Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship

Growing Sustainable Communities Through Entrepreneurship.

The program experts are here to guide you through the first steps of implementing your program, policy, or practice. With their in-depth knowledge of how each program operates, their expertise will assist you in effectively achieving your commitment. The program experts are a resource to you and, in addition to the National League of Cities (NLC) team, will help walk you through the ecosystem-building process.

Opportunity Initiatives

Behavioral Insights Team (BIT)

INITIATIVE: Rethinking how your city solicits technology solutions for civic problems to be more attractive to potential partnership with startups and technology-based entrepreneurs.

Evie Monnington Taylor, Principal Advisor, Private Sector & Innovation

Evie works with a number of transit agencies, municipal governments and state workforce agencies across the US. Before joining BIT North America, Evie worked in BIT’s London office for four years with a focus on crime and justice in the UK, working with partners such as the National Cyber Security Centre, the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands Police, and the Home Office. While in London, she also led international projects on employment and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining BIT, Evie worked in brand strategy and innovation at a design agency. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Classics from the University of Cambridge.

CivStart

INITIATIVE: Rethinking how your city solicits technology solutions for civic problems to be more attractive to potential partnership with startups and technology-based entrepreneurs.

Anthony Jamison, Co-Founder and CEO

Anthony has over 10 years of working with and for state and local governments on technology concerns. He has served as director of business development for the National Association of Counties. He has developed and served as lead for NACo Smarter Counties Summits and CIO Forums. He is a battle-tested serial entrepreneur.

Women’s Foundation - The Appointments Project

INITIATIVE: Diversifying the leadership of your entrepreneurial ecosystem and economic development organizations to include more woman entrepreneurs. 

Wendy Doyle, President and CEO

Wendy advances all women’s economic and civic leadership using evidenced-based research and policy solutions to make meaningful change in the Midwest. Wendy’s nonprofit career began as a national major gifts officer with the National Kidney Foundation, Inc. She worked as a nonprofit consultant who focused on board development and strategic planning. She later served as the executive vice president of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.

Wendy earned a B.A. from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, and she serves on the Missouri Women’s Health Council, the Missouri Foundation for Health’s Missouri Opportunity Incubator, a Junior League of Kansas City Missouri’s C3KC Advisor, the University of Missouri – Kansas City Starr Education Committee, and Park University Civic Advisory Council.

Joni Wickham, Appointment Projects Consultant

Joni Wickham has led initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as chief of staff—Joni has proven herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues. Her front-row seat at city hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities.

Robert Glenski, National Appointment Project Director

Robert J. Glenski has built a career that spans more than 30 years of award-winning marketing and communications programming and a strong record of achievement in strategic planning, execution, brand management, and public relations. Robert, in his role as an executive consultant, has coached leaders on strategy execution, crisis management, media outreach, planning, sales, and marketing. He has achieved award recognition for every career position including sales, marketing, leadership, accounts and team management. For the Women’s Foundation, as director of the National Appointments Project, Robert is helping the organization strategically craft and nationally scale this successful program. He brings his experience with national launches and programming to set the long-term foundation of this unique campaign.

Funding Initiatives

COMMITMENT: Help local startups and small businesses raise capital through equity crowdfunding.

WeFunder

INITIATIVE: Help local startups and small businesses raise capital through equity crowdfunding.

Jonny Price, Director of Fundraising 

Jonny is originally from the UK, where he started his career in strategy consulting with Oliver Wyman. In 2011, he joined the non-profit Kiva.org as the founder and director of its U.S. lending division, leading that team for seven years. In early 2018, he joined Wefunder (a PBC and B Corp) as director of fundraising. His primary role is recruiting great companies that are excited to use crowdfunding to raise capital and gain customers. He serves on the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Advisory Council and the board of Start Small, Think Big (a non-profit Technical Assistance provider), and has a degree in History from the University of Cambridge.

Kiva

INITIATIVE: Building a local platform for microlending in your community to serve potential entrepreneurs without access to traditional finance.

Sarah Adeel, Strategic Partnerships & Business Development Lead

Sarah believes that public trust is crucial in planning an equitable future and that intelligent design+technology can foster that trust. As a Fulbright scholar and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Stanford, Sarah researched how prosperous and sustainable social structures take physical form through design. Sarah has 10+ years of experience leading diverse cross-functional teams, managing projects and partnerships to improve human interconnectedness, and bridge the gap between tech companies, government, and local communities. Sarah currently manages strategic partnerships and business development for Kiva in the US. She is also an Acumen Fellow and the founder of LettuceBee Kids.

Anne Lufkin-Riaño, Kiva US Partnerships Manager

Anne is a champion for the cause of Financial Inclusion in the U.S. With 15+ years of experience in finance and social impact, Anne is currently managing the Pacific and Mountain regions for the Kiva US Program. She has successfully launched several pilot programs that support financially, linguistically and technologically-excluded entrepreneurs.

Knowledge Initiatives

COMMITMENT: Mapping local entrepreneurship support resources to provide streamlined access for the community.

SourceLink

INITIATIVE: Mapping local entrepreneurship support resources to provide streamlined access for the community.

Maria Meyers, Founder, SourceLink and Vice Provost and Executive Director, UMKC Innovation Center

Maria is passionate about working collaboratively to build inclusive entrepreneurial communities. She heads the University of Missouri – Kansas City Innovation Center that supports thousands of community members every year in starting and growing businesses. Maria has developed a number of new resources for entrepreneurs in the Kansas City region including KCSourceLink, a network of 240+ resources in the region that help small businesses start and grow; Whiteboard2Boardroom, a program that connects research innovations to entrepreneurs; and Digital Sandbox KC, a proof of concept center. She leads efforts to make Kansas City the most entrepreneurial city in America.

Kauffman FastTrac

INITIATIVE:  Establishing a local affiliate for entrepreneurship curriculum to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills they need

Kim McGrew, Program Associate in Entrepreneurship

Kim McGrew is a program associate in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she manages the Kauffman FastTrac affiliate program. Kim builds, manages, and grows relationships with FastTrac affiliates around the country to ensure the successful delivery of Kauffman FastTrac cohorts to early stage entrepreneurs.

FUSE Corps

INITIATIVE: Integrating entrepreneurship support into the core priorities of your economic development professionals.

Ian Scott, Vice President

Ian Scott has more than 15 years of experience in a variety of nonprofit and educational leadership roles. Most recently, he was a partner at TNTP, working closely with state education agencies, school districts, and charter management organizations in urban and rural communities across the country. He designed and led successful initiatives in nearly 20 states addressing critical talent and human capital challenges, school leadership development, and district transformation. Ian was also director of the Indianapolis Teaching Fellows program, recruiting and training more than 200 new teachers for high-need schools across the state. He began his career as a special education teacher in Austin, Texas. He currently serves as a member of the board of trustees for Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Devin Romanul, Director of Strategic Partnerships 

Devin Romanul forges relationships with local government partners to create projects that help municipalities better serve their residents. Prior to joining FUSE, Devin served as the associate director for the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Project on Municipal Innovation. This community of practice consisted of chiefs of staff from the 45 largest cities in the country, for whom Devin ran biannual policy meetings to speed replication of municipal best practices. He also organized events for county executives and gubernatorial chiefs of staff. Prior to HKS, Devin worked on Beacon Hill as the director of government relations for the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter, and served as a campaign manager and strategist for several political campaigns.

Support Initiatives

COMMITMENT: Retaining immigrant entrepreneurs to boost new business formation, attract capital, and drive job creation, in partnership with local universities who can provide visa sponsorship.

GEIR

INITIATIVE:  Retaining immigrant entrepreneurs to boost new business formation, attract capital, and drive job creation, in partnership with local universities who can provide visa sponsorship.

Craig Montuori, Executive Director

Craig is the co-founder and executive director of the Global EIR Coalition. A former Caltech rocket engineer, he decided that fixing problems for startups through the political process was more fun and a bigger set of problems to solve.

Program Highlights

Taking Positive Action. Gain Actionable Insights. Increase Entrepreneurial Success.