Goble joined the Association of Women's Business Centers as CEO in January 2019 and is charged with bringing about enhanced sustainability and increased capacity to the association and its members. When AWBC and the national network of Women's Business Centers were confronted with effects of a global pandemic in early 2020, Goble and the advocacy team sprung into action. While Women's Business Centers responded tirelessly to small business concerns in their communities, Goble and the team championed their efforts to secure resources.
Thankfully, members of Congress foresaw the important role that Women's Business Centers would play in an economic disaster and appropriated record-level emergency funding (CARES Act) to be administered by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition to $150,000 awarded annually to each Women's Business Center, centers could access up to $420,000 of CARES Act funds giving them access to $570,000 in a single fiscal year. In addition to their own annual fundraising efforts, this unprecedented combination of funding is the highest level of funding than at any other point in history. Women's Business Centers leveraged this infusion of funds into tremendous impact.
Goble and the full AWBC team will remain steadfast in their commitment to the growth and strength of the Women's Business Center network. Her immediate priority is the modernization and re-authorization of the Women's Business Center program while building capacity throughout the growing network of 145 Women's Business Centers.
She was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, attended high school there and studied abroad in Spain where she received a dual Spain-U.S. high school diploma. Having graduated with honors, Hodges earned her BA International Studies from the University of Evansville in Indiana. She attended graduate school in Washington, DC at The George Washington University and has never stopped learning. She enjoys live rides on her Peloton, long runs on the C&O Canal Tow Path and sunny afternoons on her stand-up paddle board.
Vice President of Programs
Jessie Yankee is the Vice President of Programs for the Association of Women's Business Centers, focused on program development, advocacy, and capacity building for Women's Business Centers nationwide. Previously she was the Director of the Missouri Women's Business Center, focused on economic inclusion and access to capital for the historically underserved. Jessie holds a lifelong passion for equitable small business development and entrepreneurship for women, and previously owned and operated an award-winning commercial IT business. Jessie is also a mother of two, Benny (11), and Ella (9).
Jessie grew up in Bethalto, Illinois, and later attended the University of Missouri, majoring in Business Administration. She then completed her MBA at William Woods University.
Director of Member & Community Engagement
As the Director of Member and Community Engagement for AWBC, Jackie is responsible for developing and evaluating engagement initiatives for AWBC membership, supporting AWBC programs designed to maximize recruitment and retention, and ensuring consistent branding and messaging for growth and development.
Prior to joining AWBC, Jackie was the Director of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center and a member of the AWBC Board of Directors. Under Jackie’s leadership, the JWBC was recognized for five awards by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Jackie is a recipient of the Outstanding Student in Public Relations award from the University of North Florida where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She gives back to her alma mater through the Taylor Leadership Institute by mentoring UNF students who need guidance before graduation.