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 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 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 focused on empowering America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. Working from eight offices across the country, Small Business Majority is a leading advocate for critical public policy issues—particularly access to capital, healthcare, taxes, retirement/asset building and numerous workforce issues, and works closely with more than 1,000 partner organizations to connect small businesses with education, resources and interactive tools to help them thrive.
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 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 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 »
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 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 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 »
Senior California Policy & Engagement Manager / Northern California Outreach 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 »
Gerente de Relaciones Públicas
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 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.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, researching, writing and reporting on grants that support Small Business Majority’s work. 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 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 also collecting and analyzing data to assess program effectiveness and participant learning outcomes.
Before moving to Sacramento in 2015, Annemieke worked for the spcaLA as a Humane Educator, facilitating violence-prevention programs for middle- and high-school students. She also co-created jTLC, an empathy-development program for juvenile offenders. jTLC remains the only court-mandated program in the country for juvenile animal cruelty and violent offenders.
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 »
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 priorities 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 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. 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 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 »
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 six 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, research and nonprofit organizations.Contact Cassie »
Asistente de Comunicaciones
Mayra Ordonez es la Asistente de Comunicaciones bilingüe de Small Business Majority, que apoya los esfuerzos de colaboración de la organización con los medios de comunicación, la implementación de portavoces, y el desarrollo de recursos para nuestro portal educativo Venturize. Además de este trabajo, ella mantiene y expande el contenido educativo y de mercadeo en español de Small Business Majority, y crea recursos adicionales para la comunidad empresarial Latina.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
Gerente de Educación y Participación Comunitaria en el Sur de California
Latavia Pineda maneja los esfuerzos de participación comunitaria y educación 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. 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.
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 »
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 »
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. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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.