Nuestro Equipo

Antonio Aguilar Jr.

Gerente de Alcance Comunitario en el centro y norte de California

Antonio administra los esfuerzos de alcance comunitario de Small Business Majority en el Valle de San Joaquín Central. En esta posición, Antonio desarrolla relaciones con socios comerciales, propietarios de pequeñas empresas y líderes comunitarios para promover cambios económicos en el corazón de California. 

Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority Antonio trabajó para una de las agencias de acción comunitaria más grandes de la nación, donde se enfocó en el aprendizaje y desarrollo, así como la organización cultural. En su más reciente puesto, Antonio dirigió esfuerzos para organizar y planear retiros de liderazgo trimestrales, una nueva serie de capacitación para gerentes lanzada recientemente y una conferencia de más de 600 empleados. 

Además, Antonio tiene más de siete años en recursos humanos en servicios sociales. Antonio ha dirigido el departamento de recursos humanos de una agencia privada de salud conductual, así como las operaciones de una agencia de tratamiento de abuso de sustancias para adolescentes. Antonio nació y creció en el Condado de Fresno, y ahora reside en Sanger donde es miembro de la Comisión de Planificación. A él le apasiona proporcionar recursos y oportunidades a comunidades desatendidas y quiere continuar ayudando a aquellos que lo necesiten. 

Contact Antonio »
Rachel Aherin

Rachel Aherin

Senior Manager, Strategy & Development

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.

Rachel serves as a member of Small Business Majority’s DEI Council.

Contact Rachel »
Jessica Anguiano

Jessica Anguiano

Gerente de Alcance Comunitario en el sur de California & Gerente de Programas Empresariales Minoritarias

Jessica administra los esfuerzos de alcance comunitario de Small Business Majority en la región del sur de California, aprovechando sus seis años de experiencia trabajando como consultora de negocios, ayudando a propietarios de pequeñas empresas. Como Gerente de Programas Empresariales Minoritarias, ella desarrolla la programación educativa y colabora en todos los estados para identificar las mejores prácticas y oportunidades de programación para pequeñas empresas minoritarias.

Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Jessica se desempeñó como la Directora de Proyectos de CARES en dos Centros de Negocios para Mujeres, donde desempeñó un trabajo vital para ayudar a los empresarios a navegar los desafíos de la pandemia, y asistiendo en el desarrollo de planes de negocio y marketing en redes sociales para startups. Anteriormente, ella trabajó en puestos de liderazgo para 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. 

Ella es un miembro activo de la junta de Women Strengthening Women, donde brinda recursos y promueve el emprendimiento para lograr la independencia financiera de mujeres en la región. También participa en comités que comparten ideas sobre el éxito de las pequeñas empresas. Jessica obtuvo una maestría en Negocios Internacionales y ha enseñado cursos de nivel universitario en negocios y del comportamiento del consumidor. Jessica también habla Español. 

 

Contact Jessica »
John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

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 equitable economy. Small Business Majority is the leading advocate for critical public policy issues facing America’s small businesses—particularly access to capital, healthcare, taxes, fair competition, childcare, retirement/asset building and numerous workforce issues. In recent 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 18 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 is an Ally of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism. 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.

Contact John »
Kathy Berry

Kathleen E. Berry, PHR

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.

Kathy serves as Co-Chair of Small Business Majority’s DEI Council.

Contact Kathy »
Bianca Blomquist

Bianca Blomquist

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 »
David Chase

David Chase

Vice President, Policy & Advocacy

David Chase is responsible for setting Small Business Majority's policy agenda and developing a corresponding advocacy strategy, in collaboration with our federal government affairs team and state policy directors. Before joining Small Business Majority in 2010, he served 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.

Rebekah recently successfully completed her Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) Advanced instruction program through The Nonprofit CPA’s Alliance.

Contact Rebekah »

Josaline Cuesta

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 »
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 »

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 in 2013, 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

Gerente de Comunicaciones Bilingüe

Como Gerente 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 Manager

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 Pena photo

Xiomara Peña

Vice Presidenta, Programas y Colaboraciones Estratégicas

Xiomara Peña es responsable de la visibilidad organizacional al liderar los departamentos de Alcance Comunitario y Colaboraciones Estratégicas de Small Business Majority. Al trabajar con otros ejecutivos de Small Business Majority, Xiomara planifica y desarolla iniciativas de la organización para construir una economía más inclusiva y equitativa que beneficie directamente a los empresarios en comunidades marginadas. Junto con el equipo de Colaboraciones Estratégicas, ella trabaja 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. 

Actualmente ella forma parte del Consejo de “Support Latino Business,” Comité Ejecutivo del Policy Entrepreneurs Awards Program liderado por Common Future y ella es co-presidenta del Consejo DEI de Small Business Majority. 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

Tanya Perea Doose

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 »
Brian Pifer

Brian Pifer

Vice President, Research & Insights

Brian oversees Small Business Majority’s research initiatives, including scientific opinion polling, focus groups and economic research. This research provides policymakers, advocates and others in the entrepreneurial ecosystem with the information they need to navigate complex small business issues. Brian leads the design, execution and reporting on these multidisciplinary research projects and manages Small Business Majority's s Insights program, which provides custom private research and subscription services for partners interested in understanding entrepreneurs' needs, challenges and opportunities. 

Brian also manages Small Business Majority's Venturize platform, the one-stop educational hub for the nation's entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Small Business Majority eight years ago, Brian was an editor and reporter at daily newspapers in Northern California, covering small business and other issues.  

Contact Brian »
Awesta Sarkash

Awesta Sarkash

Public Policy Director

Awesta Sarkash directs Small Business Majority's policy and education work in Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virgina. In coordination with our state and federal policy teams, Awesta also leads the organization's policy work on access to capital, criminal justice reform and auto-IRA retirement savings programs by tracking legislative and regulatory developments, and serving as a subject-matter expert on these issues. Additionally, Awesta serves as the Vice Chair of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition.

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 »
Rachel Shanklin

Rachel Shanklin

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. 

Rachel serves as a member of Small Business Majority’s DEI Council.

Contact Rachel »
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 & National Quality Jobs Policy 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. In addition to her Colorado Director role, Lindsey serves as Small Business Majority’s National Quality Jobs Policy Director to promote policies such as paid family leave and child care to support access to quality jobs.

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. She recently joined Denver Mayor-elect Mike Johnston's transition team as a volunteer to inform policies related to social equity and innovation.

Lindsey serves as a member of Small Business Majority’s DEI Council.

Contact Lindsey »