Executive Director

Julia Spicer

Julia Spicer serves as the Executive Director for the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) and fosters innovation and company building by bringing together private and public investment capital and high growth enterprises across stage and industry. As head of MAVA, Ms. Spicer presents industry thought-leaders and best practices in support of emerging as well as established companies. From helping the earliest of innovators secure seed capital to discussing the latest in market intelligence important to high growth enterprises, she supports the full life cycle of company growth and investment interests.

Her corporate technology career, experience in private investment, and most notably, her early entrepreneurial roots as company founder provide a useful foundation for fostering the success of high growth technology companies, from start-up to exit. She joined MAVA from Columbia Capital, a private equity growth capital firm specializing in communications technology. Previously, she served as Corporate Vice President of Strategic Planning and Communications for GTE Corporation, with responsibilities for both public policy and strategic positioning for the company’s $4B emerging technology businesses which included wireless, mobile, air-to-ground, and R&D operations. Ms. Spicer also served as President of the GTE Foundation, one of the top 20 corporate foundations in the United States, focusing principally on science and mathematics education and the arts.

She has served or is currently on the boards of the Network of Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an international organization assisting disadvantaged children through chapters located in 33 countries; the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering Board of Visitors; Summit Executive Resources; and Able Flight, a scholarship program providing assistance to individuals with disabilities by challenging them through flight training. Through a gubernatorial appointment, Ms. Spicer serves on the Commonwealth Health Research Board, which has the primary responsibility to make grants for human health research, especially for those eff orts that have the potential of maximizing human health benefits for citizens of the Commonwealth.

Ms. Spicer is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar.

Sr. Director of Strategic Services

Jay Waxberg

Jay Waxberg’s market and client research has been published by the Mobile Marketing Association, the Legal Marketing Association and used internally by a Fortune 150 company and one of the largest law firms in the United States. He has founded multiple companies, overseen a successful early-stage exit, and has consulted internationally for both service and product companies. At MAVA Mr. Waxberg supports the Association and its members by creating successful marketing, research and technological outcomes, fueling the greater economic environment. His volunteer work includes fostering rescue dogs and he is a past chair of the Washington DC Alumni Association.

He is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College where he was an academic scholar and received his MBA from The College of William & Mary.

Director of Communication

Bennett Sasser

Bennett Sasser serves as the Director of Communications and Business Development for MAVA, supporting areas related to membership services, program development and implementation, integrated communications, and sponsorship. Prior to joining MAVA, Ms. Sasser spent three years at Hanover Research, a research and analytics organization with expertise across the higher education, K-12 education, and enterprise sectors. Throughout her professional career, Ms. Sasser has served in various roles across business development, revenue support, and account management in both for-profit and non-profit settings. She has demonstrated experience delivering top-quality customer service, communicating organizational impact to key stakeholders, and developing marketing campaigns to drive engagement.