Association for Enterprise Opportunity Announces Board Members and New Board Chair

September 26, 2017

Washington, D.C. — The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to supporting the success of microbusinesses in the United States, today announced the election of seven board members, and the appointment of both a new board chair and a State Microenterprise Association (SMA) representative. 

The board members are:

Usman Ahmed, Head of Global Public Policy at PayPal Inc. 

Joshua Brackett, CFO at Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) 

Melissa L. Bradley, Founder and Curator at Venture DC/Project 500

Gary L. Cunningham, President and CEO at Meda

Byna Elliott, Senior Vice President, Director of Community and Economic Development at Fifth Third Bank 

Alex Forrester, Co-founder and COO at Rising Tide Capital

Douglas Schaeffer, Executive Vice President and CRA Director at Woodforest National Bank

Their full bios can be read here .

AEO is also announcing Bridgehampton National Bank executive Daniel Delehanty, CRA officer and director of community development, as AEO’s new board chair. Mr. Delehanty’s term began September 22, 2017. In addition, Rogie D. Nelson, program coordinator, small and minority business at the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs, was appointed as the board’s SMA representative. 

“AEO is thrilled to be adding the insight and experience of these members to our distinguished board,” said AEO president and CEO Connie Evans. “Each one has already impressed our community with their knowledge of the landscape and commitment to small business initiatives that promote entrepreneurial excellence. As for our new board chair, Daniel’s decades of experience in banking and community development and passion for generating economic opportunities in low-wealth communities is a perfect fit for our organization. We look forward to working with him and the rest of our board to advance AEO’s vision for the future.”  

“AEO’s mission to provide underserved entrepreneurs with access to the resources they need for success is a cause near to my heart,” said Mr. Delehanty. “Business ownership gives people the freedom to follow their dreams, create wealth, and make a difference in their lives and the lives of their families and communities. I am excited to be a part of what AEO is doing for entrepreneurs.”   

The seven elected members and Mr. Nelson join the current AEO board, bringing the total to 23 members:

Roberto Barragan, Principal at Aquaria Funding Solutions

Janie Barrera, President and CEO at LiftFund

Jane Campbell, Director, Washington Office, National Development Council

Phyllis Cassidy, Founder (retired) at Good Work Network

Samira Cook Gaines, Founding Partner at Global Empowerment Solutions

Pamela Cross, Vice President, Philanthropic Services and Specialized Wealth Services at Wells Fargo Bank

Daniel Delehanty, CRA Officer and Director of Community Development at Bridgehampton National Bank

Connie Evans, President and CEO at AEO

Ron Fong, Executive Director at Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program

Donna Gambrell, CEO at Appalachian Community Capital

Veronica Hix, Executive Director at ONABEN

Jonny Price, Senior Director at KIVA

Lisa Servon, Professor at University of Pennsylvania

Nancy Stark, Senior Manager, Community Development Banking at Capital One

Gina E. Wood, Director, Foundation and Institutional Giving at Atlantic Council 

AEO and its partner organizations are committed to helping individuals launch, stabilize, and grow their businesses. The association will host its national conference in Detroit, MI, on April 30 – May 2, 2018. Lenders, nonprofit and for-profit service providers, advocates, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and investors will come together for three days to discuss practical solutions that can better serve the small businesses that form the backbone of America’s economy.     

About Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the voice of innovation in microbusiness and microfinance in the United States. For 26 years, AEO and its more than 450 member/partner organizations have helped millions of entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth while supporting themselves, their families and their communities. AEO members and partners include a broad range of organizations that provide capital and services to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding their businesses. Together, we are working to change the way that capital and services flow to underserved entrepreneurs so that they can create jobs and opportunities for all. Learn more about the Association for Enterprise Opportunity at

CONTACT: Marissa Hermo, 201.962.5983, 

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