Rachel Aherin writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority. She has previously worked as a grant writer for the International Rescue Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union, and has served as a development consultant for a variety of nonprofit organizations. Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and her master’s degree from Hunter College’s Creative Writing Program. She was awarded a writing fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation.Contact Rachel »
Gerente de Alcance Comunitario en el sur de California
Jessica administra los esfuerzos de alcance comunitario de Small Business Majority en la región del sur de California. Ella tiene más de cinco años de experiencia trabajando como consultora de negocios, ayudando a propietarios de pequeñas empresas.
Antes de unirse a Small Business Majority, Jessica se desempeñó como la Directora de Proyectos de la Ley de Ayuda, Alivio y Seguridad Económica de Coronavirus (CARES por sus siglas en Inglés) en dos Centros de Negocios para Mujeres, dirigiendo las operaciones diarias y supervisando los portafolios de CARES. En este puesto, ella ayudó a propietarios de pequeñas empresas a crear planes comerciales, construir planes de mercadeo en redes sociales, y asistió con la navegación comercial general durante la pandemia.
Anteriormente, ella trabajó en grandes cadenas, liderando equipos con mercadeo visual, ayudando con la remodelación de tiendas, analizando reportes de comportamiento del consumidor, y trabajando con proveedores en el extranjero. Con una Maestría en Negocios Internacionales y experiencia en marketing, Jessica también se desempeñó como profesora, enseñando cursos en negocios y del comportamiento del consumidor a nivel universitario. Jessica también habla Español.
Contact Jessica »
Founder & CEO
Follow John on Twitter @JohnArensmeyer
John Arensmeyer has used his long experience as a small business owner to build Small Business Majority into a nationally recognized organization focused on empowering America's entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. Small Business Majority is the leading advocate for critical public policy issues facing America’s small businesses—particularly access to capital, healthcare, taxes, retirement/asset building and numerous workforce issues. In the past few years John has spearheaded the growth of Small Business Majority’s Venturize.org portal, providing critical practical resources to our nation’s 30 million small businesses and independent self-employed entrepreneurs.
Prior to launching Small Business Majority 16 years ago, John was the founder and CEO of ACI Interactive, an award-winning international interactive communications company. Information Week named ACI's signature product one of the nation's top 100 e-business innovations, and the company was cited by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the top 100 fastest growing private companies in the Bay Area. Earlier, John was the chief operating officer of a pioneering multimedia business,an attorney in New York, an aide to the mayor of Philadelphia and a staff member on Capitol Hill.
John is a frequent speaker on small business policy issues and a regular guest on TV and radio, including MSNBC's Your Business, PBS NewsHour, Fox News, Bloomberg TV, NPR's Marketplace and the CBS Evening News. In 2009 he was an active participant at the White House summit on healthcare reform. He testifies regularly before congressional committees, and has briefed White House officials and congressional leadership on small business policy issues. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Access to Markets initiative, and he recently served as Board Chair of California's Insure the Uninsured Project. He has led a study group at Harvard's Kennedy School of Politics, and has served on the Association for Enterprise Opportunity's Economic Impact Council and Micro Capital Task Force. John is conversational in Spanish.Contact John »
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 »
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 »
Vice President, Outreach
David Chase directs Small Business Majority's outreach team members across the nation in their work organizing and engaging small business owners. He also directs Small Business Majority's state policy and advocacy and our national and state healthcare policy work. Before joining Small Business Majority more than 10 years ago, he served for more than four years in the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he built coalitions with business and other stakeholder groups to advance the governor's agenda. David was part of the team responsible for building the coalition behind Governor Schwarzenegger's 2007 bipartisan healthcare reform proposal.Contact David »
Rebekah Chase is Small Business Majority's Controller. She maintains the organization’s accounting systems, prepares financial reports and assists in budget development. She also works with the Grants department to prepare, review and report on grant contracts.
Rebekah has more than a decade of experience in the non-profit, private and public sectors that includes fiscal planning, auditing and administering employee benefit programs. Before joining Small Business Majority more than five years ago, she was the Director of Accounting for a school district in California where she oversaw budget development, accounts payable/receiveable and other business operations. Rebekah began her career doing bookkeeping and auditing at a small business.
Rebekah recently successfully completed her Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) Advanced instruction program through The Nonprofit CPA’s Alliance.Contact Rebekah »
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.
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 Consejo de Coordinación para el Crecimiento y la Oportunidad Económica de Inland (IEGO), miembro del capítulo Riverside de National Charity League, Inc. y miembro de la junta de la Fundación de Parques del Condado de Riverside. Ella también habla Español.Contact Josaline »
Director of Development
As Director of Development, Annemieke Farrow oversees Small Business Majority’s development efforts, including identifying potential new funding sources and managing the grant writing department. She also develops strategies to measure the impact of Small Business Majority’s programs and streamline impact data collection across the organization. Previously, Annemieke served as Small Business Majority’s Grants Manager.
Annemieke has a background as a freelance writer and copy editor, and joins Small Business Majority from the foundation realm. Most recently, she worked as the Community Impact Fellow for the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, where she researched new opportunities for grantmaking and supported multiple strategic initiatives. One new initiative worked to increase college completion for underrepresented students in the Sacramento area; Annemieke assisted with program logistics, event planning and the development of assessment protocols. She also supported the Foundation’s capacity-building initiative for local nonprofits, providing direct support for nonprofit staff while collecting and analyzing data to assess program effectiveness and participant learning outcomes.
Annemieke holds a Master of Science in Community Development from U.C. Davis, where she studied community engagement techniques and the importance of community-based initiatives to support lasting change. Her thesis used the lens of youth empowerment to explore how participation in a youth-led philanthropy program impacted the program’s high-school-aged board members.Contact Annemieke »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Digital Communications Specialist
As Small Business Majority's Digital Communications Specialist, Meghan Ott manages the organization's social media accounts, handles event promotion and creates marketing and educational materials. She also supports the organization's engagement efforts by interviewing and writing profiles of small business owners. Meghan previously served as an intern for Small Business Majority's communications team and before that, she interned at Women for Women International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching women in conflict-affected areas financial literacy and vocational skills. Prior to working at Women for Women International, she interned at SHIFT Communication, a PR agency in Boston.Contact Meghan »
Vice 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. Xiomara fue nombrada recientemente para servir como comisionada de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles y miembro del comité de simplificación de votos de la Ciudad.
Actualmente ella forma parte del Consejo de “Support Latino Business,” Comité Ejecutivo del Policy Entrepreneurs Awards Program liderado por Common Future, Comité Ejecutivo del Consejo DE&I de B2SMB y ella es co-presidenta del Consejo DEI de Small Business Majority. Ella mantiene una pasión por los problemas de desarrollo de la fuerza laboral, en donde ella participa en el Consejo Empresarial de UNITE-LA y en el 2019 se desempeñó en el Comité Asesor Estatal para el desarrollo del Plan de Educación Técnica Profesional (CTE) del Estado de California. Ella fue uno de los 10 líderes seleccionados como LinkedIn Top Voice en el 2019 en la categoría de Emprendimiento & Pequeñas Empresas. En 2019, Xiomara sirvió en la Fuerza de Tarea de Permiso Familiar Pagado del Gobernador Newsom. Ella también habla Español.Contact Xiomara »
Vice President, Programs & Research
Brian oversees Small Business Majority's Entrepreneurship Program and Venturize platform, which deliver key education and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their business. He builds partnerships with organizations that serve small business owners, manages content development for Small Business Majority's educational programming, and oversees the development of Venturize, the nation's one-stop hub for entrepreneurs, including the website's MatchFinder tool, which connects small business owners to mission-driven lending partners.
Brian also leads the organization's research activities, which include ongoing surveys of its vast network of business owners, national opinion polling, small business owner focus groups, and external and economic data analysis. He helps collect and monitor organizational impact data and metrics.
Brian has a journalism background, including writing and editing stories about local small businesses for an award-winning daily newspaper. He also led a regional desk that handles editing and layout for more than a dozen newspapers across Northern California.Contact Brian »
Government Affairs 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 »
Georgia Director / National Women's Entrepreneurship Director
Rachel Shanklin directs Small Business Majority’s outreach, education and policy efforts in the state of Georgia by building and maintaining strategic partnerships, educating businesses throughout the state on key issues, and working on statewide policy efforts. She also manages Small Business Majority’s national outreach to women entrepreneurs and women's business organizations. Rachel is passionate about advancing policy to enable small business owners to create quality jobs in Georgia and to increase access to financial services and equity for entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Rachel worked as the Government Affairs Manager for the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, where she advocated for the enactment of sound health and hospital laws, rules and regulations to improve Georgia’s healthcare system. She previously interned as a policy and research analyst for the Georgia State Senate, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Office of the Georgia Lieutenant Governor. Rachel also has professional experience in grassroots advocacy and political campaigns. While working towards her Master of Public Health at Georgia State University, Rachel conducted research for a statewide policy tank that focused on analyzing tax policies and proposed budgets in Georgia.Contact Rachel »
Digital Communications & IT Director
Eszter Szocska manages Small Business Majority's websites, databases, online communications and other IT functions. Prior to joining Small Business Majority more than 10 years ago, she worked as the website administrator at Green-Wifi, a small business specializing in the development of solar-powered Wi-Fi grid networks for schools in the developing world. Previously, she spent nine years in Tokyo where she cofounded FCC International, a small web services company. A native of Hungary, Eszter is fluent in both Hungarian and Japanese.
Contact Eszter »
Lindsey Vigoda directs Small Business Majority’s outreach, policy and fundraising efforts in Colorado. Using her social work skills, Lindsey builds and maintains strong relationships with small business communities throughout the state, focusing on key policy issues. Previously, she served as Colorado Outreach Manager, coordinating the organization's education and small business outreach across the state.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Lindsey worked on Colorado’s successful Proposition 111 campaign, which capped the interest rates of predatory payday loans in the state. While working towards her Master of Social Work at the University of Denver, Lindsey conducted policy research for a statewide policy tank that focused on economic justice.