sub shop. In 1975, at the age of 17, Cancro gave up a potential college football career to buy that shop. Peter credits Rod Smith, his football coach and area banker, for making his dream possible. In 1987, he changed the name of the original Mike’s to “Jersey Mike’s” and began to expand nationally. Today, Cancro eyes the goal of 1,300 national and international stores within the next few years. Cancro credits his philosophy of “giving” as the secret to his success. Charities, hospitals, school systems and numerous individuals have benefited from his support. It’s a philosophy that he has emphasized to each and every Jersey Mike’s franchise owner: support the community that supports you.
Danny Catullo is the owner of Catullo Prime Meats, a third-generation specialty butcher store in Youngstown, Ohio. He learned the art of butchery at a young age from his grandfather and his father. Catullo is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he studied communications and business. Having knowledge of both ends of the business helped Catullo launch his vision for the new generation of Catullo Prime Meats. Through his innovation in getting the company into the online world, he became a leader in social media marketing. He has presented to area business owners and STEM classes and has given personal consultations to other business owners. He also teaches cooking classes at local elementary, middle, and high schools; the adult culinary program at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center; and the recreational program at the Culinary Arts Center. Catullo is known as one of the go-tos in the local food scene, connecting the local farmer to the everyday consumer. He is involved in Thirty Mile Meal, Mahoning Valley Young Professionals, and is co-chairman for the Public Library Campaign. He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Regional Chamber as well as 40 Under 40 by the Mahoning Valley Young Professionals. He won second place for the FedEx Small Business Award Grant.
David C. Chavern is executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of the Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation (CATI). Under Chavern’s leadership, the Chamber launched CATI in 2014 to expand engagement with high-tech industries on policy development, regulatory issues, and international opportunities and challenges and to represent the interests of technology companies. Before taking the helm of CATI, Chavern served as chief operating officer of the Chamber for more than seven years. During his tenure, total revenues increased more than 60%. Chavern also chaired the Chamber’s Management Committee during times of record-breaking activity and unprecedented challenges. He launched the Chamber’s manufacturing competitiveness initiative, highlighting opportunities to drive growth and advancement in the sector and advocating for policies to support America’s manufacturing rebound. Chavern was founder and president of the Center for Women in Business, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with the objective of raising opportunities for women at all levels of business. He also founded and served as vice president of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, where he quickly became one of the nation’s leading voices on corporate governance and on the effective regulation of U.S. capital markets. Before joining the Chamber in 2005, Chavern held several senior positions at the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank in Washington. Prior to that, Chavern was in private legal practice in Philadelphia. Chavern holds an M.B.A. from Georgetown University (valedictorian) and is a graduate of the Villanova University School of Law (Order of the Coif) and the University of Pittsburgh (University Scholar). He is a member of the board of directors of AEGON U.S. Holding Corporation, the parent of Transamerica Life Insurance Company. Chavern sits on the board of advisors of Humin, a San Francisco-based tech startup, and on the board of trustees at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy & Negotiations and is a member of G100 Next Generation Leadership.
As the CSO of ADP, Roland Cloutier brings one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions a wealth of global protection and security leadership experience, including the management of strategic converged security and business protection programs.Roland has functional and operational responsibility for ADP’s cyber, information protection, risk, workforce protection, crisis management, and investigative security operations worldwide. Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP), with $10 billion+ in revenues and approximately 600,000 clients, is one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions including payroll services, global tax management, and people management technology solutions. Prior to ADP, Mr. Cloutier served as Vice President and CSO of EMC, where he spearheaded protection of the company's worldwide business across both the commercial and government sectors. Mr. Cloutier has held executive security management roles at consulting and managed security service organizations and has more than nine years experience in federal law enforcement. Roland is active in industry development and serves on several private advisory boards, and is ADP’s board representative for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). Although Roland is a globetrotting Corporate Security Executive by day, Roland and his wife spend much of their non-work time supporting their daughters' competitive equestrian pursuits including managing their small equine farm in western New Jersey. As a United States Air force veteran himself, Roland knows the importance of serving your country and supporting those who have made many sacrifices to ensure our way of life. Roland volunteers for veterans organizations such as the American Legion, The100 Nights of Remembrance, and serves as ADP's Executive Sponsor for the ADP National Employee Veteran Council.
Thomas J. Collamore is senior vice president of Communications and Strategy and counselor to the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is responsible for all Chamber communications, including media outreach, Web strategy, advertising, publications, member interface, and branding. In addition, he advises senior management on long-term strategy and political engagement. During his tenure at the Chamber, Collamore has spearheaded the creation of the Campaign for Free Enterprise, a positive, long-term program to defend, protect, and advance a free enterprise system based on individual initiative, limited government, and private sector-led growth. Under his leadership, America’s Small Business Summit, the Chamber’s largest annual member event, continues to bring together more than 700 small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs from across the country to learn, network, and advocate for pro-business policies. Collamore has also elevated the Chamber to the forefront of social media using cutting-edge practices. Prior to joining the Chamber, Collamore spent 14 years with Altria Group, Inc., as vice president of Corporate Public Affairs. He previously served as chief of staff and assistant secretary of commerce in the George H.W. Bush administration, and from 1985 to 1989, served in the White House on former Vice President Bush’s senior staff. Collamore is chairman emeritus of the board of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., and vice chairman of the board of directors of the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children in Ridgely, Maryland. He is on the advisory boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. He is a member of the board of trustees of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. In addition, he is a member of two communications leadership organizations, The Seminar and the Arthur W. Page Society. A native of Connecticut, Collamore graduated from Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, where he serves as a trustee emeritus. He graduated magna cum laude from Drew University, where he previously served on the board of trustees. Collamore resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife, Jacqueline, and their four children.
Matthew J. Eggers is a senior director in the National Security and Emergency Preparedness Department at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He handles homeland security issues, such as cybersecurity, chemical security, and pandemics, on behalf of the Chamber’s 200 National Security Task Force members. Eggers leads the Chamber’s Cybersecurity Working Group, which focuses on developing and advocating the Chamber’s cyber policies before Congress, the administration, and the business community. Eggers is the author of Internet Security Essentials for Business 2.0 (2012), a Chamber guidebook to help business owners, managers, and employees adopt effective cybersecurity practices to reduce network weaknesses and make the price of hacking increasingly steep for their adversaries. He and Chamber colleagues are spearheading an education and awareness campaign—Improving Today, Protecting Tomorrow™—to help businesses start a cybersecurity program or improve an existing one. Before joining the Chamber in 2007, Eggers was director of public policy at B&D Consulting, a government affairs firm. For nearly a decade, he developed and executed legislative and appropriations initiatives for clients. Earlier in his career, he worked on Capitol Hill for House members on the Appropriations and Homeland Security committees.
Melinda Emerson, known as “SmallBizLady,” is a leading small business expert, seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and social media strategist. She partners with The Hartford on its Business Owner’s Playbook, which helps business owners succeed and grow by offering a wealth of practical and relevant insights for running a business. Emerson publishes a blog which is syndicated by the Huffington Post. She also writes a regular column on social media for The New York Times You’re The Boss blog. Emerson has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC Nightly News and has written for The Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and Black Enterprise and Essence magazines. Emerson is the founder of Quintessence Multimedia, a content development and social media marketing firm. She is the author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works (Adams Media), and a workbook and curriculum titled Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss? and How to Become a Social Media Ninja.
Page Faulk is vice president of legal reform initiatives for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). In this capacity, she provides strategy, advocacy, and policy guidance on key state, federal, and international issues, including managing ILR’s state attorneys general and transnational litigation programs. Faulk joined ILR from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission where she served in various roles, most notably as general counsel. Faulk’s accomplishments included promulgating of the agency’s first major rule and implementing of the largest-ever consumer product recall, educating international counterparts on U.S. safety standards as well as developing the inaugural Sino-U.S. Consumer Product Safety Summit. Faulk also spent several years on Capitol Hill, where she served as a senior adviser to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, as a legislative aide to Sen. Rick Santorum, and as an intern for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. She also practiced law with the firm of Ungaretti & Harris. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Faulk received her Juris Doctor from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. She holds a certificate in international law from the Hague Academy of International Law.
Fred Glave has over 40 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry. Beginning in the research and development area, he successively moved through positions in engineering, marketing, general management and senior officer positions with Nortel Networks. He founded a new venture-financed company in Silicon Valley and went on from there as a senior executive and CEO in several telecommunications enterprises. He has had extensive experience in international marketing and been the lead initiator in several technology and corporate acquisitions or partnerships. Mr. Glave’s strengths lie in all phases of technology management, and he is knowledgeable at the working level with all aspects of telecommunication management. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering and holds a Master’s degree from MIT and a PhD from Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, all in electrical engineering. Since retiring from his last position in 2002 he has been active as a mentor in SCORE, where he served as District Director for the Metropolitan DC District, 2008-2010. He is also a member of the SCORE Board of Directors, President of the MIT Club of Washington and a member of the Advisory Board and Executive Committee of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington/ Baltimore.
Shana Glickfield is a partner with Beekeeper Group, a leading public affairs firm specializing in digital communications in Washington, D.C. With more than 15 years of experience, Glickfield advises a variety of corporate, association, and nonprofit clients on their online communications strategies, focusing on social media and mobile technology. Glickfield graduated from Michigan State University and has a law degree from Temple University. She was one of five women named “up and comers in technology” by The Washington Post and made Washington Life magazine’s list of the most creative people in new media. She presents and comments frequently on social media topics, including for CNN.com, Mashable, ABC News, Politico, and on Capitol Hill.
Sam Graziano is chief executive officer and co-founder of Fundation, a New York City-based small business lender that utilizes a sophisticated software platform to streamline the lending process. Fundation launched its system to the public in May 2013 and is now backed by a group of high-profile private equity firms and other investors. Fundation offers a compelling alternative to bank loans: funds delivered in as little as three days, a product with fixed interest rates and a repayment period over two to four years, and a first-of-its-kind online application designed to educate loan applicants. Graziano is an experienced financial services professional and entrepreneur. Prior to Fundation, Graziano spent more than a decade in investment banking and private equity where he developed an expertise on strategic, financial and operational issues for banks, specialty finance companies, asset managers, broker dealers, and other institutions throughout the financial services sector. At Centerview Partners, Graziano provided strategic and financial advisory services to some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable financial services companies. Before that, he spent six years with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the nation’s largest boutique investment bank focused on the financial services sector. There he executed dozens of mergers and corporate finance transactions and then co-founded the firm’s private equity practice. Graziano graduated from Bucknell University with honors with a degree in computer science & engineering.
Christopher Guith is vice president for policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. He is responsible for developing the Institute’s policies and initiatives as they apply to the legislative, executive, and regulatory branches of the federal and state governments. Previously, Guith served as deputy assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he developed the administration’s nuclear energy policies and coordinated the department’s interactions with Congress, stakeholders, and the media. He was also the deputy assistant secretary for congressional affairs at DOE. Guith is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and the University of California Santa Barbara.
Karen Alderman Harbert is president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy (Institute). Harbert leads the Institute’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy. Harbert is the former assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Harbert was also a member of DOE’s Executive Board as well as the Credit Review Board. She negotiated and managed bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries and international agencies to further the nation’s energy security and research and development objectives. Harbert was the deputy assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She had oversight of programs in 11 countries, totaling more than $800 million and 1,000 employees. In the private sector, Harbert worked for a developer of international infrastructure and power projects valued at more than $9 billion in countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Harbert gained experience on issues associated with economic reform and privatization through earlier positions at the USAID, the Organization of American States, and the International Republican Institute. Harbert received a degree in international policy studies and political science from Rice University in Houston, Texas. She is active in numerous international policy forums and resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.
Gina Harman is CEO of the Accion U.S. Network, the only nationwide microfinance and small business lending network in the United States. A longtime proponent of social justice, she believes passionately in helping hardworking people take control of their economic future. Harman began her career in the nonprofit sector, serving as executive director of the Central Astoria Community Development Organization and executive director of the Washington Square Day Care Cooperative. After 12 years in the nonprofit sector, she honed her business leadership skills at Harman International, eventually serving as president of its $600 million consumer division. In 2002, she joined the board of directors of Accion New York. She joined Accion full time in 2008, bringing her commitment to the nonprofit sector full circle after more than 20 years. Harman holds a B.A. from the State University of New York Empire State College and is a graduate of the Nonprofit Management program at Columbia University. She served as an adviser to the Small Business Working Group at CGI America 2012 and was named to Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women 2012.
Caroline L. Harris is chief tax counsel and executive director of tax policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She directs the development, promotion, and publication of the Chamber’s policy on tax-related matters. She analyzes tax legislation, other legislation with revenue-raising provisions, and tax reform proposals, and submits comments, Hill letters, and testimony to Congress and regulatory agencies. Harris routinely meets with members of Congress and their staffs, the administration, and regulatory agencies to promote the Chamber’s tax policy. Harris is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar. She is a member of the American Bar Association and its Tax Section. Harris received a B.A. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law. She received a Master of Laws in Taxation, with distinction, from the Georgetown University Law Center. Harris hails from Philadelphia and currently resides on Capitol Hill with her husband, Ethan.
James Haslam is founder of Pilot Corporation, the nation’s largest operator of travel centers and the largest seller of over-the-road diesel fuel. Started in 1958 as a single gas station, Pilot Corporation has grown to become a network of more than 650 travel centers and travel plazas in 43 states and 6 Canadian provinces. In 2013, Haslam received the Hall of Fame award from NATSO, the trade association representing the truck stop and travel plaza industry. Haslam is a 1952 graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was starting tackle and team captain on the university’s football team. He played in the Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and won a national championship. Haslam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1952. He was on active duty from 1953 to 1955 and served as a Company Commander of the Engineer Combat Company in Korea in 1954 and 1955.
Ari Hoffman received a Masters of Architecture from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, graduating with dean’s list honors. He worked in the field for several years building high-end sustainable residences and restaurants. He spent the last two years of that time as a purchaser of the most innovative materials in the green market sector. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Hoffman helped orchestrate the first fully volunteered LEAD EBOM certification for a public building in the United States. It was here that his interest in water conservation expanded. Noticing how long it took to change conventional practices in the construction field, Hoffman searched for a new avenue to create immediate change. In 2011, he became an owner and operator for GOBIE h2o. Overseeing its daily operations, Hoffman is engaged in every facet of the organization. He believes that the company’s mission and product are a perfect match for his core values, and that GOBIE can dramatically change the world for the better.
Darnell Holloway is Yelp’s head of Business Outreach. Holloway hosts informational sessions with local business owners across the country to educate them on best practices for navigating the world of online reviews. He oversees Yelp’s Small Business Advisory Council and delivers feedback from the business community to the various divisions within Yelp. In addition, Holloway hosts a series of bimonthly webinars about Yelp’s free online tools and regularly produces informative content for Yelp's Blog for Business Owners. Before joining Yelp in 2009, Holloway worked in the banking industry as a securities research broker for Thomas Weisel Partners. He is a California native and University of California, Davis alumnus.
Jack Howard is senior vice president of the Congressional and Public Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Howard is responsible for developing the strategy and leading the tactical execution of the Chamber’s congressional lobbying activities, coordinating resources in Washington and around the country, and ensuring that the division’s mission and objectives align with those of the Chamber. With more than 25 years of government service, Howard served in the White House as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush. He worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs where he coordinated the efforts of senior-level White House officials, Cabinet departments, and agencies to secure congressional passage of President Bush’s legislative priorities. Howard’s extensive experience also includes having worked at the highest levels of Congress and having served as senior counsel and adviser to Republican leaders of the House and Senate, including Speakers Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich as well as Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. His experience earned him recognition as an inside leader in Washington. National Journal named him one of the “Top 50 Bush White House staff members,” and Roll Call regularly acknowledged Howard among the “Top 50 Congressional staff members.”
Ben Huh is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cheezburger (cheezburger.com). The former journalist turned successful entrepreneur has been credited with pioneering Internet culture as entertainment, crowdsourcing, and bringing Internet memes to the mainstream. Since first acquiring I Can Has Cheezburger? in 2007, Huh has grown the media company to now include more than 50 online humor sites that generate more than 400 million page views monthly. Cheezburger has also released five books, two of which are New York Times bestsellers, and was the focus of the LOLwork reality television series, which aired on the Bravo network in 2012. He was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in the Business” by Fast Company, and was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Worst Dressed Men in Silicon Valley” by GQ. In 2011, Huh received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and in 2012, he received Newsweek’s “100 Most Influential Digital Disrupters.”
Gayle Jagel is the founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an innovative, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, educational program for middle- and high-school students. YEA! teaches students how to make a job—not just take a job. Jagel founded the program in 2004, earned the support of the Kauffman Foundation, and in 2008 “spun-off” the program and expanded YEA! Nationally to 30 states. She continues to grow the program across America. At 19, Jagel organized the Centennial for Liberty celebration benefiting the Statue of Liberty restoration, which was recognized by Lee Iacocca, former president, CEO and chairman of Chrysler. At 25, Jagel launched Rochester Delivers, an upscale multi-restaurant delivery service and published DiningIN Rochester, an award-winning magazine. As the 2014 Enterprising Women Advocacy Award winner, she serves as a member of Women United and on the board of the Small Business Council. Jagel was on the board of the Women’s Council, an affiliate of the Rochester Business Alliance. Jagel is sought after for her views on entrepreneurship and motivating young people. Originally from Boston, and a parent of three aspiring entrepreneurs, she lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, Chris.
Ami Kassar, CEO and founder of MultiFunding, is a nationally renowned small business advocate and leader. He’s committed to ensuring that small business owners have the best possible access to the capital they need to help grow and manage their businesses. Kassar has been featured in renowned publications and is the 2013 recipient of the Small Business Influencer Award as well as the 2012 Small Business Advocate Award. He regularly blogs for The Wall Street Journal and Inc. Magazine, where he focuses on access to capital and small business issues. He developed Banking Grades, a free tool that helps small business owners discover which banks are lending to small businesses. Before MultiFunding, Kassar was the chief innovation officer at Advanta Corporation, one of the nation’s largest issuers of credit cards to small business owners. Kassar founded ideablob, which became one of the nation’s leading online, small business communities, and www.bizequity.com, an initiative that helped small business owners develop valuations for their businesses. Kassar earned his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and graduated with a B.A. in American studies from Brandeis University. He lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife, two children, and his English Cavalier.
Janet F. Kavinoky is executive director of Transportation and Infrastructure in the Congressional and Public Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is the Chamber’s senior lobbyist and policy director on all transportation issues and leads the Chamber’s Let’s Rebuild America (LRA) initiative to raise the profile of infrastructure issues, broaden stakeholder engagement, and create new opportunities for businesses to influence public policy. She is also vice president of the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) coalition, an effort by business, labor, and transportation to advocate for improved and increased federal investment in the nation’s aging and overburdened transportation system. Kavinoky has a bachelor’s degree in political economy from the University of Wyoming and an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., living on Capitol Hill.
Joel Kotkin is the Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and a senior visiting fellow at the Civil Service College in Singapore. An expert in the future of urban development, Kotkin has published reports and white papers on topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the rise of growth corridors in the U.S. economy. His recent report Post-familialism: Humanity’s Future, an examination of the world’s future demography, was published by the Civil Service College of Singapore and Chapman University and has been widely commented on not only in the United States but in Israel, Brazil, Canada, and other countries. An internationally recognized authority on global, economic, political, and social trends, Kotkin is the author of two critically acclaimed books, The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 and The City: A Global History. He is the executive editor of the widely read website www.newgeography.com, and he contributes weekly columns to Forbes.com and the Orange County Register, where he is also on the editorial board. Kotkin is a regular contributor to the The Daily Beast.
Yvette LaGonterie joined the verification division of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as the chief of outreach branch in March 2010 following her assignment to the DHS headquarters in a limited term senior executive service position. At DHS, LaGonterie was a division director in operations coordination and planning where she established the International Operations Division. She also served as a senior advisor to the Office of International Affairs in the DHS policy division. LaGonterie was awarded by the Department of Homeland Security for leading the most exemplary Executive Secretariat among the department’s 22 components and offices. She founded the successful plain language initiative at USCIS and was the last deputy director of the Office of International Affairs in the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), managing immigration benefit and enforcement programs with 900 employees in 48 offices worldwide. Among the other management positions she held in INS are Director of the International Parole Program, Director of the New York Asylum Office, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner. In 2002, she was appointed the sole immigration operational expert to the Homeland Security Transition Planning Office at the Office of Management and Budget where she played an instrumental role in the design of the operational components of the present department.
Tamara L. Lundgren is president, chief executive officer, and a member of the board of directors of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (SSI). With $3.3 billion of annual revenues in its last fiscal year, SSI is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled metals in the United States. Lundgren joined SSI in 2005 as chief strategy officer and became its president and chief executive officer in 2008. Since then, SSI has more than tripled its revenues and has expanded its geographic footprint from 41 facilities primarily located in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California to include 120 operating facilities located along both coasts of the United States and in Alaska, Hawaii, Western Canada, and Puerto Rico. SSI’s Metals Recycling Division operates 58 facilities, including seven deepwater export operations on both coasts of the United States and in Puerto Rico. Before joining SSI, Lundgren was an investment banker, lawyer, and professional board member with 25 years of experience in the United States and Europe. She graduated from Wellesley College (B.A. with honors, 1978) and received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1982). Lundgren is a member of the board of directors of Ryder System, Inc., Parsons Corporation, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Portland Branch. She has been a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber since 2010 and currently sits on the Executive Committee. Lundgren is a member of the Committee of 200, the international organization of senior women business executives, and the Business Leadership Council of Wellesley College.
Katie W. Mahoney is executive director of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Mahoney has more than 13 years of health care experience in hospital and health plan operations, as well as health policy. She is responsible for developing, advocating, and publicizing the Chamber’s policy on health and works with members of Congress, the administration, and regulatory agencies to promote the organization’s health policy. Mahoney also crafts regulatory responses for the Chamber and its member companies and addresses material areas as part of a comprehensive health policy. Mahoney joined the Chamber from the law firm of Greenberg Traurig where she served as assistant director of health and FDA business. Mahoney has consulted on a variety of projects for state agencies and hospitals to maximize reimbursement and improve coverage among underserved populations, using public financing strategies. Originally from Massachusetts, Mahoney graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University and earned her law degree and a master’s degree in health administration from Tulane University’s Schools of Law and Public Health and Tropical Medicine, respectively. She lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband, Jason, twin sons, and a daughter.
Gene Marks is a columnist, author, and small business owner. He partners with The Hartford on its Business Owner’s Playbook, which helps businesses grow and succeed by offering a wealth of practical and relevant insights on running a business. He writes a daily round-up column for The New York Times focusing on issues affecting the small business community and a biweekly column for Entrepreneur.com. He also writes columns for Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Fox Business, and The Huffington Post. Nationally, Marks appears on FOX Business, FOX News, Bloomberg and CNBC discussing matters affecting the business community. He also did some radio talk shows, and has authored five books on business management, specifically geared toward small and medium-size companies. Marks owns and operates the Marks Group PC, a 10-person firm that provides sales and marketing technology and consulting services to small and medium-size businesses. The company, launched in 1994, has helped more than 600 companies and thousands of individuals throughout the country.
Former Maine Gov. John R. McKernan Jr. is president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and a senior adviser to U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. McKernan also serves as chairman and CEO of consulting and investment firms McKernan Enterprises, Inc. and Nottingham Equity, Inc. in Portland, Maine. Until August 2012, he was chairman of the board of directors of Education Management Corporation where he was CEO from 2003 to 2007 and still serves as a director. Education Management has more than 130,000 students as of October 2012, 20,000 employees, and $2.8 billion in revenue. It is among the largest providers of postsecondary education in North America based on student enrollment and revenue. McKernan serves on the boards of directors of BorgWarner, Inc., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the American Action Forum, a Washington, D.C., policy institute. He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges. He served his native state of Maine for two terms in the U.S. Congress from 1983 to 1987 and then as governor for two, four-year terms from 1987 to 1995. During his two terms as governor, McKernan was chairman of the Education Commission of the States and the National Education Goals Panel and was recognized as an Outstanding Governor by the American Society for Training and Development. He is the author of Making the Grade, a book on youth apprenticeship. McKernan has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. He and his wife, former U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), reside in Falmouth, Maine, and in Washington, D.C.
Raaja Nemani is co-founder and chief executive officer of BucketFeet, a Chicago-based e-commerce and retail company that collaborates with artists from around the world to create products that stand out and tell a story. Raaja’s international travels, which include a trek through the Himalayas and a dive with great white sharks, inspired him to launch BucketFeet as a platform to connect people through art. Now selling in more than 20 countries and 500 retailers, with a network exceeding 2,500 artists, BucketFeet believes art is for everyone. Raaja graduated from Northwestern University in 2004, and prior to founding BucketFeet, he worked in investment banking and private equity.
Amy Nice joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in December 2010 and serves as the organization’s executive director of immigration policy. Nice integrates her broad understanding of the needs and priorities of various stakeholders impacted by the nation’s immigration laws to work with members of the business community, help formulate Chamber positions, and advocate before Congress and the administrative agencies for sensible immigration policies. Before joining the Chamber, Nice was in the private practice of business immigration law for 23 years, including 21 with the Washington, D.C. law firm Dickstein Shapiro. In private practice, she developed extensive experience in government liaison on business immigration issues, representing the interests of employer clients as well as national committees of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). In 2000, 2004, and 2012, Nice received the AILA Presidential Award based on her achievement and excellence in government liaison. Nice has expertise in addressing issues faced by small, medium, and large U.S. companies that hire noncitizens, including employment verification obligations (I-9 and E-Verify) and processing for immigration benefits at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of State. Nice graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Tulane University with an undergraduate degree in medieval history, magna cum laude. She earned her law degree from The George Washington University.
Vanessa O'Connell (@VanessaOConnell) is an award-winning investigative reporter and co-author of Wheelman: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France and the Greatest Conspiracy in the History of Sports, released by Gotham Books in October 2013. As The Wall Street Journal’s entrepreneurship editor, she is a passionate advocate of the go-getters and the risk-takers who are the embodiment of the American Dream. She is al the creator of The Accelerators (@WSJStartup), a blog where experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists discuss the challenges of starting a business today.
Seong Ohm, senior vice president of Merchandise Business Services at Sam’s Club, develops merchandise service solutions for the second-largest warehouse club in the U.S. Ohm brings 25 years of experience in both the retail and supplier sectors, having previously spent 10 years with Walmart Stores Inc. Previously, Ohm lead the entertainment small business unit for Walmart US, which included CE, media, wireless, and photo. She led the team to gain market share in all categories and was awarded retailer of the year. Before that, Ohm worked as senior vice president of the Global Merchandising Center, and spent nearly two years in Japan as senior vice president and general manager of general merchandise and consumables. Ohm worked with Fortune 500 companies AT&T and General Electric. She was named one of the 15 top innovative women in business by Pink Magazine and ranked as a top 100 MBA by Diversity Magazine. Ohm holds a bachelors’ of science in neuroscience and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Rochester, where she is an alumni scholar.
Cheryl A. Oldham is vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is also vice president of the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW). Oldham has 20 years of experience in public policy development and implementation as well as in project management and government relations. Her previous experience includes serving for 8 years in President George W. Bush’s administration. In July 2008, the president designated Oldham as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education while also serving as chief of staff to the under secretary of education. In September 2005, the secretary of education appointed Oldham executive director of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. She has also served as deputy associate director in the Office of Presidential Personnel and as associate director in the Office of Cabinet Affairs before moving to the Department of Education as White House Liaison in January 2003. Oldham received her Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Texas Christian University. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her two sons, Jeffrey and Dylan.
Brian Quigley is senior vice president of strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). He determines communications priorities, crafts messaging, and executes key programs like the Faces of Lawsuit Abuse, an award-winning campaign he created to raise awareness of the impact of lawsuits on individuals and businesses. Quigley is the executive producer of the Faces campaign whose videos have been viewed more than 24 million times. The campaign has been featured in news stories in media outlets including The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Fox News Channel. The campaign was the 2014 winner of four awards from the Internet Advertising Competition and was a 2014 Webby Awards Official Honoree.In addition, he was instrumental in ILR’s participation as the financer of the award-winning documentary film InJustice, which examines the excesses of America’s lawsuit industry. The film has garnered an audience in the multiple millions. Quigley also has experience working on communications campaigns in the United Kingdom and Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, as well as other places around the world. He is quoted in the media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Associated Press, and NPR. Before joining ILR, Quigley was head of communications and public affairs at trade associations representing the U.S. health insurance industry, including the Health Insurance Association of America, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Quigley has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and public administration from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. He is a senior vice president and a corporate officer of the Madison County Record, Inc., a seven-outlet, legal-focused newspaper chain that is a wholly owned subsidiary of ILR.
Dr. Martin Regalia is senior vice president for economic and tax policy and chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Before coming to the Chamber in 1993, Regalia served as the director of research for the Savings and Community Bankers of America. Before that, Regalia was executive vice president of policy development and chief economist for the National Council of Community Bankers. Regalia also served as a principal analyst in the Fiscal Analysis Division at the Congressional Budget Office, as an economist for the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System in both the Banking and Capital Markets Sections, and as a financial economist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Regalia appears regularly on national television news and debate programs, testifies before congressional committees, authors articles and publications on a variety of economic topics, and speaks to many groups across the country. USA Today named Regalia one of the top 10 economists in the nation, based on the accuracy of his 2008 forecasts and his predictions for 2009. Regalia has a B.A. with honors in economics from the University of Santa Clara as well as an M.A. in economics and a Ph.D. in monetary economics from the University of Wisconsin.
E. Phil Saunders began his entrepreneurial career in 1955 making water skis in his parents' basement. Next, he transformed his father's gas station into Travel Centers of America. Saunders is also credited with growing the Sugar Creek convenience stores while owning Griffith Oil Company. Saunders owns Swain Ski Center, Bristol Harbour Resort, Youngblood Disposal Company, and Essex Property Management, which maintains more than 100 commercial properties and retirement communities in Ohio, North Carolina, and Arizona. He serves as chairman of PCORE Electric Company, Griffith Energy, and the Genesee Regional Bank, which he founded. His previous business history includes owner of Econocar International, owner of Richardson Foods, CEO of American Rock Salt, and senior vice president of Ryder Systems. Saunders has received numerous awards for his contributions to the business community, including the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Doctorate of Commercial Science from Paul Smith’s College. He was elected to the Rochester Business Hall of Fame in 2004.
Nicole Snow is the founder and CEO of Darn Good Yarn, the leading importer of recycled silk yarns in the United States. She provides steady employment at a living wage for more than 300 families in India and Nepal who create Darn Good Yarn’s products. Darn Good Yarn saved more than 25,000 pounds of material from ending up in landfills and utilized them instead for quality craft supplies. Snow’s passion and drive enabled Darn Good Yarn to win the grand prize in the first-ever FedEx Small Business Grant Contest in 2013. Prior to founding Darn Good Yarn, Snow started another company, Around the Om. Snow received a bachelor of science in business and technology management with a concentration in international business from Clarkson University in 2004. Snow was commissioned into the Air Force directly after college, serving as an officer and a contract specialist. She lives in Maine with her husband, Mike and dog, Squeakers.
Dan Sturdivant, before coming to the Department of Homeland Security, most recently served as the Deputy Director, in Treasury’s Office of Small Business Development, and was responsible for policy, strategic planning, outreach and the development and oversight of Treasury’s small business programs, (including minority, women, veteran-owned, & HUB Zoned firms). As such, Dan was responsible for activities and program implementation, Treasury-wide, that would increase opportunities for the small business community nation-wide. At Homeland Security, Dan is also responsible for the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Set-aside Program, as well as being the DHS, OSDBU Liaison to the Congressional Caucus; keeping them apprised of the DHS small business programs, goals & achievements, new initiatives and continuous outreach efforts and activities. Before coming to the Department of Treasury or the Department of Homeland Security, Dan was the Small Business Program Manager at the Coast Guard Headquarters; which is now a key component within the Department of Homeland Security. Brian is responsible for a wide range of companywide programs and initiatives that support drive and influence HP’s diversity philosophy, strategy, goals, customer relationships and business results. In partnership with HP business leaders and employees across the world, Brian and his team focus on ensuring that HP’s continues to lead in creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment aligned with the new style of work, while expanding employee engagement and involvement at all levels.
Brian Tippens is a 14 year veteran of HP, with over 2 decades of experience in the IT industry. He has a strong background and record of leadership in the field of sustainability. His previous role in HP was Global Real Estate (GRE) Director of Energy, Sustainability and Integrated Facilities Management (IFM). In this role Brian was responsible for Global Energy and Sustainability Management across HP’s global real estate portfolio. He also led the Global Integrated Facilities Management program.As a National Speaker, he is asked to speak across the country on his version of “Federal Contracting -101” and the “Role & Responsibilities” of his office; the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, at the Department of Homeland Security. He is extremely effective in helping companies understand the “process” and “structure” of the Department, as well as key marketing strategies needed to win contracts within DHS. As a Retired Marine, Dan was wounded while serving his second of two combat tours of duty in Viet Nam & was highly decorated for his numerous combat achievements and exploits.Additionally, in his five years as a member of the Global Procurement Executive Leadership Team prior to joining GRE, Brian built a Supplier Diversity and Small Business program which enabled significant HP revenue by ensuring a globally inclusive supply chain, and helped to architect and implement HP’s Strategic Supplier Development program which focuses on delivering new value for HP from its top strategic suppliers through innovation and collaboration and awarding the coveted “HP Supplier of the Year” award. Prior to joining Global Procurement, Brian spent several years overseeing several large scale strategic supplier relationships as a member of the HP Direct Procurement Supply Chain team. Brian also was part of HP’s Legal team supporting the OpenView Software business, and provided legal support to Intel Corporation’s manufacturing business. A sought after speaker and thought leader in the fields of diversity and sustainability, Brian is a board member or advisor to several external organizations including Operation HOPE; California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance, The Latino Coalition and the Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University. Brian earned his Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, CA, and his Bachelor of Science (BS) from the University of San Francisco.
Kate Washington leads the Small Business Saturday and Shop Small team at American Express OPEN, the company’s small business division. Prior to Small Business Saturday and Shop Small, Washington played a critical role in elevating the OPEN brand in the social space by helping launch OPEN’s social communities and developing its social programming strategy. With her passion for small business, Washington and her team support OPEN’s mission of helping them do more business across a number of initiatives around Shop Small and Small Business Saturday. Washington lives in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and grew up in New Orleans where she gained an appreciation for small businesses at a young age, shopping on the city’s Magazine Street.
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