Our annual conference features panelists and speakers including prominent business representatives and leaders, health directors, higher education administrators, workforce development leaders, regional and local elected officials. This year’s event will include a keynote speaker plus five panels:

  • State of Business Recovery and Economic Development (Presented by Verizon)
  • State of DC Health (Presented by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield)
  • State of Education & Workforce Development (Presented by Comcast)
  • State of the District and Region
  • Special Discussion on Safety


Sep 29, 2023
9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Virtual Event

Program Agenda

  • 9:00 AM Opening – Welcome Remarks and Acknowledgements
    • Tonya Kinlow, Chairwoman of the Board, Board of Directors DC Chamber of Commerce
    • Larry Di Rita, Greater Washington D.C. Market President, Bank of America
    • Remarks – Hon. Phil Mendelson, Chairman, Council of the District of Columbia
  • 9:10 AM Keynote Speaker – Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED); Small Business Administration

The Honorable Mark Madrid is Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Mark reports directly to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, a member of President Biden’s cabinet.
As a Presidential Appointee and a head official of the SBA, Mark leads a unit that supports hundreds of thousands of small businesses annually and oversees a primary educational and technical resource arm of the Agency. Collaborators include the network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE, Regional Innovation Clusters, and the Office of Entrepreneurship Education, which houses the T.H.R.I.V.E. initiative, Ascent women’s business online program, and SBA’s on-line Learning Center. Additionally, he supports the Agency Office of Native American Affairs and leads the American Rescue Plan $100 Million Community Navigator Pilot Program.

Previously, Mark served as CEO of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative and President & CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Prior to serving in nonprofit executive roles, he enjoyed a corporate executive banking career that began on Wall Street in 1995 with J.P. Morgan.

Mark was the 2020 Recipient of the Latino Leaders Maestro Award in the Category of Leadership for his lifetime accomplishments as a distinguished influencer; and most recently he was honored with the Courage in Government award by the National Business Inclusion Consortium. Additionally, he is a distinguished honoree with the Women Economic Forum.

Mark is a Jefferson Award recipient and an Honorary Colonel of the U.S. Army, illustrating his dedication to volunteer service and veterans. He is a member of the board of directors for the McCoy College of Business Foundation at Texas State University.

He is an honors graduate from both the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his Master’s. He dedicates his service for America’s small businesses to his father, a small business owner, who passed away from COVID-19 in 2020.

  • 9:30 AM – State of Business Recovery and Economic Development Panel presented by Verizon
    • Keith A. Anderson, Interim Deputy Mayor, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development
    • Hon. Kenyan McDuffie, Chair, Committee on Business & Economic Development
    • Yesim Sayin, Executive Director, DC Policy Center
    • Angela Franco, President & CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce
    • Gerren Price, President and CEO, DowntownDC Business Improvement District
    • Alex Orfinger, Market President and Publisher, Washington Business Journal – Moderator
    • Live Q&A
  • 10:30 AM – State of DC Health Panel presented by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
    • Melisa Byrd, Senior Deputy Director/State Medicaid Director, Department of Health Care Finance – DHCF
    • Dr. Greg Argyros, President, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
    • Mila Kofman, Executive Director, DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX)
    • Christina Henderson, Councilmember At-Large, Chairperson on Committee on Health
    • Tamara Smith, President and CEO of the DC Primary Care Association
    • Ricardo Johnson, EVP of Strategy & Emerging Business, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – Moderator
    • Live Q&A
  • 11:30 AM – State of Education & Workforce Development Panel
    • Dr. Ben Vinson, III, Incoming President, Howard University – Invited
    • Dr. Michelle Walker-Davis, Executive Director, DC Public Charter School Board – Invited
    • Antwanye Ford, Chairman, Workforce Investment Council
    • Dr. Lewis Ferebee, Chancellor, DC Public Schools
    • Maurice Edington, President, University of the District of Columbia
    • Paul Kihn, Deputy Mayor for Education – Moderator
    • Live Q&A
  • 12:30 PM – State of the District & Region Panel
    • Penelope A. Gross, Vice-Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County, Virginia  
    • Hon. Calvin Hawkins, II, Councilmember At-Large, Prince George’s County, MD
    • Hon. Phil Mendelson, Chairman, Council of the District of Columbia
    • Hon. Marc Elrich, Montgomery County, Maryland – Invited
    • Mark Schwartz, Arlington County Manager, Virginia – Invited
    • Michael Brice-Saddler, Washington Post – Moderator 
    • Live Q&A
  • 1:30 PM – Special Discussion on Safety
    • Councilmember Brooke Pinto (Ward 2), Chairperson for the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety
    • Lindsey Appiah, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ)
    • Dr. Mitchell, Professor and Chair of Pathology & Chief Medical Officer Howard University – Moderator

Lindsey Appiah has been appointed as the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ). Deputy Mayor Appiah began her career in public service as an Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Children’s Services and the Department of Labor in the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General where she managed a team of attorneys that represented the departments in various matters, including state tort actions and federal civil rights action. In 2012, Deputy Mayor Appiah began her career in District government at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) and served in several leadership roles, including Assistant General Counsel, General Counsel, and Interim Director. Deputy Mayor Appiah joined the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice as Chief of Staff in 2021.


  • 1:50 PM – Closing Remarks by Angela Franco, President & CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce

**Speakers confirmed to date.


The DC Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our sponsors and partners.

Event Partner

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