Leadership

Michael Fitzgerald

Position: President

Business: Driver’s Side Deli – Food Service

Colonel Andrea Gayle-Bennett

Position: Director, Corporate Secretary, Bedford, MA

Business: Property Management

Colonel Andrea Gayle-Bennett is a recent graduate of the VBOI’s Business Gym and is beginning her journey to entrepreneurship. As an achieved Physician’s Assistant and leader in her National Guard roles, Andrea was recently honored on Veterans Day at the State Capital and was invited to President Obama’s 2nd Inaugural ceremony. All members of VBOI look forward to seeing the successes of Andrea and her business venture.

 

Tricia White

Position: Board of Directors Business: Fun Enterprises, Inc.

Specialty: Creative Marketing

Expert Tricia White, VP of Creative Marketing for the company Fun Enterprises, INC. got involved with the VBOI organization while working as a Senior Business Advisor for the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center. Not only does Tricia have enormous respect and admiration for the veterans and their dedication to protecting our freedom, but her husband also spent 27 years in the Marine Corp in both active duty and reserve capacities. She understands the importance of these men and women and will do anything in her power to help. With her experience at Fun Enterprises, a national entertainment company that provides programming and event planning, Tricia is able to use her knowledge in marketing and business to guide the future business owners in the right direction. Tricia is well known for her fantastic Social Media Marketing training sessions. She explains how social media works as a marketing tool and how important it is for any business. She hopes that she can continue to train current and future business owners and use her business and marketing background to continue to help veterans attain success.

Paul Lanouette Position: Director, Manchester, NH Business: MAPS Appliance Repair

Elizabeth Riley Position: Director, Brockton, MA rileye020@aol.com

Patrick Arabie Position: Director, Bedford, MA

Charles Connelly Position: Director, Jamaica Plain, MA

Cynthia Cassille Position: Director At Large

Jerry Pinsky Position: VA Facilitator Jerry Pinsky, VA facilitator Jerry Pinsky, LICSW, MSW, CPRP is the founder and driving force behind the establishment of the Veterans Business Owners Initiative. An entrepreneur and former CEO for a computer company, Mr. Pinsky worked in the corporate business & self-employment worlds for over thirty years before entering the social work field following his retirement from business. He graduated from Simmons College’s School of Social Work. During a year-long fellowship at the Bedford VA Medical Center, he developed a pilot program to observe the effect of entrepreneurial efforts by psychiatrically disabled veterans. The Veterans Business Owners Initiative grew out of this pilot effort. Mr. Pinsky has played a central role in fostering the creation of the Veterans Business Owners Association and the other non-profits. He has advised individual veterans, recruited individuals with psychiatric disabilities into key positions within the program, promoted the program within the VA, and actively enlisted resources and support from the community. The efforts have resulted in the development of over 165 businesses and the offering of 350 classes for dozens of veterans at Bedford VA. In 2011, Jerry was awarded Small Business Administration’s Champion Award for Massachusetts. The Veteran Business Owners Initiative holds regular meetings every two weeks and has formed six years ago, the micro-lending Empowerment Bank responsible for loaning thousands of dollars to veterans, 97% of which has been repaid with interest and on time.