"In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor." ~Julian Castro
We are in pursuit of an economy that works for all and understands that we must work toward transnational change based on cooperation, equality, social integrity, racial justice, and ecological sustainability. We firmly believe that strong, local, small businesses will help create a world where all people can afford to live in safe, healthy, and thriving communities.
WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES
We are the successive generations of the immigrants and revolutionists who journeyed to the United States in pursuit of economic opportunity.
We are the people who enjoy the greatest prosperity and freedom that exists as a result of our ancestors' ambition, courage and ingenuity.
We are the people who must now play an increasing role in the U.S. economy, as the baby boomers retire in the coming decades.
We are the people who must preserve our current welfare and charge ahead to ignite change and spark action so coming generations can more freely pursue life, liberty and happiness.
We are the people who are the heirs of the founders of the most powerful nation in the world. America cultivates innovation, brings entrepreneurs’ ideas to life, and makes the innovators' dreams a reality.
We are the people who live on the land of the free,
and home of the brave.
We are the People of America.
Kara A. DiPietro
PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The short list of our fearless leader: Small business owner, financier, strategist, consultant, community advocate, award-winning business person, and mother. We think Kara probably wears a cape when she is not at the office. If you are running at a million miles an hour, Kara is going a million-plus-one. She operates as her future self and always sees the world as full of untapped possibilities. She is constantly observing, researching, thinking, and planning. Kara will build it…better, faster, stronger than before. Inside-of-box? No thanks. Follow every rule? Not today. Limits? Can’t compute. We’re keep a close eye on this one…she is going places.
Inducted into the SmartCEO Circle of Excellence
Named Women's Business Enterprise of the Year by MWMCA
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC DIRECTION
It’s kind of redundant to introduce you to John, because seemingly everyone already knows John, is a friend of John’s, has done business with John, has heard John speak or participates on a committee or project with John. This man has a network. If you think of the person highest ranking in your social or business circle, trust us – John probably knows them. John has built a stellar reputation as the person who gets things done. He is the task master, the people connector, the program engine, the plan administrator. You have the machine? John’s got all the parts, so just step aside. He is the ultimate go-to guy. Not impressed? Well…John’s success comes after serving over 30 years in prison (ten on death row) for a false conviction. Not. Even. Kidding. John’s personal response to being wrongfully convicted? He gives back to the incarcerated and re-entering population, with dedicated efforts in reform, social justice, work force re-entry and supporting marginalized communities in and around Baltimore. Just. Wow.
Recently overheard saying: “I know him/her...we were just at an event together!”
John is a member of the following organizations.
John Huffington spent 32 years in the Maryland Prison System—10 of which were on death row—after being wrongfully convicted of a 1981 double murder.
Jason Flom is the founder of Lava Records; was previously the chairman of Atlantic Records and Virgin Records/Capitol Music Group.
He is also an advocate for those who have been wrongfully convicted.
His, Lava for Good™ Podcasts is developing new series dedicated to social justice and inspiring human stories, including Wrongful Conviction Presents hosted by renowned criminal justice advocates focused on specific themes and notable criminal cases. features interviews with men and women who have spent years in prison for crimes they did not commit – some of them having even been sentenced to death. These are their stories.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
You can’t come up with a single thing that Josh won’t find fabulous. That’s just how he rolls. Taxed with full workload (he’s the money guy – taxed – get it?) managing the finances for Kara’s four companies, he also runs his own company in his spare time. Yet, we have never once heard Josh complain. He is the antithesis of a “nerdy numbers guy”. He is always the bright spot in the room. Sure, he appreciates a good spreadsheet and a balanced checkbook, has already written the process for what you think you may want to do, and ensures we are always in the desired financial position; but more importantly, you just can’t not like Josh. Need a boost? Josh will lift you up, cheer you on, and keep you smiling. We deeply appreciate the person who can always find the sun in the rain. New idea? Josh supports it. New outfit? Josh loves it. New plan? Josh sees how it can work. Go find yourself a Josh and hang on.
Recently overheard saying: “That is so fabulous! I love it!”
FIRM AND FOUNDATION FACILITATOR
When you put together this level of successful, smart, accomplished people in one office, someone has to keep the ship afloat. That’s Melissa. After nearly thirty years in corporate marketing, Melissa realized her biggest strength was making other people shine. So we grabbed her. And we are shining. She’s the peanut butter to our jelly, the yin to our yang, the peas to our carrots. The glue, if you will. We try to come up with something Melissa is unwilling to do, but we haven’t found it yet. If she can’t do it, she will learn it; and if we don’t have it, she will get it. In fact, she probably ordered it before you realized you needed it and has a spreadsheet auto-populated to prove it. We manage the business, and she manages us. Plus, she has candy.Recently overheard saying:
“The answer is Yes. What was your question?”
"Our Ability to Reach Unity in Diversity will be the Test of Our Civilization."
Our workforce and our national economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to the fullest. That means we open the doors of opportunity to everyone; and recognize that the American Dream excludes no one.