Our Counselors

Meet Our Counselors

There are plenty of resources and programs offered by Mason SBDC and our partners. Whether you are just starting a business, managing an existing business, or looking to grow your company, you can find the right advice at every stage of your business.

Mason SBDC Timm Johnson Headshot

Timm Johnson

Director

 Timm Johnson is the Director of the Mason Small Business Development Center and provides business counseling and mentoring for Virginia entrepreneurs and small business owners. Since 2009, Timm has counseled over 1200 clients providing advice on launching, financing, marketing, and selling their business. Timm is a practiced entrepreneur with over thirty years of finance and operations experience for technology and services growth companies in the commercial and government sectors. Timm is a founding director of Mason Venture Mentors, a provider of business advisory services to start-up technology companies. Through Venture Mentors, he has provided leadership roles in several companies including Nexus Technology Services LLC, Visionary Consulting Partners, LLC, and Next Breath a division of the Aptar Group, Inc.

Counseling Expertise:

Accounting, Business Plan, Business Strategy. Buy/Sell, Contracting Potential, Financing, HR, Marketing, Sales

Mason SBDC Bernard Ferret Headshot

Bernard Ferret

Senior Business Counselor

Bernard Ferret is a Senior Business Advisor at the Mason SBDC (hosted by GMU’s Mason Enterprise Center in Fairfax City). Since 2012, he has advised hundreds of clients and led many workshops.
Bernard is a retired software engineer and serial entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in the Telecommunications and Internet industries. He developed extensive executive management skills working with his own startups and large IT companies. His accomplishments include selling large software projects, raising venture capital, and closing a successful acquisition.
Bernard’s areas of expertise include marketing strategy, financial management, corporate organization (for-profit and non-profit), and venture capital. He holds an MS in Physics from the University of Provence, France, and an MBA from the College of William & Mary School of Business, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Counseling Expertise:

Accounting, Business Plan, Business Strategy, Buy/Sell, Financing, HR, Marketing, Start a Business, Non- Profit

Mason SBDC Mark Julian Headshot

Mark Julian

Senior Business Counselor

Mark Julian is the President of ClearView Consulting & Coaching, LLC, which provides career and business counseling solutions; customized ADHD performance tool-kits, and process-driven coaching to individuals and businesses. He is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and business owner/operator drawing from decades of first-hand business experience and professional coaching expertise. Mark counsels first-time and veteran business-builders and specializes in concept-review, marketing/sales, and operations processes.

Counseling Expertise:

Business Plan. Business Strategy, Buy/Sell, Financing, HR, Marketing, Sales.

 

Mason SBDC George Siragusa Headshot

George Siragusa

Senior Business Counselor

George Siragusa is a private sector consulting firm entrepreneur, investor, Senior Business Advisor, and Mentor to startups, growth, and ventures Company CEOs and their teams. He provides guidance on Lean Start-Up Principles, business strategy, strategic marketing, customer acquisition, sales development, channel management, leadership, team building, financial projections, investor preparations, organizational design, and more. He has been a mentor-coach for three area business future “mega-trend” technology startup accelerators/actuators including Smart City Works(infrastructure), Innova Personalized Health Care (healthcare), and CIT’s Mach37 (cybersecurity). 

 

George is a seasoned leader-instructor at the university level for 10 years, having taught at the United States Naval Academy, George Washington University, and Wake Forest University, George taught a business boot camp course for three semesters at George Mason University’s main Fairfax campus. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering, where “Coach S.” as his engineering students call him, leads a required three-credit course, ME 352, Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship for Engineers and Scientists. He also serves “Mason Nation” as a Senior Business Advisor and Counselor to over 100 clients at the George Mason’s Enterprise Center’s Small Business Development Center in Fairfax, VA. 

 

George’s vast and deep multi-disciplinary experience spans two parallel 30+ year careers to include Global C-Suite positions at ExxonMobil Corporation and as a commissioned U.S. Naval Officer with command leadership positions (U.S. Navy Captain, retired with both U.S. Navy active and reserve assignments) to include tours at sea and ashore tour with the Naval Component Command of NATO.) 

 

George is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, with a Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University. He is a certified Growth Wheel International Business Adviser and has advanced expertise in International Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business,  International Leadership Studies at Thunderbird University for Executive Leadership, and a certification as a Greenbelt in Lean 60 Process Management. 

His full profile can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgesiragusa/ 



Counseling Expertise:

Business Plan, Business Strategy, Start a Business, Marketing, Financing.

Mason SBDC Tiffany Hosey Headshot

Tiffany Hosey

Senior Business Counselor

Tiffany Hosey is a business executive, lawyer, and recent innovator in construction analytics. While working as a civil litigator for over 15 years, her experience ranged from the defense of professional liability cases to serving as counsel to a panel of judges overseeing a multi-billion dollar product liability litigation fund. Before founding BuilDATAnalytics, she worked for 7 years as President of her family’s construction management company. Tiffany has been a guest lecturer for the Strategy and Entrepreneurship program at Marymount University School of Business Administration and has presented a webinar to the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M.
She held a Class A Contractor’s license from the Commonwealth of Virginia; was certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Quality Control Construction Management; is proficient in written & spoken Japanese, and holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School & a B.A. in English Literature from Georgetown University.
COUNSELING EXPERTISE:
Legal, Government Contracts, Pitch Deck, Strategy

Counseling Expertise:

Business Plan, Start a Business, Non Profit, Legal, Government Contracts, Pitch Deck, Strategy

Mason SBDC TJ Master Headshot

TJ Master

Senior Business Counselor

Senior Business Counselor, TJ Master is a marketing expert and entrepreneur with experience in Communications Services, Information Technology, Media, Aerospace & Defense, Unmanned Systems, and Government Contracting. He has led growth for a global communications company from startup to over $100 million in annual revenue with operations in six countries and an IPO on the NASDAQ.
He is the founder of NextEdge, providing marketing and business consulting services. TJ holds an MBA from American University, Washington DC, and a BS from Delhi University. He will be available on Mondays and Tuesdays at the new Woodbridge location.
COUNSELING EXPERTISE:
Marketing, Government Contracts, Business Planning & Strategy,
Business Scaling and Growth Strategies

Counseling Expertise: 

Start a business, Business Plan, Buy/Sell Business, Government Contracting, Marketing, Sales, International Trade. 

Mason SBDC Gary Alfano Headshot

Gary Alfano

Senior Business Counselor

Gary Alfano brings 30 years of experience in business management and strategy, business development, application development, and Health Information Technology (HIT) Program Management (PM) for Large Federal Government IT Integrators, Small Businesses, 8(a)s, and start-up businesses. Gary has served the business community as a Counselor at the Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) and as a SCORE Mentor. Among his notable past performances in the GovCon space, was his leadership role for the teams involved with the DHHS Programs such as Grants.gov, Surveillance of Food-Borne Illnesses, and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Gary has held Vice President and Sr. Director positions in operations and business development with federal contractors in the DC Metro area. He previously worked at General Dynamics IT as a Sr. Director in Health IT operations. His HIT career started at Blue Cross/Blue Shield and he later expanded into the Federal Government Health Information Technology at Data Computer Corporation of America (DCCA), a small 8a (Minority-Owned) software consulting company. During his tenure, DCCA was cited in the “Top Ten List of HHS Contractors” and earned the “Top Ten Minority-Owned Federal Government Contractors” Award.


COUNSELING EXPERTISE:
Program Management (PM), Government Contracting (GovCon), Business Strategy, Business Development, Start-ups, Cyber-Security Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Prep guidance, and more.

Terry Saeger

Senior Business Counselor

Terry Saeger is an accomplished CEO with a consistent record of accelerating the P&L performance of companies ranging from hardware and software, to financial services, to advertising and media. He is experienced in all stages of growth including global leaders ($2.6 billion), mid-caps, and start-ups, in public company, private, and private equity ownership structures. Presently, he is spearheading a Business Process Improvement advisory firm, bringing re-engineering and cost reduction expertise to small and mid-cap companies. It’s been said that Terry “creates contagious enthusiasm for a shared vision to accelerate growth.”

Terry is an experienced Independent Director, member of The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), NACD/Carnegie Mellon/Ridge Global Cyber-Risk Oversight Certified, and is available for select Board engagements.

CONSULTANT FOR GROWTH ACCELERATION
• Keen ability to accelerate growth of companies faced with revenue stagnation
• Personal engineering underpinning enables insights to correct broken processes and streamline/ optimize operations, using fact-based decisions
• Repeated client successes with early-stage, emerging and fast growth, and large companies. Adept at IPO’s and Exits. Skillset includes Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
• MainStreet Bank – Independent Director – 2011 to present
Chair of IT Committee, and Compensation Committees. Member, Audit
Organic growth from $150M to $1.2B in assets, NASDAQ listing, Russell 2000 inclusion.
• National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) – active at National and local Chapter levels

Demetrios Sapounas

Senior Business Counselor

Demetrios is an innovative business leader and problem solver who knows technology and how to effectively leverage it to increase company value and create competitive advantages. He excels at developing solutions that solve real problems, employ emerging technologies and deliver the desired results. His broad background ranges from corporate strategy and planning, operations, M&A integration to product development and commercialization, R&D and technology development. He has been successful at delivering strong results, whether launching a new business/product, orchestrating strategic initiatives or introducing operating efficiencies. Demetrios has been at Fortune-50 companies and start-ups, where his leadership and problem-solving skills contributions included company growth and top-line revenues.

Currently looking for the next opportunity with small, mid-size organizations or start-ups, to drive innovation, product development, strategy, growth and success. Open to relocation.

Demetrios holds a PhD in Computer Science, with emphasis in image processing, pattern matching, artificial intelligence, machine learning, from Cranfield University (UK), and an MBA, with emphasis in strategy, leadership, entrepreneurship, from Ohio University (USA).

Specialties: Problem solving; analytical solutions; technology roadmap; budgeting; technology vision, strategy, direction, research and development (R&D) leading to new products, solutions and technology commercialization; enterprise systems, software as a service (SaaS), real-time, distributed, web-based architectures; strategic alliances, joint ventures, partnerships, M&A integration; data management, data analysis, data mining, text analysis, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, digital identity, security; leadership, team building, mentoring; healthcare organizations, integrated healthcare, eHealth, mHealth, telemedicine, life sciences, meaningful use, HIPAA; international, global business; negotiation, vendor management.
 

Mason SBDC Hussain Shah Headshot

Hussain Shah

Subject Matter Expert -Digital Marketing

Hussain Shah is a Business Advisor – Digital Marketing at the Mason SBDC. For the past 17 years, Hussain has been innovating in hyper-competitive markets. During this time, he has been successfully leading marketing departments ranging from startups to global publicly traded companies. His expertise spans strategy to tactical execution of marketing programs for product and service offerings. He is also the Principal/Founder of MarCom 24/7, a digital marketing consultancy that specializes in digital-first campaigns for enterprise clients. Hussain specializes in data-driven marketing strategies and campaign executions, with a special focus on demand generation, analytics, social media management, and integrated marketing campaigns.

Counseling Expertise: 

Business Strategy, Marketing, Digital Marketing.

Mason SBDC Namrata Maguire Headshot

Namrata Maguire

Subject Matter Expert - Accounting & Finance Expert

Namrata Maguire is a Technical Expert in Accounting and Finance at Mason SBDC.  Namrata is a CPA and has 25+ years of experience supporting small businesses. Namrata is also CEO and Founder of FINTAL, a professional services firm offering a unique CFO OnBoard® service, education and training, and business consulting. FINTAL partners with entrepreneurial enterprises to drive growth. FINTAL has expertise in accounting, financial management, restructuring, strategic/business planning, business development, and fundraising. FINTAL serves for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Namrata is an experienced educator delivering on-site and online training to the Department of Commerce as well as serving as Adjunct Faculty at the Schools of Business at both George Mason University and Catholic University.

Counseling Expertise:

Accounting, Business Strategy, Buy/Sell Business, Financing, Start a Business, Non-Profit.

 

Mason SBDC Subodh Nayar Headshot

Subodh Nayar

Subject Matter Expert - Sales, Marketing, Product Development

Subodh is a senior business counselor specializing in customer-centric selling.
Subodh applied decades of successful consultative sales experience covering business needs analysis; systems integration and product design to help entrepreneurs form, grow, and reimagine their companies’ revenue and cost model. Subodh focuses on needs articulation to benefits quantification through program implementation.
His skills and experiences include key account development; crisp needs articulation; creative prospecting; social selling; program design and delivery; strategic partner relationships; proposals development and delivery; market research; pricing strategy; sales forecasting and strategic account planning.
His professional background has centered on the operations of essential systems like telecommunications, electric networks, water systems, and transit systems. Primarily as a vendor of robust, scalable software, telemetry, and professional services.

Counseling Expertise:

Product Development, Business Plan, Business Strategy, Financing, Marketing, Sales.

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