Co-CEO & Past President
Elliot Richardson is the Founder and CEO of the Small Business Advocacy Council, an organization laser-focused on improving the economic environment for small businesses in the State of Illinois. The SBAC strives to empower the small business community by bringing business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs together to speak with a unified, and strong voice.
Elliot Richardson is also a partner at the law firm of Korey & Richardson, handling a variety of commercial litigation matters in both federal and state court.
Elliot has been involved in community service since his college days at Bradley University. Presently, Elliot serves on the Board of Directors for Childserv, a large and successful organization focused on helping at-risk children. Elliot is co-chair of the resource development committee of this organization. Elliot is also on the board of Youth Conservation Corp., a dynamic non-profit which provides training in the construction industry to at-risk children.
Elliot formerly served on the Board of Directors for Youth Communications, an organization that empowers children by teaching them crucial writing skills. He also served on the Editorial Board of the Chicago Bar Association and on the executive committee of the Young Lawyers Section of the CBA. Elliot also served on the board of the YMCA Alliance Board.
Elliot received his law degree from the University of Dayton. In law school, he was the member of the Public Interest Law Organization and received the University of Dayton School of Law Pro Bono Publico Service Award. Elliot graduated from Bradley University with a degree in sociology and criminal justice. He obtained a minor in history.
Mike Cavanaugh is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Small Business Advocacy Council. Mike Cavanaugh is also a principal with RCM Wealth Advisors. As a broker and floor trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, Mike started his career providing market insight to clients from the wheat and bond pits. Later, Mike brokered futures and options on futures for individual clients and professional investors off the floor. From there, Mike founded Know Your Options, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Mike has had articles published in The Wall Street Journal, Registered Rep Magazine, OIC Whitepaper, Investment News, Journal of Financial Planning, and dozens of others.
Mike is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Chief Operating Officer, Advocacy
Blanca Campos received her Bachelors in Political Science from Rockford University and her Masters of Public Administration, with a concentration in Public Management, from the School of Public Service at DePaul University. As part of her academic development, Blanca has taken courses in Spain, Ireland, China, and India. Her international experience has given her a fresh perspective and unique insight of the new skills in demand by businesses, nonprofits, and government.
Blanca has been with the SBAC since the very beginning. She led our advocacy efforts to get the state’s first healthcare co-op authorized and funded and helped pass legislation setting a 10% state procurement goal for small businesses. Prior to working for the SBAC, she worked in state legislative and Congressional campaigns.
As a daughter of a small business owner and former manager of the family business, she has first-hand knowledge of the challenges small business owners and entrepreneurs face on a daily basis. Blanca is passionate about small business and understands the huge impact small businesses have on our local communities. Presently, her role at the Council provides her the opportunity to advocate and advance legislation on behalf of small business owners throughout all levels of government.
Blanca also served on the Women’s Health Awareness Council, a collaborative program coordinated by the Women’s Health Initiative at Swedish Covenant Hospital in partnership with more than 30 elected officials, community leaders, major philanthropies and respected health care providers.
Chief Operating Officer
Growing up with a family-owned business, Stephanie has first-hand knowledge about what small businesses need to thrive. Stephanie’s upbringing provides the opportunity to appreciate the intricacy of business, its challenges and its rewards. Stephanie’s experience ranges from hiring and training employees and overseeing inventory and scheduling, to the overall management of the company.
Stephanie is a graduate with a B.S. in Managerial Studies Management from the University of Illinois Chicago. Stephanie has held numerous positions within the SBAC, including intern, Director of Events, Membership Director, Director of Chapter, Committees and Communities, and now the COO of the SBAC. Having such a wide array of experience within the organization has made her an integral part of the team and a wealth of information about all things “SBAC”.
Ryan started with the Small Business Advocacy Council in September 2014 as a Membership and Outreach Intern, having graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in May 2014 with a degree in Political Science. His past work experience with private businesses and education focusing on public administration has laid the foundation for his understanding of the structure of organizations. Ryan has utilized his experience to ensure the continued growth of any business or organization.
As Membership Director, Ryan oversees all aspects of membership from on boarding to engagement and provides staff support to our Membership Committee, compromised of 50+ volunteers who help the organization meet it goals of providing value to the small business community. Ryan also plans and implements monthly happy hours and events.
Julia began working at the SBAC in November 2016. During her academic career, she gained firsthand experience as a reporter, editorial assistant, and communications intern. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Creative Writing, and French from Ohio Wesleyan University in May 2016.
Julia is from a small town in Ohio where small businesses keep the economy alive. Her mother is an elementary school teacher and her stepfather directed a nonprofit land trust. Growing up in a family that cared deeply about the small business community, Julia believes in the ability of small businesses to make a big difference. As a marketing intern at the Alliance Française de Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated to the study of the French language and cultural exchange, her appreciation for small businesses, especially nonprofits, grew even more.
As Communications Coordinator, Julia manages all aspects of marketing, including social media, website content, Google Analytics, email marketing, and print. An avid writer, Julia views marketing as a form of storytelling. She hopes to use her writing skills to tell the SBAC’s story, and the stories of small business owners across Illinois.