While a student at the University of Notre Dame, Vanessa became passionate about entrepreneurship after being selected for the Art and Letters Business Boot Camp, which took place in Chicago and culminated in a final presentation to a panel of renowned industry experts. At Notre Dame, Vanessa helped coordinate the largest student-run conference on campus; recruited highly sought-after corporate speakers for a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility; and helped develop and lead tourism campaigns at an Office of Tourism while studying abroad in Spain.
After graduation, Vanessa returned to Southern California and began working for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative at Long Beach City College. There she supported the outreach team by coordinating outreach efforts, building partner relationships, managing events from start to finish and assisting program ready business owners with the in-depth application process. She also worked closely with the Tory Burch Foundation as the initiative launched the first Tory Burch Cohort in Southern California, which involved significant recruitment, project management and program coordination between the partners. Additionally, Vanessa has gained tremendous sales and marketing experience at a tech startup in Los Angeles.
Vanessa was raised in Whittier in California, is fluent in Spanish, has experience working with diverse populations and is committed to helping small business owners achieve their dreams.