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Elliot Richardson

Co-Founder & President

Elliot Richardson is the Co-Founder and President of the Small Business Advocacy Council, an organization laser-focused on advocating for the small business community.  The SBAC is dedicated to passing legislation and moving policy initiatives that will help small and local businesses thrive.  The SBAC works with numerous partners to provide the small business community a unified and strong voice to advocate on policies that impact the economy.

Elliot is a partner at the law firm Korey Richardson, LLP.  Elliot has also served as the Board Chair for Kids Above All, an organization focused on protecting, healing and educating children and families so they can build better lives.  Elliot remains on the Board of Directors.  Elliot also formally served on the board of Youth Conservation Corp., Youth Communications and the YMCA Alliance Board.  Additionally, Elliot formerly served on the Editorial Board of the Chicago Bar Association and on the Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers Section of the CBA.

Elliot received his law degree from the University of Dayton 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, with a minor in history.


Scott Baskin

Retired President & CEO of Mark Shale
Chief Executive Officer

Scott Baskin retired as President and CEO of Mark Shale in 2011. Mark Shale was Chicago’s largest independent clothing retailer with stores in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Prior to his business career, Scott served as Chief Legislative Assistant to the late Congressman Abner Mikva.

In addition to his professional experience, Scott is an engaged community leader. He is a board member of Uptown United, an economic development organization serving Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. He was an elected member of the Northside College Prep High School Local Council and chair of its finance committee, and past treasurer of the Center for Law and Social Work. He is a graduate of Vassar College and Northwestern University School of Law.

Patti Zikmund, SBAC COO

Patti Zikmund-Roverud

Chief Operating Officer

Patti joined the SBAC Team in February 2020 as a part-time consultant while continuing her work at SBAC Empower as a Program Consultant. In June 2020, she was invited full-time to the SBAC as the Director of Membership and Communications.  In February 2021, she was asked to be the Chief Operating Officer which she gladly accepted.

Patti has a Bachelors in International Business, Marketing and French. She speaks French and German fluently while dabbling in several others.   Patti has built her career working with small businesses, start-up companies, and entrepreneurs helping them build internal and external communications as well as managing their business. Additionally, she is a certified DISC and Motivators Consultant.

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Jalen Boney

Director of Policy and Engagement, Neighborhood Revitalization Coalition 

Jalen is a native of Hattiesburg, MS where he recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Prior to joining the Small Business Advocacy Council, Jalen served as a Business Development Manager for the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC) focusing on business recruitment & retention, as well as developing housing strategies for Michigan City.
Jalen is passionate about providing resources to under-served communities, and leading youth through mentorship and positive reinforcement. He is excited to be a part of the Small Business Advocacy council because he knows it will contribute to his ultimate goal of leaving a positive impact on the community. When Jalen is not working he enjoys going to sporting events, trying new restaurants throughout Chicago, and spending time with his family (especially his nieces and nephews).
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Sara Everson

Marketing & Membership Assistant

Sara Everson joined the SBAC staff in August of 2021 as Marketing Assistant. In this role, Sara assists with marketing, event, and social media efforts at SBAC. Sara is a recent graduate of the University in Chicago where she received her B.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Diego Roberts

Policy Analyst

Diego began working with the SBAC as an intern in September 2020 and joined the SBAC staff in August 2021 as an Intern Coordinator. Since then, Diego has been promoted to the SBAC Policy Analyst handling chamber and district advocate relationships. He continues to assist the SBAC in formulating best policies that foster growth in the small business community.

Jake Martin

Jake Martin

Project Coordinator, Neighborhood Revitalization Coalition

Jake Martin is a dedicated advocate concerned with economic development in local communities across Illinois. Jake joined the SBAC as a policy intern and later lead the Neighborhood Revitalization Coalition during its first year. He is now the community project coordinator and in house lobbyist, representing the SBAC at the state and city level. Jake has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with plans to pursue a master’s in public policy. He has deep roots in the City of Chicago and is passionate about bringing communities together to enact change.


Meet the SBAC Interns

Ashlyn Pope, Lake Forest College

Dea Sulejmani, Loyola University

Jennifer Cresap, University of Chicago

Joey Einsle, University of Illinois - Springfield

Ryerson Birkerts, University of Denver

Nayeli Carreno, College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University

Join The SBAC Today

Joining the SBAC will give you the opportunity to immediately get engaged in our organization through the following offerings:

  • Advocacy efforts
  • Policy committees and subcommittees
  • Informational webinars and town halls
  • Networking events
  • And many more!

Do not miss out on your opportunity to work towards improving the small business environment in your community! We look forward to working with you!

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