President and CEO
Connie E. Evans is the President and Chief Executive Officer of AEO.
Connie is a visionary leader, astute strategist, activist and social entrepreneur who has founded three organizations. In 1986 she was the founding president of the award-winning Women’s Self-Employment Project, the first and largest urban microbusiness development organization in the U.S., and the first adaptation of the Grameen Bank model to a U.S. urban setting. She also pioneered one of the first matched-savings program—Individual Development Accounts—in the country. In 2000 she founded WSEP Ventures, a social enterprise-hybrid organization developed to serve as a catalyst for social change, economic development and community empowerment. In 2007 she founded CSolutions Consulting, an advisory boutique specializing in solutions that address social change.
An international development consultant with more than 25 years of experience, she has been recognized and utilized by such groups as the World Bank, the Clinton Administration, and a host of local government, private and independent-sector organizations. With international experience spanning 43 countries, she draws on her expertise in developing and implementing strategies to further economic development, health and social change in communities.
Connie started her career in community mental health as a master-level psychologist. Her commitment to improving the health and life options for disadvantaged women and their families moved her to “harness the marketplace” for solutions. As the Assistant Director of a Hull House Association affiliate in Chicago, she became the Project Director for the first resident-managed public housing site in the city. She helped low-income women organize, develop leadership skills and learn business acumen in order to take control over a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Connie has given lectures at universities throughout the U.S., and is a frequent panelist and keynote speaker at conferences around the globe. She has many distinguished awards, including: being named the Inaugural Twink Frey Social Activist in 2006; the 1996 Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine; the first Teknion Humanitarian Award in 1999; Gloria Steinem Woman of Vision Award; 1998 Community Leader of the Year presented by the African American MBA Association at the University of Chicago; and the Chicago Community Service Fellowship Award by the Chicago Community Trust.
Connie's broad experience across the worlds of business and finance compliments her skills in development finance. She served two elected terms on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago—the first African American woman to hold such a position—and was appointed by President Clinton to the CDFI Advisory Board, a fund in the Department of the Treasury. She was appointed by President Obama to be a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. She was also appointed by President Clinton as a member of the U. S. Delegation to Preparatory Meetings for the Summit of the Americas, the U. S. Delegation to Preparatory Meetings for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and again for Beijing Plus Five.
A strong advocate of good governance in nonprofits, she has nearly 20 years of service on philanthropic foundation boards, and serves on a number of national and international boards.
Tammy A. Halevy
Senior Vice President, New Initiatives
Tammy Halevy joined AEO in April 2010 as Senior Vice President, New Initiatives. With more than 20 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Tammy brings leadership, experience and knowledge to AEO, its members and partners. At AEO, Tammy leads the design, incubation and launch of pilots, programs and partnerships to better serve small businesses in low-wealth communities.
Prior to joining AEO, Tammy was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where as part of the corporate finance and strategy practices, she led client and research projects primarily focused on reaching new markets and structuring complex partnerships. She has also held positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, The Overseas Development Council and Kroll Associates.
Tammy received a master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University.
Vice President, Engagement & Communications
Susan Patterson joined AEO in August 2017 as Vice President, Engagement & Communications. In this role she leads AEO’s member engagement efforts as well as the organization’s communications strategy.
Prior to joining AEO, Susan spent 16 years at the National Retail Federation (NRF). There she managed various communications projects and marketing campaigns, including the organization’s annual report, and several revenue-generating products under NRF’s STORES Media division. In 2016 she served as a Kiva Fellow in Ghana, working with their in-country microfinance partners. Upon her return, as part of the Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders program, she worked with the Microfinance CEO Working Group on the creation of their first annual report. Her past experience also includes volunteering as the communications director for Hatch International, a social enterprise incubator supporting sustainable technology-based solutions in developing areas around the world.
Susan holds a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Virginia.
Vice President, Operations
Nou Vang joined AEO in November 2015 as Vice President, Operations. With more than 10 years of nonprofit management experience, Nou oversees AEO's membership, IT, accounting and human resources.
Prior to joining AEO, Nou managed the daily operations of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a membership organization of 130,000 members, where she oversaw a $1 million administration budget and managed a variety of projects including the Association’s $1.8 million office consolidation, conferences and meetings and software upgrades. She has worked for national and community-based non-profit organizations including Hmong National Development and Illinois Center for Violence Prevention. Her professional skills include project management, nonprofit audits, contract management and negotiation and equipment procurement.
Nou is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Masters of Public Administration degree.
Research and Insights Director
Ingrid Gorman joined AEO in April 2015. As the Research and Insights Director she utilizes her skills in data analysis and primary research design to create actionable insights to help further the mission and goals of the microbusiness industry.
Ingrid has 25 years of experience in market research working for such organizations as PBS and Discovery Communications, where she served as SVP, Corporate Research. After completing a rewarding consulting project with a small association devoted to environmental concerns, Ingrid was inspired her to seek opportunities in the non-profit sector. Previous experience also includes a role as a Research Assistant at the Justice Department.
Ingrid is originally from Ohio and earned her B.A. in Economics from Youngstown State University.
TILT Forward Initiative Project Manager
Lily came to AEO in 2015 through the ProInspire Fellowship, a program which allows young professionals to bring their talents from the private sector into the social sector. She now serves as the TILT Forward Project Manager and is involved in the launch and growth of the next phase of the initiative which includes the TILT Forward Network, DreamFund and Project CUE.
Prior to AEO, Lily was a Product Development Manager at Villency Design Group, a boutique firm specializing in end-to-end product design and production, and has worked with a clients including Soul Cycle, eBay and Bloomingdale’s.
Lily is a proud Tar Heel with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chief Advocate, AEO Government Relations
Ann Sullivan is the President and Founder of Madison Services Group (MSGI), a woman-owned company that provides government relations and federal business development services. Ann currently leads AEO’s advocacy efforts, as well as the policy teams for AEO partners Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO).
MSGI specializes in outreach to the small business community with an emphasis on women-owned and minority businesses. Ann brings many years of government relations experience in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, serving in key advisory roles. She works with the U.S. Congress and the Administration to garner national attention for the small business community. Her expertise includes business development programs, government procurement, healthcare, export development and tax issues affecting small businesses.
Ann is recognized as the driving force behind implementation of the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program and has been a featured keynote speaker and moderator on many procurement panels nationwide. She received the Enterprising Women of the Year Award from Enterprising Women Magazine, and was honored by Professional Women in Advocacy for Excellence in a Federal Issue Campaign. She is also the recipient of three prestigious Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, receiving the top honor in the categories of Lifetime Achievement —Business, Woman of the Year— Business Services, and Communications or PR Campaign of the Year—Public Affairs. She was chosen by Small Business Trends as a Top 100 Small Business Influencer, and the Sunlight Foundation named her as one of Washington’s four “perfectly bipartisan lobbyists.”
Policy Director, AEO Government Relations
Mark Lee is a Director of Government Relations at Madison Services Group, where he focuses on issues such as access to capital and regulatory policy.
Mark saw the business of a startup firsthand as CEO of Smartgrid Corporation in Honolulu, Hawaii. His Congressional experience includes seven years in the House of Representatives working for a Small Business Committee member, Rep. Yvette Clarke. He served four years as her primary staffer on the Committee, including her tenure as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.
Mark is a native of Indianapolis, IN, and majored in history at Indiana University.
November 21, 2017
Today in Washington
Last night, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services & General Government released their FY 2018 draft appropriations bill, which funds the SBA at $886.3M.
November 17, 2017
Today in Washington
The House passed H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” yesterday, while the Senate Finance Committee wrapped up its four-day conceptual mark-up of the bill late last night.
November 15, 2017
Today in Washington
Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a revised Chairman’s Mark of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” which, among other things, proposes eliminating the ACA individual mandate.