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Meet Our Team

Meet our awesome team

Rob Williams

Rob Williams, Director

Rob Williams puts the “serve” in customer service, always available as support to SourceLink clients who are often the unsung entrepreneurial champions in their communities.

Rob combines big picture thinking with the ability to map and implement all the steps needed to launch and sustain projects. Our clients tell us he regularly goes above and beyond in addressing their needs, always with a smile on his face.

Rob is a young leader with plenty of experience implementing entrepreneurial solutions in communities as varied from Seattle to San Juan.

Maria Meyers, Executive Director

Maria Meyers is an entrepreneur in her own right, building SourceLink and KCSourceLink from the ground up. Maria shares her expertise with other communities through speaking engagements, journal articles and blog posts.

Maria has a unique ability to encourage and enable collaboration, leading from behind and ensuring that everyone around her has tools for success. Throughout her career she has pulled off the seemingly impossible, such as turning an abandoned train station into a metro hub, commercializing technology out of a university and into the for-profit sector and rallying a community around gaps in capital for entrepreneurs.

Dara Macan

Dara Macan, Business Development

From small startups to large corporations, Dara Macan brings extensive experience to the world of entrepreneurship.  A champion of economic development, Dara shapes the right solutions for each situation by bringing creativity to connections  and taking a patient, relationship-based approach focused on understanding the needs of each community and client served.

Mark Galeassi, Web Application Developer

Mark Galeassi is that rare technical guru who combines a customer-oriented personality with his technical problem-solving skills. Mark can find a solution to anything, an expert in translating ideas into action.

He manages a diverse and complex technology system, leading the support for SourceLink and all our affiliate’s programs. We haven’t found any IT yet that Mark couldn’t master.


Pola Firestone, Relationship Manager and Affiliate Liaison

Pola Firestone is an experienced and thoughtful professional who excels at customer care and engagement. She loves helping clients find the answers to their problems, addressing issues with a kind word and a caring attitude.

Through her outreach work, she has a window into what’s challenging those building entrepreneurial ecosystems, and uses that knowledge to help inform new products and new solutions.

Kate-pope-hodel cropped

Kate Pope Hodel, Special Projects

Kate Hodel has worked in entrepreneurship for nearly 25 years. A facilitator and project manager, Kate is the pinch hitter for the SourceLink team, working with clients, managing special projects and developing new products.

Kate brings order out of chaos, developing processes to simplify processes and drive completion. If there is a gap, Kate will find it and figure out how to fill it.

Sarah Mote

Sarah Mote, Marketing Director

Sarah Mote is first, last and always a story teller.

Master of messages and social media whiz, Sarah brings her considerable talent to bear on telling the SourceLink story and that of our affiliate communities. She drives strategic outcomes through creative communications, always on point and engaging. No wonder SourceLink web traffic has soared under her watch.

Joey Medellin, SourceLink Network Coordinator

Joey Medellin, Network Coordinator

As one of the longest-tenured associates of SourceLink, Joey Medellin has helped the organization grow from its modest roots into the central hub for entrepreneurship that it is today. Joey juggles multiple balls and never lets one drop. She manages all the administrative details for the organization, from financials to human resources to grant reporting to everything in between, creating a seamless work environment.

Thought Leadership

Put our expertise to work

For your next conference, strategic planning session or workshop, take advantage of our experience and expertise in building entrepreneurial ecosystems.

How we can help

  • Guest contributors to traditional media – quotes, columns, on-air appearances
  • Social media contributor – blogging and tweeting
  • Moderator / Lecturer
  • Event speaker & panelist
  • Educational workshops, seminars and webinars

What we know

  • Building Successful Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, One Collaboration at a Time
  • Not all Entrepreneurs are Alike: The 4 Quadrants of Entrepreneurship
  • Best Practices in Spurring Entrepreneurial Growth: What’s Hot Across America
  • How to Assess the Gaps in Your Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • The Entrepreneurial Dashboard: Is Your Community Hitting on All Cylinders?

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions

SourceLink started as KCSourceLink in Kansas City with initial funding from the Kauffman Foundation.  Today the KCSourceLink affiliate is partially funded by 12 of Kansas City's largest corporations (AMC, Hallmark, Sprint, etc) who have each committed $12,500 for five years. This funding was used as match to access a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Our affiliates are frequently financially supported by city, state, or county agencies.  Examples include: City of Baltimore, Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Loudoun County Economic Development, Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Mississippi Development Authority.  Currently, we do not have any affiliates receiving direct financial support from SBA.  This said, foundations like JPMorgan Chase provide support in select metros where they have strong presence.

We would recommend you explore local corporations, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, bank community reinvestment act funding (keep in mind this will likely only come in $5-10k at a time), local foundations interested in entrepreneurship and individuals.  You might also ask serial entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to give back.

For more ideas, here is a powerpoint from one of our last conferences that covers resources which we typically advise groups explore for funding ideas.

A number of our cities have started with the Resource Navigator while others have added Biz-Trakker and/or Siteconnex after the initial implementation; these include:

Those that have launched and are implementing the “full” system are listed below. States with smaller populations are opting to expand to the full state after starting in one city.  Des Moines, IA, for example, population around  750,000, eventually became IASourceLink, expanding easily across the state.  The Greater Des Moines Partnership, which is an affiliation of a number of chambers, led the original effort.

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