Conference Crowd

 Chris Coons

U.S. Senator (D-DE), Member of Committee on

Small Business and Entrepreneurship


Chris Coons of Delaware was elected to the United States Senate in 2010 following terms as New Castle County Council President and New Castle County Executive. In the Senate, he sits on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics Committees.

Before entering government, Coons worked as an attorney for W.L. Gore & Associates, an advanced materials manufacturer in Delaware. As a law student, Coons founded the Delaware chapter of the national “I Have a Dream” Foundation, which helps low-income students make the academic journey from elementary school through college. Shortly after receiving his law degree and clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Coons began working at the organization’s national office, where he launched and ran its AmeriCorps program in fifteen cities.

Senator Coons graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in chemistry and political science, and earned a law degree from Yale Law School and a Master’s in Ethics from Yale Divinity School. 

Conference Crowd

Michael Steele

Former Lt. Governor of Maryland

and RNC Chairman


When he was elected Lt. Governor of Maryland in 2003, Michael Steele made history as the first African American elected to statewide office; and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in 2009. 


As chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. A self-described “Lincoln Republican,” under Steele’s leadership the RNC broke fundraising records (over $198 million raised during the 2010 Congressional cycle) and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938. His commitment to grassroots organization and party building at the state and local levels produced 12 governorships and the greatest share of state legislative seats since 1928 (over 760 seats). 


As Lt. Governor of Maryland, Steele’s priorities included reforming the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program, improving the quality of Maryland’s public education system (he championed the State’s historic Charter School law), expanding economic development in the state and fostering cooperation between government and faith-based organizations to help those in need.


Michael Steele’s ability as a communicator and commentator has been showcased through his current role as a political analyst for MSNBC. He has appeared on "Meet the Press", "Face the Nation", HBO’s "Real Time with Bill Maher", and Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show". In addition to his work in television, Steele co-hosted the daily radio program, Steele & Ungar on the POTUS Channel on SiriusXM and is the host of the podcast The Michael Steele Podcast. 


Steele’s writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The, The,, The,,, The Journal of International Security Affairs and Catholic University Law Review, among others.


He is the author of Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, which is a call to arms for grassroots America and co-author of The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis


Born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Steele was raised in Washington, DC. Upon graduating Johns Hopkins University (‘81), he entered the Order of St. Augustine where studied for the priesthood. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law Center (’91), an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, a University of Chicago Institute of Politics Fellow and currently a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Conference Crowd

Jovita Carranza


U.S. Small Business Administration


Jovita Carranza serves as the 26th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of President Trump’s Cabinet, she advocates on behalf of the 30 million small businesses in America. In her role as Administrator, she leads a team of professionals dedicated to ensuring entrepreneurs located across America have the support and resources they need to start, grow, and expand their small businesses, and recover in the event of a declared disaster.

Prior to leading the SBA, Administrator Carranza served as Treasurer of the United States at the U.S. Department of the Treasury under President Donald J. Trump. In her role as a principal advisor to Secretary Mnuchin, Carranza focused on increasing participation in our vibrant economy by fostering financial capability and sustainability.

Administrator Carranza is a Chicago native and founder of a small business consulting company. She previously served as the Deputy Administrator for the SBA under former President George W. Bush, where she received a bipartisan, unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Before her first SBA appointment, Carranza had a distinguished 30-year career at United Parcel Service (UPS), where she was the highest-ranking Latina in the history of the company. She started as a part-time, night-shift box handler and worked her way up to President of Latin America and Caribbean operations.

Administrator Carranza earned her MBA from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida and received executive, governance, management, and financial training at the INSEAD Business School in Paris, France; Michigan State University; and the University of Chicago.

Conference Crowd

William Manger

Chief of Staff

Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access

U.S. Small Business Administration


William Manger currently serves as SBA's Chief of Staff as well as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access.

As Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access, Manger manages a portfolio of over $120 billion in direct and guaranteed loans, nine operation centers, and 560 employees of SBA’s Office of Capital Access.

Prior to his SBA appointment, Manger served as Managing Director at Brock Capital Group, a boutique investment bank in New York City, where he advised and supported small to medium sized enterprises in their efforts to raise capital and expand their businesses.

From 2007 to 2009, Manger served as Associate Administrator for Field Operations at SBA. He first came to SBA in 2005 to serve as Regional Administrator for Region 2, based in New York City. Manger holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Conference Crowd

Hannibal "Mike" Ware

Inspector General
Office of Inspector General

U.S. Small Business Administration


Hannibal “Mike” Ware was sworn in as Inspector General on May 24, 2018, following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  He is responsible for independent oversight of SBA’s programs and operations, which encompass more than $100 billion in guaranteed loans and nearly $100 billion in Federal contracting dollars.  From April 2016 to January 2017, Ware served as the Deputy Inspector General, and he served as the Acting Inspector General from January 2017 until his appointment to be the Inspector General. He currently serves on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) Board, as the Chair of the Audit Committee for the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, and as the Chair of the PRAC Audit Subcommittee.


Ware has 30 years of experience within the OIG community, the first 26 years being with the Department of Interior (DOI) OIG. In 1990, he joined DOI OIG’s Virgin Islands field office as an auditor and later became the Field Office Supervisor. Throughout his long and distinguished oversight career, he performed increasingly challenging and vital roles within the OIG community.  From the Virgin Islands field office, Ware was promoted to Eastern Regional Manager, where he provided leadership of all phases of the technical and administrative operation of the region, including planning and managing audits, inspections, evaluations, and joint investigations. Ware later moved to DOI OIG’s Office of Management and served as the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Management.  In this capacity, he executed DOI OIG’s independent operating budget and managed the logistical concerns for the office’s nationwide presence. In April 2016, he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as the SBA OIG Deputy Inspector General.


Ware is a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands and holds a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from the University of the Virgin Islands.  He also is a graduate of the Senior Executive Service Career Development Program. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including several awards from the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency as recognition for his significant work in the Inspector General community.