Technical Assistance


Tina Begay

Strategies: Partnering with Tribal Governments
Friday August 27 3:15 - 4:00 PM

Lead Trainer and Curriculum Developer, Native Business Development
Sister Sky Inc.

Tina Begay has her master of business administration (MBA) and her bachelor of science in business from the University of Montana. She has more than 20 years of experience in business and nonprofit strategic planning, accounting, management, and development. She also has extensive experience working with entrepreneurs, coaching them on foundational topics like business plan construction, financial statements and projections, personal financial planning, and tax preparation.

Prior to her time with Sister Sky, Inc., Tina worked as a business instructor and chair of the business department for 10 years at Salish Kootenai College, a tribal college in northwest Montana. During that time she taught a wide range of business courses, covering topics such as principles of marketing, entrepreneurship, business planning, management information systems, tax, computerized accounting, economic development on Indian reservations, and more. She is a skilled instructor and curriculum developer who is experienced in teaching American Indian students effectively, fitting her classroom style for cultural appropriateness and Native learning styles. Prior to her time as a professor and academic, Tina worked as associate director and then executive director of American Indigenous Business Leaders (AIBL).

Tina is a citizen of the Navajo Nation; she is born for the Water’s Edge and Salt Clans. She has five beautiful children and eight grandchildren.

Brandon Brooks

Strategies for Investing in Emerging Fund Managers and Businesses
Friday August 27 1:00 - 2:30 PM

Founding Partner
Overlooked Ventures

Brandon Brooks is a Founding Partner of Overlooked Ventures. Brandon helps connect with venture capitalists and alternative forms of funding to help underrepresented founders scale their startups. Brandon is also the Founder and CEO of Inventrify, community oriented crowdfunding platform for small businesses.

Jessica Camacho

Strategies: Rural Businesses and Tribal Businesses
Friday October 22 3:15 - 4:00 PM

Small Business Resiliency Network Director
Washington State Department of Commerce

Chris Cook

Private Financing: Financial Institutions and FinTech
Friday October 22 1:45 - 2:30 PM

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Chris Cook serves as Director – Capital Access for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In this role, Mr. Cook is responsible for managing the MEDC’s effort in supporting Michigan based companies seeking commercial lending from microlending through lower middle market companies. Mr. Cook oversees the Michigan Strategic Fund’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (“SSBCI”) allocation.

Mr. Cook received a BA in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University. He has over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. Thisexperience includes assisting small businesses secure financing through a variety of sources including the support of SSBCI and SBA.

William Cummins

Program Administration: Small Business Technical Assistance Needs
Friday August 27 2:30 - 3:15 PM

Executive State Director
Alabama Small Business Development Center

Justin Field

Private Financing: Venture Capital and Angel Investments
Friday September 24 1:45 - 2:30 PM

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
National Venture Capital Association

Justin serves as SVP of Government Affairs at NVCA. Justin joined NVCA in September 2014 and focuses on tax policy, capital formation, regulatory and energy issues. Justin is a member of the NVCA Tax Policy Council and acts as liaison to the Capital Markets Working Group, NVCA Growth Equity Group, Blockchain Technology Working Group and the Emerging Ecosystems Task Force.

Prior to joining NVCA, Justin spent twelve years on Capitol Hill serving as an aide to a House leadership office and most recently with the office of United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) where he was a Legislative Assistant responsible for tax issues and the senator’s work on the Senate Finance Committee. Justin served as Menendez’s advisor and liaison on matters related to the Senate Finance Committee as well his legislative negotiator on tax issues. In addition to managing Menendez’s tax portfolio, Justin was also responsible for a number of other issues including telecommunications, technology, and federal science policy. Justin began his career on Capitol Hill in the office of the House Democratic Caucus, where he was first a Staff Assistant and then later the Special Assistant to the Executive Director.

Field graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Business.

Grace Fricks

Private Financing: Community Development Financial Institutions and Impact Investors
Friday September 24 3:15 - 4:00 PM

President & Chief Executive Officer
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc.

Fricks founded award-winning Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE), a Georgia CDFI that helps underserved business owners grow their businesses through capital, coaching and connections. ACE has now provided more than $100 million in loans, assisted more than 1,400 small businesses, and impacted over 12,000 jobs for Georgians.

In 2019 Fricks was recognized as a Corporate Diversity Champion at the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards. She was honored with a Vision of Excellence Award by the Atlanta Business League and named Financial Services Champion of the Year by the SBA Georgia District Office.

While she is identified as one the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine, when asked what her greatest strength is, she will tell you that it is her ability to empower others to fulfill their dreams. That’s what she’s good at, and that is what excites her. Fricks currently serves on the Boards of Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, Appalachian Community Capital, Atlanta Emerging Markets Inc., and the Georgia Small Business Capital Fund. Fricks, a small business owner for more than 15 years, is also a former Board Member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Atlanta chapter. Her undergraduate is in social work from University of Tennessee at Martin and her MBA is from the University of Memphis.

Darla Garrett

Program Deep-Dive: Venture Capital Program
Friday September 24 1:00 - 1:45 PM

Maryland Department of Commerce

Darla Garrett is a Program Manager with the Maryland Department of Commerce and oversees the Office of Finance Programs Accounting and Administration Unit. Additionally, she administers Maryland’s Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Businesses Account-Video Lottery Terminal Fund, and the State’s Small Business Credit Initiative. Darla has over 20 years of combined professional experience in finance, banking and economic development. Prior to joining Commerce in 2001, Darla worked with First National Bank of Maryland in the Small Business Lending Center. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Public Policy, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and is Maryland’s first to obtain CDFA’s Development Finance Certified Professional designation.

Sara Gibson

Program Administration: Small Business Technical Assistance Needs
Friday August 27 2:30 - 3:15 PM

20 Degrees

Pat Gouhin

Private Financing: Venture Capital and Angel Investments
Friday September 24 1:45 - 2:30 PM

Chief Executive Officer
Angel Capital Association

Pat Gouhin is the Chief Executive Officer of the Angel Capital Association. He is an experienced chief executive with 30 years of professional technical association service whereby leadership contributions resulted in new products, expanded global market penetration, and an invigorated organizational culture based upon open leadership and empowerment. Prior to his time at ACA, Pat’s professional career includes three decades of association management experience with positions such as Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations. During his tenure, Pat significantly increased revenue, delivered new services and successfully grew membership of multiple associations.

Tim Guardipee

Strategies: Partnering with Tribal Governments
Friday August 27 3:15 - 4:00 PM

Loan Fund Director
Native American Development Corporation

Maryam Haque

Private Financing: Venture Capital and Angel Investments
Friday September 24 1:45 - 2:30 PM

Executive Director
Venture Forward

Maryam is the Executive Director of Venture Forward, where she oversees the organization’s mission to advance the next era of venture capital. She previously served as SVP of Industry Advancement at the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), where she incubated several Venture Forward initiatives. At NVCA, she led research and data, education, and diversity and inclusion programming. She managed the production of the annual NVCA Yearbook, quarterly PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, and NVCA-Deloitte Human Capital Survey. She also created VC University (a joint initiative between NVCA and Startup@BerkeleyLaw), LP Office Hours, and the Stanford/NVCA Venture Capital Symposium.

Prior to joining NVCA, Maryam managed the research department at EMPEA, the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets, as the Senior Director of Research in Washington, DC. Before EMPEA, she was a Senior Research Analyst in the Private Equity & Venture Capital division of Dow Jones & Company, supporting its flagship product VentureSource in San Francisco.

Maryam is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

Robert Heard

Program Deep-Dive: Venture Capital Program
Friday September 24 1:00 - 1:45 PM

Development Capital Networks

Robert Heard is a Managing Director and Founder of Development Capital Partners (DCN) and Cimarron Capital Partners, two affiliated firms with over 30 years of experience in development lending and equity investing. He is a pioneer in designing innovative programs that drive economic development by attracting capital and business-building talent to local economies. He frequently speaks on capital formation, portfolio optimization, technology transfer and state venture capital strategies.

With Cimarron, he designs and manages VC/PE accounts for clients that have included Iowa Fund of Funds, Arkansas Institutional Fund, Oklahoma Capital Investment Board, and Cimarron Business Capital. Robert has advised national development banks in Mexico and Colombia on building a venture capital industry and designing funds of funds. He has served on the advisory committees of numerous venture capital funds.

His leadership of DCN has included design and oversight of the Wyoming Smart Capital Network and North Dakota Red River Corridor Fund, both focused on development lending to small businesses under the US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). He helped launch the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Cluster Initiative for Oklahoma and Kansas, and the Droneport Network.

Robert is committed to building organizations that support the growth of the entrepreneurial economy. He was a co-founder of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF), the Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA), and the WBT Innovation Marketplace. He was a Board member of CDFA for four years and provided guidance to the organization for 18 years through DCN association management services. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

Robert is an angel investor in technology companies and a member of Cowboy Technology Angels and the Houston Angel Network. His publications include the “Innovation Finance Reference Guide” authored with Jim Troxel for CDFA, an “Angel Investing Workbook” for NASVF, and the National Governors' Association study on "The Experience of States with Seed and Venture Capital" co-authored with John Sibert.

Robert has a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Northwestern University.

Holly Hunt

Private Financing: Community Development Financial Institutions and Impact Investors
Friday September 24 3:15 - 4:00 PM

SSBCI and GARJA Program Manager
Georgia Department of Community Affairs

Holly Hunt currently serves as the Program Manager for the State Small Business Credit Initiative Program, the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act Program, and the liaison for the Federal Opportunity Zone Program for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Prior to joining the DCA in 2012, Holly served five years as Chief Financial Officer for Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), a CDFI in North Georgia, after enjoying a 22-year career in the community banking industry. During her career in banking, she served as Internal Auditor and CFO of several community banks before serving as the organizing CFO for three new banks from 2001 – 2006. She is also a graduate of the Bank Director's College with the Georgia Community Bankers Association.

Holly is a native of Atlanta and holds a degree in Accounting from the University of North Georgia. Holly currently resides in Cleveland, Georgia and has served on various boards of local non-profits and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the White County Chamber of Commerce.

James Key-Wallace

Program Deep-Dive: Capital Access Program and Loan Guarantee Program
Friday September 24 2:30 - 3:15 PM

Executive Director
New Hampshire Business Finance Authority

Sarah Lee

Strategies: Rural Businesses and Tribal Businesses
Friday October 22 3:15 - 4:00 PM

Governor's Advanced Manufacturing Sector Lead
Washington State Department of Commerce

Cory Phelps

Program Deep-Dive: Collateral Support Program and Loan Participation Program
Friday October 22 1:00 - 1:45 PM

Vice President
Idaho Housing and Finance Association

Cory Phelps has been with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) for seven years, leading its business finance and economic growth activities, and building its portfolio to an average of $200 million in annual business. Mr. Phelps currently manages a team of 22 in the administration and oversight of Idaho’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), HOME loan, Collateral Support (CSP), and Tax-Exempt Bond Financing programs.

As Vice President, Mr. Phelps manages the competitive application process for annual LIHTC awards and all aspects of tax-exempt bond financing for manufacturing, nonprofit, and affordable housing projects. He also coordinates communication with all finance partners, including project developers, investors, underwriters, borrowers and commercial banks. In 2016, he consolidated the Economic Development and Multifamily Housing departments to form the Project Finance business unit.

Previously, Mr. Phelps held finance positions with Zions First National Bank as the Vice President and Commercial Portfolio Manager and Washington Mutual Commercial Bank as a Commercial Banking Officer. Most recently before IHFA, he was with the Eastern Idaho Development Corporation.

Mr. Phelps is currently a Board Chair of Capital Matrix, a SBA 504 lender, and the New Market Tax Credit Advisory Board of MoFi (formerly Montana & Idaho CDC). A graduate of the Greater Pocatello Chamber of Commerce Leadership Pocatello program, he also served on the program’s Board of Directors and as a facilitator. His community involvements include leadership positions with the Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency, Portneuf Greenway Foundation, Greater Pocatello Chamber of Commerce and the Pocatello Zoological Society. Mr. Phelps earned a Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in Finance with a minor in Political Science from Idaho State University.

Pravina Raghavan

Program Deep-Dive: Capital Access Program and Loan Guarantee Program
Friday September 24 2:30 - 3:15 PM

Executive Vice President
Empire State Development

Pravina, Executive Vice President, Division of Small Business and Technology Development for Empire State Development, has 20+ years of experience in providing strategic advisory services to businesses in the start-up, growth, expansion and maturity phases of development. Prior to joining ESD, Pravina was the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Deputy Associate Administrator of Investment and Innovation at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the District Director for SBA’s New York District Office.

Before joining the federal government, Pravina was a Vice President with MTV and BET Networks, an owner and partner of a strategic advisory firm and Business Development Director for Misys PLC, one of the world’s largest banking software companies. She was also an associate at Broadview International, a London investment bank, and worked at AT&T in several finance and management roles, including her last 5 years as the M&A Director for Europe & Asia. Pravina has an MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University and a B.S. in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University.

Janine Sickmeyer

Strategies for Investing in Emerging Fund Managers and Businesses
Friday August 27 1:00 - 2:30 PM

Founding Partner
Overlooked Ventures

Tech Entrepreneur, Janine Sickmeyer founded and built legal startup NextChapter, serving as CEO and Founder for 6 years until it was acquired in September 2019 by Fastcase. In that time, she grew her team to 20 employees, 14% month-over-month revenue, and 6,000 attorney users in all 94 US Districts.

As a first-time founder, she learned and managed software development, product management, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, fundraising, user experience design, branding, customer success, client partnerships and most importantly, how to take a sketch and turn it into a living, breathing product that people love to use.

Janine joined Fastcase as Director of Practice Workflow as part of the acquisition. As a business leader and entrepreneur, Janine provides strategic vision for NextChapter and is particularly fascinated in the intersection between law and technology and more specifically, forms automation. Ms. Sickmeyer is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), and a proud partner of the Lean In movement where she encourages and supports young women who are ready to make the leap as an entrepreneur or become a leader in their industry.

Janine was recognized as a Fastcase 50 Honoree in 2019, Women of Legal Tech 2017 presented by American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) and celebrated in the 2017 Women Who Lead campaign by Pledge 1% for her philanthropic efforts with NextChapter.

Janine is passionate about sharing her startup story with female entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them overcome challenges when starting a new venture. Janine is writing her first book to inspire other women to take a leap into entrepreneurship in the tech space. Outside the office, spends her time reading books of all genres, practicing yoga, traveling with her husband, and playing make believe with her four young children.

Gabrielle Stevenson

Strategies: SEDI Businesses and Very Small Businesses
Friday October 22 2:30 - 3:15 PM

Program Outreach Manager
California State Treasurer's Office

Frank Teas

Program Deep-Dive: Capital Access Program and Loan Guarantee Program
Friday September 24 2:30 - 3:15 PM

President & Chief Excecutive Officer
Millyard Bank

As a career banker, Frank is passionate about helping business owners prosper through providing access to capital and partnering with them to strategically help grow their businesses. Frank has held executive-level positions with local banks, including as President, Chief Executive Officer and founder of The Nashua Bank, which was established as a community bank to serve the needs of professionals and business owners. Frank has been active in community affairs, serving with The Huntington of Nashua, Nashua Arts Commission, Nashua Rotary Club, Bishop Guertin High School Board of Trustees, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua, and the Boys and Girls Club. He is a graduate of both Leadership Greater Nashua and Leadership New Hampshire. Frank was recognized as the 2007 Business Person of the Year by the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce and by both Business New Hampshire Magazine and the Union Leader as one of New Hampshire's top future business leaders. In 2010, he received the New Hampshire Business Review's Business Excellence Award in Financial Services. Frank and his wife Amy reside in Nashua with their children Ainsley and Frankie.

Tresa Thomas-Massiongale

Strategies: Rural Businesses and Tribal Businesses
Friday October 22 3:15 - 4:00 PM


Tresa Thomas-Massiongale's work catalyzes both outcomes and revenue while connecting social entrepreneurs and business leaders with the resources to realize even the most audacious goals. As a seasoned executive with decades of experience in social impact and strategic partnerships, Tresa is proud to work closely with an active philanthropic, corporate and financial network focused on social impact, sustainability and diversity.

Tresa specialize in engaging multi-sector partnerships for funding and impact and match the appropriate model for stakeholder engagement to achieve specific results. She truly delights in convening and facilitating dialogue across a broad array of stakeholders and she is known for convening the full spectrum of impact investing from traditional and institutional investors to philanthropy and social innovation to for-profit and nonprofit mission driven organizations.

Troy Vosseller

Strategies: SEDI Businesses and Very Small Businesses
Friday October 22 2:30 - 3:15 PM


Troy is the Co-Founder of gener8tor. gener8tor’s turnkey platform for the creative economy connects startup founders, musicians, artists, investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships. gener8tor operates more than 45 accelerators annually across 28 cities, 16 states and 3 countries, working with more than 200 startups per year. To date, gener8tor's startup alumni have raised $600M in follow-on capital and employ more than 5,000 people.

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