WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, issued the following statement praising President Biden’s appointment of Geri Sanchez Aglipay as Regional Administrator for the Great Lakes region and Vercie Lark as Regional Administrator for the Great Plains region:
“As we work to support the millions of small businesses and innovative startups that are powering our nation’s historic economic recovery, I am delighted to welcome our new regional administrators - champions who will work hard to help the SBA meet our small businesses where they are,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “Geri and Vercie bring valuable entrepreneurial and technical expertise to our growing team of dedicated public servants. Their service comes at an important time for our agency and America as we pivot to be more customer-centric, technology forward, and equitable than ever. With these new additions to an already skilled regional leadership team, the SBA is now in an even better position to lift up the millions of entrepreneurs working to start, grow, and take advantage of new opportunities available thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and America’s strong and growing economic recovery.”
Region V (Five)
As Region V Administrator, Geri Sanchez Aglipay will oversee SBA programs, offices, and operations in the SBA’s Great Lakes region, serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Ms. Aglipay is a second-generation American and a daughter of a veteran with over 20 years of experience in the workforce, entrepreneurship, and economic development. She is passionate about strengthening collaborative innovation across sectors and industries to create more equitable paths to financial security for small business owners and the self-employed, especially for socially and economically disadvantaged communities. Prior to the SBA, she served as Director of the Midwest Region and National Manager of Women’s Entrepreneurship for Small Business Majority, where she expanded and directed the organization’s strategic education programs, policy, research, and financial development efforts in the Midwest and oversaw women’s entrepreneurship nationwide to address disparities. In addition, she has served as commissioner of the Cook County Commission for Social Innovation; co-chair of Racial Wealth Gap Committee of Financial Inclusion for All Illinois; and on the advisory council of HHS NIOSH Center of Excellence UIC Center for Healthy Work. She is a graduate of Bradley University.
Region VII (Seven)
As Region VII Administrator, Vercie Lark will oversee SBA programs, offices, and operations in the SBA’s Great Plains region, serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Mr. Lark is a small business venture capital and angel investor, former business executive, and entrepreneur, and published author dedicated to mentoring aspiring small business owners, helping to create sustainable change in local communities, and accelerating financial literacy, business, and job growth across the Midwest. Prior to the SBA, Mr. Lark served as Executive Vice President and Head of Financial Services Businesses for DST Systems of Kansas City, Missouri, where he led a billion-dollar line of business providing solutions to firms in finance, banking, brokerage, and retirement investment industries, and in various executive leadership roles for Fortune 1000 companies during his 35-year career. In addition, Mr. Lark has served on several boards, including Avila University, Wright State University’s Engineering Council, Kansas City, Missouri’s Emerging Technology Council, the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Kansas City Junior Achievement Foundation, George Butler Associates, and Stamus Networks. He is a graduate of Wright State University and the proud husband to his wife of over 30 years, and father to two children.
The White House previously announced the appointments of Regional Administrators across several regions, including Mike Vlacich (New England), Marlene Cintron (Atlantic), John F. Fleming (Mid-Atlantic), Allen Thomas (Southeast), Ted James (South Central), Elmy Bermejo (Pacific), and Mike Fong (Pacific Northwest). With the newest announcement, the SBA’s regional leadership is now in place for nine of 10 regions and will guide offices across 44 states, three U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.