LIGIF

Meet our InnovateHER Reston Judges

InnovateHER Reston

 

Peter Somerville

Peter began his career as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in California. Following his service in Iraq, he held leadership roles with non-profits in Virginia and Texas, and went on to lead a political campaign in Arkansas. Peter earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University. Small business owners have been pillars of community leadership throughout Peter’s life. He enjoys his ability to support them now and hear their stories through his work with StreetShares. Peter’s favorite American Main Street is Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, MN.

After World War II, millions of Americans became business owners. This “greatest generation” sparked an economic boom, and America flourished. Banks were smaller, community-oriented, and supporters of small business. And business owners had access to small business loans.

Today’s small business owners face a very different environment. Strict lending regulations, big bank consolidation, and dwindling community banks leave small businesses with very few options. Business owners get to choose between difficult-to-obtain bank loans and costly online loan sharks. In 2013, StreetShares co-founders met for breakfast at a local diner to brainstorm a new Mainstreet funding source. The founding team had one vision: to breathe new life into the American Dream. And StreetShares was born.

 

Nina Villayan

Nina has over 20 years of experience in the banking and payment processing industry. Prior to joining FrontStream, Nina held the position of Chief Operating Officer & EVP at Tier Technologies, Inc., which is a provider of electronic payment solutions in the biller direct market. Her responsibilities included day to day business operations of the company, including overseeing all of sales and marketing, as well as technology and operations. In this role, she provided fiscal, strategic and operational leadership to the company.

Before joining Tier Technologies Inc., Nina was President of Business Office Solutions, a division of Sallie Mae Inc. She was responsible for the vision and creation of the division in 2001, and held full planning, operating, finance, sales, marketing, product delivery, and P/L responsibility.

Nina earned an M.B.A. in financial management and a B.S. in economics from the University of Maryland.

 

Cheree Warrick

Cheree Warrick writes business plans and creates financial forecasts for companies seeking funding from banks and angel investors. During her 5 tenure at a national government contracting firm, Ms. Warrick was influential in helping the company grow from $50 million in annual revenues to $200 million. She set up the company’s pricing models for all RFP (Request for Proposal) responses, prepared the company’s annual budget and summarized all budget-to-actual results on a monthly basis.

In 2009, the entrepreneurial bug bit her and she decided to leave the corporate world to join her family’s bookkeeping business. During her tenure there, she assisted the company in serving over 35 clients in 22 industries. Her responsibilities included preparing monthly financial statements, producing annual budgets, and corresponding with CPAs in the preparation of corporate and personal taxes. As the company grew, management decided to seek bank financing for business expansion. The President of the Bank said Cheree’s business plan was one of the best he’d ever read. After receiving that compliment, Cheree decided to learn as much as she could about how companies position themselves to receive business financing.

Cheree’s goal is to help over one thousand companies receive over $1Billion in financing. She authored a book to help business owners understand exactly what investors want to know before making a commitment. The book and her strategies are praised by numerous angel investors and commercial bankers including Barbara Corcoran of the hit TV show Shark Tank and Valerie Gaydos – founder of the Angel Venture Forum of D.C. Cheree holds a Bachelors degree in International Business from American University and a Masters degree in Finance from George Washington University.

 

Tony Jimenez

Tony is living the “American Dream”. His personal story is as dynamic and inspiring as his achievements. Born in Virginia into a family of modest means, his incredible drive, work ethic, love of technology, and desire to make a contribution to society, have all led to his recognition as one of the top leaders in the technology industry and one of the most influential Hispanics in the nation.

Jimenez is the award-winning Founder, President, and CEO of MicroTech, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), His company is an industry leading prime contractor on over 100 Federal projects and holds more than 25 procurement vehicles, offering access to 2500 vendors and over a million technology products and services. The nationally recognized company is also certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). MicroTech offers Technology Integration, Telecom & Cloud, and Product Solutions commercial enterprises, as well as the public sector — managing over half-a-million tech users daily.

For his achievements, Jimenez has been named “Executive of the Year,” “Most Innovative Entrepreneur,” “Most Influential Hispanic in IT,” “Entrepreneur of the Year,” “Small Business Person of the Year,” and “CEO of the Year” by several national organizations. Jimenez has also been recognized as one of the “Most Influential Hispanics in the Nation” by Hispanic Business Magazine, one of the “Most Powerful Minority Men in Business” by the Minority Enterprise Executive Council, “Most Innovative Entrepreneur” by Goldman Sachs, PODER-abc* Entrepreneurship Award winner, one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Virginians” by Virginian Business, and he was awarded a Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) for his sustained support and advocacy of Veterans and Latinos.

 

Baly Ambegaoker 

Baly Ambegaoker is CEO & Co-Founder of CENTERPOINT. Ms. Ambegaoker is responsible for strategic business planning and execution. CENTERPOINT Inc. provides Cybersecurity, Mobile Solutions and Social Media Analytics.

Prior to CENTERPOINT, Ms. Ambegaoker served as a President & CEO of IDL Solutions, Inc. At IDL, Ms. Ambegaoker led the company in providing information technology solutions, data analytics, and systems support to numerous Federal, state, and local governments, as well as over 100 commercial clients. Under Ms. Ambegaoker’s leadership, IDL experienced consistent annual growth and achieved successful appraisals as an SEI CMMI® Level 3 and an SEI CMMI Level 4 SCAMPI B organization. Ms. Ambegaoker’s years of dedication to excellence culminated in the successful acquisition of IDL Solutions by CACI in December of 2012.

Ms. Ambegaoker is a member of the Board of Directors at Wisconsin Procurement Institute and has been an active member of ACT/IAC, National Association of Women Business Owners, the Council of Small Business Executives, the Governor’s EGovernment Council, Goodwill Industries Technology Business Advisory Council, and Women in Homeland Security.

She has been recognized as U.S. Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneur of the Year, and has earned the Top 40 Under 40, amongst other industry awards. Ms. Ambegaoker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business and is currently an Executive MBA candidate at New York University’s Stern School of Business.