Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy
Dr. Winslow Sargeant is the sixth Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, appointed by President Obama August 19, 2010. The Office of Advocacy is an independent voice for small business within the federal government with a mission of encouraging policies that support small business start-up, growth, and development.
As chief counsel, Dr. Sargeant directs Advocacy’s operations, which include conducting research on the U.S. small business sector, advocating for small businesses within the federal government’s agencies and rulemaking processes, reaching out to regional and state small business advocates and policymakers, and fostering public awareness of small business contributions and concerns.
Dr. Sargeant sees the entrepreneurial spirit as uniquely American and as a path to wealth and job creation—a thread that runs through his life story. Most recently, he served as managing director of Venture Investors, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm provided seed and early-stage money to high-potential health care and IT companies. There, he specialized in computer software, hardware, and materials, and worked with technology transfer offices.
The chief counsel brings to his advocacy role years of experience as a federal partner to small firms. From 2001 to 2005, he was program manager in electronics for the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, while also serving as adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The NSF is one of the federal agencies with the largest extramural research and development budgets that are required in the SBIR program to dedicate a portion of their awards to small firms.
And Dr. Sargeant knows the challenges of starting and building a small firm. He enrolled in a PhD. Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1988 and left in 1992 to work at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota. He received his PhD in electrical engineering in 1995, and worked at ATT/Bell Labs in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 1997, Dr. Sargeant and partners co-founded Aanetcom, a “fabless” semiconductor integrated circuit design company. The company designed state-of the-art computer circuits for telecom and broadband applications. In March 2000, Aanetcom was acquired by PMC-Sierra, a publicly traded company.
Dr. Sargeant met his wife, Ikanyeng, during his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. Winslow and Ikanyeng have three children, Kgosi, Lorato, and Marang.
Major L. Clark, Assistant Chief Counsel for Procurement Policy, Office of Advocacy, Small Business Administration
Major Clark is the Assistant Chief Counsel for Procurement Policy in the Office of Advocacy with the Small Business Administration in DC. He has held this position for the past 12 years. Previously, he was the Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Administration at the MAXIMA Corporation. Clark was the former Chief of Staff and Senior Administrative Officer of the U. S. House of Representatives Committee under the leadership of Congressman Parren Mitchell. During Clark’s tenure in Congress, the Committee was responsible for passing major small business legislation, including the Small Business Research and Innovation Act, the Small Business Secondary Market Act, the 10 percent minority business set aside for the Department of Transportation, the Equal Access to Justice Act and the Prompt Payment Act for small businesses.
Clark has extensive teaching experience, which includes serving as an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Urban Planning at Morgan State University and Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College. His primary teaching disciplines were urban planning, law, economic development and public policy management. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa, a Masters of Urban Planning, University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Science, Political Science, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.
An International speaker and author, Clark speaks on topics including small business, urban development and planning, land use law, and economic development strategies. His most recent publications include the Journal of Public Procurement, “The Future of Small Businesses in the U.S. Federal Government Marketplace,” “The Government’s Role in Aiding Small Business Federal Subcontracting Programs in the United States,” and “The Role of Small Business in Economic Development of the United States: From the End of the Korean War (1953) to the Present.” In addition, Clark is the author of the procurement chapter of the Small Business Economy, a report published annually for the President of the United States and the United States Congress by the United States Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.
Nicholas Landau, Partner, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Nicholas Landau is a partner in the Intellectual Property group of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. He is experienced in the procurement, protection, and litigation of patents, trademarks, and other forms of intellectual property. Dr. Landau has drafted, prosecuted, and successfully appealed dozens of patent applications. He has worked with patents in a broad array of technological disciplines and has extensive knowledge in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and environmental technology.
Dr. Landau studied environmental microbiology at the doctoral level, earning a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. His graduate research analyzed the bacterial metabolism of hydrocarbon pollutants (bioremediation), and the metabolism of organisms in extreme environments such as volcanoes and deep-ocean hydrothermal vents. He has taught college-level and graduate-level classes in genetics and microbiology. Dr. Landau also earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland’s program in Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Science. His research there addressed the genetics and mechanisms of bacterial adhesion to surfaces.
Dr. Landau is experienced in environmental law, having served for three years in the Chief Counsel’s Office at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At the Corps he focused on environmental permitting matters and intellectual property on matters of national and regional importance. Dr. Landau graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as Executive Editor of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal.
Prior to Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Dr. Landau has served as in-house counsel for a major agri-business in southern Florida, and was an associate in the Intellectual Property group of a major Florida law firm.
Melissa Daigrepont, Esq., Public Affairs & Economic Development, U.S. Small Business Administration Louisiana District Office
Melissa Daigrepont is the Public Information Officer and Economic Development Specialist for the Louisiana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She joined the SBA in December 2012 and served as a Business Opportunity Specialist during her first year with the agency. Melissa handles internal budget and personnel issues, manages and conducts public affairs and media appearances for the district office, and heads special economic development initiatives such as HUBZone (or Historically Underutilized Business Zone) and rural outreach as well as veterans’ and women’s entrepreneurship programs.
Melissa is a licensed attorney and served as a Navy Judge Advocate General (or JAG) from 2002 to 2012. She completed a hardship tour of duty in Diego Garcia and a deployment on the aircraft carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She also served in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Indiana University, a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and an LL.M. in Military Law specializing in International and Operational Law from the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Melissa was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and her family is from Pointe Coupee and Avoyelles Parish. She and her husband, Lieutenant Commander Jay Powell, reside in New Orleans where Jay serves as pilot in the U.S. Navy.