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Our Team

Geri Aglipay

Midwest Outreach Manager

Geraldine "Geri" Sanchez Aglipay manages Small Business Majority's outreach efforts in the Greater Chicagoland area and Midwest region. She builds and maintains collaborations with small business owners and organizations by educating them about the Affordable Care Act and working with them on other key workforce issues.

Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Geri worked with Asian Health Coalition and GetCoveredIllinois.gov to counsel consumers on health coverage access, and the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice on workforce issues with state and regional health departments and their stakeholders. She has extensive professional and volunteer experience on minority issues, especially in the Asian American 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 was recently 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. 

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Rhea Aguinaldo

Northern California Outreach Manager

Rhea Aguinaldo manages outreach and education in Northern California by engaging with small business owners, business organizations and advocacy groups on a wide range of policy issues. Previously, Rhea served as the Deputy Director for California at the National Asian American Coalition where she led statewide advocacy and managed micro-business technical assistance programs in underserved communities of color. Rhea's passion for small business stems from her parents, entrepreneurial immigrants who each started their own business when she was young.

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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, access to capital, taxes, retirement/asset building, and numerous workforce issues. The organization is focused on ensuring small businesses’ success as a critical component of our 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 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 BusinessPBS NewsHourFox 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 as Board Chair 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.

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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.

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Simon Brown

Media Relations Manager

Simon Brown manages Small Business Majority’s state and national media outreach, which includes maintaining relationships with news outlets, writing press releases, letters to the editor and op-eds, and conducting media trainings. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, Simon held a communications position at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, where he implemented media relations strategies, wrote blog posts and magazine articles, pitched articles and op-eds and developed social media campaigns. Simon is a former reporter for newspapers, magazines and trade publications. His beats included covering various sports from high school to the pros, as well as tax issues for non-profits and tax policy at the state level. He comes from a family of entrepreneurs.

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David Chase

Vice President, National Outreach

David Chase directs Small Business Majority's national outreach efforts. David works with our outreach team across the nation on business outreach, state advocacy and development. He serves on the California healthcare exchange’s Small Business Health Options Program Advisory Group and directs Small Business Majority's national healthcare policy work. Before joining Small Business Majority, 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.

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Rebekah Chase

Controller

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, 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.

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Terry Gardiner

Senior Advisor

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, retirement security, and a vibrant clean energy economy. 

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.

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Tim Gaudette

Colorado Outreach Manager

Tim Gaudette works from our Denver office to direct Small Business Majority's outreach and development efforts in Colorado. 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 served as chairman for the all-volunteer board of the Denver Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

In 2016, Tim was recognized as Business Person of the Year by the Denver Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. This year, Tim was appointed by the Colorado Insurance Commissioner to the Consumer Insurance Council, where he provides insight on behalf of the small business community on health insurance issues in the state. 

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Kevin Gbolie

Small Business Engagement Coordinator

As the Small Business Engagement Coordinator 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. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, 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.

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Michaela Hahn Burriss

Ohio Outreach Manager

As the Ohio Outreach Manager, Michaela Hahn Burriss is responsible for statewide policy efforts and educating small business owners on issues impacting the small business community. Michaela also coordinates events and serves as a liaison to small business leaders on local and national policy issues.

Before joining Small Business Majority, Michaela worked in a legal capacity for both the Ohio Senate Minority Caucus' Legal Counsel and the Columbus City Attorney's Office. She also worked in the United States Senate. Michaela is an attorney, a fellow for the Ohio State Bar Foundation, a member of the Columbus Bar Association’s Barrister Leadership Program, and a Certified Tourism Ambassador for the City of Columbus.

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Mark Herbert

California Director

Mark Herbert directs Small Business Majority’s operations throughout California. As California Director, he works with the state outreach team to build relationships with business organizations and small business owners. He also directs Small Business Majority's policy work by representing the voice of small business owners among policymakers in Sacramento.

Previously, Mark served as the organization’s 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, 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.

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Cassie Mills

Communications Director

Cassie Mills oversees implementation of the organization's daily communications and small business engagement efforts, including press releases and statements, state and national media outreach, social media, small business owner outreach, website updates and more. She also assists with the organization’s communications efforts by writing poll reports, web content, media materials and public policy reports. Previously, Cassie served as the organization's Communications Manager and Senior Communications & Research Associate. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, 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.

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Lindsay Mueller

Midwest Director

Lindsay Mueller directs Small Business Majority’s Midwest outreach from our Chicago office. She oversees outreach, development and advocacy to help small businesses in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest region. Before joining Small Business Majority, Lindsay was the Deputy Director of the Innovation Delivery Team in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Office in Chicago, where she focused on providing resources and services to Chicago’s small businesses. Prior to her time in City Hall, she was Director of Operations at the White House for President Obama. Lindsay is conversational in American Sign Language.

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Mary Overbey

Missouri Outreach Manager

Mary Overbey manages Small Business Majority's outreach efforts from our Springfield office by building relationships with small business owners and business groups across Missouri, and educating them about wellness and other key small business issues. Previously, Mary served as an Outreach Associate for Small Business Majority, helping small business owners enroll in health plans and educating them about the healthcare law. Mary and her husband also own MERIC Landscaping LLC, a small business that provides landscaping and lawn services to customers in southwest Missouri. Mary is a former Certified Application Counselor and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) expert.

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Xiomara Peña

Southern California Outreach Manager / National Hispanic Outreach Manager

Xiomara Peña works from our Los Angeles office where she focuses on strengthening relationships with small business owners and organizations across Southern California. She also manages Small Business Majority’s national Hispanic 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 community organizer and campaign manager.

Her most notable accolades include a Leading the Way award and the Champion for Families award for her leadership in the Latino community. In 2016, Xiomara was recognized by the L.A. Mayor's Office of Economic Development for her extensive work highlighting responsible lending and education on access to capital options for small businesses. She currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Women's Mentoring Collaborative Program and is the Chair for the El Nido Family Centers Alumni Association.​

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Brian Pifer

Director of Entrepreneurship

As Small Business Majority's Director of Entrepreneurship, Brian oversees Small Business Majority's Entrepreneurship Program, including developing content for the program's portal and educational events, establishing partnerships with organizations that provide related services to small business owners, and tracking and evaluating the program's activities. Previously, Brian was Small Business Majority's Grants Manager. He has a journalism background, having managed a regional copy desk that handles copy editing and layout for more than a dozen newspapers across Northern California. He also was project manager for his company’s migration to centralized newspaper production.

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William Ray

Missouri Outreach Manager

William Ray works out of Small Business Majority's St. Louis office to manage the organization's outreach and business development efforts in Missouri. William is committed to developing and maintaining relationships with the business community and advocating for policies that create greater opportunities for small business growth. 

Prior to joining Small Business Majority, William ran his own contracting business, worked as Community Engagement Director for the County Executive of St. Louis County, and most recently served as Director of Communications and Business Development for the business licensing office in the City of St. Louis. William has extensive experience serving on local boards and commissions that impact business development in the St. Louis region. 

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Erik Rettig

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Director

Erik Rettig builds and maintains strategic partnerships with small business owners and organizations throughout the Eastern seaboard. He educates small business owners and organizations about the Affordable Care Act, clean energy policies, key workforce issues such as family medical leave, and other important small business issues. Previously, Erik worked as a small business advocate around the DC and NYC metro areas. He also worked on political campaigns and as a staffer in the House of Representatives.

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Tanya Rey

Grant Writer

Tanya Rey writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority from our Sausalito office. Tanya has 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.

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Julia Sullivan

Communications Assistant

As Small Business Majority’s Communications Assistant, Julia Sullivan manages the organization’s social media platforms and helps develop internal communications, marketing and educational materials. She also assists with the organization’s engagement efforts by interviewing and writing profiles of small business owners. Julia previously served as Small Business Majority’s Communications Intern, and before joining the organization, worked for the National Cancer Institute as a Research Training Fellow. 

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Diane Sussman

Grant Writer

Diane Sussman writes and reports on grants for Small Business Majority. Previously, Diane 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.

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Eszter Szocska

Digital Communications & IT Manager

Eszter Szocska manages Small Business Majority's websites, online communications and other IT functions. Prior to joining Small Business Majority, 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.

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