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Judges 2014

The Small Business Influencer initiative has assembled an expert panel of Judges with deep and wide knowledge of the small business market. The Judges' votes will choose the final 100 Small Business Influencers. Judges include:

Anita Campbell
Anita Campbell is Publisher of Small Business Trends, reaching 6 million small business owners and stakeholders annually, and BizSugar, a social media site for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Anita was a long-time board member of NEOSA, the technology network of, and the University of Akron's Center for Information Technology and eBusiness. Formerly Senior Vice President and then CEO of a technology subsidiary of Bell & Howell Company, Anita is a frequent speaker who contributes writings across the Web. She is the author of Visual Marketing (Wiley 2011). Today she focuses on growing Small Business Trends and BizSugar to be influential in the small business community. On Twitter: @SmallBizTrends.

Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray is a journalist, technology evangelist, publisher of and author of "Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses" (Amacom). He founded several events including Small Business Summit, Taste of Technology Series, 12 Hours Of Tech and other events in New York City and across the United States. Ramon has written over 8,000 articles and posts – all focused on technology for growing businesses. Ramon is not "just" a technology writer, but, as a former small business technology consultant, he has years of hands on experience in building networks, installing software, upgrading computers and supporting the technology that small businesses use on a daily basis. On Twitter: @RamonRay.

Ivana Taylor
Ivana Taylor is committed to small business growing enough to hire just one more person. She’s accomplishing this mission through, a popular online publication of small business marketing advice. She's the founder of Bizapalooza, a virtual event for small businesses and the co-founder of, a site where business owner members can get access to data to run their business better. She is the Small Business Book Editor for Small Business Trends and a contributing author to the American Express Open Forum. She is co-author of Excel for Marketing Managers. On Twitter: @DIYMarketers

Susan Payton
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as CorpNet, Small Business Trends, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

Joel Libava
The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is a top franchise expert. He provides today’s prospective franchise owners with straightforward information on how to choose, research, and buy a franchise. He's the author of "Become A Franchise Owner! (Wiley Publishing) and started the first ever blog focused solely on franchising-The Franchise King Blog. Joel currently writes for, Small Business Trends, and Franchise Direct on a regular basis, and has written franchise articles for The New York Times, The Huffington Post,,, Carol, and more.

Melinda F. Emerson
Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is an internationally known keynote speaker and an expert on small business start up, business development, and social media marketing. She is the host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners. Forbes magazine named her a #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She publishes a resource blog, which is syndicated by the Huffington Post. Melinda is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months and the ebook How To Become a Social Media Ninja. Melinda is the founder and president of the Quintessence Group, an award-winning marketing consulting firm based in Philadelphia, PA.

Brent Leary
Brent Leary is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award winning blogger. He is co-founder and Partner of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. In 2009 he co-authored Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Small Business. Leary is in the process of writing his next book, "The Amazon Effect: How a New Customer Culture is Creating Crazy New Business Opportunities and Killing Companies That Won’t Adapt", due out in 2015. Recognized by InsideCRM as one of the 25 most influential industry leaders, Leary also is a past recipient of CRM Magazine's Most Influential Leader Award. He serves on the national board of the CRM Association, on the advisory board of the University of Toronto's CRM Center of Excellence, and on the editorial advisory board for The Atlanta Tribune magazine. He blogs at, and can be found on Twitter at @BrentLeary.

Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. A nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and authority on entrepreneurship, Lesonsky has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for Alibaba, AllBusiness, AT&T Small Business, BizTraffic, Endicia, FedEx Out of Office, Fox Small Business, Funding Gates Fundera, Glassdoor, Insureon, Nextiva, OPEN Forum, Premier Business Centers, SBA Industry Word, SCORE Success Blog, Small Business Trends, Smart Hustle, Success Magazine, Small Business Forum. She can regularly be seen on MSNBC’s Your Business. Lesonsky has received numerous honors and is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

Barry Moltz
Barry Moltz gets business owners growing again by unlocking their long forgotten potential. Barry Moltz has decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures as well as consulting with other entrepreneurs. He is the author of four books, including How to Get Unstuck: 25 Ways to Get Your Business Growing Again and You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business. Barry founded an angel investor group, an angel fund, and is a former advisory member of the board of the Angel Capital Education Foundation. He is a frequent keynote speaker. On Twitter:@BarryMoltz.

Sabrina Parsons has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007. She and her husband, Noah, founded a UK software distribution company in 2001 that was acquired by Palo Alto Software in 2002. Sabrina is a successful Internet expert, having served as Director of Online Marketing at Commtouch, Senior Producer at Epinions, and founder of her own Web consulting company, Lighting Out. Sabrina blogs at and Forbes Women, where she writes about running a business while balancing her business life with her husband and three young sons. When Sabrina is not at work she can be found chasing her kids all over Oregon: biking, hiking, swimming, skiing, and anything outdoors that uses up a lot of little boys’ energy. She is a graduate of Princeton University.

Andrew Patricio
Andrew Patricio is an owner of BizLaunch, a company that trains, advises and mentors Entrepreneurs. Andrew is the author of two books on small business and has started 7 businesses of his own and worked with thousands of entrepreneurs in USA, Canada, Russia, Latvia, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Korea, Holland, Namibia, Belgium, USA, Barbados and South Africa. On Twitter: @bizlaunch

JJ Ramberg
JJ Ramberg is the host of msnbc's Your Business, the only television show dedicated to issues affecting small business owners. As a leader in this field, JJ often speaks to groups of business leaders and entrepreneurs. She is author of the best-selling book "It’s Your Business – 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business." JJ is passionate about small business and has firsthand experience as an entrepreneur herself. With her brother, she co-founded, a socially responsible company which is game-changing in how it has transformed philanthropy into an everyday activity. Before joining MSNBC, JJ was a reporter at CNN where she covered a wide range of topics, ranging from breaking news to profiles of the country’s top business leaders. JJ graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and received her MBA from Stanford Business School.

Tina Stock is the Executive Director of Marketing at YP. She is an entrepreneurial marketing executive with over 10 years experience in product marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, communications strategy, display advertising and search engine marketing.

Tina blogs about marketing at, and you can follow her on Twitter @tinadstock.

Doug Sleeter is Founder and President of The Sleeter Group ( He is a visionary in the small business and accounting technology world and recognized as one of the "Top 25 Thought Leaders" in the accounting profession, along with being one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting". He has deep experience as a staff accountant, seminar instructor, and he has authored several textbooks and consultants’ reference guides on QuickBooks. He is the host of the annual Accounting Solutions Conference and trade show, attended by hundreds of accountants from around the globe and sponsored by leading software developers in the accounting software world. As an evangelist for Adobe and Apple in the 1980s, he drove success of desktop publishing solutions on the Macintosh. Since 1994, he has built The Sleeter Group into a world leader in consulting services for small businesses and software developers. On Twitter: @DougSleeter

Gary Whitehill believes entrepreneurs need to be at the epicenter of radical global economic development. In Gary's view of the world, communities grow rapidly only when entrepreneurship accelerates socio-economic progress through connection, innovation and knowledge-sharing. Currently, he is particularly focused on creating platforms and infrastructure to unlock the invisible and unrealized potential of business ecosystems. Gary resides on the Global Board of Directors for the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs and has been featured in industry-leading publications including the Harvard Business Review, Inc, and the New York Times.

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