Travelers Institute Chooses Irvine, California, to Continue 2015 Small Business – Big Opportunity

March 20, 2015

Former SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto to Deliver Keynote Address

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today will hold the second event of its 2015 Small Business – Big Opportunity national symposia series in Irvine, Calif. The event will focus on cybersecurity in partnership with Small Business California, the Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Santa Ana District Office, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Federation of Independent Business/California. Hector V. Barreto, Chairman of The Latino Coalition and former Administrator of the SBA, will deliver the keynote address.

“We are pleased to continue the Small Business – Big Opportunity series in Irvine, an area with a flourishing and diverse local economy,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “Our partnership with national and local business leaders offers an educational forum for Irvine’s entrepreneurs to learn about cybersecurity threats, among other small business challenges, and strategies to help prevent, mitigate, and manage a cyber-attack.”

In addition to cybersecurity, speakers will provide tips for accessing capital and building a business continuity plan. The panel will feature:

  • Michael Echols, Director, Joint Program Management Office, National Protection and Program Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;
  • Leila Mozaffari, Director, Orange County Small Business Development Center;
  • Matt Petteruto, Vice President, Economic Development, Orange County Business Council; and
  • Jim Waterhouse, President, Spectrum Risk Management & Insurance.

Barreto’s Latino Coalition recognizes that Hispanic Americans are a major force in the small business sector with three million plus Latino-owned companies countrywide. He added, “The challenges facing small business owners today are significant, but starting and running your own business is still the embodiment of the American Dream. In the Latino community, the dream is alive and growing, and we want to keep fueling it with the things business owners need to thrive – the ‘four C’s’ – capital, contracts, counsel, and cost control.”

Given the importance of small businesses to the national economy—especially as a driver for creating and sustaining jobs—the Travelers Institute believes public policies should encourage entrepreneurship. Launched in 2011, the Travelers Institute’s small business advocacy project, Small Business – Big Opportunity, helps promote small business success by bringing business owners across the country together with industry advocates to explore solutions to their everyday challenges.

To learn more about the series, and Travelers’ small business advocacy, visit:

About Small Business California
Small Business California (SB Cal) is a proactive non-partisan business advocacy organization whose only agenda is the wellbeing of California small businesses. Working for all California small businesses, SB Cal is responsive to the needs of California small businesses.

About Orange County Small Business Development Center
The Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an economic development program of Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD), is partially supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the California State University, Fullerton, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The Orange County SBDC is a one-stop source for business development, expansion strategies, international trade, contracting opportunities, and access to capital.

About U.S. Small Business Administration Santa Ana District Office
As the senior voice for small business, the U.S. Small Business Administration helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses that create jobs and power our economy forward. Since 1953, the SBA has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses. The Santa Ana District Office is the nation’s No. 2 lending office, supporting over $1.3 billion in access to capital last fiscal year.

About National Federation of Independent Business/California
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities. To learn more visit

About The Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers, and other experts to provide information, analysis, and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home, and business. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Luke Shane, 860-277-4090
Judy Senechal, 860-338-1384

Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.