Meet the Team

Program Staff

Cathy Landry, Executive Director

Cathy has held the positions of Lead Faculty and Mod Faculty prior to her current position. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, is a Certified Professional in Learning Performance (CPLP) and an FAA licensed aircraft mechanic. With over 30 years affiliated with her family’s aviation training business in management positions, Cathy currently owns Northrop Rice which focuses on the development and implementation of aircraft maintenance training courses and on-the-job training processes.

Liz Lara CarreƱo, Outreach Director & Mod Faculty

Liz Lara-Carreño currently serves as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program Director of Outreach. As part of the program launch in January 2011, she also holds additional roles as a faculty member of the National Program at Babson College and the local Program at HCC. Liz uses her diverse and expansive leadership and management experience in corporate, small business, and the non-profit community. Armed with a degree, numerous certifications, global leadership experience and owner of LLC-Strategies, she brings a fresh perspective and candid facilitative style to address the challenges of business owners in growth mode.

Rita Reed, Alumni Manager

Rita Reed is the Alumni Manager for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduates. She is committed to creating and engaging a community of active alumni who will support each other and give back to the 10,000 Small Businesses program. Rita graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in International Business. She has worked in international sales while living in Europe, volunteered for a year through AmeriCorps VISTA and helped grow a non-profit from a start-up to a national business.

Mishele Lamshing, Program Manager

Mishele Lamshing is Program Manager for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Houston and has been with the program since its inception in 2011. She has also assisted in the national program as well. Mishele manages the budget and coordinates curriculum and outreach logistics of the program to ensure program operations are effective for program scholars and staff. Mishele has a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising with minor in Marketing and also provides freelance services for small businesses in the greater Houston area.

Terri Almendarez, Administrative Coordinator

Terri Almendarez is the Administrative Coordinator for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and is involved in local outreach and recruiting efforts including assisting applicants with the application process. Terri coordinates logistics for each of the cohorts and events and assist in managing administrative responsibilities. Terri is an alumnus of Houston Community College, and prior to joining Houston Community College Terri was a realtor with Coldwell Banker United Realtors.

Curriculum Staff

Manuel Aguilar, Lead Faculty

Manuel Aguilar is the Lead Faculty for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in Houston and a BBA/MBA Finance graduate from the University of St. Thomas. Manuel’s experience includes Small Business/Commercial Banking, Healthcare Software, Business Ownership and in Non-Profit. He is Owner President of 10Thirty-six, partner in SaaS company Fezziwig Technologies and founder of Graduate Growth Group (3G).

Michael Davenport, Business Advisor

Michael A. Davenport brings over 30 years of legal and business counsel experience. He is a retired Commander of the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp (JAGC), a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas and the founder of Davenport Law, a risk management and litigation firm established in 1984.and serves as a business advisor in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

John Whaley, Business Advisor

John Whaley is a strategic business planner that serves as a business advisor as well as a Modules 2 - Growth and Opportunity and Module 6 - Marketing and Sales Mod Faculty for the program. John filed his first DBA at the age of 16 and worked passionately in the community to support entrepreneurship at all levels for the past 30 years. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Western Governors University as well as his Masters of Business Administration degree.


Kim Burroughs, Module Faculty

Kimberly Burroughs teaches Module 4 – You Are the Leader.  Currently, she serves as Human Resource Director for a large non-profit, and previously held leadership roles with global organizations in operations management and leadership development.  She has over 20 years’ experience in development, implementation, and strategic execution in leadership and performance management programs and initiatives, and provides HR consultation to individuals in business strategy. She holds a Bachelor Arts degree from Siena Heights University, a Master of Arts degree in Sociology and Leadership Studies, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University.

Ibrahim Firat, MBA, Module Faculty

Ibrahim Firat is the Lead Faculty for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in Houston and at Babson College for the National Blended Program. Ibrahim has been with the program since its inception in January 2011, and serves as the curriculum oversight, review, and implementation liaison for Houston. Ibrahim has authored various curriculum materials for the national curriculum, and also serves as a full time Professor of Entrepreneurship at Houston Community College. He owns and operates three businesses currently, and has owned and sold four businesses by the time he was 24 years old. Ibrahim has an undergraduate degree in History and a Master’s in Business Administration focused in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and International Business from the University of St. Thomas and is author of The Firat Guide, a tool for the school admissions process.

Josephine Firat, MBA, MIB, Module Faculty

Josephine Firat teaches Modules 2- Growth and Opportunity and 6- Marketing and Sales, while also serving as Module Faculty for the national program. Josephine is also founder and co-founder of various enterprises: Owner/founder of UZO Umbrellas; Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Firat Educational Solutions; Founder and business consultant at Firat Group; Co-founder and Co-owner of Croqui Stencil, and Co-founder/President of Alpha Balls. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in Management and Psychology and obtained her Master’s of Business Administration degree in 2006 with a concentration in Finance and Marketing. She also holds a second Master’s degree in International Business.

David Regenbaum, Module Faculty

David Regenbaum serves as faculty for Module 7: Strategic Growth through Operations of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program.  He also serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence for Houston Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and is the Vice President of the Houston Community College Foundation.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Silver Fox Advisors and is the Managing Member of AMI Institute, LLC.   He was previously the CEO and Co-Founder (with his wife) of Association Management, Inc. (AMI), a successful community association management company which he sold in 2014, and prior to that practiced as an attorney in South Africa until his immigration to the USA in 1979.

Rebecca Schultz, Module Faculty

Rebecca Schultz teaches Module 3 Money & Metrics, Financial Statement Workshops and Module 8 Being Bankable. Rebecca has her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and has successfully started and sold two of her own small businesses. She focuses her attention and career on helping other business owners get access to capital with over 20 years of lending experience.

Warren Winston, Module Faculty


Warren Winston teaches Financial Statement Workshops I and II, Module 3 – Money and Metrics, and Module 8 – Being Bankable for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.  He also serves as a Business Advisor with the Houston MBDA Business Center.  Both programs are operated by Houston Community College.  As a successful entrepreneur; Warren is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Wisdom Leadership and Wealth International, the preeminent provider of innovative business and economic leadership strategies worldwide.  Warren is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia, and he also holds additional business and leadership certifications with Rockhurst University, Dale Carnegie Training, and with the John C. Maxwell Team.