Rachel Aherin writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority. She has previously worked as a grant writer for the International Rescue Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union, and has served as a development consultant for a variety of nonprofit organizations. Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and her master’s degree from Hunter College’s Creative Writing Program. She was awarded a writing fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation.Contact Rachel »
Southern California Outreach Manager
Jessica manages Small Business Majority's outreach efforts in the Southern California region. She brings over five years of experience working as a business consultant to small business owners.
Before Small Business Majority, Jessica served as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Project Director for two Women's Business Centers, directing the day-to-day operations and overseeing CARES portfolios. In this role, she helped entrepreneurs develop start-up business plans, build social media marketing, and assisted with general business navigation throughout the pandemic.
Previously, she worked behind the scenes in big chain retailers, leading teams with visual merchandising, assisting with remodeling stores, analyzing consumer behavior reports, and working with oversea vendors. With a master's degree in International Business and marketing background, Jessica has also taught college-level business and consumer behavior courses. She's also fluent in Spanish.
Gerente de Alcance Comunitario en el sur de California
Jessica administra los esfuerzos de alcance comunitario de Small Business Majority en la región del sur de California. Ella tiene más de cinco años de experiencia trabajando como consultora de negocios, ayudando a propietarios de pequeñas empresas.
Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Jessica se desempeñó como la Directora de Proyectos de la Ley de Ayuda, Alivio y Seguridad Económica de Coronavirus (CARES por sus siglas en Inglés) en dos Centros de Negocios para Mujeres, dirigiendo las operaciones diarias y supervisando los portafolios de CARES. En este puesto, ella ayudó a propietarios de pequeñas empresas a crear planes comerciales, construir planes de mercadeo en redes sociales, y asistió con la navegación comercial general durante la pandemia.
Anteriormente, ella trabajó en grandes cadenas, liderando equipos con mercadeo visual, ayudando con la remodelación de tiendas, analizando reportes de comportamiento del consumidor, y trabajando con proveedores en el extranjero. Con una Maestría en Negocios Internacionales y experiencia en marketing, Jessica también se desempeñó como profesora, enseñando cursos en negocios y del comportamiento del consumidor a nivel universitario. Jessica también habla Español.Contact Jessica »
Founder & CEO
Follow John on Twitter @JohnArensmeyer
John Arensmeyer has used his long experience as a small business owner to build Small Business Majority into a nationally recognized organization focused on empowering America's entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. Small Business Majority is the leading advocate for critical public policy issues facing America’s small businesses—particularly access to capital, healthcare, taxes, retirement/asset building and numerous workforce issues. In the past few years John has spearheaded the growth of Small Business Majority’s Venturize.org portal, providing critical practical resources to our nation’s 30 million small businesses and independent self-employed entrepreneurs.
Prior to launching Small Business Majority 16 years ago, John was the founder and CEO of ACI Interactive, an award-winning international interactive communications company. Information Week named ACI's signature product one of the nation's top 100 e-business innovations, and the company was cited by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the top 100 fastest growing private companies in the Bay Area. Earlier, John was the chief operating officer of a pioneering multimedia business,an attorney in New York, an aide to the mayor of Philadelphia and a staff member on Capitol Hill.
John is a frequent speaker on small business policy issues and a regular guest on TV and radio, including MSNBC's Your Business, PBS NewsHour, Fox News, Bloomberg TV, NPR's Marketplace and the CBS Evening News. In 2009 he was an active participant at the White House summit on healthcare reform. He testifies regularly before congressional committees, and has briefed White House officials and congressional leadership on small business policy issues. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Access to Markets initiative, and he recently served as Board Chair of California's Insure the Uninsured Project. He has led a study group at Harvard's Kennedy School of Politics, and has served on the Association for Enterprise Opportunity's Economic Impact Council and Micro Capital Task Force. John is conversational in Spanish.Contact John »
Small Business Engagement Manager
As the Small Business Engagement Manager for Small Business Majority, Robert Bennett recruits small business owners into Small Business Majority’s network, conducts interviews and fosters relationships with entrepreneurs, and helps oversee the organization’s small business owner database. Robert actively builds the small business owner database and assists in direct outreach efforts.
Before joining Small Business Majority, Robert worked with various national nonprofit organizations such as the National Homelessness Law Center and the ALS Association, where he was responsible for diversifying revenue programs and strengthening existing corporate partnerships. Most recently, Robert served as Business Operations Specialist with the Society for Human Resource Management, a professional association dedicated to empowering people and workplaces by advancing HR practices and by maximizing human potential.Contact Robert »
Vice President, Operations
Kathy Berry directs Small Business Majority’s finance, human resources and administrative operations. She has more than 35 years of business management experience, including more than 20 years in small entrepreneurial environments, having helped grow three small businesses in the arenas of healthcare, interactive technology and online education. She also has held senior positions with companies and organizations focused on technology, law and housing.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority 11 years ago, Kathy served as a Director at iMind Education Systems and as Director of Operations for ACI Interactive, where she oversaw administration, human resources and accounting. Immediately before joining Small Business Majority, she was Human Resources Manager for Freed & Associates, a boutique healthcare consulting firm. She serves as Small Business Majority’s Secretary-Treasurer.Contact Kathy »
Shipra Bhatia researches and writes grant proposals and reports for Small Business Majority. She previously worked with the Government of India-United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where she supported programs in different capacities, the most notable being the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), one of the world's most significant initiatives to improve the livelihoods of rural poor. She has also served as a research consultant for academic institutes on governance reforms in India. Before joining Small Business Majority, she most recently worked with Affordable Housing Clearinghouse as the focal point for grants in the U.S. She earned her Master's degree in political science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and she also has a degree in business administration. She was selected as a Junior Fellow, Australia-India Council.Contact Shipra »
California Policy Director & Northern California Outreach Director
Bianca Blomquist manages Small Business Majority’s legislative efforts statewide and outreach efforts in Northern California. She develops relationships with small business owners and stakeholders to empower the voice of small businesses in California. Bianca leads the Federal, State and Grant Assistance Committee for the City of San Jose small business task force on COVID-19 and serves as liaison to the Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE) Committee in the California state legislature. She also serves on the Steering Committee for the California Asset Building Coalition (CABC), on an outreach advisory group for Covered California, and on the Board of California Main Street Alliance (CAMS).
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Bianca served as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill for a member of the House Financial Services Committee. She lobbied for five years on healthcare, transportation, labor and trade issues in Washington, D.C. Throughout her career, Bianca has campaigned in California, Minnesota and Wisconsin on state and national initiatives that impact the status of working families throughout the country.Contact Bianca »
Tasha directs Small Business Majority's outreach, education and policy efforts in the Midwest region from our Chicago office where she focuses on enhancing financial security for small business owners, their employees and their families.
Tasha has a breadth of experience across multiple industries and disciplines including government, education and entrepreneurship. Before joining Small Business Majority, Tasha worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs to help them launch or grow their business. She led the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the South Suburban location of the Women’s Business Development Center. Tasha was the 2020 recipient of the Economic Development Award from the South Suburban Small Business Association. She has spoken frequently with the media to share her insights on the state of Black-owned businesses in the South suburban area of Chicago.Contact Tasha »
Vice President, Outreach
David Chase directs Small Business Majority's outreach team members across the nation in their work organizing and engaging small business owners. He also directs Small Business Majority's state policy and advocacy and our national and state healthcare policy work. Before joining Small Business Majority more than 10 years ago, he served for more than four years in the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he built coalitions with business and other stakeholder groups to advance the governor's agenda. David was part of the team responsible for building the coalition behind Governor Schwarzenegger's 2007 bipartisan healthcare reform proposal.Contact David »
Rebekah Chase is Small Business Majority's Controller. She maintains the organization’s accounting systems, prepares financial reports and assists in budget development. She also works with the Grants department to prepare, review and report on grant contracts.
Rebekah has more than a decade of experience in the non-profit, private and public sectors that includes fiscal planning, auditing and administering employee benefit programs. Before joining Small Business Majority more than five years ago, she was the Director of Accounting for a school district in California where she oversaw budget development, accounts payable/receiveable and other business operations. Rebekah began her career doing bookkeeping and auditing at a small business.
Rebekah recently successfully completed her Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) Advanced instruction program through The Nonprofit CPA’s Alliance.Contact Rebekah »
Entrepreneurship Research Associate
Amy Chong serves as Small Business Majority’s Entrepreneurship Research Associate, researching policies and other issues surrounding small business and entrepreneurship, through internal and external surveys, polls, research analysis and synthesis.
Amy began her career as a grassroots organizer for the American Federation of Teachers. She previously served as a legislative and communications intern for the California State Assembly, a communications/press intern for former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a congressional fellow for Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and an intern for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She was a Coro Public Affairs Fellow and gained invaluable experience in the sustainability, real estate development, human-centered design and public health fields. Amy is from South Korea, raised in Los Angeles, and obtained her Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Southern California.Contact Amy »
California Program Director
Josaline Cuesta manages the execution of Small Business Majority’s programs and initiatives throughout the state of California in collaboration with the California team. Additionally, she directs the organization's Central Valley and Southern California offices and develops and fosters strong relationships with business organizations, community organizations and policymakers. Josaline serves as a member of the 2022 Entrepreneurship & Economic Mobility Task Force (EEMTF) under the office of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. She also serves on the Coordinating Council for Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO) and is a co-lead on the CA FWD’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership by People of Color policy work group.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Josaline worked in the private and public sector for almost two decades. Most recently Josaline led community engagement initiatives and large-scale outreach programs for local government. She has also directed office operations for a state elected official and spearheaded the creation of a customer service department for an online startup company. In her spare time, she is a member of the National Charity League, Inc. Riverside Chapter, a board member of the Riverside County Parks Foundation, and a board member of the Pick Group of Young Professionals. She's fluent in Spanish.
Directora de Programas de California
Josaline Cuesta administra la ejecución de los programas e iniciativas de Small Business Majority en todo el estado de California en colaboración con el equipo de California. Además, ella dirige la oficina de la organización en el sur y el valle central de California y desarrolla y fomenta relaciones sólidas con organizaciones comerciales, organizaciones comunitarias y legisladores. Josaline se desempeña como miembro del Grupo de Trabajo bajo la Oficina de Desarrollo Comercial y Económico del Gobernador de California (EEMTF por sus siglas en inglés). Ella también es miembro del Consejo de Coordinación para el Crecimiento y la Oportunidad Económica de Inland (IEGO) y es codirectora del grupo de trabajo sobre políticas de CA FWD’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership by People of Color.
Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Josaline trabajó en el sector público y privado durante casi dos décadas. Más recientemente, Josaline dirigió iniciativas de participación comunitaria y programas de extensión a gran escala para el gobierno local. Ella también ha dirigido las operaciones de la oficina de un funcionario electo estatal y encabezó la creación de un departamento de servicio al cliente para una empresa startup en línea. En su tiempo libre, ella es miembro del capítulo Riverside de National Charity League, Inc., miembro de la junta de la Fundación de Parques del Condado de Riverside, y miembro de la junta Pick Group of Young Professionals. Ella también habla Español.Contact Josaline »
Director of Development
As Director of Development, Annemieke Farrow oversees Small Business Majority’s development efforts, including identifying potential new funding sources and managing the grant writing department. She also develops strategies to measure the impact of Small Business Majority’s programs and streamline impact data collection across the organization. Previously, Annemieke served as Small Business Majority’s Grants Manager.
Annemieke has a background as a freelance writer and copy editor, and joins Small Business Majority from the foundation realm. Most recently, she worked as the Community Impact Fellow for the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, where she researched new opportunities for grantmaking and supported multiple strategic initiatives. One new initiative worked to increase college completion for underrepresented students in the Sacramento area; Annemieke assisted with program logistics, event planning and the development of assessment protocols. She also supported the Foundation’s capacity-building initiative for local nonprofits, providing direct support for nonprofit staff while collecting and analyzing data to assess program effectiveness and participant learning outcomes.
Annemieke holds a Master of Science in Community Development from U.C. Davis, where she studied community engagement techniques and the importance of community-based initiatives to support lasting change. Her thesis used the lens of youth empowerment to explore how participation in a youth-led philanthropy program impacted the program’s high-school-aged board members.Contact Annemieke »
Digital Engagement Manager
As Small Business Majority's Digital Engagement Manager, Jeremy Flick works closely with the small business engagement and digital communications teams to maintain and drive continuous improvements to the organization’s small business owner database and direct outreach efforts. He collaborates with team members across the organization to improve digital tools, practices and procedures to ensure a comprehensive digital approach to external small business engagement.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Jeremy most recently worked as Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for the Trust for the National Mall, where he oversaw all aspects of the organization’s digital marketing efforts with a specific focus on streamlining processes and providing technical and functional support.
With a background in the visual arts, Jeremy also maintains an active studio practice as an artist. His works have been exhibited nationally and his paintings are included in numerous private, corporate and academic collections throughout the U.S. and in Europe.Contact Jeremy »
Chief Strategy Officer / Managing Director, California
Mark Herbert leads emerging national, mission-aligned initiatives for Small Business Majority, in addition to directing operations throughout California. In these roles, he identifies, operationalizes and scales new initiatives nationwide while overseeing the organization's policy, outreach and development efforts across the state of California. Additionally, he directs Small Business Majority's work on responsible small business lending issues. Mark was appointed to the California Small Business & Innovative Startups Recovery Working Group, which will advise and support the small business priorities of the Governor's Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force. He is also a member of the Governance & Allocation Committee for the California Rebuilding Fund and the Equity at Work Council for ReWork the Bay.
Previously, Mark served as the organization’s Vice President of California, California Director, Project Manager and Outreach Manager in California where he developed strong relationships with small business owners and business organizations across the state. Prior to joining the organization more than seven years ago, he worked for state and federal lawmakers where he directed business operations and built relationships with small business owners and key stakeholders as they pertained to public policy issues. He also serves on the advisory boards for the Northern California Small Business Development Centers network (which oversees a total of 18 SBDCs in California), the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) and on Covered California's Marketing, Outreach and Enrollment Advisory Group. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO) and TMC Community Capital.Contact Mark »
Media Relations Manager
Lisa Marlow is the Media Relations Manager for Small Business Majority. She brings more than 10 years of experience in strategic communications to the team. In her role, she is responsible for planning and executing all media relations campaigns and strategies at the national, state and local levels.
Before Small Business Majority, Lisa was most recently Director of Strategic Communications at Subject Matter, where she raised the profile of clients with reporters and ensured new client resources were prominently placed in top-tier digital/print outlets. Before Subject Matter, she served as the Manager of Media Relations and Communications at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, where she drove effective and efficient communication for four years on the need to increase affordable housing for people in low-income communities.Contact Lisa »
Vice President, Communications
Cassie Mills oversees implementation of the organization's internal and external communications efforts, including state and national media outreach, social media and digital marketing, organization websites, reports and more. She also contributes to the organization’s communications efforts by writing reports, web content and media materials. Previously, Cassie served as the organization's Communications Manager and Senior Communications & Research Associate.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority more than seven years ago, Cassie provided strategic communications support to the U.S. Department of Energy, where she focused on storytelling and promoting success stories of projects supported by the Department. She has worked as a writer and editor in a variety of sectors, including at the Louisiana state legislature, universities and research and nonprofit organizations.Contact Cassie »
Bilingual Communications Specialist
As Small Business Majority’s Bilingual Communications Specialist, Mayra coordinates the organization’s bilingual communication efforts to reach and engage the monolingual and bilingual Latino business community. In addition to this work, she manages content for Venturize, our educational portal, and supports the organization's media relations efforts. Previously, Mayra served as Small Business Majority’s Communications Assistant.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Mayra interned at several organizations in Washington, D.C., including the United Nations Foundation, Georgetown University, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Department of Human and Health Services. Mayra also holds a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Georgetown University. She's also fluent in Spanish.
Especialista de Comunicaciones Bilingüe
Como Especialista de Comunicaciones Bilingüe de Small Business Majority, Mayra coordina los esfuerzos de comunicación bilingüe de la organización para alcanzar y colaborar con la comunidad empresarial latina monolingüe y bilingüe. Además de este trabajo, ella desarrolla el contenido para Venturize, nuestro portal de educación, y apoya los esfuerzos de colaboración de la organización con los medios de comunicación. Anteriormente, Mayra se desempeñó como la Asistente de Comunicaciones de Small Business Majority.
Antes de unirse al equipo de Small Business Majority, Mayra realizó pasantías en varias organizaciones de Washington, D.C., incluyendo la Fundación de las Naciones Unidas, la Universidad de Georgetown, el German Marshall Fund de los Estados Unidos, y el Departamento Federal de Servicios Humanos y de Salud. Mayra también tiene una Maestría en Mercadeo y Comunicaciones de la Universidad de Georgetown. Ella también habla Español.Contact Mayra »
Digital Communications Specialist
As Small Business Majority's Digital Communications Specialist, Meghan Ott manages the organization's social media accounts, handles event promotion and creates marketing and educational materials. She also supports the organization's engagement efforts by interviewing and writing profiles of small business owners. Meghan previously served as an intern for Small Business Majority's communications team and before that, she interned at Women for Women International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching women in conflict-affected areas financial literacy and vocational skills. Prior to working at Women for Women International, she interned at SHIFT Communication, a PR agency in Boston.Contact Meghan »
Vice President, Engagement
Xiomara Peña drives Small Business Majority’s external engagement efforts toward a more inclusive and equitable economy that directly benefits entrepreneurs in underserved communities. Alongside the organization’s small business engagement team, she works collaboratively on strengthening relationships with policymakers, small business owners, and organizations across the country to amplify our equity lens in all areas of our work. Xiomara has extensive experience supporting small businesses, particularly those run by people of color, women, and immigrants. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Xiomara piloted business retention programs for the City of Los Angeles and programs geared toward empowering at-risk youth. She also has extensive experience as a business owner, community organizer, and campaign manager.
She currently serves on the Advisory Council for Support Latino Business, Steering Committee for Policy Entrepreneurs Awards Program led by Common Future, Steering Committee for B2SMB DE&I Council and she is a co-chair for Small Business Majority's DEI Council. She maintains a passion for workforce development issues, serving on the Business Advisory Council for UNITE-LA, and in 2019 she served on the Statewide Advisory Committee for the development of the California State Plan for Career Technical Education. She was one of 10 leaders selected as a LinkedIn Top Voice in 2019 under the Entrepreneurship & Small Business category. In 2019, Xiomara served on Governor Newsom’s Paid Family Leave Task Force. She's also fluent in Spanish.
Vice Presidenta, Colaboraciones Estratégicas
Xiomara Peña conduce los esfuerzos de participación externa de Small Business Majority hacía una economía más inclusiva y equitativa que beneficie directamente a los empresarios en comunidades marginadas. Junto con el equipo de participación de las pequeñas empresas de la organización, ella trabaja en colaboración para fortalecer relaciones con legisladores, propietarios de pequeñas empresas y organizaciones en todo el país para amplificar nuestra perspectiva de equidad en todos los ámbitos de nuestro trabajo. Xiomara tiene amplia experiencia en el apoyo a pequeñas empresas, en particular aquellas dirigidas por personas de color, mujeres, e inmigrantes. Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Xiomara realizó programas de retención de negocios para la Ciudad de Los Ángeles y programas orientados a empoderar a los jóvenes de alto riesgo. Ella también tiene una amplia experiencia como dueña de un negocio, gerente de campañas y organizadora comunitaria.
Actualmente ella forma parte del Consejo de “Support Latino Business,” Comité Ejecutivo del Policy Entrepreneurs Awards Program liderado por Common Future, Comité Ejecutivo del Consejo DE&I de B2SMB y ella es co-presidenta del Consejo DEI de Small Business Majority. Ella mantiene una pasión por los problemas de desarrollo de la fuerza laboral, en donde ella participa en el Consejo Empresarial de UNITE-LA y en el 2019 se desempeñó en el Comité Asesor Estatal para el desarrollo del Plan de Educación Técnica Profesional (CTE) del Estado de California. Ella fue uno de los 10 líderes seleccionados como LinkedIn Top Voice en el 2019 en la categoría de Emprendimiento & Pequeñas Empresas. En 2019, Xiomara sirvió en la Fuerza de Tarea de Permiso Familiar Pagado del Gobernador Newsom. Ella también habla Español.Contact Xiomara »
Tanya Perea Doose
Colorado Outreach Manager
Tanya Doose manages Small Business Majority's outreach efforts in Colorado. She brings decades of experience in banking, education, marketing, and management. Most recently, she supported businesses as CEO and Director for the Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce where she represented hundreds of businesses in three rural, regional communities in Western Colorado.
Born and raised in Colorado, Tanya is passionate about advocating for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and business diversity. She pursues solutions to problems generated by today's evolving business market through education and innovation. Tanya is fluent in Spanish.
Gerente de Alcance Comunitario en Colorado
Tanya administra los esfuerzos de alcance comunitario de Small Business Majority en Colorado. Ella trae decadas de experiencia en banca, educación, mercadeo, y administración. Más recientemente, ella proporcionó apoyo a las empresas como directora de la Cámara de Comercio del Condado Western Garfield, en donde representó cientos de empresas en tres comunidades regionales rurales en el oeste de Colorado.
Nacida y criada en Colorado, a Tanya le apasiona defender las pequeñas empresas, los empresarios y la diversidad empresarial. Ella busca soluciones a los problemas creados por los cambios en el mercado empresarial a través de la educación e innovación. Tanya habla español.Contact Tanya »
Vice President, Programs & Research
Brian oversees Small Business Majority's Entrepreneurship Program and Venturize platform, which deliver key education and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their business. He builds partnerships with organizations that serve small business owners, manages content development for Small Business Majority's educational programming, and oversees the development of Venturize, the nation's one-stop hub for entrepreneurs, including the website's MatchFinder tool, which connects small business owners to mission-driven lending partners.
Brian also leads the organization's research activities, which include ongoing surveys of its vast network of business owners, national opinion polling, small business owner focus groups, and external and economic data analysis. He helps collect and monitor organizational impact data and metrics.
Brian has a journalism background, including writing and editing stories about local small businesses for an award-winning daily newspaper. He also led a regional desk that handles editing and layout for more than a dozen newspapers across Northern California.Contact Brian »
Government Affairs Assistant
As Small Business Majority’s Government Affairs Assistant, Quintin assists with policy and government affairs efforts in Washington D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic region. He has worked within multiple levels of government ranging from the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Office, to the U.S. House of Representatives, to the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service. Quintin received his Master’s in Professional Studies from the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University. Quintin was raised by entrepreneurs and grew up surrounded by his family’s own businesses, and he is passionate about supporting small business through public policy.Contact Quintin »
Public Policy Director
Awesta Sarkash directs Small Business Majority’s policy initiatives federally and in Virginia and New Mexico. She is charged with tracking legislative and regulatory developments and maintaining a knowledge of policies across multiple states.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Awesta served as the Director of Advocacy and Communications at the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), a nonprofit membership association that supports the community development sector in DC. She was responsible for facilitating the development and execution of CNHED’s budget and policy advocacy strategies across a broad range of community development issues, including workforce development, small business entrepreneurship and neighborhood-based commercial corridors. Prior to joining CNHED, Awesta served as the grassroots and advocacy manager for the American Land Title Association. She also served as assistant director for the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies’ Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at American University and in Brussels for the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute.
Originally from Afghanistan, Awesta grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and received her Master’s in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C. with a focus on American politics and advocacy. In 2022, Awesta was awarded the Top 20 in 2022 Advocacy Professional Award by the Advocacy Association.Contact Awesta »
Georgia Director / National Women's Entrepreneurship Director
Rachel Shanklin directs Small Business Majority’s outreach, education and policy efforts in the state of Georgia by building and maintaining strategic partnerships, educating businesses throughout the state on key issues, and working on statewide policy efforts. She also manages Small Business Majority’s national outreach to women entrepreneurs and women's business organizations. Rachel is passionate about advancing policy to enable small business owners to create quality jobs in Georgia and to increase access to financial services and equity for entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Rachel worked as the Government Affairs Manager for the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, where she advocated for the enactment of sound health and hospital laws, rules and regulations to improve Georgia’s healthcare system. She previously interned as a policy and research analyst for the Georgia State Senate, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Office of the Georgia Lieutenant Governor. Rachel also has professional experience in grassroots advocacy and political campaigns. While working towards her Master of Public Health at Georgia State University, Rachel conducted research for a statewide policy tank that focused on analyzing tax policies and proposed budgets in Georgia.Contact Rachel »
Digital Communications & IT Director
Eszter Szocska manages Small Business Majority's websites, databases, online communications and other IT functions. Prior to joining Small Business Majority more than 10 years ago, she worked as the website administrator at Green-Wifi, a small business specializing in the development of solar-powered Wi-Fi grid networks for schools in the developing world. Previously, she spent nine years in Tokyo where she cofounded FCC International, a small web services company. A native of Hungary, Eszter is fluent in both Hungarian and Japanese.
Contact Eszter »
Lindsey Vigoda directs Small Business Majority’s outreach, policy and fundraising efforts in Colorado. Using her social work skills, Lindsey builds and maintains strong relationships with small business communities throughout the state, focusing on key policy issues. Previously, she served as Colorado Outreach Manager, coordinating the organization's education and small business outreach across the state.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Lindsey worked on Colorado’s successful Proposition 111 campaign, which capped the interest rates of predatory payday loans in the state. While working towards her Master of Social Work at the University of Denver, Lindsey conducted policy research for a statewide policy tank that focused on economic justice.
Dalton Wieck serves as Small Business Majority's Engagement Coordinator, contributing to the organization's small business database, conducting interviews with small business owners and working closely with the Outreach Team to support their educational events. Previously, Dalton served as the organization's Engagement Intern, and before that, he served as an administrative assistant at a small business in Lubbock, Texas. Dalton hails from a small town in North Texas that is built on small businesses, which inspired his dedication to supporting entrepreneurs around the country.Contact Dalton »