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Meet Our Leadership Team

Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, SCORE has a leadership team that supports the nationwide organization. Learn more about the leaders that oversee the strategic direction of the organization.

SCORE Association

Executive Team

Bridget Weston
CEO
Bridget Weston

Bridget Weston is CEO of SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which provides free mentoring and education to current and aspiring small business owners through its network of 10,000 volunteers. Since its founding in 1964, SCORE has helped 17 million entrepreneurs start, grow or successfully exit their businesses. A respected thought leader in the small business landscape, Bridget has served as a small business expert in Congressional hearings and is regularly featured in media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg Business. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Temple University.

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Amanda Capozio
Vice President of Technology
Amanda Capozio

Amanda Capozio is the Vice President of Technology for SCORE and is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s information technology and systems. She provides vision and leadership for technology initiatives that advance the mission of SCORE.

Betsy Dougert
Vice President of External Relations
Betsy Dougert

Betsy Dougert currently serves as Vice President of External Relations for SCORE, where she is responsible for national public relations, government relations, and sponsors. Her ten years of experience in marketing and communications have focused on building brand awareness and engaging stakeholders through storytelling at educational institutions and non-profits. She earned her master’s degree in strategic communications with a certificate in public relations from Villanova University, and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary.

Rick Peluso
Vice President of Finance
Rick Peluso

Rick Peluso is currently the Vice President of Finance for SCORE, overseeing the accounting team. He has more than twenty years of non-profit experience, focusing mainly on associations. Rick has a history of modernizing financial and administrative operations to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. Rick holds a bachelor's degree for the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Masters of Business Administration for Hood College.

Candice Stennett
Vice President of Marketing
Candice Stennett

Candice Stennett is the Vice President of Marketing at SCORE. In this role, she optimizes the performance of SCORE’s marketing funnel, leading teams of marketers in a range of disciplines, such as digital marketing, advertising, branding, and field enablement. Candice earned her Master of Business Administration and bachelor's degree in marketing and international business from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Board of Directors

Board Executive Committee

Chair of the Board
Tracy Shaw

Tracy Shaw of Southbury, Conn., serves as head of client engagement strategy for Equitable.  She has nearly three decades of experience as a business development strategist in industries ranging from financial services to health care and is dedicated to enriching the customer experience, streamlining process improvements, and developing innovations that enhance ROI. Tracy serves as vice-chair of the Immune Deficiency Foundation and is a member of CHIEF. She earned an MBA from Western Connecticut State University and is currently a doctoral candidate at Adler University. From her time as a business owner, Tracy also holds a patent for 401kSecure, which is designed to replace defined contribution plan deferrals of disabled participants.

Vice Chair
Julie Poland

Julie Poland is a speaker, author, and 7 Attributes of Agile Growth Certified Coach. Since 1990, she has provided processes and structures for business leaders to transform their organizations and achieve improved results and sustainable growth. Her financial services management background, strategic perspective, and talent for engaging teams provide a unique resource, coupled with world-class tools, to help organizations of all types and sizes to break through their barriers and achieve the greatness that lies within. Ms. Poland is an active mentor for Susquehanna SCORE and has served as Chapter Chair and District Director of Eastern PA/Delaware. Most recently she has served on the SCORE Field Operations Advisory Council.

Jayne Lerman
Secretary
Jayne Lerman

Jayne Lerman is a technology leader with extensive experience across financial institutions. She served as Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs and as Executive Vice President at Mastercard. Jayne is known for transforming global functions across company platforms and boosting the employee experience by modernizing the digital environment. Currently, Jayne serves as a startup advisor, a board member for Destination Imagination and as Executive in Residence for Progress Partners. She also devotes her time to providing advisory services at the Equal Learning Fund.

Judy Treviño
Treasurer
Judy Treviño

Judy Treviño has over 20 years of experience in business administration, finance, accounting, human resources and information technology. She is the Executive Director for CCVI Ministries, Inc. (Christus Health), an international nonprofit organization sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. She has extensive management and board experience in nonprofit, governmental and foundation institutions where she has been a leader in strategic planning, governance training, executive and board recruitment, and fundraising.

Board Members

Mukesh Asarpota

Mukesh Asarpota is a recognized business technology leader known for crafting the requisite strategic vision to achieve business goals, bringing a unique blend of executive acumen, global team-building, and business solutions development credited with strong ROI and operational improvement for companies domestic and international. He is currently the Director of Business Platforms with Orchard Therapeutics. Mukesh holds an MS in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts and is certified in CIO Leadership from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kelly Bingel headshot
Kelly Bingel

Kelly Bingel is an entrepreneur and lobbyist, she has decades of Capitol Hill experience that includes serving as a former U.S. Senate chief of staff. While working as a lobbyist, she began investing in several Washington, D.C.-area small businesses before launching Dynamic Gymnastics in 2013. Kelly began her career covering crime and politics at The Tulsa Tribune. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Louisiana State University, earned a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and is a member of the Virginia Bar Association.

Rick Brimacomb Headshot
Rick Brimacomb

Rick Brimacomb is a speaker, advisor, investor, board member and business executive serving emerging and lower middle-market companies.  He founded Brimacomb & Associates in 2005 giving him a platform to assist business leaders in refining strategies, assembling resources and securing funding.  By leveraging his years as a Venture Capitalist, Rick helps business leaders create shareholder value.  As advisor and mentor Mr. Brimacomb inspires people to do things they never thought possible.  Currently, Rick manages a portfolio of advisory clients, makes investments in privately held companies and manages Club E (Entrepreneur), a networking and educational group he founded in 2007.

Prior to launching his own firm, Rick co-founded the Sherpa Partners venture capital fund.  His earlier career experience included Venture Capital at Norwest Venture Capital (since split into the two groups Norwest Venture Partners and Norwest Equity Partners) and Smaby Group, Investment Banking at Piper Jaffray and Investment Research at Needham & Co. and Engler-Budd.  

Ricardo Casas Headshot
Ricardo Casas

Ricardo Casas is a seasoned business leader and a passionate SCORE volunteer. He has been with SCORE for over seven years, serving as Associate District Director for Southeast Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, Miami Chapter Chair and mentor. He is also a member of SCORE’s National Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council and SCORE’s Hispanic National Steering Committee. Before joining SCORE, Ricardo worked for ExxonMobil Corporation for more than two decades, leading various global businesses in Retail Fuels, Industrial, Aviation, Lubricants and Chemicals. He has extensive international experience, having worked on projects in 40 countries. He also served as Lead Country Manager and President of Esso Standard Oil Company (Puerto Rico), Esso Jamaica and Esso U.S. Virgin Islands. Ricardo holds a Master’s in Management and a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

 

Julie Christiansen
Julie Christiansen

Julie Christiansen is the CEO of Gordon Laboratories and has spent her career in consumer goods and manufacturing with companies such as Dean Foods, Minnetonka Brands, Cristophe Hair Care and others. As a leader in startup brands, she has created thousands of innovative products and partnered with customers to help grow and build their companies. Julie's leadership philosophy focuses on people engagement, process improvement and relentless execution. Julie earned her MBA from Capella University and holds a BA in Communications from St. Norbert College. 

Scott Harkins

Scott Harkins is the senior vice president of Global Portfolio Marketing for FedEx Services and oversees global digital; global customer segment and experience design; global products, solutions, and business agility, and global marketing foundations talent development program. He is responsible for the creation and execution of global marketing programs, including digital transformation, e-commerce, and global products and business agility. Before his current role, Scott served as the vice president of strategy and product management, director of FedEx Kinko’s marketing, and director of segment and alliances marketing. He joined FedEx in 1992 in the pricing department. Scott earned his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and his master of science in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Frank Klisanich

Frank Klisanich is an accomplished business leader experienced in improving performance, sales, and profits for both U.S. and international consumer products companies. He successfully led the expansion of ConAgra Foods Snacks Group into 70+ countries as a former executive and served as CEO at The Village Company. Currently, Frank serves as a consultant to start-ups and small companies sharing his expertise in strategy, marketing, and sales. He is also an adjunct instructor at several universities in the Twin Cities area. Frank has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario (Canada) and an MBA from Queen’s University (Canada).

Pat Loftus

Pat Loftus is a member of New World Angels, a group of more than 100 accredited private investors and entrepreneurs dedicated to providing equity capital and guidance to early-stage entrepreneurial companies, with a particular focus on those in Florida. With over 35 years of corporate technical and business leadership experience, Pat has honed her skills in strategy, business development, product management and innovation, complemented by six years in the small business sector. Pat actively serves as an advisor to early-stage companies, leveraging her expertise to foster their success. Beyond her professional roles, Pat is a dedicated volunteer, particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. She serves on the Penn State Research Foundation Board and the SCORE Association Board of Directors.  Pat has been a SCORE Association business mentor since 2015 and previously held the position of SCORE Foundation Board Chair from 2021 to 2023, as well as leadership roles within multiple chapters of the SCORE Association's field operations. Pat has also served on multiple university entrepreneurship and engineering advisory councils and alumni boards. Her academic qualifications include a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently residing in Venice, Florida, Pat is dedicated to making an impact in the entrepreneurial and innovation commercialization ecosystems, using her extensive experience to support early-stage companies and the communities they serve.

Bob Manza

Bob Manza lives in Austin, Texas, where he retired from PepsiCo in 2018. While at PepsiCo, Bob held several senior leadership roles including senior vice president and CFO roles in Canada and Mexico. Bob’s broad experience in finance includes strategic and business planning, business optimization and investment, international business development, acquisition evaluation and integration, and accounting and control activities. Bob is a SCORE-certified mentor and serves as a volunteer leadership member with Foundation Communities, an Austin charity. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.

John McCloskey
John A. McCloskey

John McCloskey has volunteered with SCORE for 10 years serving as Chapter Chair and District Director for North Carolina. For 17 years, McCloskey was a member of the management boards of publicly-traded German Corporations FAG Bearings and Schaeffler AG. He was also president and CEO of the Aerospace Group, the largest manufacturer of jet engine bearings and structures in the world. Before that, he was executive vice president of North American operations for GKN Automotive. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, a master’s degree in business administration, and has completed post-graduate work at Harvard, London Business School, and IMI Geneva.

Nik Shah
Nik Shah

Nik Shah is a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers based in Washington, D.C. He is a senior leader in PwC's Workforce Transformation practice and oversees the People Analytics and Insights team. In these roles, Nik assists multinational companies in developing and executing their people strategy to make data-driven and evidence-based decisions related to their workforce. Most recently, Nik served as PwC's internal HR leader for a $4B division with 11,000 employees and 150 HR practitioners.

Steve R. Smith Headshot
Steve R. Smith

After 40-plus years with IBM and nine years with SCORE, Steve has acquired extensive experience in large and small business entrepreneurship.

As an IBM executive, he led teams that transformed IBM's go-to-market approaches, including planning and execution, for the IBM Consulting Group. Steve lived on assignment in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and London, and worked in more than 20 countries on diverse client-facing advisory assignments.

At SCORE, Steve served as Fairfield Connecticut Chapter Chair from 2019 to 2022. Steve and his family live in Westport, Connecticut and New York City.

David Zechman

David Zechman is a seasoned healthcare executive with 20-plus years of experience at the executive level at large, integrated healthcare systems where he aligned goals, behaviors, and processes to drive the vision to provide kind and compassionate care.  His responsibilities included fundraising, strategic planning, operations management, physician alignment/integration, partnership development, and service-line management. In his current role as president of The Zechman Group, he is a first-time author as well as a public speaker, executive coach, and healthcare consultant. He is also a founding board member and CEO of a new company specializing in the acquisition and management of assisted living facilities and home health agencies and serves on three medical technology advisory boards. David has a bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University (Ohio), a master’s in public administration from Cleveland State University, and a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Administration.

The SCORE Foundation

The SCORE Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that serves as the philanthropic arm of SCORE. The Foundation facilitates individual contributions and corporate sponsorships that enable SCORE to expand its reach and enhance the success rate of our small business community through educational programs and support. Learn more at scorefoundation.org

Liz Sara, President of the SCORE Foundation
President of the SCORE Foundation
Liz Sara

As the President of the SCORE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SCORE, Liz Sara creates and oversees the strategy and direction for institutional sponsorships and individual giving. Liz served as the first female Chair of the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland from 2016-2018. In July 2018, she was appointed by the President as the Chair of the National Women's Business Council, a federal agency that advocates for female founders. She has been an Adjunct Marketing Professor at the Smith School of  Business and a past Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Liz is a frequent conference and podcast speaker and author on topics related to small business, marketing and angel investing. She holds several Advisory Board positions at organizations supporting entrepreneurship and women business owners.

Jim Cohen
VP of Corporate Sponsorship
Jim Cohen

Jim has been creating, launching and selling successful events and sponsorships for over 20 years. He has recruited, managed and led global conference and exhibitions teams from Russia, Central Asia, Europe and the US. Jim has built an expertise in dealing with the c-suite in fortune 500 company's mostly coming from technology. He won the Show Manager of the Year award (SMOTY) in 2007 (for his founding and launching of Travel and Adventure Shows) and continues to innovate the convergence between in person, virtual and events technology. Jim graduated from The Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University where he majored in Policy and Economics. He has traveled the world seeking out all kinds of adventures; however, he always keeps a special place in his heart for the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont where he was born and raised.

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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