Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds and provide guidance to businesses across industries. Read the introductions below to gain insight into each of our counselors.
Gloria Flanagan, Assistant Director (General Business, City Processes, Government Contracting)
Gloria has been with the center since 2000 and has counseled hundreds of small business owners in areas such as startup, city processes, and federal/state procurement. Prior to her employment with the Alexandria SBDC, she practiced law for the federal government and worked with several nonprofit organizations and for an Alexandria City Council member. Gloria has a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Philomena Fitzgerald, Small Business Program Manager (General Business, Startups)
Born and raised in Alexandria, Philomena Fitzgerald provides startup guidance, manages programming, and is responsible for intake of existing and prospective business owners, connecting them with the valuable and free small business resources and guidance. A lover of small business, Philomena is co-founder of the City of Alexandria’s first field hockey club, AVA Magic. She also coaches the varsity field hockey team and the junior varsity women’s soccer team at her alma mater Alexandria City High School. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, a minor in Dance, and a concentration in Africana Studies.
Jack Parker, Business Analyst (Financial Planning & Capital)
Jack has variety of experience in financial management and commercial banking. He spent ten years as a department head for business development, marketing and advertising with two commercial banks. He also served as the CFO for a several firms and has extensive experience with financial reporting, financial management, asset management, and business planning. In 1996, Jack started The Parker Group to provide financial and marketing consulting to businesses in Northern Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia and completed graduate courses from the American Institute of Banking.
Cely Argueta, Business Consultant/Asesora de Negocios (Government Contracting, Minority Contractors)
Ms. Argueta is a seasoned expert in government contracting, specializing with minority businesses. Founder of, BNG Professional Consulting Services, LLC, Argueta provides bilingual training, program and business development and outreach activities in topics related to business growth, strategy and government contracting, construction licenses, and minority certifications. She worked for 16 years providing program management support services for logistical, administrative support contracts for federal clients and managed multi-year contracts supporting Federal programs. Ms. Argueta graduated from the Catholic University of America with a BA in Political Science and a MBA in Public Administration from American University, with a focus on Government Contracting.
Suhyoon Wood, Business Counselor (General Business, Social Media)
As a military spouse, Suhyoon has a combined fifteen years of experience as an entrepreneur. She spent ten years as a freelance photographer. She also founded the first kombucha manufacturing company and taproom in Columbus, GA. This background provided Suhyoon the ability to successfully manage vastly differing small businesses. Her areas of expertise include: social media focused marketing, community engagement and relations, and the understanding of managing every part of being a small business owner. Suhyoon earned her undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College.
Patra Frame, Strategies for Human Resources (Human Resources)
Patra is the owner of Strategies for Human Resources. With expertise in strategic planning, organization development, talent management, process restructuring, training, plus mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, Patricia advises businesses on a wide range of human capital and strategic planning issues. Patra began her career as a Personnel Officer in the United States Air Force and served worldwide. She holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from Purdue University.
Scott Eshom, The Critical Mass (IT, Government Contracting, Marketing)
Scott Eshom serves as Director of Programs & Partnerships at The Critical Mass (TCM), bringing over 15 years of multidisciplinary experience combining Program and Risk Management, Counter-Terrorism, Special Operations, Finance, National Politics, and Consulting. At TCM Scott supports program delivery, government contracting proposal and partnership development, as well as social media, marketing, and IT. Previous work experience includes Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs and 10 years in the Army as an Engineer Officer and Green Beret.
Virginia SBDC Consultants
Josh Green, ICAP Director (Technology and Innovation)
Josh is a mentor and entrepreneur whose career has primarily focused on business and organizational development. He is currently the Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) – a program of George Mason University and the Virginia SBDC. ICAP works with early-stage technology and innovation-driven companies to validate their market on their path toward venture investment and scaling. For almost 15 years, he has advised private companies and nonprofit organizations across the United States in a wide array of industries. Josh is also a founding member of a startup that produces a high-performance and environmentally safe hydraulic fluid, as well as an aerospace startup that manufactures next-generation unmanned systems. Josh received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the University of Nevada.
Aaron Miller, Virginia SBDC (International Trade)
Aaron’s role is to help businesses increase sales through exporting. Aaron’s expertise is in international trade and commerce, and he leads collaborative teams to build new trade programs. Aaron is fluent in Mandarin and is experienced in cross-cultural networking skills. Prior to joining the VA SBDC, Aaron led a boutique consultancy focused on international trade development. Aaron has a BA in Anthropology from Miami University and an MA in International Business from George Mason University.