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.
Born and raised in Alexandria, Philomena joins the Alexandria Small Business Development Center in the newly-created Program Services Coordinator position where she manages the intake of existing and prospective business owners and connects them with the valuable and free SBDC resources and guidance. At this critically important time, Philomena is particularly focused on businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a recent graduate from the College of the Holy Cross with a major in Economics, 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.
Kit McCormick, Business Advisor (Start-Ups, Financial Proposals, Business Planning, Marketing Plans)
Kit has numerous experiences with entrepreneurship and the business sphere. She was a founding member and partner in a market research company, owned and operated a full-service restaurant in the seaside city of Portsmouth, NH, and was an instructor at the University of New Hampshire, Paul College of Business. These experiences led her to become a Regional Manager of the NH Small Business Development Center (SBDC), accumulating over a decade of experience with the NH SBDC network. Kit has a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and her MBA from the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.
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.
A prominent member of the Alexandria community, Louis G. Whiting is the founder of Lou & Sheila Whiting Ministries and is the current pastor at My Father’s House Christian Church. Pastor Lou has experience in retail management, sales, information technology and customer success. A member of the City’s Children, Youth, Families Commission Committee (Racial Equity Subcommittee) and the Social Responsibility Group, Pastor Lou hopes to connect Alexandria’s African American small business owners with the valuable resources of the Alexandria SBDC.
Jamie joined McEnearney after building and successfully selling his personal service-based company after seven years of ownership. Before starting his company, Jamie served in the United States Marine Corps and reached the rank of Captain. Jamie’s unique skill set as an entrepreneur combined with his leadership experience as a Marine officer allows for client-focused, dynamic, and results-based outcomes for his clients. He believes in a consultative approach that starts with listening to what the goals are and what matters most to his clients. Jamie is a proud graduate of Ohio State University and a huge fan of their football team.
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.
Ray Sidney-Smith, W3 Consulting (Social Media)
Ray is the President of W3 Consulting, Inc., which provides businesses throughout the United States with practical approaches to digital marketing. Its subsidiary, W3C Web Services, provides affordable Managed WordPress website hosting, domain registration services, SSL certificates, and more. Over the past 21 years, his work has concerned the legal, small business start-up, digital marketing, productivity technology and management fields. Ray splits his time between Pittsburgh, PA, Arlington, VA and New York, NY.
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.
Marc Wilson, The Wilson Group (Retail Operations & Marketing)
Marc brings 35 years of experience to bear helping retail, restaurant and tourism-related small businesses refine and promote their concepts to the public. In 1975, Marc started his retail career as co-owner of the largest distributor of Earth Shoes in the U.S. Since then he has held executive positions with retailers such as Britches of Georgetown, Crown Books, Circuit City, The Bicycle Exchange, Ecampus.com and Storetrax, Inc. Marc joined the SBDC in 2009 as a Retail Industry Consultant.
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.