For more than twenty years Karen Kerrigan’s leadership, advocacy and training work has helped foster U.S. entrepreneurship and global small business growth. She is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and is the group’s chief advocate for its members.
Kerrigan regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress on the key issues impacting entrepreneurs and the economy, and has been appointed to numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialog, the U.S. Treasury’s Taxpayer Advisory Panel, and the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements. Kerrigan regularly engages with the President’s cabinet and key advisors, and has participated in several White House economic summits, scores of events hosted by the Small Business Administration, U.S. Treasury Department and other federal government agencies and departments. She has written hundreds of Op-Eds and newspaper columns, and regularly appears on national television and talk radio programs.
She has been called America’s “entrepreneurial envoy” and “small business ambassador” for her extensive speaking, knowledge sharing and capacity-building work overseas. Kerrigan is a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and regularly provides counsel to governments and business associations across the globe regarding entrepreneurial development, capacity building and policy formation and implementation. She has traveled to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Morocco, Nepal, the Palestinian territories, among many other nations to work with business leaders and governments on reforms and programs to encourage entrepreneurship. Kerrigan is a board member and former chair of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, which works to strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market oriented reforms.
“The hardest working woman in show business,” The Hill
In 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 she was named a Top 100 Champion Small Business Influencer by Small Business Trends. CEO World Magazine named Kerrigan a “Top Power Woman in Crowdfunding” (November 2013), and in May 2016 she was presented with the New Capital Markets Leadership Award by the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) and Crowdfund Capital Advisors. In November of 2009 Kerrigan was was awarded the “Small Business Advocate of the Year” by the NY Enterprise Report. Among other accolades, Inc. Magazine named Kerrigan to its small business “Best Friends in D.C.” (2006) list as a “power broker and activist” with “serious clout” for entrepreneurs; Fortune Small Business to its “Power 30” list (2000); and The Hill newspaper to its “most influential small business” list (2006) describing Kerrigan as “the hardest working woman in show business.” In 1995, National Journal named Kerrigan to its short list of “K Street” activists most likely to have an impact on Capitol Hill. Campaigns and Elections Magazine named her as one of its “Rising Stars in Politics” in its April 1996 issue.
Kerrigan graduated from SUNY Cortland with a B.A. in Political Science, and resides in Northern Virginia.
Linked In: /karenkerrigan
Raymond J. Keating, Chief Economist
Raymond J. Keating serves as chief economist with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council). He writes, speaks and testifies before Congress on a wide range of issues affecting the entrepreneurial sector of the economy. Keating publishes SBE Council’s “Small Business Survival Index,” the “Business Tax Index” and other state rankings that measure the impact of policies on energy and health coverage affordability for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
In addition to policy papers and reports, he pens the weekly SBE Council Cybercolumn, Fact of the Week, Capital & Credit Watch, Technology & Entrepreneurs analysis, and Energy & Entrepreneurs brief for SBE Council.
Keating also writes a weekly column for Long Island Business News and The Dolan Company. Previously, for more than 11 years, he wrote a column for Newsday on Long Island.
In addition, Keating is an adjunct professor/lecturer in the business school at Dowling College.
Keating has written six books – “Chuck” vs. the Business World: Business Tips on TV (2011), Root of All Evil? A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel (2012), Warrior Monk: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel (2010), U.S. by the Numbers: What’s Left, Right, and Wrong with America State by State (2000), New York by the Numbers: State and City in Perpetual Crisis (1997), and D.C. by the Numbers: A State of Failure (1995). He has contributed essays to four other books.
Keating has written hundreds of articles, with pieces published in such periodicals as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Boston Globe, National Review, Investor`s Business Daily, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times, New York Post, Daily News, and many more. He also is a contributing editor to FEE’s free-market magazine The Freeman.
His areas of expertise include taxation; federal, state and city budget issues; monetary policy; regulation; energy policy; supply-side economics; the economics of sports stadiums and arenas; the U.S. economy; trade; and a host of other small-business issues.
Keating holds an MA in economics from New York University, an MBA in banking and finance from Hofstra University, and a BS in business administration and economics from St. Joseph’s College.
Susan Solovic, THE Small Business Expert and Advocate
Susan Wilson Solovic joined SBE Council as our small business expert and advocate in February 2015. She is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com top 100 and USA Today bestselling author, media personality, sought-after keynote speaker, and attorney. Solovic’s experience and knowledge have made her an ideal communicator in helping the media and its audiences understand the challenges, opportunities and general state of the small business and entrepreneurial sector.
An Internet pioneer, Solovic was the CEO and co-founder of SBTV.com — small business television — a company she grew from it’s infancy to a million dollar plus entity. In 2006, she accepted the Stevie Award (the Oscar’s of business) on behalf of SBTV for the Most Innovative Company under 100 employees; that same year the company was voted the Best Investment Opportunity at a Venture Forum in the Silicon Valley. Solovic received the Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship Leader of Distinction Award, and she was the first recipient of AT&T’s Innovator of the Year Award for being a pioneer in a new industry.
Formerly, Solovic was a small business contributor for ABC News and the host of the syndicated radio program, It’s Your Biz. She appears regularly as a small business expert on Fox Business, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal’s “Lunch Break”, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and many other stations across the country. She hosted her own PBS special called Reinvent Yourself Now: Become Self-Reliant in an Unpredictable World. In addition to television and radio appearances, Solovic is a featured blogger on numerous sites, including Constant Contact, WSJ.com,, Huffington Post and FoxBusiness.com.
Solovic was recently named in the Top 10 of both SAP’s “Top 51 Potential Human Influencers” and Twitter’s “Top 100 Small Business Experts to Follow.” She has written four bestselling books which have been translated into multiple languages. Solovic is a member of the Advisory Board for the John Cook School of Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University. She served on the National Women’s Business Council, which counsels the President, Congress, and the SBA on issues affecting women business owners. She is a past member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University, and she has been an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship in the MBA program at Saint Louis University.
Solovic started her career as a news anchor and reporter. Her corporate career took her to the C-Suite level of a Fortune 100 company becoming the first female executive in the company’s financial services division. She obtained a law degree from Saint Louis University and is Of Counsel with the firm Junge & Mele, LLP in New York City.
Brian McManus, Government Affairs Counsel
Brian McManus is a public policy and public affairs entrepreneur, advocate, analyst, and coalition builder with more than 22 years of experience operating at the highest levels of the private and public sector in the country.
Mr. McManus began his career with Golden Rule Insurance Company, which pioneered and led the legislative effort to enact Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). During his career with Golden Rule, Mr. McManus worked with members of Congress on consumer-friendly health care initiatives, including allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines, high-risk pools for people who could not qualify for individual health insurance, and allowing people who buy their own insurance to buy it tax free.
Mr. McManus began his public service career by serving under the leadership of two Chairmen of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Mike Pence (now Governor Mike Pence) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (chairman of the House Financial Services Committee currently).
Additionally, Mr. McManus served as director of the State of Florida’s Washington, D.C., office for Gov. Rick Scott. During that time, Mr. McManus served as the chief advocate for all federal public policy issues, legislation, and regulations affecting the state of Florida, its state agencies, and Governor Scott. Mr. McManus marketed the state’s economic improvement to the political community in Washington, DC. While directing the state’s office in Washington, DC, Mr. McManus saved an estimated $500,000 for Florida taxpayers by reducing office staff, eliminating excess overhead, and streamlining the operations and functions of the office.
Mr. McManus’s public policy commentary has appeared in national media outlets, such as CNBC, TIME, and USA Today, and local and national radio stations, and he has served as a source for national and local reporters.
Mr. McManus currently runs his own consulting firm to help clients develop and expand their business and meet their public policy, public affairs, and coalition goals.