Our Team

Geri Aglipay

Geri Aglipay

Midwest Director / National Women's Entrepreneurship Director

Geraldine “Geri” Sanchez Aglipay directs Small Business Majority's outreach, education and policy efforts in the Midwest region and Greater Chicago to enhance financial capacity and health security for small business owners, their employees and their families. She also manages Small Business Majority’s national outreach to women entrepreneurs and women's business organizations. As a former solo-entrepreneur, Geri is passionate about helping entrepreneurs strengthen their asset building and building an inclusive economy that works for all through entrepreneurship, especially for women, communities of color and the underserved.

Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Geri worked with the Asian Health Coalition and GetCoveredIllinois.gov to help roll out the Affordable Care Act in underserved areas and managed the national Health Resources and Services Administration’s Public Health Training Center Network workfrorce centersworkforce centers under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has extensive professional and volunteer experience on issues impacting people of color, especially in the arena of public health, civil rights and civic affairs, having served on boards such as the American Public Health Association's Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. Geri is a member of the steering committee for the Illinois Asset Building Coalition. She was selected to the Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership Program, which aims to strengthen women leaders of color in Chicago working to advance economic, social and racial justice issues. She serves as commissioner of the Cook County Commission for Social Innovation, as well as on state Senator Villivalam's Multicultural Advisory Committee and the Chicago Women in Philanthropy Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee. 

Contact Geri »
Rachel Aherin

Rachel Aherin

Grant Writer

Rachel Aherin writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority from Brooklyn, New York. 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 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 »
John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Founder & CEO

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 15 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 »
Robert Bennett

Robert Bennett

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 »

Kathy Berry

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 »
Bianca Blomquist

Bianca Blomquist

Senior Policy & Engagement Manager, California

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. Currently, she leads the Federal, State and Grant Assistance Committee for the City of San Jose small business task force on COVID-19 and as liaison to the Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE) Committee in the California state legislature.

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 »
David Chase

David Chase

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

Rebekah Chase

Controller

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.

Contact Rebekah »
Josaline Cuesta

Josaline Cuesta

Senior California Program Manager / Southern California Outreach Manager

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 Southern California office and develops and fosters strong relationships with business organizations, community organizations and policymakers.

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 serves on the boards of Girls on the Run Riverside County and the Riverside County Parks Foundation.

 

Gerente Senior de Programas de California / Gerente de Alcance Comunitario del Sur 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 de California y desarrolla y fomenta relaciones sólidas con organizaciones comerciales, organizaciones comunitarias y legisladores.

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 de las juntas directivas de Girls on the Run Riverside County y de la Fundación de Parques del Condado de Riverside.

Contact Josaline »
Joi Eubanks

Joi Eubanks

Central California Outreach Manager

Joi Eubanks manages Small Business Majority’s outreach efforts in the Central California region. Joi develops relationships with business partners, small business owners and community leaders to promote economic change and vitality in the heart of California.

Joi has served as a small business expert in the Central Valley for 15 years, working with small business owners from start up to expansion and liquidation—most recently serving as a technical assistance specialist at one of the largest community financial development institutions in California. Joi is also deeply involved with the African American business community in the Central Valley. She served as treasurer for the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, and was recognized as the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce 2021 Things that Matter Honoree. She also founded the Women of Color Network, a group comprised only of minority, women-owned businesses. 

Previously, she served as an associate director at a local small business development center and as the regional business development manager at the Valley Economic Development Center. Her extensive background in small business technical assistance allows her to comprehend the complex needs of the small business community.

Contact Joi »
Annemieke Farrow

Annemieke Farrow

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 »
Jeremy Flick

Jeremy Flick

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 »
Mark Herbert

Mark Herbert

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 »
Lisa Marlow

Lisa Marlow

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 »
Cassie Mills

Cassie Mills

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 »
Mayra Ordonez

Mayra Ordonez

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.


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. 

Contact Mayra »
Meghan Ott

Meghan Ott

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 »
Xiomara Peña

Xiomara Peña

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 Entrepreneurship Advantage LA, Steering Committee for Raising our Voices Coalition and B2SMB DE&I 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.

 

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 de Entrepreneurship Advantage LA, Comité Ejecutivo de Raising our Voices Coalition y Consejo de B2SMB DE&I. 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.

Contact Xiomara »
Brian Pifer

Brian Pifer

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 »
Latavia Pineda

Latavia Pineda

Southern California Outreach Manager / National Latino Outreach Manager

Latavia Pineda manages Small Business Majority’s outreach and education efforts in Southern California. She develops relationships with small business owners, business organizations and policymakers throughout Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. Additionally, she serves as Small Business Majority's National Latino Outreach Manager, where she focuses on connecting monolingual and bilingual business owners to their small business ecosystem, and expands our outreach within the Latino business community. Latavia is passionate about uplifting the voices of small business owners and advocating for policies and initiatives that promote economic development in the region. Previously, Latavia served as an intern with Small Business Majority’s Engagement Team, where she interviewed small business owners regarding their experiences with COVID-19 funding legislation and provided them with relevant resources.  

Before joining Small Business Majority, Latavia worked at American University’s Legal Clinic, where she performed client intakes and connected them with local resources. Previously, Latavia interned at several organizations in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, including the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, El Centro AMISTAD and the Central American Resource Center. Latavia is certified in English/Spanish translation.

 

Gerente de Alcance Comunitario en el Sur de California / Gerente Nacional para la Comunidad Latina

Latavia Pineda maneja los esfuerzos de alcance comunitario de Small Business Majority en el sur de California. Ella desarrolla relaciones con propietarios de pequeñas empresas, organizaciones empresariales y legisladores en Los Ángeles y el Inland Empire. Además, se desempeña como Gerente Nacional para la Comunidad Latina, donde se enfoca en conectar emprendedores monolingües y bilingües con su ecosistema de pequeñas empresas, y expande nuestro alcance dentro de la comunidad empresarial latina. A Latavia le apasiona elevar las voces de los propietarios de pequeñas empresas y abogar por políticas e iniciativas que promuevan el desarrollo económico en la región. Anteriormente, Latavia se desempeñó como pasante con el equipo de colaboraciones estratégicas de Small Business Majority, donde entrevistó a propietarios de pequeñas empresas sobre sus experiencias con la legislación de financiamiento COVID-19 y les proporcionó recursos relevantes.

Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Latavia trabajó en la Clínica Legal de American University, donde realizó tomas de clientes y los conectó con recursos locales. Antes de esto, Latavia fue pasante en varias organizaciones en Washington, DC y Colorado, incluyendo el Instituto de México del Wilson Center, El Centro AMISTAD y el Centro de Recursos de América Central. Latavia está titulada en traducción inglés / español.

Contact Latavia »
Quintin Reed

Quintin Reed

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 »
Tanya Rey

Tanya Rey

Grant Writer

Tanya Rey writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority. Tanya has worked as a grant writer for organizations such as One Story, The International Rescue Committee, 826 Valencia, College Track, and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. She has received writing fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, UCross Foundation and Blue Mountain Center, among others. Tanya is fluent in Spanish.

Escritora de Subvenciones

Tanya Rey escribe y hace informes sobre subvenciones para Small Business Majority. Tanya ha trabajado como escritora de subvenciones para organizaciones como One Story, The International Rescue Committee, 826 Valencia, College Track, y Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. Ella ha recibido becas de escritura de la Fundación Rona Jaffe, MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, UCross Foundation y Blue Mountain Center, entre otros. Tanya habla español con fluidez.

Contact Tanya »
Awesta Sarkash

Awesta Sarkash

Government Affairs Director

Awesta Sarkash directs Small Business Majority’s policy and government affairs efforts in our nation's capital and the Mid-Atlantic region.

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.

Contact Awesta »
Rachel Shanklin

Rachel Shanklin

Georgia Outreach Manager

Rachel Shanklin manages 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. 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 a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines while working concurrently as the Government Affairs Manager for the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia and the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. During her undergraduate career at the University of Georgia, she 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. 

Contact Rachel »
Anna Stevens

Anna Stevens

Colorado Outreach Manager

Anna Stevens manages Small Business Majority’s outreach and education efforts in the state of Colorado, developing relationships with small business owners, business organizations and policymakers. Anna is passionate about uplifting the voices of small business owners to advocate for policies that promote equity and increased access to capital for entrepreneurs. 

Before joining Small Business Majority, Anna worked at the Colorado State Senate while concurrently working as a teacher’s assistant for the University of Colorado. Previously, Anna worked in a variety of policy and outreach roles in Colorado, including the Colorado House of Representatives, outreach for rural transportation projects, local political campaigns and managing small businesses. A Masters Candidate for the University of Colorado, her thesis centers on the intersection of local policy and small businesses to act as driving agents to equitable healthcare reform.

Contact Anna »
Eszter Szocska

Eszter Szocska

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

Lindsey Vigoda

Colorado Director

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.

Contact Lindsey »