Opening Keynote Panel

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What to Expect in The Immediate Post-Pandemic World and the Innovation Opportunities It May Provide

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 51% of the U.S. population has received one dose of the COVID vaccine and over 50% of U.S. Adults are fully vaccinated. As a result, the CDC has relaxed its social distancing and mask mandates for vaccinated individuals, and the country is transitioning into the post-pandemic period.
This panel assembles a group of thought leaders and executives from business and government to use their wide collective areas of expertise to examine and predict what the “new normal” would entail in the immediate post-pandemic world and the opportunities that they expect it may create for innovators and entrepreneurs to build successful and resilient enterprises.

It features:
• Isabella Casillas Guzman W’92, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) who will discuss some of the SBA programs that are aimed at innovators and entrepreneurs to assist them in taking advantages of these opportunities, and
• Stu Solomon, the CEO of Connected DMV, the organization tasked to spearhead the reopening in the region.
The panel sets the stage for the 2021 Summit and will address issues such as the future of the workplace and workforce in the immediate post-pandemic period.


Stu Solomon
President & CEO, Connected DMV
Stu Solomon is the CEO of Connected DMV, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and delivers initiatives together with government, industry, academia, and community interests to the benefit of the greater Washington D.C. region (DMV) and beyond. Connected DMV leads and collaborates across sectors with an emphasis on delivering long-term social, digital, and physical infrastructure projects to drive healthy economic growth and improved social equities. Read full profile…


Isabella Casillas Guzman
Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
Isabella Casillas Guzman was sworn in as the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on March 17, 2021. She serves as the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses and innovative startups in President Biden’s Cabinet. Read full profile…

Alex Iams
Executive Vice President, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA)
Alex Iams is the Executive Vice President at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). Most recently, he has led FCEDA’s work on the Fairfax County Economic Recovery Strategy and a regional economic development strategy for the National Capital Region. His career experience includes the recruitment of Amazon HQ2 and development of the Crystal City Sector Plan in Arlington. Read full profile…

Melissa King
Director Office of Innovation and Engagement, U. S. Department of Transportation
Melissa King serves as the Director of the Office of Innovation and Engagement in the Office of the Secretary for the Department of Transportation. The primary services for her office include management of the department-wide innovation program and engagement services offered to the organization to enrich the employee experience. Read full profile…