Board of Directors
Our board of directors consists of seasoned small business professionals whose experiences and perspectives inform the direction of Small Business Majority. Each member has cultivated a host of successful business and non-profit ventures and/or has worked extensively in small business public policy, which has equipped him/her with the knowledge and expertise to help guide the organization, provide valuable insight and advise us on our most important decisions.
LaJuanna Russell, Chair
LaJuanna Russell is founder and president of Business Management Associates, Inc (BMA), a business process and human capital management firm. Ms. Russell possesses more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of business operations and government contracting, serving federal and state governments and international entities. Ms. Russell founded BMA in 2006 to continue the initial software life cycle development work she began during her consulting career, but with an emphasis on the integration of people and process. She has developed BMA from the ground up, establishing the technical and operational infrastructure, and the employee and client-focused culture her firm is known for. BMA was recently named to Inc.'s 5000 List of the fastest-growing private companies in America for 2015.
In addition to her certification as a Six Sigma Green Belt, Ms. Russell holds a Bachelor Arts degree in Communication Studies from Virginia Tech and an accelerated MBA with concentrations in International Business and Finance from the George Washington University. Ms. Russell was a Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business Program Scholar for the Fall 2015 cohort and is now a Virtual Business Advisor to the program, providing advisory and strategic support to a growth group.
With over 30 years of print and Web publishing experience with some of the leading publishing companies, Celia Canfield is a skilled communications expert. As an entrepreneur, Celia co-founded a successful custom content creation agency, Tendo Communications, where she helped some of the largest brands in the world achieve success with customer outreach programs. In 2007, Celia established a sustainability marketing consultancy firm, EcoVertex, which focuses on companies that are offering sustainable solutions and looking to have greater impact.
Celia’s passion for combining her marketing expertise with important issues has resulted in her in-depth work with non-profit organizations such as Small Business Majority. She has also been a Board member of City Car Share and also serves as Board co-president of Impact100 Sonoma, a 250+ women’s giving circle.
A regular speaker on the subjects of sustainability, social media marketing, entrepreneurship and energy efficiency, Celia has been featured at many conferences and is an adjunct professor for entrepreneurship and business management at Skyline Community College, San Bruno, CA.
Kenneth Henderson, Esq.
Ken Henderson is a partner at a global law firm, Bryan Cave LLP, where he represents large, medium and small businesses. He provides day-to-day business law advice to public and private firms in the U.S. and abroad. Ken’s clients come from industries including fund management, family office structures, financial services, technology and customer services. His corporate and securities transactional experience is focused on mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings and domestic and international joint ventures.
Ken is also active in community and pro bono matters. He organized the firm’s mentor relationship with Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York, Brooklyn. He is past chairman of and counsel to the Board of Directors of PCI-Media Impact, a New York-based nonprofit with a presence in developing countries throughout the world.
Kip Howard has spent the past 35 years founding and running a variety of highly successful small businesses, most recently Navis LLC, an international software and professional services company. Having graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, his first company was a general contracting operation in San Francisco specializing in high-end Victorian restoration—a small business he grew to over 25 employees. Next, Kip co-founded a small-scale real estate development business, and then started a publishing company.
In his most recent venture, Kip joined Navis, a small startup company, as co-CEO. Kip helped grow the firm from seven employees to over 300 worldwide. Navis was sold to Zebra Technologies in 2007 and remains the dominant player in its market, running over half of the world’s major marine container terminals. Kip was a founding Board member of Small Business Majority.
Jessica Milano most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where she oversaw policy development on how more small businesses and communities can access safe and affordable credit. In addition, she also managed three Treasury programs focused on access to capital: the Small Business Lending Fund, the State Small Business Credit Initiative and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Prior to joining the Department of the Treasury, Jessica served as Senior Advisor to the Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Jessica has extensive economic consulting and financial services experience. She previously held positions as Director of Research at Compass Lexecon, an economic consulting firm, and with Promontory Interfinancial Network, a financial services firm with a network of over 3,000 financial institutions. She also was a policy consultant at Civic Enterprises where she ran projects for a wide variety of clients including AARP, the Gates Foundation, OpportunityNation, and the White House Council for Community Solutions.
Jessica is the author of several policy reports for the Progressive Policy Institute/Democratic Leadership Council on topics including economic security, job creation, and investment and innovation. She holds a M.A. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and received her B.S. in Government from the London School of Economics.
Renn Vara – Board Member Emeritus
Renn Vara was a founding Board member of Small Business Majority, and continues to serve as a close advisor to the organization. He is the co-founder and president of SNP Communications, Inc., a 25-year-old executive communications firm with 50 employees in San Francisco New York and Dublin, Ireland. Before founding SNP, Renn spent more than a decade in broadcasting and also worked as a staff member on Capitol Hill.