thank you to our 2024 Speakers



Bryan Amezquita grew up and has enjoyed staying local to the Rockford area. He completed his education at Harlem High School, Rock Valley College, and Rockford University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education. Throughout his career, Bryan has collaborated with various organizations across different industries to optimize their operational systems. He has worked with companies in all stages of development, from inception to growth and succession. Currently, he holds roles as an educator, speaker, published author, Vice President of Sustain Rockford, and Co-owner of Amez Enterprises. He is focused on expanding his business, raising his family, and doing what he can to help improve the community.


Bryan's passion lies in delving into diverse business ventures, studying their

histories, and devising strategies to enhance their operational efficiency. He

thrives on overcoming challenges and formulating actionable plans that can be

analyzed then sustainably modified. When not immersed in improving his

businesses or exploring new ventures, Bryan cherishes spending quality time

with his family. He attributes his drive to their support, motivating him to strive

for excellence daily. His ultimate goal is to make a positive impact that leaves

the world better than he found it.


Mustafa K. Abdall is a seasoned bilingual and multicultural expert whose extensive career spans over 22 years across numerous prestigious organizations. He is currently making significant strides as the Director of the Arab Chamber of Commerce and held key positions within the Rockford Park District, Rockford Public Schools, Rockford University, Solex College, and Rock Valley College. His expertise is further endorsed by previous impactful roles at global giants like Shell Oil & Gas and SIEMENS.

Mustafa's deep-rooted skills in leadership, education, and multicultural communications shine through his professional journey. As a Community Advocacy and DEIB Manager with the Rockford Park District, a former ESL teacher, and a Bilingual Family Support specialist, he has continuously leveraged his multilingual abilities to foster inclusive environments and advocate for diverse communities. His role as an International Student Recruiter at Rockford University and his supervisory tenure at Shell Business Service Center highlight his capacity to navigate and influence the complex dynamics of global markets.

His academic background is equally impressive, currently pursuing an EdD Doctoral of Education in Administration and Leadership Management at Walden University, after earning multiple master's degrees in Marketing, Business Management, and Teaching from Capella University and Grand Canyon University, alongside an earlier MBA from the University of Baghdad. Mustafa's commitment to community service is evident through his active involvement in numerous local organizations, where he contributes to policy development, public relations, and strategic leadership. Fluent in several languages including English, Arabic, and conversational Russian, Mustafa Abdall is a powerful asset in any endeavor requiring adept communication and deep cultural understanding.


Sarene Alsharif, LDN, MPH is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tad More Tailoring and the Tad More Sustainability Institute, as well as a TEDx speaker. Her life's mission is to leave a positive impact by helping people look and feel great while addressing the urgent public health crisis posed by fashion industry pollution.

 Through Tad More Tailoring, Sarene promotes sustainable fashion practices by offering high-quality tailoring services, encouraging individuals to reimagine their existing wardrobe instead of constantly buying new clothes. Additionally, she spearheaded the creation of the first sewing machine operator apprenticeship program in the United States, accredited by the Department of Labor with support from The Workforce Connection, as part of the Tad More Sustainability Institute's initiatives to promote eco-conscious practices in the fashion industry.


Michael Gasparini is RLDC’s newest addition to their team. After graduating from DePaul University with his BS in Economics, Michael interned at RLDC as a credit analyst. 

Upon finishing the internship, Michael returned to DePaul University and received his Master’s in Economics and Policy Analysis before returning to RLDC as a full-time loan officer. His background brings a young and dynamic perspective to mission-based lending and economic development. 


Clarence Greer III is a creative business entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in developing and starting businesses. He graduated from East High School and attended Rockford Business College in 2002-03. Clarence is currently attending the University of Phoenix, in which he graduates in September with his Bachelor of Science in Business/Management. 

Clarence owned and operated various businesses in the Rockford area including B City Clothing in 2004, a retail clothing for men and women, and Greer’s Repairs & Maintenance in 2013 where he worked with various REALTOR organizations in the Rockford area.

Over the years, Clarence worked on various projects, both academically and professionally, which allowed him to develop his skills in business management and problem solving. Clarence is in the process of starting and growing a retail clothing and graphic design business, using new print technology innovations with t-shirts, clothing and other items designed using the free jet 330 TX DTG printers. 

Clarence is passionate about moving forward in a positive way and working with the youth to start small businesses and build problem solving and business development skills in Rockford and the surrounding areas.


Nate Jordan, CM&AA is an ambitious business professional and SIUC alumnus who holds a B.S. in Plant Biology and sits on the Greater Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. Driven by his passions for business, entrepreneurship, and technology, Nate continuously seeks opportunities to aid others in their personal and professional growth.

A firm believer in social impact and innovation, Nate founded Sprekk Technology Services in 2018, an on-demand phone repair company committed to community philanthropy. He also co-founded Sprekk Supply Group in 2020, a medical device distribution firm specializing in cutting-edge non-invasive pain management solutions for chronic pain patients.

As a Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor (CM&AA) and Managing Director for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Nate empowers the Greater Rockford community by helping local businesses achieve growth and accomplish their strategic objectives. His expertise in Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Advisory, and navigating commercial real estate transactions make him an invaluable asset for companies.


With over 25 years of lending experience, including Conventional, SBA and USDA loans, Javier works closely with his clients to help them find the best lending solutions for their specific business goals. Whether the lending request is a simple refinance or a complex business acquisition, he strives to always provide the care and responsiveness businesses deserve. 

His areas of specialization include food processing, manufacturing, industrial, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, hospital financing, professional practices, franchise, and service industries.

Javier is a proud graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago with a BS in Management, and Northern Illinois University, where he earned my MBA.

matt simpson

Matt Simpson has more than a decade of experience working in economic development, neighborhood level, and public administration. From the start, this development professional demonstrated dedication and passion for entrepreneurship and business development. Simpson notes that these are the driving forces leading him to his current role as African American Business Development Manager with the IL Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Working with the agencies that anchor communities, Simpson spent two years at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and later serving as Community development Manager for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, the Rockford Housing Authority, and Diversity Procurement Coordinator for the City of Rockford, Illinois.

The Rockford, Illinois native graduated Cum Laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics and Finance in 2010, and in 2013 earned a Master of Public Administration focused on Leadership and Public Management from Northern Illinois University.