Co-founder, Archi’s Acres, VSAT
Archi’s Acres, Inc. is a farming enterprise that uses hydroponic technology to grow organic produce. Headquartered in Escondido California, the company is owned and operated by husband and wife team of Colin and Karen Archipley. The Archipley’s are a unique combination of talent, vision, commitment and success. Colin is a combat-decorated Marine Sergeant and Karen is a previously successful fashion industry entrepreneur. The Archipley’s founded Archi’s Acres, Inc. in 2006. The Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program is a six-week intensive course (17 credits) in agribusiness through Cal Poly Pomona.
Karen Aguayo Bates
Founder, Military Home Loans
President, Juggling With Fire
In 1994, Karen experienced her “Six Figure Home Buying Mistake.” Karen states, “The agent and lender working on my VA deal and impacting my financial future simply did not know enough about VA to properly advise me.” Today, the condo she did not purchase because it was not VA approved is worth $120,000 more than its 1994 price tag!
Karen completed eight years of service as a Naval Air Traffic Controller and then became a Certified Public Accountant. In 2004, Karen combined her military background with her financial expertise and founded Military Home Loans. Her passion is to ensure Veterans never miss the opportunity to experience their American dream.
Karen is California’s 2013 Mortgage Professional of the Year and was featured on Yahoo Finance for earning and retaining $1 million as a female entrepreneur. Karen is devoted to her husband of 16 years and is blessed with their beautiful daughter Elizabeth (8).
Associate Administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development
Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve
At SBA, Ms. Carson develops, promotes and employs policies and programs that support veteran owned small business. Her efforts focus on SBA veteran related programs for active duty and reserve service members, service disabled veterans, and military dependents and survivors.
Ms. Carson has first-hand military experience, having served over 20 years as an active duty and reserve officer. While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, she founded a small business with a fellow veteran and continues to be passionate about entrepreneurship opportunities for military service members, veterans and their spouses.
Partner and co-founder of Simeio Solutions
Debbie is an Associate Partner and co-founder of Simeio Solutions, a global IT company. She is responsible for the Expert Managed Services line of business and global marketing and communications. She is also a School Board member for Bellflower Unified School District which serves approximately 13,000 students, 14 schools and $137M annual budget.
Debbie is retired in 2003 from the United States Air Force Reserves as a Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) with over 21 years of service. During her service, she was founder of the March Air Reserve Base Honor Guard, served as a Military Training Instructor (Drill Sergeant), and was Performance Program Manager for 14 bases.
Debbie is committed to arts and advocacy and has served as a board member of the Youth Cultural Arts Foundation and as member of Soroptimist of Lakewood/Long Beach.
She has Masters and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
CEO, Dynamic Vision International Inc.
Professional Speaker, Author, MSgt USAF Retired, ThinkLikeANegotiator.com
Eldonna is a retired Air Force veteran with 23 years of honorable military service. She is a negotiation and contracts expert with over 30 years of leadership, contracts management and negotiation experience. She has negotiated contracts from $1 to over $100 million both stateside and internationally. She was selected for an assignment to the White House Military Office in 2002. She has 7 years of extensive experience working for defense contractors in the Aerospace Industry. She holds a Top Secret security clearance and has been a trusted agent of the U.S. Government for 30 years. As CEO of Dynamic Vision, she trains people how to think like a negotiator by creating win-win results and understanding pitfalls. She is an international award winning speaker and an award winning author.
The Jonas Project
Kim has over 15 years of experience in marketing, public relations and advertising. She has worked in many industries fine-tuning her skills as a communicator. Kim has spent the last year and half working for a late-stage tech start up in Austin, TX creating and building the brand. Prior to her time in tech, she worked at a small boutique advertising agency with several high-profile clients. She’s worked in the food industry, home building, public service and training and development. Kim holds a bachelors in communications from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, and a masters in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
President and Founder, GC Green Incorporated
Elizabeth “Liz” Perez-Halperin is the President and founder of GC Green Incorporated (GCG), a certified woman, Native American, and 9/11 service disabled veteran owned Green Build General Contracting and Consulting Firm. Prior to starting GCG, Liz was in the green build and engineering industry for six years in San Diego, and served in the United States Navy for over eight years as an Aviation Logistics Specialist. She is passionate about using her experience and network to help other Veterans to find job opportunities in the green economy and to promote to Veterans to seek out and follow their own entrepreneurial dreams. Towards that end, Liz currently serves on the San Diego State Sustainability Advisory Board as a job creation champion, and is Chairman of the Board of the Jonas Project – a nonprofit organization that assists Veterans in becoming entrepreneurs. She is a member of the North Fork Mono Indian tribe.
Disabled Veterans Business Alliance
Mike possesses over twenty-five years of diverse work experience in leading programs, managing multimillion dollar budgets and assets, and improving quality and processes. Mike is a twenty year veteran of the US Coast Guard (USCG) with several Command Cadre tours. During his time with the Coast Guard, Mike gained a significant amount of experience in Maritime and Emergency Response, ranging from Search and Rescue and Maritime counter smuggling efforts to hurricane and natural disaster response. He has hands on executive experience from both a planning and actual operations perspective. After leaving the Coast Guard, he managed a robust business development program for a San Diego based defense contractor with offices throughout the US. He left that company in 2010 to launch Vanguard Global Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness, and specialized business consulting focusing on marketing, growth strategy, certifications, and sales. (Read Mike Sabellico’s full bio)
Senior Community Loan Officer
CDC Small Business Finance
Stacey Sanchez is a Senior Community Loan Officer with CDC Small Business Finance, specializing in loans under $250,000 for new or existing businesses and/or business acquisitions. Ms. Sanchez received the 2014 SBA Small Business Financial Services Champion Award, for her work to assist small businesses beyond her job description. Ms. Sanchez has been with CDC Small Business Finance since 2003, she has been working with small business owners for nearly 30 years. She started her career with a family owned business and spent 10 years helping them grow from 6 locations to 60. Ms. Sanchez has worked as a consultant for several Small Business Development Centers, a Minority Small Business Development Center, and a SBA consulting company. She was with the U.S. Small Business Administration Santa Ana District Office for five years, as the Lead Economic Development Specialist and Public Information Officer.
Sanberg Group, Inc
Sandy Schneeberger retired from the United States Army Reserves in 2005, having served from 1984-2005 for over twenty one years, including four years in active duty status. Her specialty training allowed her to work in several job positions in Administration, Training, Logistics, and Transportation serving first at the company level, promoted to battalion, brigade and retiring out of the Headquarters Regional Support Command G-1 at Los Alamitos.
Sandy started her business during her military career, and focused on growing an environmental consulting firm providing a variety of services including hazardous materials, geology/hydrogeology, and her specialty, cultural resources management. She received a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from California State University, Fullerton. Once retired from the Army, Sandy grew her company as President and CEO of The Sanberg Group, Inc. to three locations, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and recently Henderson, Nevada. The firm has projects throughout the California region, Arizona, Nevada, Maryland and Minnesota. (read Ms. Schneeberger’s full bio)
Deputy Secretary, Women Veterans Affairs
California Department of Veterans Affairs
Lindsey Sin currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Women Veterans Affairs at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. She was appointed to the position by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. on November 22, 2011.
Lindsey served in the US Navy from 1997 until 2005 and worked in military intelligence. She completed two flight tours in Rota, Spain during which time she deployed in support of Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom, and achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class.
After separating from the Navy, Lindsey returned to Sacramento and worked with veterans at American River College and Sacramento State. Lindsey has a BA in History from Sacramento State and an MBA from Drexel University.