Small Business Advisory Task Force
The Small Business Assistance Advisory Task Force was created by the 78th Legislature in 2003 to advise and assist the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House on issues relating to small business; as well as to assist and advise the Office of Small Business Assistance in their duties including serving as the principal focal point in the state for small and historically underutilized businesses.
Eduardo Contreras of Austin is Founder and CEO of ALCON DTS, and has worked in IT security, networking, telecommunications, and software industries for the past 20 years. He founded his first company in 2001 and has served as both CEO and board member to several diverse companies. He is a board member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, member of the NFIB Leadership Council, and member of the Forbes Entrepreneur & Small Business Forum.
Lisa Fullerton of San Antonio is the President and CEO of A Novel Idea, LLC (A.N.I), which has operated seven Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and two Cinnabon Franchises in malls and the San Antonio airport since 2000. After witnessing increasing and unpredictable regulation, Fullerton started to advocate for small business at the local, state, and federal levels in recent years. During 2018, she successfully fought against a Labor Peace Agreement that would have allowed labor unions to organize airport concessionaire employees. Since 2019, she’s been fighting for preemptive legislation that would prevent municipalities from creating patchwork city mandates contradictory to the State constitution and wage laws. As a result, she has become “the face of small business” by testifying in the Texas House and Senate State Affairs committees. Employee turnover in the high stress, high-burnout food service industry is 200%, and the average lifespan of a quick-serve restaurant is 8.5 years. One of her proudest accomplishments was surviving the devastating retail climate brought on by COVID-19 and being able to beat the odds. To stay educated on the potential impact of legislative bills harmful to the longevity of small business, Fullerton is the 2021-2023 National Foundation of Independent Business (NFIB) Texas State Chair, past Public Policy Chair for National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and former Small Business Director for the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. She was recently commissioned as a Colson Fellow and is a proud member of C12 – a Christian peer-to-peer cohort of CEO’s looking for ways to doing business as a ministry within their spheres of influence.
Omar Veliz of El Paso is the President of Veliz Construction. Additionally, he is a professional engineer in Texas and New Mexico. He is a member of the American Hospital Association, Associated General Contractors of America, and Lean Construction Institute. Additionally, he is a board member of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and UTEP Construction Management Program. Veliz received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso.