Senior Outreach Manager, Midwest and Greater Chicago / National Women's Entrepreneurship Manager
Geraldine “Geri” Sanchez Aglipay manages 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 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 was recently appointed to serve as commissioner of the Cook County Commission for Social Innovation, and she serves on state Senator Villivalam's Multicultural Advisory Committee.Contact Geri »
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 consultant for a variety of organizations, including International Planned Parenthood Federation - Western Hemisphere, New York Civil Liberties Union, NetHope, Hunter College, and the Manhattan Country School. Rachel received a writing fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation.Contact Rachel »
Founder & CEO
John Arensmeyer has used his long experience as a business owner to build Small Business Majority into a nationally recognized small business organization and the leading advocate for critical public policy issues facing America’s entrepreneurs—particularly access to capital, healthcare, taxes, retirement/asset building and numerous workforce issues. The organization is focused on empowering America's entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. In the past few years John has spearheaded the growth of Small Business Majority’s Entrepreneurship Program, providing critical practical resources to our nation’s 28 million small businesses.
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 and an attorney in New York.
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, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews 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 Board of Directors for 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 »
Director of Digital Engagement and Strategy
As Small Business Majority’s Director of Digital Engagement and Strategy, Zac is responsible for increasing the visibility and overall presence of the organization through digital engagement. Zac works with the outreach and communications teams to develop and implement strategies that leverage data analytics and community building. These strategies drive engagement with the organization by promoting our core values and creating an atmosphere of increased dialogue and involvement with Small Business Majority’s network of small businesses.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Zac was the CRM Manager at Trust for the National Mall, where he managed donor outreach and grass-roots solicitation efforts to the meet the Trust's quarterly financial goals. Zac also acted as the Salesforce Administrator for the Trust and was responsible for using database analytics to aid high-level decision making in the organization.Contact Zachary »
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 nearly 10 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 »
Northern California Outreach Manager / California Policy & Engagement Manager
Bianca Blomquist manages Small Business Majority’s outreach and education efforts for the Bay Area and Northern California region. She develops relationships with business organizations and small business owners to empower the voice of small business in California and works with the California Director on national and statewide policy efforts.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Bianca served as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill for a member of the House Financial Services Committee and as a legislative representative handling federal healthcare, transportation and workforce issues. She has also previously campaigned in Southern California and Wisconsin on both state and national policy issues affecting working families.Contact Bianca »
Media Relations Manager
Aimee Brierly is Small Business Majority’s media contact, which includes maintaining relationships with news outlets, writing press materials and conducting media trainings. She also helps manage and implement organization-wide media outreach at the local, state and national levels. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Aimee spent six years on Capitol Hill working in the offices of two California congressmen. Most recently, she served as Press Secretary to Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, a former small business owner, where she was responsible for managing the Congressman’s daily press and developing his long-term communications and outreach plans. She began her career as Press Assistant to former Congressman George Miller, principal author of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and she also interned at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor.Contact Aimee »
Vice President, National Outreach
David Chase directs Small Business Majority's outreach and engagement teams 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 nearly 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 comprehensive 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.Contact Rebekah »
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 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 »
As Grants Manager, Annemieke Farrow oversees Small Business Majority’s grant writing department. She 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 supported multiple strategic initiatives and researched new opportunities for grantmaking. She holds a Master of Science in Community Development from U.C. Davis.Contact Annemieke »
Terry Gardiner advises the Small Business Majority team on long-term strategic planning and policy development, bringing his decades of business ownership and job creation experience. Previously, Terry spent many years as Small Business Majority’s Vice-President for Policy & Strategy where, among other things, he played the lead role in advising Congress and the White House in the development of small business-friendly provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and then helping to guide its successful implementation. He also continues to play a key role in policies that promote access to capital, entrepreneurship, a rational tax system, and retirement security.
Originally a commercial fisherman, Terry founded and spent 22 years as the CEO of Silver Lining Seafoods, later NorQuest Seafoods. He grew the company to over $100 million in sales, with 1,000 employees and markets in 22 countries. After the sale of NorQuest in 2004, he turned to public policy work, focusing on healthcare reform.
Terry is a former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, in which he served for 10 years and authored a host of successful groundbreaking legislation. He is a member of the National Co-Op Advisory Board and has testified at numerous congressional committee hearings.Contact Terry »
Small Business Engagement Manager
As the Small Business Engagement Manager for Small Business Majority, Kevin Gbolie 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. Kevin actively builds the small business owner database and assists in direct outreach efforts. Previously, Kevin served as Small Business Majority's Small Business Engagement Coordinator. Prior to joining Small Business Majority more than five years ago, Kevin worked as a sales coordinator for a furniture distributor in Baltimore. He assisted with client communications and processed multi-million dollar orders for various organizations around the country.Contact Kevin »
Vice President, California
Mark Herbert directs Small Business Majority’s operations throughout California. As Vice President, California, Mark oversees our policy, outreach and development efforts across the state while also directing our work on responsible small business lending issues nationwide. Mark was appointed to the California Small Business & Innovative Startups Recovery Working Group, which will advise and support the small business prorities of the Governor's Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force.
Previously, Mark served as the organization’s 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 six 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. An entrepreneur himself, Mark runs a small consulting business specializing in volunteer management and organizational capacity building. He also serves on the advisory boards for both the Northern California and the San Diego and Imperial Valley Small Business Development Centers networks, which oversee a total of 22 SBDCs in California, serves on Covered California's Marketing, Outreach and Enrollment Advisory Group and serves on the board for the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO).Contact Mark »
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 five years ago, Cassie worked with a consulting firm, providing strategic communications support to the U.S. Department of Energy. She has worked as a writer and editor in a variety of sectors, such as state legislature, academia, research and nonprofit.Contact Cassie »
Southern California Outreach Manager
Claudia Moreno manages Small Business Majority’s outreach, education and policy efforts in the Inland Empire/Central California regions. Claudia develops relationships with both business partners and small business owners across the region to discuss ways to best help small businesses thrive in their local economies. Claudia also works closely with the California team on statewide policy initiatives. An Inland Empire native herself and the daughter of a small business owner, Claudia understands the importance of giving back to her community and intentionally working to empower underserved entrepreneurs.
Claudia recently completed Regional Leadership Academy 2019 hosted by Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), where she learned about the history, challenges and opportunities within the Inland Empire. She previously worked at the White House during the Obama Administration in the Executive Office of Presidential Correspondence where she served as an intermediate between the President and the American people. She also took lead in the Office's Spanish Analytical Department as an interpreter to support the President’s vision to serve all communities.
Gerente de Educación y Alcance del Sur de California
Claudia Moreno maneja los esfuerzos de extensión, educación y póliza de pequeñas empresas en el Inland Empire y Centro California. En estas regiones, ella forma relaciones con organizaciones y propietarios de pequeñas empresas para hablar en como mejor ayudar a las pequeñas empresas prosperar en sus economías locales. Claudia también trabaja con el Director y la Subdirectora de California en póliza que afecta a las pequeñas empresas a nivel estatal. Una nativa del Inland Empire e hija de un dueño de una pequeña empresa, Claudia le encanta trabajar con inmigrantes, latinx, y comunidades desatendidas.
Recientemente, Claudia terminó la Academia de Liderazgo Regional 2019 organizada por Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), donde aprendió sobre la historia, los obstáculos y las oportunidades que tiene Inland Empire en el estado de California. En 2013, Claudia trabajo en la Casa Blanca durante la Presidencia de Barack Obama. En la Casa Blanca, ella sirvió como intermediaria entre el Presidente y el pueblo estadounidense. También tomó la delantera en el departamento de español como intérprete para fortalecer la visión del Presidente de servir a todas comunidades, incluyendo los que hablan español.Contact Claudia »
As Small Business Majority's Communications Assistant, 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 »
California Program Director / National Latino Entrepreneurship Director
As the California Program Director for Small Business Majority, a national non-profit, Xiomara Peña focuses on strengthening relationships with policymakers, small business owners and organizations across California. Her portfolio includes overseeing policy recommendations and advocacy work in California as well as managing statewide educational initiatives around workforce, entrepreneurship, retirement and healthcare. She also manages Small Business Majority’s national Latino small business outreach work focused on delivering quality resources for the Spanish-speaking business community. 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.
Xiomara has been invited to give presentations across the country to business owners, strategic partners, and elected officials including Interise 2020 in Boston, the 2018 US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s National Convention in Philadelphia and 2018 Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s State of Hispanic Business.
In 2019, Xiomara served on Governor Newsom’s Paid Family Leave Task Force, she currently serves on the Advisory Council for Support Latino Business and is the Chair for the El Nido Family Centers Alumni Association. 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 (CTE).
Directora de Programas en California / Directora de Programas Nacionales para la Comunidad Latina
Xiomara Peña se enfoca en fortalecer las relaciones con legisladores, dueños de pequeñas empresas y organizaciones en California. Ella maneja recomendaciones para leyes y maneja los esfuerzos en defensa de empresarios en California en áreas que incluye a la fuerza laboral, la jubilación, capital responsable y la atención médica. También administra el trabajo de alcance nacional para pequeñas empresas latinas enfocado en brindar recursos de calidad para la comunidad empresarial de habla español. Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Xiomara puso a prueba 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.
Xiomara ha sido invitado a dar presentaciones en todo el país a dueños de negocios, organizaciones y legisladores, incluidos Interise 2020 en Boston, la Convención Nacional de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos en 2018 en Filadelfia, y el Estado de los Negocios Hispanos de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de la Filadelfia en 2018.
En 2019, Xiomara sirvió en la Fuerza de Tarea de Permiso Familiar Pagado del Gobernador Newsom, actualmente forma parte del Consejo de “Support Latino Business” y es la Presidenta de la Asociación de Alumnos de los Centros Familiares de El Nido. Ella mantiene una pasión por los problemas de desarrollo de la fuerza laboral en el Consejo Empresarial de UNITE-LA y en 2019 se desempeñó en el Comité Asesor Estatal para el desarrollo del Plan de Educación Técnica Profesional (CTE) del Estado de California.Contact Xiomara »
Vice President, Entrepreneurship
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.
Hunter Railey directs Small Business Majority’s Colorado outreach, policy and other operations. Hunter builds and maintains strategic relationships, educates small businesses throughout Colorado on key issues and works on statewide policy efforts. He has been appointed as an advisor to the Governor's Council on Economic Stabilization and Growth where he advises on recommendations for the small business community.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Hunter worked as a policy researcher at Education Commission of the States, where he provided research and counsel on education issues to state policymakers across the country. He also has professional experience in advocacy and political campaigns.Contact Hunter »
Tanya Rey writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority. Before joining the organization more than five years ago, Tanya worked as a grant writer at One Story and The International Rescue Committee, and as a biographer for an attorney’s office in New York. She has received writing fellowships from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, UCross Foundation and Blue Mountain Center. Tanya is fluent in Spanish.Contact Tanya »
Government Affairs Manager
Awesta Sarkash manages 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, where she assisted in recruiting more than 10,000 members of ALTA’s grassroots entity. 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 »
Digital Communications & IT Director
Eszter Szocska manages Small Business Majority's websites, online communications and other IT functions. Prior to joining Small Business Majority more than 10 years ago, she worked as an executive assistant and 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 »
Colorado Outreach Manager
Lindsey Vigoda manages Small Business Majority’s outreach and education efforts in Colorado. Using her social work skills, Lindsey builds and fosters strong relationships with communities, business organizations and small business owners throughout 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.