Community Navigator Pilot Program Panel Powered by SBA
We will kick off the conference to mark the sixth-month milestone of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) which helps underserved and unserved business communities (Asian-, Black-, Hispanic-, Native American-, Disability-, Veteran-, and Women-owned businesses). Mark Madrid, SBA Associate Administrator, Office of Entrepreneurial Development, and his team, will speak at our CNPP panel.
Project DirectorUSPAACC Community Navigator Pilot Program
USPAACC Community Navigator Pilot Program
Tracy Balazs is an entrepreneur and senior executive with a foundation based in supporting both public and private sector organizations in Healthcare, Human Resources Consulting, and Human Performance for Military Readiness programs. She comes from a background of healthcare with 20 years of clinical trauma nursing followed by healthcare recruiting and federal government business development career prior to her starting her first business in 2004. In 2004,Tracy founded a company called Federal Staffing Resources (FSR) which obtained several hundred prime government contracts that cover the United States. After leading FSR as their CEO for 17 years, she transitioned to became the founder and CEO of Compass Government Solutions in April, 2021.
Throughout Tracy’s career, she has always been involved and has subject matter expertise in Government Contracting, Health, Talent Acquisition, Leadership and Organizational Development. She has a vast network and is an active member in several associations and professional groups such as, Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), Women Business Leaders (WBL), and various Government and Veterans organizations which gives her access to people with strong leadership and executive capabilities. Through these organizations and groups as either a board member or participant, she frequently mentors the professionals and has spoken at the behest of the SBA and for other organizations.
Digital Equity Director, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)U.S. Department of Commerce
Angela Thi Bennett
Digital Equity Director, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
U.S. Department of Commerce
Angela Thi Bennett will serve as the first-ever digital equity director at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the US Department of Commerce.
She will move from her current position as DigitalC’s director of advocacy, where she has been a strong champion for digital inclusion in Cleveland. Angela has also been deeply engaged in national digital equity work for years with National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA).
“We are thrilled Angela Thi Bennett is joining the NTIA team,” said Angela Siefer, executive director of NDIA. “Her local digital inclusion experience combined with her active national community involvement means she is equipped to understand the challenges and the need for holistic and collaborative solutions.”
NTIA is the agency responsible for advising the President of the United States on telecommunications and information policy issues. Currently, NTIA has a strong focus on expanding broadband access and adoption and advancing digital equity.
Associate Administrator, Office of Entrepreneurial DevelopmentU.S. Small Business Administration
Associate Administrator, Office of Entrepreneurial Development
U.S. Small Business Administration
Mr. Madrid has been selected to serve as Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED) at the U.S. Small Business Administration. In this role, Mr. Madrid will lead the OED, which is the SBA’s technical assistance arm with a national resource network including Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE, and the Office of Entrepreneurship Education.
Previously Mr. Madrid served as CEO of Latino Business Action Network, a national 501(c)(3) organization focused on strengthening America through funding and supporting U.S. Latino entrepreneurial research and education-impact programs at Stanford University. Mr. Madrid was named the 2019 Silicon Valley Nonprofit CEO of the Year by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Scholarship America, the leading nonprofit scholarship and educational support organization in the United States. He is an Honorary Colonel of the United States Army and Jefferson Award recipient.
Before his chief executive nonprofit roles, Mr. Madrid held a senior executive career in banking that began on Wall Street in 1995 with J.P. Morgan. His passion for American small businesses is dedicated to his father, who passed away from COVID-19 in 2020. His father, Marcos Madrid, Jr., owned a welding business for over four decades.
Mr. Madrid holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.
Senior Advisor for the Office of Entrepreneurial DevelopmentSBA
Senior Advisor for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development
Shalei serves as Senior Advisor for SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED). In this role, she leads initiatives to expand equitable access to the SBA’s national resource network, including Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE, and the Office of Entrepreneurship Education.
Prior to joining the SBA, Ms. Holway pioneered strategies to combat COVID-driven disruption at Wayfair, an e-commerce company. In this role she partnered with Wayfair’s thousands of small business suppliers to both support and grow them through the pandemic. In her leadership position at Wayfair, Ms. Holway also forged material improvements to diversity and equity in the firm’s hiring practices. Additionally, Ms. Holway brings to her role extensive experience leveraging analytics and design thinking to grow businesses at companies such as HelloFresh and JPMorgan.
Ms. Holway earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Barnard College and her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Program Officer, Community Navigator Pilot Program, Office of Entrepreneurship EducationSBA
Program Officer, Community Navigator Pilot Program, Office of Entrepreneurship Education
Ben helps run the day-to-day operations of the Community Navigator Pilot Program. He began his time at the SBA as a Presidential Management Fellow. Prior to SBA, Ben worked at LEAF, a Community Development Financial Institution in Boston, MA, with a focus on providing lending and technical assistance to cooperatives and disadvantaged small businesses. He attended Harvard College and Yale School of Management and is a Massachusetts native.