Meet the Growth Partners Arizona Team!

 

Andre T. Whittington

Executive Director

Andre T. Whittington is an award-winning executive, organizational strategist, and founder of Opemia Consulting. Over the last three years he has assisted his clients in experiencing over $3M in revenue growth and supported small to mid-size companies in scaling their business. In 2022 Andre partnered with Isom Global Strategies to take on the role of Small Business Coach with the SBA in Phoenix, AZ, and Albuquerque NM. As a Small Business Coach, he provided mentoring, support, and advisory council to small business owners. He also served as the Associate Director for Our Village United, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. During his tenure he assisted in building critical small business programs that ensured BIPOC business owners received the necessary training to help scale their business and ensure they were capital ready. As the Associate Director he worked closely with the CEO to secure national partnerships with major corporations and expand program offerings across several states. The programs developed by his team provided direct impact to over 200 BIPOC small business owners across several states.

Prior to his work with small businesses, Andre worked in Corporate America leading learning & development teams, performance management strategies, and organizational development initiatives that directly impacted a workforce of over 30K employees. During his time in Corporate America, he successfully managed operational budgets of $4M+, managed remote teams of 30+ team members located both domestically and internationally, and implemented innovative operational solutions resulting in over $1M in cost savings.

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with his family. Andre is a passionate leader who believes that building strong communities starts with empowering small businesses with the resources and capital that will help them thrive. He currently resides in Phoenix, AZ and is eager to be a part of the amazing work of Growth Partners Arizona.

 

Martin Mendoza

Loan Program Manager

Martin is a bi-cultural, bilingual (English, Spanish) professional, with business experience in finance, management, and industry services. He is highly interested in social, economic, and cultural affairs, as well as how people think and arrive at personal, business, and economic decisions. Martin has four years of experience in community development lending for small businesses in Arizona. His role with GPAz is to develop and grow the loan portfolio to underserved small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Arizona.

Martin is a native of Mexico and previously worked in Tucson for a bilingual magazine and a food import business, and in Mexico in sales training and lease financing. He also has several years of experience teaching at the university level. Martin has a master’s degree in education/education management and a bachelor’s degree in management.

 

Alexa G. Rodriguez

Kiva Capital Access Manager & Business Advisory Services Manager

Alexa’s role at GPAz is to grow the Kiva Tucson hub, bringing together community partner organizations to expand the reach of Kiva in southern Arizona communities and to help entrepreneurs gain access to Kiva’s global network of crowdfunding microlenders.

Alexa has experience in business counseling at an SBA Women’s Business Center, as well as event planning, social media management and creative content creation, including website and graphic design. She has a bachelor’s degree in management and minors in global business and Spanish history and translation from universities in Brazil and Mexico. Alexa is also an entrepreneur, owning her own e-retail business selling Mexican clothing and accessories. Alexa is also bi-cultural and bilingual (English, Spanish).

 

Jackie McGuire

Loan and Administrative Coordinator

Jackie McGuire is GPAz’s Loan and Administrative Coordinator. She has worked part-time with GPAz for nearly three years. She has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Jackie spent 11 years as a bank credit analyst and commercial loan officer before becoming a full-time mom to active twin boys. She is the “jack of all trades” at GPAz – contact her if you have general questions or aren’t quite sure who to call.

 

 

Growth Partners Arizona attracts and provides resources to for-profit and nonprofit businesses through loans and technical assistance to enhance and empower communities throughout Arizona.