Washington, Aug. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced its senior leadership team and key Biden-Harris Administration appointees. This experienced group of staffers will join thousands of SBA career servants working tirelessly to deliver recovery funding to millions of small businesses and rebuild the engine of our nation’s economy. In April, Antwaun Griffin was named Chief of Staff to lead the agency as it provides a historic $1 trillion in economic relief to America’s entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and Administrator Guzman’s commitment to equity is evident, not just in policy, but in personnel. At every level, our staff represents America, and we are a better agency because of it,” said SBA Chief of Staff, Antwaun Griffin. “These dedicated public servants have answered the call to serve during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. I am incredibly proud of the team we have assembled at the SBA and look forward to the work we will accomplish together serving our nation’s small businesses.
Appointees and their roles are listed per office, below:
Office of the Administrator
Daniel Krupnick, Counselor to the Administrator. Previously, Daniel served as Chief of Staff and Assistant Treasurer for Policy for Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden, working on initiatives aimed at engaging more financial services companies to respond to the racial equity divide and creating a whole-of-government response to the gun violence epidemic. He is an alum of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, and the SBA, as Assistant Administrator for Congressional and Legislative Affairs. He attended American University and is a New York native.
Arthur Plews, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Previously, Arthur served at Stripe, a financial technology company and payment provider, and as a Policy Advisor and then Chief Innovation Officer at SBA. He attended Princeton University and Yale Law School and is an Indiana native.
Kendall Corley, Deputy Chief of Staff for External Affairs. Previously, Kendall served as Senior Advisor for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee, is an alum of the Biden-Harris presidential campaign and served in state and local government with the South Carolina Court System and Department of Social Services. He attended Norfolk State University and is a South Carolina native.
Scott Harriford, White House Liaison. Previously, Scott served as Southeastern Political Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign and is an alum of the office of Representative Joe Cunningham (South Carolina-1st) and the James Smith for South Carolina Governor campaign. He attended the University of South Carolina and is a South Carolina native.
Diedra Henry-Spires, Senior Advisor for COVID Programs. Prior to the SBA, Diedra served as CEO of The Dalton Daley Group for Children and Families, a Maryland-based nonprofit, and as a top advocacy, policy strategist, and congressional staffer, helping to engineer the Affordable Care Act along with other key legislation such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Jobs Creation Act of 2010, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, and The Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. She attended The Pennsylvania State University and Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and is a New York native.
Cynthia Jasso-Rotunno, Director of Engagement (Acting). Prior to the SBA, Cynthia served in multiple positions with the Democratic National Convention Committee and Democratic National Committee, including Latino Political Director, and is an alum of the Clinton and Obama Administrations, working in the Office of Political Affairs and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), respectively. She attended the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and is a Texas native.
Jeri Sparling, Director of Scheduling. Prior to the SBA, Jeri served as Trips Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign in Iowa and Virginia and is an alum of the offices of Representatives James Oberstar (Minnesota-8th) and David Trone (Maryland-6th). She attended Pine Technical College and Winona State University and is a Minnesota native.
Katie Frost, Policy Advisor. Prior to the SBA, Katie served as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)’s Operating System Team Lead for Rail Operations Control Center Transformation and consulted for federal clients in the homeland security and emergency management space. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is a California native.
Isabelle James, Special Advisor. Previously, Isabelle served as New Hampshire Deputy State Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign and on the Biden-Harris Transition’s SBA Agency Review Team and is an alum of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence. She attended Georgetown and Stanford Universities and is a California native.
Bajeyah Eaddy, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. Previously, Bajeyah served as Associate Coalitions Director for the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee and is also an alum of the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. She attended Barber-Scotia College and is a South Carolina native.
Shea Martinson, Confidential Assistant to the Administrator. Prior to the SBA, Shea served as a Regional Organizing Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign and organized across various states. She attended Sonoma State University and is a California native.
Taylor Wright, Special Assistant to the Administrator. Previously, Taylor served as Director of Policy and Programs for Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin. He attended the University of South Carolina and is a South Carolina native.
Lauren Kerner, Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator. Prior to the SBA, Lauren served as a Regional Organizing Director for the Florida Coordinated Campaign and organized across various states for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. She attended University of California, Irvine and Oxford University and is a California native.
Office of Capital Access
Patrick Kelley, Associate Administrator. Prior to the SBA, Patrick served as Executive Vice President for Channel Partnerships at Live Oak Bank and held various positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the SBA, including as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor. He attended Colgate University and Boston College Law School and is a Connecticut native.
Veronica Pugin, Senior Advisor. Prior to the SBA, Veronica served the State of California working on equitable small business capital access, led macroeconomic planning at LinkedIn, and consulted government and nonprofit clients on programs targeting underserved communities, with a focus on Latino and underbanked populations. She attended Stanford University and Claremont McKenna College and is a California native.
Nicola Montagna, Special Advisor. Previously, Nicola served on the Biden-Harris Transition
and the Financial Operations team for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. She also worked on product finance at Uber and structured credit investment at Apollo Global Management. She attended the University of Michigan and is a Michigan native.
Office of Government Contracting & Business Development
Bibi Hidalgo, Associate Administrator. Prior to the SBA, Bibi served as a policy lead for the Biden-Harris Transition and is Co-Founder of Future Partners, LLC, advising state and local governments, union leaders, and Fortune 50 corporate executives, including the Walt Disney Company. She attended Catholic University of America and Harvard University and is a Florida native.
Tiffany Townsend, Senior Advisor. Prior to the SBA, Tiffany served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a mission-driven industrial park focused on growing the modern, urban industrial sector in New York City, and has worked with a range of organizations in both the public and private sectors including local governments. She attended George Washington University and Columbia University and is a New York native.
Sal DeFrancesco, Special Assistant. Previously, Sal served as a Regional Organizing Director for the Pennsylvania Coordinated Campaign and organized across various states for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. He attended Harvard University and is a Pennsylvania native.
Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Han Nguyen, Associate Administrator (Acting). Prior to the SBA, Han served in the office of Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. Over his career, he has spearheaded integrated communications strategies that have produced innovative, cutting-edge messaging campaigns for various national and local political figures and causes. He attended Juniata College and is a resident of Chicago, Illinois.
Terrence Clark, Director of Communications. Previously, Terrence served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Reverend Warnock’s (Georgia) 2020 senate campaign and is an alum of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (Massachusetts) 2020 presidential campaign, U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s (Pennsylvania) 2018 senate campaign, and The Coca-Cola Company. He attended Georgia State University and is a Georgia native.
Christina Carr, Press Secretary. Prior to the SBA, Christina served as Communications Director for U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego (Arizona-7th) and is an alum of CQ Roll Call. She attended the University of Miami and is a Pennsylvania native.
Emilie Surrusco, Senior Speechwriter. Previously, Emilie served as the President and Founder of Ellsworth Media Group and is an alum of the SBA, American Federation of Teachers, the American Bar Association, and Alaska Wilderness League. She attended Pitzer and Goucher Colleges and is a Washington, D.C. native.
Tate Mitchell, Press Assistant. Prior to the SBA, Tate served as Regional Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia and organized across various states for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. She attended the University of Missouri and is a Texas native.
Office of Congressional & Legislative Affairs
Kevin Wheeler, Associate Administrator. Prior to the SBA, Kevin served in the U.S. Senate for more than 20 years, serving seven members, including serving as Deputy Democratic Staff Director for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee under U.S. Senators John Kerry (Massachusetts), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Maria Cantwell (Washington), and Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire), and most recently Chair Ben Cardin (Maryland). She attended the University of Houston and is a Texas native.
David Brown, Deputy Associate Administrator for the Senate. Previously, David served as Economic Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Chris Coons (Delaware) and is an alum of Third Way’s Economic Program and a former educator. He attended Rice University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is a Georgia native.
Alejandro Renteria, Deputy Associate Administrator for the House. Prior to the SBA, Alejandro served as Policy Advisor on small business, banking, tax, trade, and immigration for U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (Nevada) and is an alum of the offices of U.S. Representatives Lou Correa (California-46th), Lauren Underwood (Illinois-14th), and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada). He attended San Diego State University and is a California native.
Preston Hardge, Legislative Policy Advisor. Previously, Preston served as a Regional Organizing Director for the Georgia Coordinated Campaign during the 2020 presidential campaign cycle and held legislative and outreach roles with the State of Illinois and City of Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Hampton University and the University of Illinois-Springfield and is a Texas native.
Office of Entrepreneurial Development
Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator. Previously, Mark served as CEO of Latino Business Action Network and Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, COO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and held senior executive banking roles, including at J.P. Morgan on Wall Street. He is a U.S. Army Honorary Colonel, an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, and the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business and is a Texas native.
Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator, Women’s Business Ownership. Previously, Natalie served as Founder & CEO of Walker’s Legacy and the Walker’s Legacy Foundation, providing programming to support thousands of multicultural women entrepreneurs and has years of experience leading business and trade associations. She attended Howard University and the Baruch School of Public Affairs and is a New York native.
Shalei Holway, Senior Advisor. Prior to the SBA, Shalei served in a leadership role at Wayfair, an e-commerce company, pioneering strategies to combat COVID-driven disruption by partnering with Wayfair’s thousands of small business suppliers, and is an alum of HelloFresh and JPMorgan Chase. She attended Barnard College and Harvard Business School and is a Massachusetts native.
Office of Field Operations
Julie Verratti, Associate Administrator. Previously, Julie served as Founder, Chief Brand Officer, and owner-operator of Denizens Brewing Co. in Maryland, as an advisor to the SBA’s Acting Administrator on the Affordable Care Act and is an alum of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She attended Brandeis University and The George Washington University Law School and is a Maryland native.
Office of Investment & Innovation
Bailey DeVries, Associate Administrator. Previously, Bailey served as Venture Partner at Trail Mix Ventures (TMV), where she dedicated her time to financially inclusive seed stage investments and has served in executive roles with Greenspring Associates, T. Rowe Price Associates, and Sotera Defense Solutions. She has over 17 years of combined experience in business strategy, asset management, government contracting, and investments. She attended Wake Forest University, Northwestern University, and Georgetown University and is an Illinois native.
Jonathan Alter, Senior Advisor. Previously, Jonathan served on campaigns in numerous management and leadership roles during the 2008, 2012, 2018, and 2020 election cycles and has served in executive and strategic advisory roles for numerous private and nonprofit organizations bringing together inventors, investors, and entrepreneurs to incubate, accelerate and co
mmercialize innovation. He attended the University of Chicago and Yale University and is an Illinois native.
Office of the General Counsel
Peggy Delinois Hamilton, General Counsel. Prior to the SBA, Peggy served in several senior legal roles in the financial services sector, including Deputy General Counsel of Sandy Spring Bank, General Counsel of City First Bank of D.C., N.A., and on the faculty at Yale Law School. She attended Brandeis University and Harvard Law School and is a New York native.
Juan M. Sempertegui, Deputy General Counsel. Previously, Juan served as Assistant General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Bank of America, N.A. and is an alum of the State of Maryland’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He attended the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and American University Washington College of Law and is a Maryland native.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.