SBA 8a Certification Firm, Small Business 8a Advisers

About Us

Our mission is to help our clients obtain and grow their relationship with their new largest customer, that being the federal government. We do this by helping firms obtain certifications so they are given federal preferences in contract award, help the firm obtain the correct federal contracting vehicles so that they can get into the correct buckets of funding for their location and industry, and train our clients on how to leverage their certifications and contracting vehicles into federal sales.

Our History

The firm was founded in 2004 by Mark Ryan in order to help firms obtain 8(a) Certification. Early on the firm was required to grow in order to meet the additional needs of our clients, causing us to branch out into the four other federal certifications (HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB, DBE) as well as state certifications, GSA Schedules, and IDIQ GWAC, and MATOC proposal preparations. Now our firm provides the services necessary for a beginner firm to become successful in the federal contracting marketplace.


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Mark Ryan Linkedin
Mark Ryan is regarded as one of the foremost experts on government socioeconomic program certifications. He has been selected by the SBA as their SME (Subject Matter Expert) for mandatory lifecycle training for 8(a) program participants. He is also extraordinarily focused on client relations, personally becoming very familiar with each client’s business arrangement and government business goals. His business expertise and administrative knowledge on the variety of government small business programs support our strategic consultation and emergency rescue services. Mark is a proud alumnus of the University of Kentucky, School of Engineering, graduating summa cum laude.
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Todd Luttenegger, MBA, CPA Linkedin
Todd Luttenegger has over 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur business owner. Todd performs a rigorous review of all client financial documents and is the primary partner for client business plan development. The result has been hundreds of clients with business development plans approved by the Small Business Administration. Todd’s professional education includes a Master’s in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University with a focus on Finance and Electronic Commerce. He is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.

Program Analysts

Our subject matter experts perform and are aligned to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all client applications and offers submitted to the government. They additionally ensure an accurate, complete, and timely response to any government clarifications and requests.
  • Kathy Maxel Kathy Maxel is the Finance Manager as well as a Program Analyst. Kathy has over 30 years of professional business experience of which 13 were spent in a federally funded company working with GSA Schedules for procurement of goods and services. Kathy focuses on ensuring the most complete application; presenting the information in the most favorable light for the client; and working through the occasional bump in the process to achieve a successful outcome for the client. Kathy holds a BS in Accounting and Finance (Wright State University) and a MS in Management (Minot University).
  • Kris Herald Kris Herald is our Lead GSA Analyst. She has over 25 years assisting clients in many diverse fields. During that time, she spent 6 years in the publishing industry, then worked as an account administrator at an investment firm. She has successfully worked with all levels of management from first-level managers to CEOs. Kris focuses on GSA Schedule Contracts as well as 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business certifications that best suits their business.
  • Emily Hatchel Emily Hatchel, Account Manager, joined ez8a in 2020. She was formerly employed by Charter Communications, where she managed a large sales team. Emily currently works with our clients to uncover how to best position their company within the government contracting space, offering guidance and engagement with ez8a. Emily’s expertise will help you determine what you qualify for and explain how that can benefit your small business.
  • Anna Ryan Kelly Will is a former business advisor with impressive experience managing a diverse array of people, functions, and projects. Her impressive business acumen, analytical skills, and detail orientation effectively serve the needs of clients. Her current client engagements include joint venture and mentor protégé services as well as GSA. Kelly has completed several business certifications and holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University.
  • Lavanya Sathish Lavanya Sathish is former Continuous Improvement Lead for a business process outsourcing multi-national and helped standardize and improvise business operations between UK and India teams. She has successfully worked across the team hierarchy in her career of 10 years. Her analytic skills combined with detail orientation helps her achieve the best for her clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and masters in computer applications
  • Trisha Sphinx Trisha Sphinx has over 12 years of business experience that includes 3 years within the medical and legal industries. Trisha brings her degree in Science and Education from Murray State University and professional business experience to provide optimal assistance to clients. Trisha’s current areas of focus are based on certifications such as the 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business, State MBE and DBE, Women-Owned Small Business, HUBZone, NMSDC, Business Plans, Resume Reconstruction, and many more.
  • Ramy Elbeitam Ramy Elbeitam Processing Analyst | Graduated from De La Salle University with a degree in Business. Experienced in Strategic Planning and Business Analytics.
  • Robin James Robin James, Account Manager, joined ez8a in 2012. She was formerly employed by Coca-Cola Enterprises, where she was assigned as the North American Fleet Support Analyst responsible for procurement and maintenance management budget of 50K+ vehicles. Robin now works with our clients to determine their best government contracting direction, offering guidance and engagement with ez8a. Her experience at ez8a helping clients with obtaining all the various approvals through SBA, the VA, as well as state agencies, and preparing GSA proposals, allows her to offer our clients advice regarding their most beneficial course of action.
  • Nicole Hatchel Nicole Hatchel is the Operations Manager for the Business as well as the Direct Supervisor for Ez8a Analysts. Nicole has a degree in Business Administration/Management with an Accounting Major. Nicole is dedicated to making the most seamless client experience here at ez8a.
  • Sarah Beck Sarah Beck is the Advance GSA Supervisor. Sarah spent 2 years working with investment accounts before coming to ez8a in 2015. Sarah focuses on GSA schedule contracts, is the lead on Proposal Writing and IDIQ/GWAC submissions as well as assists on the 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business certification side of things. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and has remarkable attention to detail and uses this to ensure that each application is complete.
  • Jovy Olegario Jovy Olegario is our former Account Manager developing client relationships for internal business development for GSA, SBA Certifications and IDIQs. Jovy currently serves as our Lead Ez8a Analyst. She also has experience with enrolling firms with top 100 federal prime contractors in their subcontractor databases. Jovy has more than 15 years of extensive knowledge and experience in excellent customer service. Her main focus is on the Small Disadvantaged Business Certifications.
  • Michelle Darnell Michelle Darnell has 25 years of professional business experience of which 20 years were spent in healthcare administration. She has worked on all levels of managements, from administrative secretary to Healthcare Facility Administrator. Her current client engagements are focused on GSA Schedule, VA GSA Schedule and GWAC STARS programs. She is very detailed and analytical assuring all information is accurate for a successful submission. Michelle holds a degree of Business Administration from DeVry University.
  • Romy Mapile Romy Mapile has experience in working with diverse clients throughout his career. Romy has worked with professionals of different nationalities and backgrounds to further enhance their set of skills. He has familiarity in working with clients from different levels and departments.
  • Justin Fritz Justin Fritz, Account Manager, has uncovered solutions for customers that positively impact both their personal and professional lives for over a decade. Justin now uses the people skills and creative thinking that he developed over his career to qualify and guide business owners through the various contracting opportunities in the government space, specializing in GSA Schedules.

Marketing Support Team

Our Marketing Support Team focuses on the identification of sales opportunities for firms that we’ve helped obtain either a Government Certification or Contracting Vehicle. Our team is knowledgeable on how to obtain and consolidate information from federal resources. In many cases, the team obtains knowledge about future solicitations before that information becomes available on open procurement resources such as fbo-gov.
  • Heidi Garcia Heidi Garcia Lead Analyst, Government Databases - 8 years of experience manipulating large amounts of government data in order to assist clients in finding federal contracts and spending in their industry.
  • Andi Manuel Andi Manuel Account manager for internal business development (General Services Administration).
  • Patrick Massey Patrick Massey handles Information Technology and Website Development initiatives as well as Information Security for the firm. He works with stakeholders to understand emerging firm and customer needs and how our firm will be able to meet those needs in the future.
  • Josie Olegario Josie Olegario Analyst with 3 years of experience focusing on Information Technology clients identifying business development opportunities.
  • Carlene Villalobos Carlene Villalobos Account manager for internal business development (SBA Certifications and IDIQs).
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