Bob Smith

Bob Smith – Director

Bob Smith—Bob has 30+ years of experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is currently Chairman of, a leading college rankings website. He’s held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.

Bob is currently the Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program funded by the commonwealth of Virginia and administered by George Mason University and Small Business Development Center Network. Here he helps researchers, inventors and technology startups to develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He’s also an instructor with the NSF’s DC I-Corp Node, and co-director of the Fed Tech program, which uses Lean Startup methods to assist inventors from government labs to explore the commercial viability of their inventions.

He received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.

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Phimolwan (Aung) Shepelev – Assistant Director

Phimolwan is the Assistant Director of the Mason Small Business Development Center in the Mason Enterprise Center at Geroge Mason University. Before a new position, she started her first position at the Mason SBDC as an Ambassador. She holds an MBA from George Mason University’s School of Management as well as a degree in Industrial Engineering from Thammasat University in Thailand. While in Thailand, Phimolwan worked in project management role in the manufacturing industry for companies such as Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. She was also an apprentice for iMADdu, a nonprofit in Fairfax, VA.

Timm Johnson

Timm Johnson – Senior Business Counselor

Timm Johnson has over thirty years of financial and operations experience for software and services growth companies. Currently, he is a senior business counselor for the Small Business Development Center at George Mason University and a founding director of Mason Venture Mentors, a provider of advisory services to start up and small business companies. Venture Mentors is supported by the GMU Mason Enterprise center and several other local technology incubators.

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Bernard Ferret – Senior Business Counselor

Bernard Ferret is a serial entrepreneur who started 5 companies in the past 25 years, one with a successful exit, and another for which he raised $6 million in venture capital. His latest venture is TheGreenJobBank, a search engine for green jobs and green employers. Bernard holds an MS in Physics from the University of Provence, France, and an MBA from the College of William & Mary School of Business.

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Ankur Mittal – Technology Project Coordinator

Ankur Mittal is a Technology Project Coordinator at Mason Small Business Development Center in the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University. Here he manages the technology resources, provides network administration and technical support including preventive maintenance products and services, and performs support or administrative tasks as required. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Entrepreneurship, at George Mason University and will graduate in May 2020. His interests and experience range widely from automotive technology to software development to startups.


Sara Linus – Program Coordinator

Sara Linus is a Program Coordinator at Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She brings 10 years of customer service experience to the team and is passionate about customer relationship management. As a program coordinator Sara supports and assists with projects assigned to the operations group and provides timely and valuable information and resources to Mason SBDC’s clients. She is a graduate in English Literature, from Mahatma Gandhi University India and certified travel professional with International Air Transport Association (IATA) certification.


Drisana Sutch – Project Coordinator

Drisana Sutch is the Project Coordinator at the Mason Small Business Development Center. She is currently attending George Mason University and plans to graduate in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. From starting her own pet-sitting business to managing the volunteer efforts of an organization of 150, she brings to the table plenty of customer service experience and is excited to help foster positive client experiences.