Interise Releases First Issue Paper
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Interise Presents at the UEDA's Annual Summit
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Jean Kristensen - photo

Jean Kristensen

Jean Kristensen is the President & CEO of Jean Kristensen Associates, LLC, a full service consulting firm providing tools and resources to small, minority and women owned firms seeking to increase revenues through government contracting, certification and innovative business strategies.

As a small business owner, she understands the challenges with running and growing a business. She feels certification programs are an invaluable tool in entering government contracting and working with large corporations. In the early 1990s, certification programs helped her grow her security guard firm from 5 employees to over 500 with revenues in excess of $15 million. Today, as a professional services firm, she attributes all of my contracts to a deliberate and focused effort utilizing her certification as small, minority and woman owned business.

Jean's company's MWBE Success program is designed to provide small business owners with understanding why certification programs exist and how to use them to increase revenues. The program provides guidance and support in the areas of marketing, business development and compliance. Jean Kristensen Associates is also called upon by agencies and private concerns assisting them with identifying qualified small businesses for their corporate Supplier Diversity program and government sub-contracting needs.


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John Huggins

Mr. Huggins is an Entrepreneur, Consultant and Business Coach with solid leadership, program management, business acumen, strategic planning, and business development skills. He has over 35 years of experience in the Telecommunications and Information Technology industry; with over 15 years of experience of starting and leading small business enterprises. For the past 8 years, he has provided business operations and business development consulting support to small and medium sized businesses. Mr. Huggins is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP); and has over 18 years of project management experience. He is a results-driven individual and recognized as a strong leader and visionary; who maintains a passion for motivating and integrating people into developing extraordinary solutions. Mr. Huggins has received National, State and local personal and business awards, including the selection as a 2006 US Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine Top Black Entrepreneur; 2006, 2010 & 2012 Mid-Atlantic Region Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Awards; received a 2011 Maryland Governor’s Citation for his promotion of economic development and community enrichment; a 2011 Air Force Association (AFA) Medal of Merit; and was recognized in May 2017 as the Telecommunications Executive of the Year by the Minority Enterprise Advocate Magazine.


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Nicole Cober - photo

Nicole Cober

Born to blaze trails, Nicole Cober’s entrepreneurial spirit was cultivated as the owner and operator of Soul Day Spa and Salon, a spa and hair salon chain that served as a revitalization catalyst in a burgeoning area of the Nation’s Capital. Over the course of nearly ten years, Soul would be acclaimed for its ingenuity, five-star quality service, and avant-garde branding. The spas were spotlighted in a number of national media outlets, including Essence, People, Allure, The Washingtonian, American Spa, Salon Today, The Washington Post, Upscale, Black Enterprise and the CBS Morning Show to name a few. Soul was featured on the Style Network’s reality show, “Ambush Makeover,” and earned recognition by the Washington City Paper for “Best Stylist” and “Best Spa.” A community champion, Nicole and her team annually partnered with Rachel’s Women’s Shelter in Washington, D.C. to provide complimentary services to residents.

Having come full circle in her exciting professional journey, Nicole currently blends her entrepreneurial, business, and legal prowess to offer a distinct suite of services as the Principal Managing Partner of Cober Johnson & Romney. Affectionately known about town as “The Lawyerpreneur”, she takes the concept of business consulting a few steps further, providing a blueprint for gaining business clarity, portraying and positioning authentic brands, and legally protecting those brands, intellectual properties, and creative works. She empowers start-ups and local small businesses to reach their full potential with her creative effective branding and growth strategies.

A zealous advocate for her clients, her experience spans a broad spectrum of industries, including entertainment, beauty, creative, and cosmeceutical. She is also a mentor for SCORE and an instructor for the “Emerging Leaders Initiative”; both programs are affiliated with the Small Business Administration.

Further, Nicole is a sought-after media influencer who provides her expertise to an array of local and national media. She is a regular small business contributor for American Express OPEN Forum, Black Enterprise, and Citibank’s Women and Co., and she serves as a regular on-air small business consultant for Fox 5 DC and WJLA-TV’s NewsChannel 8. On Fox 5 DC, Nicole also served as the expert for the station’s “Business Savvy Sundays” series. She has also fostered strong relationships with radio outlets such as Sirius, WPGC, WHUR and WKYS and print outlets such as the Washington Post, Allure, Essence, Ebony/Jet, Washingtonian, and People. Nicole also shares her advice with audiences large and small as a public speaker and coach.

Nicole is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Howard University School of Law. Prior to Soul Day Spa, Nicole was a litigation associate at Dickstein Shapiro, one of Washington DC’s largest and most renowned law firms. At Dickstein, she specialized in employment and antitrust law. Nicole was also senior law clerk for Chief Judge Annice Wagner of the DC Court of Appeals.


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