AEO Announces Hyacinth Vassell As Vice President of Innovation Engineering
October 17, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of a robust marketplace for underserved microbusinesses, is proud to announce Hyacinth Vassell as Vice President of Innovation Engineering.

In her new role, Vassell will join AEO’s management team which includes: Connie Evans, President and CEO; Tammy Halevy, Senior Vice President of New Initiatives; Nou Vang, Vice President of Operations; and Corey Briscoe, Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Communications.

Vassell will oversee and develop strategies across programmatic, research, and advocacy initiatives organization-wide. A critical component of Vassell’s role is leading teams in multiple complex problems that create and develop standards and models for technical assistance solutions. Additionally, Vassell will oversee the recently announced Tapestry Project, an initiative that supports innovative efforts to advance Black business development nationally.

Vassell has a long history of advocating for small businesses across the country. As the former director of the Inner City Capital Connections program at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), she successfully developed and scaled the Inner City Capital Connections program. Through Vassell’s leadership, the program scaled to 10 cities and cultivated a nationwide network of capital providers that made almost $1.5 billion of debt and equity capital available to program participants. Evans expressed confidence in Vassell’s track record, saying, “Hyacinth’s leadership led to the creation of more than 16,000 much-needed jobs in underserved communities. We are thrilled to add her to our dynamic entrepreneurial team, and know she will positively impact new and existing AEO programs with her creativity, passion, experience, and wealth of knowledge.”

Arriving on the heels of the Tapestry project launch, Vassell’s appointment comes at a most opportune time. “AEO is poised to make national impact that can have lasting effects on the business landscape,” said Vassell. “I am delighted to be part of such a dynamic organization that empowers the microbusiness community with tools and resources that allow businesses to start and grow in an effective way.”

Prior to AEO and ICIC, Vassell was an independent consultant and program manager at The Partnership, Inc, a Boston-based firm that helps corporations build long-term, sustainable, and diverse leadership pipelines. Previously, she was a senior consultant at Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting (Accenture), where she worked with clients such as AT&T, Fidelity, Fleet Bank, Caterpillar, Starwood Hotels, and MGM Grand.

An entrepreneur in her own right, Vassell has founded a decorative painting studio and project management services company. Vassell is a proud alumna of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

About Association for Enterprise Opportunity
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity is the leading voice of innovation for microfinance and microbusiness. Our mission is to create economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs throughout the United States. We engineer transformational change through research, convening, incubation, and advocacy to foster a robust and inclusive marketplace.

For media inquires, please contact Marissa Hermo at [email protected].