2021 SBC and SBC Encore Keynote Speakers

Isabella Guzman

Isabella Casillas Guzman

27th SBA Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 01:00 p.m. EST

Isabella Casillas Guzman was sworn in as the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on March 17, 2021. She serves as the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses and innovative startups in President Biden’s Cabinet. Administrator Guzman grew up in a small business family and has been an entrepreneur herself. She has spent her entire career advising entrepreneurs, launching ventures, helping small businesses navigate government, and creating policies and programs to help advance entrepreneurship and innovation. Most recently, she served as the Director of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate where she helped small businesses and innovative startups in the world’s fifth largest economy start, expand and grow. She advocated fiercely for financial relief for small businesses and focused on expanding assistance to entrepreneurs in underserved communities. In addition, she served as the economic recovery support function coordinator for the state, where she spearheaded the small business recovery effort during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Small Business Conference Chiefs Panel  

Engineering Executive Leaders Panel

Wednesday, Nov. 17 | 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. EST | In-person and live-streamed

Senior leaders from the uniformed services and federal government will discuss the impending Infrastructure Bill and what it means for our industry and agencies moving forward. They also will share perspectives on their respective organizations and how they are working to improve project delivery and strengthen business practices. SAME National President, Rear Adm. Mark Handley, P.E., F.SAME, USN (Ret.), will open the session with welcome remarks and then moderate the discussion.

  • Mike McAndrew, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Construction
  • Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, PMP, USA, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps Engineers
  • Rear. Adm. John Korka, P.E., F.SAME, CEC, USN, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command and Chief of Civil Engineers
  • Brig. Gen. William Kale lll, P.E., USAF, Director of Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, Engineering & Force Protection, HQ U.S. Air Force
  • Michael Brennan, Ph.D., AIA, NCARB, Executive Director, Office of Construction & Facility Management, Department of Veterans Affairs

Melissa Stockwell, Two-Time Paralympian, American War Hero

Melissa Stockwell

Two-Time Paralympian
American War Hero

Thursday, Nov. 18 | 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. EST
In-person and live-streamed

At first glance Melissa Stockwell may appear to be the quintessential Mid-western All-American girl, but she is far more. She is an American war hero who has triumphed over personal tragedy to achieve greatness, World Champion status, and she has dedicated her life to chasing remarkable accomplishments while giving back to others, particularly those who face challenges similar to her own. In 2002, Melissa graduated from the University of Colorado and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. In March 2004, she deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. Just three weeks later, a blast from a roadside bomb struck Melissa’s Humvee causing the loss of her left leg above the knee. After enduring numerous infections and surgeries, Melissa was medically retired from the Army. She is the first female soldier to ever lose a limb in active combat and has been awarded both The Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. Following her accident, sport become the road to recovery for Melissa. In April of 2008, she became the first Iraqi War Veteran to qualify for the Beijing Paralympics. She competed in three swimming events and was honored by her fellow Team USA athletes to be selected to carry the American flag in the closing ceremony. After Beijing, Melissa turned to the sport of Paratriathlon and is now a three time World Champion. She was named USA Triathlon’s female Paratriathlete Of The Year for two consecutive years and was twice nominated for an ESPY award. On September 11, 2016, at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Melissa raced in honor of her fellow soldiers and their families who had given the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting America. After a grueling race, the day ended on the podium, as the newly crowned Paralympic Bronze Medalist.  

Bibi Hidalgo

Bibi Hidalgo

Associate Administrator
Office of Government Contracting and Business Development

Thursday, Nov. 18 | 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. EST
In-person and live-streamed

Bibi Hidalgo is the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting & Business Development at the SBA. In this role, Ms. Hidalgo oversees and reviews procurement-related policies for small business contractors hoping to work with the Federal Government, including Woman-owned, Veteran-owned, Socially Disadvantaged, HUBZone, and 8(a) Minority Business Development Program small businesses. In her prior role, she was the SBA Government Contracting Policy Lead for the Biden-Harris Transition Team, developing policies that President Biden could execute in the first 100 days, with an emphasis on underserved communities. In 2014, Ms. Hidalgo and her brother Patrick Hidalgo co-founded Future Partners, LLC, which advised Fortune 500 corporate executives on procurement and minority business strategy, and created a model for how to facilitate significant opportunities for both. Prior to that, they both served in the White House, during which time she managed a government-wide initiative with the 24 Cabinet agencies to position the federal government to meet the Congressional 23% small business goal out of a $400 billion contracting budget for the first time in a decade. In addition to her experience, Ms. Hidalgo has a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is dedicating her work to the memory of her brother Patrick who passed away suddenly at the age of 41 in March of 2020.  

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