AEO Staff


Connie Evans

President and CEO
202.650.5580 Ext. 51

Connie E. Evans is the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the national trade association for microbusiness representing over 400 practitioners and advocates in the US. Evans is a visionary leader, astute strategist, activist, and social entrepreneur who has founded three organizations. In 1986 she was the founding president of the award-winning Women’s Self-Employment Project, the first and largest urban microbusiness development organization in the U.S and the first adaptation of the Grameen Bank model to a U.S. urban setting. Evans also pioneered one of the first matched-savings program -- Individual Development Accounts -- in the country. In 2000 she founded WSEP Ventures, a social enterprise-hybrid organization developed to serve as a catalyst for social change, economic development and community empowerment. In 2007, Evans founded CSolutions Consulting, an advisory boutique specializing in solutions that address social change. An international development consultant, with over 25 years of experience, she has been recognized and utilized by such groups as the World Bank, the Clinton Administration, a host of local government, private and independent sector organizations. With international experience spanning 43 countries, Evans draws on her expertise in developing and implementing strategies to further economic development, health and social change in communities.

Evans started her career in community mental health as a master-level psychologist. Her commitment to improving the health and life options for disadvantaged women and their families moved her to “harness the marketplace” for solutions. As the Assistant Director of a Hull House Association affiliate in Chicago, Evans became the Project Director for the first resident managed public housing site in the city. She helped low-income women to organize, develop leadership skills, and learn business to take control over a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Evans has lectured in universities throughout the United States and is a frequent panelist and key note speaker at conferences around the globe. She has many distinguished awards. A sampling includes being named the Inaugural Twink Frey Social Activist in 2006; the 1996 Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine; the first Teknion Humanitarian Award in 1999; Gloria Steinem Woman of Vision Award; 1998 Community Leader of the Year presented by the African American MBA Association at the University of Chicago; and the Chicago Community Service Fellowship Award by the Chicago Community Trust.

Evans’ broad experiences across the worlds of business and finance compliments her skills in development finance. She served two elected terms on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago…the first African American woman to hold such a position and was appointed to the CDFI Advisory Board, a fund in the Department of the Treasury, by President Clinton. Evans was appointed by President Obama to be a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. She also served as a member of the U. S. Delegation to Preparatory Meetings for the Summit of the Americas, the U. S. Delegation to Preparatory Meetings for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and again for Beijing Plus Five having been appointed to each by President Clinton.

A strong advocate of good governance in nonprofits, Evans has nearly 20 years of service on philanthropic foundation boards, and serves on a number of national and international boards.

Tammy A. Halevy

Senior Vice President, New Initiatives
202.650.5580 Ext. 52

Tammy Halevy joined AEO in April 2010 as Senior Vice President, New Initiatives. With over 20 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Tammy brings leadership, experience and knowledge to AEO, its members and partners. At AEO, Tammy leads the design, incubation and launch of pilots, programs and partnerships to better serve small businesses in low-wealth communities.

Prior to joining AEO, Tammy was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where as part of the corporate finance and strategy practices, she led client and research projects primarily focused on reaching new markets and structuring complex partnerships. She has also held positions in the US House of Representatives, The Overseas Development Council and Kroll Associates.

Tammy received a Masters Degree in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a BA from The Johns Hopkins University.

Nou Vang, MPA

Vice President, Operations
202.650.5580 Ext. 54

Nou Vang has over 10 years of nonprofit management experience.  Prior to joining AEO, she managed the daily operations of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a membership organization of 130,000 members.  She oversaw a $1million administration budget, and managed a variety of projects including the Association’s $1.8million office consolidation, conferences and meetings, and software upgrades.  She has worked for national and community based nonprofit organizations including Hmong National Development and Illinois Center for Violence Prevention.  Her professional skills include project management, nonprofit audits, contract management and negotiation, and equipment procurement. Nou is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and holds a BA in Political Science and Masters of Public Administration.

Ingrid Gorman

Research and Insights Director
202-650-5580 Ext.53

Ingrid Gorman joined AEO in April 2015 as Research and Insights Director.  She grew up in Ohio and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Youngstown State University, then relocated to Washington, D.C., to work for the Justice Department as a Research Assistant.  From there Ingrid transitioned to media and spent over 25 years in market research working for PBS, then Discovery Communications, last serving as SVP, Corporate Research.  Recently, a rewarding consulting project with a small association devoted to environmental concerns inspired her to seek opportunities in the non-profit sector.  Now at AEO, and utilizing skills in data analysis and primary research design, Ingrid is committed to creating actionable insights for the microbusiness industry to further its mission and goals.

Lily Huang

TILT Forward Initiative Project Manager
202-650-5580 Ext.55

Lily came to AEO in 2015 through the ProInspire Fellowship which allows young professionals to bring their talents from the private sector into the social sector. Prior to AEO, Lily was a Product Development Manager at Villency Design Group, a boutique firm specializing in end-to-end product design and production, and has worked with a clients including Soul Cycle, eBay and Bloomingdale’s. She now serves as the TILT Forward Project Manager and is involved in the launch and growth of the next phase of the TILT Forward Initiative which includes the TILT Forward Network, DreamFund and Project CUE. Lily is a proud Tar Heel with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

September Hargrove

Director, Tilt Forward Network
202-650-5580, ext. 58

September Hargrove joined AEO in June 2017 as the director, Tilt Forward Network. She brings experience as a community and economic development professional with over a decade of bi-partisan government service at the federal, state and local levels. Formerly, she was the senior advisor to U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. Previously, she was a White House Fellow placed at the National Economic Council where she worked on issues of broadband access for low-income families, entrepreneurship and fiscal restructuring for Puerto Rico.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, September served as the chief operating officer of the New Orleans Startup Fund, where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations and launch of PowerMoves.NOLA, a national effort to address the lack of racial diversity in tech entrepreneurship and provide access to venture capital for high-growth entrepreneurs of color. In 2014, she was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in tech and entrepreneurship throughout Louisiana.

Other roles included serving as the economic development policy and program manager for Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, LA, and as a gubernatorial appointee and legislative specialist in the Arnold Schwarzenegger administration.

September received her master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is an alumnus of the California Senate Fellowship and Public Policy International Affairs (PPIA) programs.