SBE Council Advisory Board

Andrew J. Sherman

Sherman is a partner of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP in Washington D.C.  He focuses his practice on issues affecting business growth for companies at all stages, including developing strategies for licensing and leveraging intellectual property and technology assets, intellectual asset management and harvesting, as well as international corporate transactional and franchising matters. He has served as a legal and strategic advisor to dozens of Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of emerging growth companies. He has represented U.S. and international clients from early stage, rapidly growing start-ups, to closely held franchisors and middle market companies, to multibillion dollar international conglomerates. He also counsels on issues such as franchising, licensing, joint ventures, strategic alliances, capital formation, distribution channels, technology development, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Sherman has written nearly 30 books on the legal and strategic aspects of business growth, franchising, capital formation, and the leveraging of intellectual property, most of which can be found on Amazon. He also has published many articles on similar topics and is a frequent keynote speaker at business conferences, seminars, and webinars. He has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN, NPR, and CBS News Radio, among others, and has been interviewed on legal topics by The Wall Street JournalUSA TodayForbesU.S. News & World Report, and other publications.  Mr. Sherman serves as an adjunct professor in the M.B.A. programs at the University of Maryland and as well as the law school at Georgetown University and is a multiple recipient of the University of Maryland at College Park’s Krowe Excellence in Teaching Award.

Barbara Weltman

Attorney, and a prolific author of important books such as J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business, and Smooth Failing, and a trusted professional advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is a guest columnist for The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Reports and contributes regularly to American Express OPEN,, and MyVenturePad. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and monthly e-newsletter Big Ideas for Small Business® at She has been named one of the 100 Small Business Influencers in the nation. Follow her on Twitter @BarbaraWeltman.

Brian Moran

As the Founder & CEO of Brian Moran & Associates, Brian is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs achieve their objectives and to run better businesses. Brian, along with a team of subject matter experts, leverages his 25+ years of experience in publishing magazines for business owners to assist entrepreneurs with everything from social media to accessing growth capital to expanding into the global marketplace. Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was an Executive Director at The Wall Street Journal where he led the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group, two companies that provided relevant and practical information to business owners which helped them start, manage and grow their companies. The companies published three national magazines for the small-to-midsize business market: Small Business Success, Urban Success and Winning Bids. Prior to running his own businesses, Brian was the Associate Publisher at Inc. Magazine, a Publisher and Associate Publisher at Entrepreneur Media and held managment positions at Success Magazine and Medical Economics Magazine. In 2012 and 2013, Brian was named one of the top 100 SMB Influencers in the country by Small Business Trends & Small Biz Technology.  Brian is a graduate of Marquette University’s School of Journalism. Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianMoran

Brendan Karp

Karp co-founded First Funder, the first partner-based crowdfunding platform, in 2010.  He has spoken regularly on the subject of crowdfunding and shared his crowdfunding expertise with business groups and professional associations.  His professional experience includes marketing, outside sales, business development, and team management.  He is currently working with TechNexus, a national venture collaborative located in Chicago, and enrolled at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.  He expects to graduate with a Marketing degree in 2015.

Darrin Auito

Auito (JD, MSE, MBA) is a partner at Hubbs, Enasky & Auito (HEA PLLC).  He has over 13 years of experience counseling clients of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to emerging technology companies, on intellectual property (IP) and business law matters.  His legal practice is focused on developing strategic IP portfolios, preparing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, advising on freedom-to-operate matters, litigation (PTAB, ITC, and district court), branding, and counseling on business formation, planning, and strategic alliances. Darrin represents clients as lead and local counsel in federal courts, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) on patent (including design) and trademark matters. In addition to his litigation experience, he has prepared, filed and prosecuted over a thousand U.S. and foreign patent applications in fields such as automotive, autonomous vehicles, drones, artificial intelligence, medical devices, robotics, manufacturing systems, mobile payments, sporting equipment, solar, and energy. Darrin has also advised, invested in, and represented several technology startups and is actively involved in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia technology and innovation startup community. Darrin also participates on Piranha Tank (TM), a live event with a local audience that brings together accredited investors seeking deals and entrepreneurs seeking investment. Prior to forming HEA, Darrin was an equity partner for several years at a former top 25 intellectual property firm in Washington DC, where he practiced in the patent prosecution and litigation groups.

Leonard Steinberg

Steinberg is Principal of Steinberg Enterprises, LLC. He is a federally licensed Enrolled Agent (EA) and a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). Mr. Steinberg specializes in small business and nonprofit organizations.  The tax practice consists of comprehensive tax services, including preparation, planning and problem resolution and representation services.  The organization prepares all types of business and personal tax returns (e.g. Proprietorship, Partnership, S-Corp and C-Corp, Exempt Organizations, Payroll, Sales and Use, Estates, Trusts and Foundations).   Mr. Steinberg handles personal, business, nonprofit, estates, trusts, foundations, divorce issues, bankruptcy filings, and tax court preparation.  His representation services include advocacy for all federal issues before the Internal Revenue Service and state tax issues.  Mr. Steinberg was appointed to the Federal Taxpayer Advocacy Panel from 2001 through 2004. He was Chairman of the Small Business/Self-Employed Subcommittee. Mr. Steinberg is also a member of the Small Business Advisory Committee (SBAC) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) where he represents SBE Council. Mr. Steinberg has testified at three different invitations before the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs.  He has made business and tax presentations at professional seminars sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, Paychex, and Jewish Vocational Services to companies and practitioners throughout the metropolitan area.  He also lectured nationally for Lorman Education Services in the subject areas of Internal Controls and Fraud Detection and Prevention, Nonprofit Management, and Federal taxation.  He has taught Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Internal Controls and Fraud Detection and Prevention at Mercer County Community College.

Michael Fredrich

Fredrich is President and Owner of Manitowoc Custom Moldings, LLC.  He has served in this capacity since 2001.  MCM Composites is a small manufacturing company, which produces a wide range of precision products from many different raw materials. They specialize in thermoset plastic molding, enabling us to focus our capital and effort on continually improving our thermoset knowledge, expertise and technical capabilities. Fredrich has a diverse background in business and finance with experience in debt restructuring, corporate turnarounds, and commercial banking.  He has a BS in Nuclear Engineering, and earned an MBA in Finance from UW-Madison.

Ramon Ray

Ramon is Editor & Founder of Smart Hustle Magazine, his third book is best seller “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.”  He loves Aunt Jemima syrup, burnt pancakes, bacon and eggs. He is also a four-time entrepreneur, best-selling author, global speaker and producer.  Ramon has been invited as an expert witness to Congress, invited by the Office of the President of the United States to speak at the White House and produced many events including the “Smart Hustle Small Business Conference,” “Small Business Summit,” “Small Business Technology Tour,” “Small Biz Big Things” and more.  Ramon has shared the stage with Seth Godin, Daymond John, Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuk, and other celebrity entrepreneurs. He’s interviewed President Obama in the President’s first live Google Hangout and interviewed many of the sharks on Shark Tank. Although Ramon has interviewed and shared the stage with many celebrity entrepreneurs, his passion and biggest professional accomplishment is interviewing “main street” small business owners and entrepreneurs and sharing their stories. Ramon is not just an ivory tower geek, but as a former technology consultant, he has hands-on experience in a variety of technologies including social media, mobile computing, computer networks, online software and more. Ramon’s expertise is technology, marketing, sales, business startup and his favorite is personal branding. Over his extensive career, Ramon has written thousands of articles, spoken to thousands of business owners and impacted hundreds of thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs to help their businesses thrive.

Todd Flemming

Flemming is President and CEO Advantor Systems/Veristream.  As Advantor’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Flemming leads the strategic direction of the company, including all product development, operations and technology activities. Mr. Flemming serves as Chairman of BiPac (Business Industry Political Action Committee), a Washington, D.C., based organization-promoting business and dedicated to preserving the free enterprise system.  Mr. Flemming is a member of the executive advisory board of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.  He serves as a member of the board of trustees of Hampden Sydney College in Virginia, and serves as Managing Director of OTIS LLC, a private investment firm. Prior to co-founding Advantor Systems/Veristream, Mr. Flemming served as president and CEO of Advantor Corporation in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Flemming has over twenty years of broad-based management experience in the security industry, including business start-up, design, marketing, strategy, research, development, and manufacturing. He holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Biology from Hampden Sydney College in Virginia and a Masters of Business Administration from Duke University (Fuqua School of Business), Durham, North Carolina.

Victoria Braden

Braden is President & CEO of Braden Benefits Strategies.  Braden is responsible for the vision and growth of the company, and she is focused on implementing the new ACA regulations at the least cost in order to benefit businesses with less than 300 employees.  Braden has worked exclusively in the group health insurance arena since 1994, establishing Braden Benefit Strategies, Inc. in 2002.  The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) has recognized Braden for seven years as a top insurance producer in the U.S. and one of the Top 1% of health insurance agents for the last three years. Prior to Braden’s entrance into the benefits arena, she held management positions at Johnson & Johnson’s, McNeil Consumer Products, Borden Foods, and the Pillsbury Company. Using knowledge of the benefit structures at these large corporations has helped Braden Benefit Strategies, Inc. successfully craft competitive plans and cost containment measures for clients.  Braden has represented small businesses on Capitol Hill in 2004, testifying before a House committee on “The Benefits of Health Savings Accounts,” and again in 2011, regarding the cost of PPACA implementation to small businesses.  Braden Benefit Strategies, Inc. recognizes ACA as a complete transformation of the delivery of health insurance in America. As such, the company has led the way in ACA education, working to correct the rampant misunderstanding of employer requirements, identifying the potential ACA financial liability, providing long-term financial planning and answering employees questions as to how the new law will affect them. Under Braden’s leadership, the company has developed consulting practices for businesses interested in turnkey ACA compliance, ACA financial planning and/or ACA employee education. Braden’s knowledge, reputation, humor, and passion for small business and employee benefit planning has made her a sought-after speaker, commentator, and writer.  Braden received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University, her CBC from the National Association of Alternative Benefit Consultants (NAABC) and ACA certification from NAHU. She credits her dad for her sales ability, her mom for her high standards and her never give-up attitude, and both parents for her work ethic and dedication to her trade.

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