John Arensmeyer, 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 healthcare reform, clean energy, access to capital, immigration and financial reform. The organization is focused on ensuring small businesses’ success as a critical component of our economy.
John was the founder and CEO of ACI Interactive, an award-winning international e-commerce 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 served on a panel 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 Association for Enterprise Opportunity's Economic Impact Council.
Terry Gardiner, Vice President, Policy & Strategy
Terry Gardiner directs Small Business Majority's policy development from our Seattle office. He also works on long-term strategic planning, where he brings to bear his decades of business ownership and job creation experience. He is particularly focused on policies that will ensure the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the establishment of the 50 state small business healthcare exchanges. He also plays a key role in policies that promote a vibrant clean energy economy, access to capital and small business economic development.
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 congressional committee hearings.
Rhett Buttle, Vice President, External Affairs
Rhett Buttle directs Small Business Majority’s Washington, D.C. operations, acting as the primary liaison with the White House, Congress and national partners. He also directs the organization's national small business outreach efforts, which include fostering strong relationships with business organizations across the country, growing our Strategic Partnership program and building an active network of small business owners. He plays a lead role in the organization’s institutional fundraising efforts.
Before joining Small Business Majority, Rhett served in the Office of the President at George Washington University. Prior to that, he worked on presidential, state and local campaigns and in the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was part of the governor’s legislative team working on healthcare reform, energy and education issues.
Erin Musgrave, Communications Director
Erin Musgrave directs Small Business Majority's internal and external communications functions. She is responsible for brand management and oversees the organization’s media strategy, public relations efforts, online presence, legislative testimony and educational and marketing collateral. An award-winning journalist, her experience in the newspaper industry spans both editorial and advertising. She worked as a reporter, editor and advertising executive for a newspaper group in California before launching a weekly newspaper and serving as publisher and editor-in-chief. She then transitioned into public relations, where she managed marketing and communications for a small business while providing PR and marketing support to other small businesses on a consulting basis.
David Chase, California Director
David Chase directs Small Business Majority's California operations from our Sacramento office, focusing on relationships with small business organizations and owners across the state and working closely with legislators and other policymakers. Previously, 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. He serves on the California healthcare exchange’s Small Business Health Options Program Advisory Group.
Conan Knoll, Director, Research & Grants
Conan Knoll directs Small Business Majority’s opinion and economic research, as well as all foundation and other institutional grant writing and grants/prospects management. Previously, he was a news editor and reporter at several California Central Coast newspapers. In his 12 years as a journalist, Conan covered city, county and state governments, coordinated news coverage and oversaw a staff of award-winning reporters. He has won awards for investigative reporting, breaking news coverage and editorial writing, and has led newsrooms that won awards for general excellence in journalism.
Ben Geyerhahn, Director, Entrepreneurship & Capital
Ben Geyerhahn manages Small Business Majority’s New York office, while also directing our work on entrepreneurship, access to capital, innovation and small business workforce issues. In addition, he directs the organization’s outreach and government affairs work in New York. He is a founding and managing principal of Hudson TG, a policy and political consulting boutique in New York City.
Prior to his work at Small Business Majority, Ben managed the distribution of the documentary film Paper Clips, one of the top 100 highest grossing documentaries of all time, worked for a social entrepreneur and a national nonprofit, and practiced law in New York. Ben co-authored the Small Business Majority study “The Impact of Healthcare Reform on New York’s Small Businesses,” and serves as a member of the New York City/Metro regional advisory committee for the New York Health Benefit Exchange.
Kathy Berry, Operations Director
Kathy Berry directs Small Business Majority’s finance, human resources and administrative operations. She has 30 years of business management experience, including more than 10 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, 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. Most recently, she was Human Resources Manager for Freed & Associates, a boutique healthcare consulting firm. She serves as Small Business Majority’s Secretary-Treasurer.
Allison Abney, Media Relations Manager
Allison Abney manages media relations for Small Business Majority. She works with reporters and editors, generates press coverage and is responsible for developing and distributing press releases and statements to the media. She joined Small Business Majority after working in communications and press relations at the Council of the District of Columbia and on Capitol Hill. She also worked as a legislative assistant handling subjects ranging from healthcare to women's rights and telecommunications.
Marcia Dávalos, Southern California Outreach Manager
Marcia Dávalos works from our Los Angeles office where she focuses on building relationships with small business owners and organizations across Southern California. She also manages Small Business Majority’s Latino small business outreach work. She grew up in her family-owned and operated small business that opened more than 35 years ago as a small mom and pop silver and leather shop in Los Angeles. Today, the family business continues to thrive with the next generation of Dávalos’ and has grown into an internationally-recognized manufacturer.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Marcia served as Director of Regional Networks for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, a statewide policy group working to improve the conditions, services and health of Latinos across California. She also has extensive experience as a community organizer and as deputy campaign manager for various campaigns and statewide ballot initiatives. Marcia is fluent in Spanish.
Tim Gaudette, Western Outreach Manager
Tim Gaudette works from our Denver office to direct Small Business Majority's outreach and development efforts in Colorado, Nevada and other western states. Tim works to build and maintain relationships with small business owners, organizations and foundations. Before joining Small Business Majority, Tim worked at a small business in Denver and his background includes significant finance and investment-related work in the regulatory, research and sales areas in Denver, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Tim also serves as chairman for the all-volunteer board of the Denver Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Emma Hollister, Network Coordinator
Emma Hollister manages Small Business Majority’s national network of small business owners and staffs our national Small Business Network Council. She establishes and fosters direct relationships with small business owners across the country. Previously, she served as a fellow with Kirsten Gillibrand’s senatorial re-election campaign in New York. She has a background in communications, having worked in the press departments of the U.S. Department of State in Brussels, Belgium and the offices of several members of Congress. Her family runs and owns a small business.
Mary Huttlinger, Midwest Outreach Manager
Mary Huttlinger manages Small Business Majority’s outreach efforts from our Cincinnati office, where she works to build relationships with small business owner and business organizations in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and other Midwestern states. Most recently, she was the owner of a small nature-related small business in the Cincinnati metropolitan area that she owned with her husband since 2006.
Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Mary spent 20 years working in a variety of positions, including as the Director of Business Information & Economic Development for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, as chief of staff for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, campaign manager for several Ohio congressional races and as a government relations advisor for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Carly Imhof, Communications Associate
Carly Imhof manages media relations in California and researches and writes about key national policy issues for Small Business Majority. Carly works with reporters and editors in California, generates press coverage in the state, and develops testimony, reports and other media materials on a national level. Additionally, she manages the Health Coverage Guide, both nationally and in California. Carly began her work with Small Business Majority researching and writing about healthcare policy.
Diane Sussman, Grant Writer
Diane Sussman is responsible for grant writing and reporting, and investigates new funding opportunities for Small Business Majority. Diane recently worked as a grant writer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and before that spent more than 20 years as a writer and editor working at newspapers and publications as varied as Sunset, NurseWeek, Staffing Industry Report and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She has won several writing and collaborative general excellence awards for her work.
Eszter Szocska, IT Manager
Eszter Szocska manages Small Business Majority's websites, online communications, small business database and other IT functions. Previously, 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. Eszter is fluent in Japanese and Hungarian.
Mary Timmel, Midwest Outreach Manager
Mary Timmel manages Small Business Majority's outreach in Missouri and other Midwestern states from our St. Louis office. Mary builds relationships with small businesses and organizations through listening tours, webinars and panel discussions centered on the Affordable Care Act and other key small business policy issues. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, she worked with the Alliance for Climate Protection, building support from individuals and businesses for clean energy legislation. She has also spent years as a healthcare advocate.
Jenn Walker, Executive Assistant
Jenn Walker provides executive level support to CEO John Arensmeyer and the organization’s Leadership Team. She also manages administrative tasks across all of Small Business Majority's offices. An experienced support professional, she has extensive practical knowledge of administrative operations, organizational expertise and a highly diversified set of skills. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, she held similar roles in the software development, finance and retail industries for businesses both small and large. She is also a freelance writer and co-developer of a small new media production company.