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Four Patriots honored as ‘Minority Business Leaders’ by Washington Business Journal

April 3, 2017   /   by Buzz McClain

Four of the 25 regional business leaders selected for the Washington Business Journal’s 2017 Minority Business Leader Awards attended George Mason University.

Victor Albisu, BA International Studies ’99, is a Le Cordon Bleu-Paris trained chef and is owner of Del Campo steakhouse in Washington, D.C., and the Taco Bamba chain of taquerias in Northern Virginia. His restaurants reported $2.5 million in revenue last year, and Albisu’s name has appeared on multiple award lists, including as 2015 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Juan Jara, who studied economics at George Mason beginning in 1999, is a senior vice president of retail banking for EagleBank. The Peruvian native moved to the area to attend college, he told the magazine. His desire to give back to the community keeps him involved with the United Planning Organization, Devotion to Children, GALA Hispanic Theater and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. He was on the board of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Meena Krishnan, MS Systems Engineering ’88, is president and CEO of Inoventures LLC, which forecasts financial outcomes for clients by adding intelligence to big data. Last year the company posted $5 million in revenue and was named one of the fastest-growing women-led companies by Inc. 500, and was nominated by Women in Technology for the group’s annual leadership award. At age 22 Krishnan faced a choice: Attend the London School of Economics or go to George Mason. She believes her decision to attend Mason is what ultimately pointed her toward starting her own business.

Nicole Lewis, MPP ’06, is founder and CEO of Generation Hope, a regional nonprofit she started in 2010 to help teenaged mothers with emotional and financial support while working to complete their college education. In 2015, Generation Hope helped 35 scholars; by July 2017 that number had grown to 100. In 10 years she hopes to take the organization nationwide.

Mason president Ángel Cabrera is a 2013 award winner from Washington Business Journal and is featured in a question-and-answer segment in the magazine. “I still marvel at how open the business community in Greater Washington is to minority entrepreneurs, including immigrants from around the world,” Cabrera said. “This is a great competitive advantage for our region that will prove even more critical for our economic prosperity in the years to come.”