Women Impacting Public Policy
LA Communications, LLC
She has 25 years of experience leading Human Resources, Communications and Government Affairs, including 13 years at the executive level, for a variety of companies, including Boise Cascade, TimberWest Forest Corp., Weyerhaeuser Company, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. and Burson-Marsteller Public Affairs. A Canadian, she started her career as a Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament in Ottawa. She has received more than 25 international communications and business awards.
Virginia holds a Master of Philosophy Degree in International Relations from Oxford University in England, a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Political Science from the University of British Columbia.
Virginia is an Advisory Board Member of Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics Responsible Business Initiative and has been on the boards of the United Way for the BC Lower Mainland, the Marmot Recovery Foundation and the Vancouver International Writers Festival. She was the volunteer editor/publisher of Room of One’s Own, Canada’s oldest women’s literary magazine, for eight years. Virginia has travelled to more than 30 countries and written travel and golf articles for daily and national newspapers and magazines. She is competitive age group triathlete and equestrienne and currently lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband.
The Coca-Cola Company
Alta Baker, President and CEO of SafeHaven Enterprises, LLC was the winner of the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Louisiana Economic Development’s 2002 Lantern Award for her leadership, dedication and commitment to excellence. Alta is active on the local, state and national levels. She is a leading advocate on behalf of women-owned businesses. She serves on the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC) Board of Directors and is the Past Chair of its National Women’s Enterprise Leadership Forum. She demonstrates outstanding leadership in providing and expanding opportunities for women-owned businesses. Alta works tirelessly to assist other women business owners to build their capacity to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Safe Haven Enterprises
Robert E. Bard is the president and CEO of LATINA Style Inc., a position he assumed in October 2001, after the untimely passing of his spouse and business partner, Anna Maria Arias, founder, editor & publisher of LATINA Style Magazine.
In his twelve years leading LATINA Style Mr. Bard has been able to expand on the influence of the company by creating the Anna Maria Arias Entrepreneurship Awards, a national recognition program for Latina entrepreneurs, further developing the four signature programs of the company; the LATINA Style Business Series, the most successful ongoing business development program for Latina business owners in the nation; the LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference, reporting on the top 50 companies for Latinas to work for in the U.S.; the National LATINA Symposium recognizing Latina achievement in all areas and professions; and the Distinguished Military Service Awards, honoring outstanding Latinas for their military Service. In 2012 LATINA Style launched two additional programs: the LS Hero Program focusing in the reintegration and re-assimilation of military personnel leaving the service and entering corporate America or launching their own businesses and the College Beat Series a program dedicated to empower and inform Latinas in colleges and universities.
Mr. Bard is a graduate of the MALDEF Leadership Training Program and is actively involved in the endeavors of the Hispanic community. He serves on the Board of Directors of Parents Step Ahead, an organization created to enable parents to get involved in their children’s education, on the advisory boards of HITEC, one of the premiere organizations providing services to Hispanics in the technology field, the Women of Alpfa, a leading organization empowering Latinas in the accounting and financial field and is the acting Chairman of ANSO, the Association of Naval Service Officers. In May of 2011, Mr. Bard was recognized by the Chief of Naval Operations with the prestigious Admiral Farragut Hispanic Diversity Champion Award for his work to improve and promote diversity in the military community.
Mr. Bard is married to Ms. Lupita Colmenero, publisher of El Hispano News and Founder of Parents Step Ahead Foundation in Dallas. Mr. Bard is a graduate of the California State University at Northridge and completed postgraduate studies at the University of California in Los Angeles, leadership programs at the Tuck School of business, Harvard and Yale Business Schools. He is a native from Chile and is fluent in Spanish and French.
The Susan Bari Company
Gina Diez Barroso has been a pioneer in the fields of arts and education for over 20 years. In 1990 she created and launched Grupo Diarq, a holding company with eight subsidiaries currently employing over 600 people. One of the most prestigious real estate development and design firms in Latin America, DIARQ has completed over 850 residential and hospitality projects to date.
In 2004, Mrs. Diez Barroso founded CENTRO; the first university in Mexico City specialized in creative studies with a strong emphasis in business and entrepreneurship. CENTRO currently offers seven undergraduate degrees and six master’s programs, as well as a broad range of graduate studies and continuing education courses in related disciplines. In just 12 years since opening, the university has grown rapidly to its present student enrollment of 2,500 and is recognized as Mexico’s best university in its field.
Mrs. Diez Barroso has given lectures in business schools in the United States, Latin America and Europe.
In 1992, she founded Fundacion Diarq, a non-profit organization that works towards eradicating domestic violence and preventing bullying in schools. In 2004, she founded Fundacion Pro-Educacion Centro, a non-profit organization granting merit-based scholarships to deserving students pursuing degrees in creative studies.
In 2016, Mrs. Diez Barroso founded Dalia Empower, an initiative created to empower women under a unique educational methodology, enabling their hard and soft skills. DALIA is the first international integrated platform with a global network.
Mrs. Diez Barroso sits on several international boards and is one of the two Mexicans belonging to C200 (200 Women Business Leaders of the World) and represents Mexico in W20, the women initiative from G20.
Mary Beall Adler is a successful entrepreneur, author, creativity coach and owner of Georgetown Bagelry, a retail and wholesale bakery in Washington D.C. With a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, and having attended Antioch Law School for two years, Adler turned the foundering bakery into an award-winning success with no formal business training. As a mother of six and veteran in the business space, Adler is also a sought after expert on women’s leadership and work-life balance issues. She has a heart for philanthropy, cycling, yoga, meditating, reading, playing piano and teaching meditative spinning.
For more information, visit www.georgetownbagelry.com and www.marybealladler.com.
Gloria Bohan founded Omega World Travel (Omega) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1972. Now Omega is a global company, headquartered in Fairfax, VA, with annual sales revenues in excess of $1 billion.The company serves every major area of business, government and leisure travel throughout the USand abroad. Omega also has its own Meetings and Incentives division.In 1997, Glorialaunched Cruise.com, one of the internet’s largest cruise sellers. Gloria also owns TravTech, a software development company dedicated to providing innovative solutions for Omega’s clients and the travel industry at large.
Ms. Bohan has been recognized many times over for her stellar business achievements, including an induction into the Washington, DC, Business Hall of Fame as a Hall of Fame Laureate; recognition as one of the 50 most influential people in Virginia by Virginia Business; and recipient of theExecutive Lifetime Achievement Award from the Executive Women's Forum.
On the leisure side, in 2015, Gloria christened Windstar Cruises Star Legend in Italy and serves as Godmother, a title she continues to enjoy.
A graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in New York where she has served as a Trustee, Ms. Bohancurrently is as a board member on the World Affairs Council and the Fairfax County Education Foundation and is a member of The Zenith Group. Ms. Bohan, and her beloved late husband, Dan Bohan, who served as the Chief Operating Officer of Omega, established the Gloria and Dan Bohan Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship and its values.
Omega World Travel
Sheila C. Boyington, PE is the co-founder and President of Thinking Media creator of Learning Blade® for STEM education. Learning Blade is a STEM career awareness online system linked to academics that has been validated by Battelle Education to increase awareness and interest in STEM careers. Through Sheila’s leadership, Learning Blade has been adopted statewide in Tennessee and Arkansas and used in over 25 states in just 3 years. Sheila is currently also serving as the National Senior Advisor to STEMconnector® and National States Chair for Million Women Mentors® as she is leading national efforts in STEM particularly for women. Sheila has worked with the MWM team to build state leadership teams and created infrastructure to support the MWM State work and support over 1 million pledges.
Priya Boyington serves as a board member of Thinking Media. Priya is an e-commerce marketer, passionate about the intersection of retail and technology. Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Priya started her career in management consulting with Bain & Company in Atlanta, working with Fortune 500 companies and in the Private Equity Group. She also was the 10th employee at GoldieBlox, a toy startup in San Francisco out to inspire the next generation of female engineers.
Executive Director of the National Women's Business Council
MMI Public Relations
As Vice President of Operations for the Women Presidents' Organization and the Women Presidents' Educational Organization, Camille Burns oversees all functions of the headquarters office, including financial directives, human resources, marketing, technology and administration. She plays an active role in planning annual meetings and conferences and represents both organizations at events around the world.
Camille is an ardent supporter of women's economic development and is inspired to help foster women business owners through the WPO and WPEO. She is a member of the advisory board of Enterprising Women magazine, sits on the steering committee of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), and is on the planning committee for Go for the Greens, a business development conference for women entrepreneurs.
Women Presidents’ Organization
A mother, grandmother, and self-proclaimed “high-maintenance wife,” Mary lives in Raleigh, NC.WomanBusinessOwner.com
CESI Debt Solutions
Coche founded Gravity Pro Consulting in 2007 and brings more than two decades of thought leadership to the field of Information Services. Cochereceived Enterprising Women’s 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year Award in 2015. Shestarted her career with Rolex Industries in Geneva, Switzerland, an early adopter of Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) technologies. She then spent several years with Cap Gemini as a management consultant and later became vice president of a leading SAP reseller.
The culmination of her career was founding Gravity Pro Consulting, which she accomplished with only her laptop and no investors. Through her vision, Gravity Pro achieved SAP Gold Partner status and holds the distinction of being the only woman-owned business authorized to resell all SAP license solutions. Today, Gravity Pro is a leading reseller, integrator and value add partner with many software firms such as Software AG, Greenlight Corp, Neptune Software, Fortify and many others, providing solutions that support the enterprise with cyber security, cloud computing, data warehouses and data analytics. In addition to Coche’s professional accomplishments, she has established Caillou Blanc, a foundation where world leaders, visionaries and heads of industry can come together to create and manifest their vision of the future.
Gravity Pro Consulting
In 1989, Cohen co-founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has been recognized on Security Magazine’s Security 500 list and Workforce Magazine’s Hot List for several concurrent years, and the company has been named one of “Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” each year since 2013. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen.”
In addition, Cohen is a founding member of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). NAPBS has since become a highly respected association granting accreditation to screening companies that meet rigorous professional standards. InfoMart achieved accreditation in 2013, becoming one of the only 10 percent of companies to date that holds this distinction. Cohen is also actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations,including Marietta City Schools, Cobb County Public Schools, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA of Northwest Georgia. During her many years of volunteer and professional service, she has received numerous honors for her contributions and achievements.
United Parcel Service
Label Logic, inc.
Linda Cromwell is the compassionate owner of Being There Senior Care, a non-medical home care agency for seniors.
A private duty nurse for many years, Linda started her company when she realized the need for compassionate care went way beyond her ability to care for the elderly herself. Now she plays matchmaker—carefully hiring qualified, empathetic nurses and placing them in the homes of appropriate clients.
Linda's younger brother was disabled at birth, so she learned early and firsthand the strains on a family unless they have appropriate assistance. "After years of watching my mother care for my brother, I saw how hard it is to provide rigorous care without qualified help."
Linda enjoys the satisfaction of providing compassionate care to appreciative elderly individuals and their families. She is also the recipient of many awards for her successful entrepreneurial skills, and she was recently featured in Forbes Magazine. Linda is a 2013 Enterprising Women of the Year Award winner.
Being There Senior Care LLC
Carol Curran is the founder and CEO of Phoenix Data Corporation, a certified woman-owned business developing innovative technology solutions for planning and optimization, training and workforce development, document management and electronic records, and program management.
Phoenix Data Corporation was recognized as a Top 50 Women-Owned Business in Indiana and a 2014 Top Workplace, and for 2013, an Indiana Companies to Watch winner, a finalist in the 2013 TechPoint Mira Awards, and a Top Emerging Business in America by DiversityBusiness.com. Carol was honored with the Indianapolis Business Journal 2013 Women of Influence Award.
Carol serves as Board Secretary for the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO – Indianapolis), Advisory Board Member for Enterprising Women magazine and Board Member for the Indiana Chamber.
Phoenix Data Corporation
Red Sky Blue Water LLC
Focused on providing “care with cultural comfort,” Delaney is committed to expanding her vision of providing consulting services to assist with the development of person-centered adult day health centers and patient-centered residential medical care homes. Delaney is a member of the Business Advisory Council for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and she received the organization’s Business Woman of the Year Award in 2005 and 2006. In addition, she supports key causes that are important to her, including the Minnesota Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness Association, Stand Up To Cancer Foundation and Team Women Minnesota, a mentoring program for women.
Touching Lives Adult Day Services Center
In 1989, she published a book for speech and language therapists, Speech Desk: Program Management System for Speech / Language Therapists, and Focus was born January 20, 1989. Originally a home based business with its emphasis on graphic design and copy writing assistance, capabilities grew with client requests. Moving into a storefront with 900 square feet of space in the mid 90's, expansion was needed soon and Focus Ink moved into a 1500 square foot facility in the late 90's. With ever increasing abilities, we expanded into a 3000 square feet location in 2004, after become a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
Staying consistent with our roots, we have continued to keep personalized service at the forefront of our interactions. We believe we are the most diverse print shop in New Mexico. Besides regular offset printing, equipment and capabilities include: digital printing, vinyl cutting, large format printing (on a variety of media), pad (product) imprinting, screen printing, label printing, foil stamping, heat transfers, graphic design as well as multi language typesetting, dozens of invitation catalogs, and access to over 600,000 promotional products. Long standing affiliations allow her clients to purchase online items such as checking and banking supplies, invitations and much more. Much of our technology allows for small quantity output, something difficult to find in most shops.Nancy has been a member of many business and community organizations, and served 4 years on the Board and Loan Fund Committee of WESSTCORP (Women's Economic Self Sufficiency Team). She is on the board of the Knob Hill Neighborhood Association, is currently active in the County and State Democratic Party, and is on the State Resolutions and Platform Committee. She was on the board of Las Adelitas.
Focus Ink, Inc.
In addition to her responsibilities as CEO of Technalink, Ms. Dhillon uses her passion for technology as platform to give back. She is a keynote speaker to the Girls in Technology organization (GIT) on Entrepreneurship and STEM to inspire more girls to pursue STEM related careers. Ms. Dhillon is actively involved in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and serves as a board member.
Ms. Dhillon has been honored with numerous awards not only for her professional achievements, but also for her commitment to serving her community. Her accolades include receiving The 2012 BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award presented by SmartCEO, the Top 100 CEO’s in STEM, the Top 100 Women Leaders in STEM, the 2013 Locally Grown honor by Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and the Abe Veneable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Agency (MBDA).
She is also the recent recipient of the Global Technology and Innovation Leaders Award of the Decade presented by the Women’s Economic Forum. Ms. Dhillon is the author of the International Best-Seller “The OM Factor®: A Woman’s Spiritual Guide to Leadership: 7 Essential Tools and 7 Key Traits to Cultivate for Your Success and Well-Being. This book provides youwith essential tools to deal with stressful situations in the workplace real-time, and also teaches how to cultivate key traits to limit those scenarios from arising so often. The OM Factor has received the Bronze Medal from Axiom Business Book Awards as one of the Best Business Books of 2016 in North America. Ms. Dhillon holds B.A. degrees in Economics and Spanish from the University of Virginia.
She contributes to The Huffington Post, Today.com& NBC Universal, Blogs and offers OM Factor related merchandise and advice at www.alkadhillon.com.
Writing has always been an integral part of Harriet’s life. Her early books are Grammar – In Plain English, English the Easy Way, and Writing the Easy Way. Once retired, she coauthored Perfect Phrases for Motivating and Rewarding Employees, Perfect Phrases for Writing Company Announcements, Teambuilding That Gets Results, and Executive Writing: American Style with her daughter, Linda Eve Diamond. Additionally, Harriet has written magazine and journal articles on a broad range of business and communication topics.
Author, writer, speaker
Women’s Business Development Center
DiResta an International speaker and is the author of Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz, an Amazon.com category best-seller and widely-used text in college business communication courses and her new ebook, Give Fear the Finger: How to Knockout Fear of Pubic Speaking. She is a licensed Speech Pathologist, has been featured on CNN, quoted in the WSJ and NY Times and published in forbes.com. Diane’s mantra is “In the absence of communication there can be no business.”
DiResta Communications, Inc.
Renee is Nolte Intellectual Property Law Group’s Managing Partner for the Trademark Practice and her practice caters to small businesses, entrepreneurs and other creative individuals that have intellectual property assets as the main focus of their business. Renee manages numerous trademark, copyright and domain name portfolios and primarily focuses on US trademark prosecution, title and security interest issues, US Customs matters and domain name registration conflicts and strategies. She also advises in connection with publishing contracts, as well as securing publishers or other commercially viable outlets for client’s intellectual property rights.
Renée L. Duff, P.C.
National Association of Women Business Owners
Liz Elting co-founded TransPerfect in 1992. Today, TransPerfect is the world’s largest privately held provider of language and business solutions. Headquartered in New York City, the company has more than 3,500 employees and over 90 offices in cities around the globe. Elting has earned numerous awards for her outstanding entrepreneurship and focus on developing women business leaders. They include: the Working Woman “Entrepreneurial Excellence” Award for Customer Service, the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award, the American Express-Entrepreneur Magazine “Woman of the Year” Award, the "Distinguished Alumnae" Award from NYU Stern's Women in Business, the “Women Worth Watching” Award from Diversity Journal, and most recently, the "Women of Power & Influence" Awards by the National Organization for Women.
With Elting’s commitment and vision, TransPerfect has been an eight-time recipient of the Inc. 5000 Award, a six-time honoree of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, and has earned multiple Stevie Awards, including “Company of the Year” and “Fastest Growing Tech Company of the Year” in 2016. Crain’s New York Business has named TransPerfect one of the largest privately held companies for 11 consecutive years, and one of the largest women-owned companies ten times. The company was a winner of the 2015 SmartCEO Corporate Culture Awards, and named the Internet Marketing Association’s “Best Translation Solution” at the IMPACT15 Conference. TransPerfect has also been named one of the fastest-growing women-owned/led businesses in North America by Entrepreneur and the Women Presidents' Organization.
Elting holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from The Stern School of Business at New York University and a BA in Modern Languages and Literatures from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
Denise has served in numerous leadership and executive positions in IBM marketing and sales, globally, for 36+ years.
Denise serves on the Board of Directors of the Native American Chamber of Commerce, Women Presidents' Organization, Center for Women's Business Research, X Coalition, Enterprising Women Magazine, the International Planning Committee for the Global Summit of Women, and the advisory board of The S.O.L.V.E. Group, LLC.Denise earned her ScB degree in Mathematics and Economics from Brown University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Superior Staff Resources, Inc.
Women Presidents’ Organizationwww.womenpresidentsorg.com
Judy Fourie was also named as one of the top Women in Business in the Triangle in 2003 by the Triangle Business Journal and one of the Top Women of Western Wake in 2007 by Cary Magazine.
Anne B. Freedman, is an internationally recognized business communication and executive presentation consultant, corporate trainer, author and E-course developer. As founder and president of Speakout, Inc., a Miami-based company established in 1990, her mission in life is “to help prevent everyone from ever having to listen to or give another boring speech or presentation. And to keep the art of face-to-face communication alive and well!"
Anne works privately and in groups to help executives and community leaders create powerful messages, while reducing the frustration and anxiety of public speaking. Bilingual, in English and Spanish, she also conducts programs on team and leadership communication, networking skills, and developing elevator speeches. Clients include SAB Miller, Perry Ellis International, Kaufman Rossin CPAs, DHL, Western Union, Royal Caribbean, Florida International University, Banco do Brasil, and many other multinational and US corporations, nonprofits and business owners.
A University of Florida graduate and former journalist, Anne is the author of Public Speaking for the Genius, and Say It! Own It!, a 240-page illustrated Workbook. Her 14-video E-course, Speak Your Way to the Top, is due out early next year.
Active in the community, Anne currently serves on the President’s Assembly Steering Committee of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She is past president of Miami NAWBO, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the South Florida Progress Foundation. She serves on the Florida International Bankers Association’s Women’s Leadership Committee and is involved in other business and civic groups.
Joan Killian Gallagher is the founder of Warden-Brooks, Ltd. Warden-Brooks, Ltd. has been designing and producing its exclusive corporate gifts since 1978, when corporate identity products were just coming into their own as a memento, an award, or even just a thanks. Joan founded Warden-Brooks, Ltd. in 1978 in New York City, for the design, manufacture and sale of corporate gift products.
Design to Delivery Inc.
Center for Women’s Business Research
Sharon Hadary & Co.
Linda Hamilton is the founder of a CPA and business advisory firm that serves clients in the U.S. and across the globe. The firm works with businesses, nonprofit entities and high-net-worth individuals. She advises her clients on federal, state and local tax matters including payroll tax, worker classification issues, international tax issues, and state nexus issues. The firm also provides coaching, virtual and outsourced CFO and controller services.
Linda coaches businesses in a wide variety of industries on developing and monitoring key performance measures. With her guidance, business owners learn to focus on the details of their business in order to make important decisions on expansion, succession planning, and the impact of taxes on decisions. Using the latest cloud technology solutions, Linda guides clients in monitoring performance and spotting the vital signs that indicate whether the company is on track to meet goals or needs to consider course corrections.
Before striking out on her own more than 20 years ago, Linda served emerging businesses in the audit and tax practices of Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). She has been quoted in major publications including the Wall Street Journal and is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics, including tax planning, managing and growing a business, designing accounting systems tailored to fit a company’s unique needs, and unlocking the financial intelligence in business data. She has been a board member and past treasurer of the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) and belongs to the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), the AICPA, the NYSSCPA, and the NYSSCPA Partnership and LLC Tax Committee.
In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, Linda holds certifications in many of today’s top cloud technology tools and accounting products. She is certified in: QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Xero, LivePlan, Bill.com, AccountEdge, FreshBooks, Mentor Plus and Corelytics Dashboards.
Linda A. Hamilton CPA LLC, New York, NY
HUB Collective, Ltd.
Rose Harr is an impassioned entrepreneur, humanitarian and President and CEO of BlueWare, a multimillion dollar International provider of information systems for the healthcare industry.
Harr’s successful management of BlueWare has led to the companies’ rapid growth. In 2005, BlueWare expanded internationally and opened offices in Hampshire, United Kingdom. In 2006, BlueWare received the distinction of being one of Michigan’s Top 50 Companies to Watch. Recently, Harr was honored as one of Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Woman of the Year for 2007. She was chosen for this honor as one of nine women in the nation whose companies earned $5 million - $10 million.
BlueWare’s signature product Wellness Connection is an Electronic Health Record System that has been instrumental in saving hospitals time, money and patient’s lives in more than 200 facilities across the United States and Europe. Wellness Connection’s unobtrusive and quick installation allows hospitals to immediately use digital technology for the storage and retrieval of patient medical records. Hospitals that have implemented Wellness Connection have seen a return on investment in six months or less while physicians using the system now spend three extra hours a day on patient care instead of patient charts.
Prior to launching BlueWare, Harr was employed by IBM as an advisory systems engineer, health and image specialist and an AS/400 advances application team leader. During her 13-year tenure with the international corporation, she implemented two HBOC systems, resulting in $4.5 million in revenues.
Harr is also committed to being a voice for women in business and holds memberships with the Women Presidents’ Organization--South East Chapter and the Enterprising Women Board of Directors. In 2007, Harr spoke to international women business leaders at the Global Summit of Women held in Berlin, Germany.
With electronic health records being the future in Healthcare IT Harr envisions a worldwide Health Information Exchange with BlueWare’s software leading the way.
Dee founded Excellence Engineering in 2001 focusing on electrical, instrumentation and controls engineering for utilities and midstream facilities in the oil and gas sector. With growth of the company over the years, Excellence Engineering, LLC diversified and has grown adding civil, structural, piping, chemical, mechanical, process, and pipeline engineering services. Under Dee’s leadership, Excellence Engineering serves numerous midstream, downstream, and utility clients throughout the country, including several Fortune 500 companies. The company received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in 2013 and is WOSB and HubZone certified by the US government in 2015.
Corinne Heijn is founder and president of UnitedSuccess. Corinne's formal education was the foundation on which she built her career, but it is her life experiences and travels to distant lands that have made a profound impact on her business acumen. Her studies included a Law Degree from the University of Leiden, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and MIT Sloan School of Management, along with several other corporate and management training and coaching programmes.
Corinne's corporate experience includes 4 years as a consultant designing and implementing financial information systems at Arthur Anderson Management Consultants in the early 1980s, and 9 years with KLM in senior management roles, including strategic development as part of the team who created the vision and strategy for KLM USA.
UnitedSuccess unites women business owners from different corners of the globe who are eager to grow and share common values. Transparency, integrity and trust are the backbone of this unique network. Credibility and reliability are explicit admission criteria.
Former teacher, non-profit director and cross-cultural trainer, Marion Hook is currently the owner of the award-winning Adobe Rose Inn LLC, a "green" bed and breakfast in Tucson, AZ. Hook sets the Adobe Rose Inn apart from other bed and breakfasts by offering consistent, customized, superb customer service to targeted domestic and international clients. She also is the creator and manufacturer of the Adobe Rose Inn Buttermilk Scone Mix which is available in all Whole Foods stores in Arizona and in regional gift shops and specialty stores. Involved in her community, she has served as President of NAWBO Greater Tucson, is Chair of the City of Tucson Small Minority and Women-owned Business Commission and is also the Commission's liaison to the Pima County Small Business Commission.
Adobe Rose Inn LLC
After completing her cardiovascular training, she remained on staff briefly before going into private practice in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2006, she became the owner and managing partner of Chesapeake Cardiac Care which is now recognized as a full, coordinated adult cardiovascular practice that consistently surpasses customer expectations. The physicians and staff are dedicated to providing high quality cardiovascular care in an environment that is caring, warm and where patients always come first. Dr. Hutchinson believes that good health is the cornerstone of progress because without it our plans may not materialize. She is recognized as an outstanding clinician who is detail oriented, ensures that patients understand their medical condition, why they need certain tests and how the information would help in their care. She attracts patients from out of state and other countries.
Dr. Hutchinson has presented many papers and lectures nationally and internationally. She is a member of several medical associations which include the American College of Cardiology, Association of Black Cardiologists, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and the American Academy of sleep medicine. She finds time to interact with other female business owners by her involvement in Women Presidents Organization and she gives back to the community by her involvement in her church and volunteering her services at a clinic for individuals without insurance. She is a mentor to high school students considering a career in medicine and she allows residents considering cardiology as a specialty to spend time in her practice learning clinical cardiovascular medicine and the business aspect of medicine that is not taught in school.
Chesapeake Cardiac Care
Women Impacting Public Policy
Global Language Services
The Legal Edge LLC
Gotham Energy 360 LLC
JAK Creative Design
For nearly twenty-five years Karen Kerrigan’s leadership, advocacy and training work has helped foster U.S. entrepreneurship and global small business growth. She is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and is the group’s chief advocate for its members. Kerrigan regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress on the key issues impacting entrepreneurs and the economy, and has been appointed to numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialog, the U.S. Treasury’s Taxpayer Advisory Panel, and the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements. Kerrigan regularly engages with the President’s cabinet and key advisors, and has spoken or led roundtables at several White House economic summits, scores of events hosted by the Small Business Administration, U.S. Treasury Department and other federal government agencies and departments. Kerrigan is a collaborative and well-respected individual within the advocacy community who has led numerous coalitions and initiatives with diverse partners and business organizations. She has written hundreds of Op-Eds and newspaper columns, and regularly appears on national television and talk radio programs.
She has been called America’s “entrepreneurial envoy” and “small business ambassador” for her extensive speaking, knowledge sharing and capacity-building work overseas. Kerrigan is a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and regularly provides counsel to governments and business associations across the globe regarding entrepreneurial development, capacity building and policy formation and implementation. She has traveled to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Nepal, the Palestinian territories, among many other nations on behalf of the U.S. State Department to work with business leaders, young entrepreneurs and government officials on reforms and programs to encourage entrepreneurship and small business growth. Kerrigan is a former board member and Chair of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, which works to strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market oriented reforms.
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council/ Women Entrepreneurs Inc.
Sung-Joo Kim was inaugurated as the President of the Korean Red Cross in Oct 2014. She is the Chairperson and Chief Visionary Officer of the Sungjoo Group (Korea) and MCM Holding AG (Germany).
She established Sungjoo Group in 1990 and launched premium fashion brands in Korea such as Gucci, Sonia Rikyel, and YSL as well as the products of the largest fashion distribution company based in the United Kingdom, Marks & Spencer. Since the group’s establishment, Kim has been able to develop the company into a recognized enterprise in the Korean fashion industry.
In 2005, the group acquired MCM, a premium leather goods brand born in Germany, and successfully entered into the global luxury brand sector. MCM products are currently being manufactured in both Korea and Italy, and are distributed to about 40 countries worldwide, thereby leading the globalization of the Korean fashion industry.
Sung-Joo Kim established the Sungjoo Foundation in 2009 under its social responsibility and business philosophy, 'Succeed to Serve,' which is also her personal motto. The foundation has actively returned 10% of its net profit back to society, and it has supported about 60 Korean and global nongovernment organizations (NGOs) every year. It has thus supported war victims from Kosovo, the Asia House (United Kingdom), the Victoria & Albert Museum (United Kingdom), and all kinds of cultural and charity endeavors. Sungjoo Group also actively supports women education, to encourage engagement in social and economic activities through the Global Summit of Women Network (GSWN).
Sungjoo Kim has progressively managed her business and global activities under her personal mission of training small and medium enterprises, as well as the youth and women so that they may actively participate in global activities. She has also developed her business to become a role model that portrays the beauty of capitalism through honest and transparent business management. Having drawn the world’s attention, she is now the first Korean woman who is an active member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) of the Asia Pacific Economy Council since 2013.
Colleen’s comprehensive corporate experience is anchored in a solid transactional practice that includes mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and private placements and encompasses the more complex issues surrounding angel investment, venture capital financings and leveraged recapitalizations. Her diverse client base includes privately held companies, portfolio companies, private equity firms, American subsidiaries of foreign-owned entities and public companies, government contractors, manufacturers, distributors and real estate entities.
Colleen’s holistic approach is focused on providing practical legal solutions to the issues that companies face day to day, in a manner that allows them to be solidly poised and supported for growth.
Colleen is versed in advertising and promotional legal issues. She routinely advises clients on a variety of matters related to the use of social media and compliance with the Federal Trade Commission regarding advertising and promotions. Colleen has facilitated the successful launchof several regional and national contests, as well as sweepstakes and rebate programs. She has also negotiated underwriting and sponsorship agreements and provided assistance toward developing various joint marketing or sales programs and helped several clients develop and adopt solid and compliant social media policies and programs.
Colleen enjoys being a legal advocate for women-owned businesses and emerging companies. Colleen was named a 2011 SmartCEO Legal Elite; a 2012 Leading Women for The Maryland Daily Record and a 2012 Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
Kopp Consulting, LLC
Margery Kraus, president and chief executive officer of APCO Worldwide, a global consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., specializes in public affairs, communication and business consulting for major multinationals.
Ms. Kraus founded APCO in 1984 and has transformed it from a company with one small Washington office to a multinational consulting firm in major cities throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In September 2004 Ms. Kraus led a management buy-out of her firm from Grey Global Group, making APCO one of the largest privately owned communication and public affairs firms in the world.
Throughout the years, her approach has been to fuse the best local experience with a global perspective, resulting in an international agency with a unique culture based on seamless teamwork. Ms. Kraus’ achievements have been recognized through a number of prestigious personal and corporate awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year ® in the Services category in Greater Washington (2006), Washington PR Woman of the Year (2006), Lifetime Achievement (PR News, 2005) and PR Professional of the Year (PR Week, 2005). In addition, APCO was named Large PR Firm of the Year (PR News, 2007), Agency of the Year (PR Week, 2006) and European Consultancy of the Year (Public Affairs News, 2005, 2006 and 2007).
Ms. Kraus specializes in providing strategic counsel on issue-based communication, crisis management, market entry and corporate reputation across diverse industry groups. The range of her experience is reflected in APCO’s industry practice groups, which include aviation and aerospace, education, energy, environment, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation. Ms. Kraus has also pioneered one of the industry’s earliest practices in corporate responsibility and the development of public/private partnerships.
Prior to starting APCO, Ms. Kraus assisted in the creation and development of the Close Up Foundation, a multi-million dollar educational foundation sponsored in part by the United States Congress. Ms. Kraus continues to be involved with the foundation by serving on its board of directors.
AMEROC EXPORT, Inc.
Lineberger Construction Inc., was started in 1995 by Kim Lineberger. Ms. Lineberger graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University before going to work in her father’s construction firm and finally opening her own firm in 1995.
Lineberger Construction Inc. / Carolina Construction School
Quantum Leaps, Inc.
Francine Manilow, President and Founder of Manilow Suites, was the first person in the United States to offer short-term corporate housing concentrating in the downtown Chicago area.
Manilow Suites is a long line of firsts for Francine. In 1968 she formed a company providing “stewardesses” to work trade shows on their days off. Those women you see in the supermarkets doing food tastings, Francine was the first to offer that service. She was the first to offer next day and than same day service for film developing in Chicago. Francine was the first to offer color photos on t-shirts through film processing labs throughout the United States. Along the way there was a stock photo company, Piles and Files of Photos and a video store. All through these endeavors she remained a flight attendant. until retiring in 2002 after 39 years with United Airlines.
There were so many road blocks along the way, but with enthusiasm, love of ideas to “make things better, and pure tenacity, Francine made it work. She created jobs, gave thousands of people throughout her 28 years at Manilow Suites, a wonderful and convenient place to stay, and opened the door for many other young ladies to pursue their dreams as well
Manilow Suites, Inc.
Andrea March has successfully reinvented herself several times as a woman business owner and leader. Co-founding the Women's Leadership Exchange®, she says, is the fulfillment of her destiny, the culmination of all her previous experience, in business and in life.
After selling real estate for some years, she and her husband Sy launched a jewelry import and distribution company, Andrea March Accessories. Andrea, who had always had a passion for jewelry, was the salesperson as well as the designer for this affordable line of costume jewelry! Andrea and Sy ran this multi-million dollar business together for 20 years. In 1995, however, the industry changed, and Sy decided to retire. In her 40s, ambitious and energetic, with her daughter, Kerri, already on her own, Andrea pondered what to do with the rest of her life.
Watching a business program on CNBC one day, she realized she had no idea what they were talking about. Like many others, Andrea says, “I did not understand investing, and was probably not the exception - there were undoubtedly millions of people like me, with money to invest and no understanding of how to make smart decisions.” Thus was born Investment Expo, the company Andrea March founded and ran for the next five years.
Under her guidance Investment Expo became the largest financial strategies trade show/seminar program in the Northeast and South Florida, attracting up to 14,000 attendees annually. Andrea propelled Investment Expo into a first-class seminar business -- one of the leading providers of financial information in the U.S., with 50 seminars conducted by top financial gurus.
Four years later -- in 2001 -- Andrea met Leslie Grossman, who had attended one of her two-day events. The two experienced women business owners shared a powerful commitment to women entrepreneurs like themselves. That commitment became Women's Leadership Exchange®. Andrea and Leslie won the Enterprising Women Advocacy Award in 2005.
Women’s Leadership Exchange
Angela Marshall, MD, FACP, is President and CEO of Comprehensive Women’s Health, Inc., a primary care practice for women with two thriving practiceslocated inthe Washington, DC metropolitan area. Dr. Marshall is a Board Certified Internist and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She began her career as an Electrical Engineer for the CIA after earning a degree from Georgia Tech. Although she enjoyed the field of engineering, she decided to combine her love for science and passion for helping people by pursuing a career in women’s health. Dr. Marshall has received numerous awards, including ‘Top Doctor’ designation from Washingtonian Magazine for two years, and was a 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year awardee. Dr. Marshall has appeared on several news programs including CNN, Fox5 News, and Let’s Talk Live as a contributing health expert. She enjoys encouraging young girls and women to pursue careers in entrepreneurship and STEM fields.
Comprehensive Women’s Health
Mary Mason is Part Owner and Corp Secretary for Timco Products in Marysville, OH. She received her B.S. from Ohio University, Athens OH. Majoring in Organization Communications. Mary’s first job out of college was with Johnsonville Foods. At that time she was the first and only female meat products sales Rep in the Columbus OH area. From there she went to work for Scotts/Miracle Grow headquarters.
In 2000 Mary’s father passed way and left his ownership to Mary. At that time Mary left Scotts/Miracle Grow and went to work for the family business. Not knowing the paper industries, customers, vendors or the employee at the time was a big challenge. With a positive attitude and her motto she learned from her father” Treat others how you want to be treated” she was ready to lead.
6 months after she stated with Timco Products they added on to their building by double. Hiring more employees to keep up with sales. Today, Timco is still growing and always looking for way to improve. She is also the Corp. Secretary for Clouth-Sprenger LLC.
When Mary is not working she loves to travel and read mysteries on the beach
MYCA's mission is imbedded in its name: Maximizing Your Company's Assets. Patti takes that literally by leveraging technology in three key asset categories: human talent/performance, material handling equipment, and process refinement.On the forefront of developing eLearning delivery and measurement techniques in a variety of market segments, the MYCA:Learning team, embodies the unique ability to both envision innovative approaches to training delivery and retention, as well as the skills for implementation. Using MYCA:Learning’s proprietary Learning Continuum process and learning management system, Patti’s team has created dozens of successful learning products. The ability to utilize technology effectively led to MYCA's Material Handling initiative managing all costs associated with Material Handling Equipment in efforts to truly optimize fleet operations. "We provide clarity and transparency to all material handling costs. On average we save our clients 10-40% just on accurate pricing and captured warranty claims alone."
Patti says that this division benefited greatly from being a WBENC certified business. Sonoco, was actively seeking a supplier in her field of expertise, and following a strong recommendation from Procter and Gamble, signed contracts with Patti's company on the spot. Patti has some sound advice on where companies should head, once WBENC certification is achieved. "I think too many newly certified WBENC companies stay in their local community too long. I think what they need to do very quickly is advance to the national level. Even if they aren't a national company or have national reach, they will be inspired and surrounded by women who are very successful, very motivating, very warm and generous, and they'll just learn so much."
Myca Multimedia & Training Solutions
Kelly is currently the President of Kelly S Mathews LLC, a motor fuels tax consulting firm, and MotorU, LLC, The Motor Fuels Tax University, which offers web-based and instructor-led education for motor fuels tax professionals. Prior to these roles, Kelly worked for both Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young in their motor fuels tax practices. Kelly earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization.
Kelly S Mathews LLC
Nell Merlino is a change maker, award-winning advocate, and spokesperson for women and girls who continues to transform individual lives and organizations. A catalyst for progress, Nell has mobilized millions of people in movements to recognize girls’ potential with the creation of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, foster women’s economic empowerment through the non-profit she launched called Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and promoted a safe, sustainable world through her work with the YWCA Week Without Violence, Amnesty International and Earth Day. Her work has sparked innovation in small business growth and raised millions of dollars for female focused organizations from corporations including American Express, Verizon and Walmart. Nell has provided commentary on every major news outlet in the U.S. and has generated over 2 billion media mentions.
In 2006 Nell launched Make Mine a Million $ Business with the support and leadership of Senator Hillary Clinton. There Nell lead her team to develop a pioneering system for thousands of women to pitch their micro-businesses to experts and peers who would guide them to over $1million in revenue. Since then thousands of women entrepreneurs in the US and around the globe have experienced the benefits of Make Mine a Million $ Business.
During Secretary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, Nell served as a Pathways to Prosperity Envoy promoting women entrepreneurship by linking American women business owners with women business owners across Latin America. She helped developed Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment program which spent $20 billion with female suppliers in the U.S. and trained millions of women farmers and first time retail employees globally. Nell also serves on the Jury for Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards that recognizes creative and sustainable women owned companies around the world.
Martha now serves as president/owner of Mayhood/Mertz Investments, Inc. She serves as CEO, managing a development and brokerage firm specializing in commercial and investment real estate holdings, which she has done from 1978 to present.
Glen Eagle Advisors, LLC
Patricia Miller is the mother of three amazing boys who often make her question whether she really does possess above-average negotiating skills. She is a servant leader, and the CEO of SpaceBound, Inc., a global supplier of technology products. The majority of her day is spent asking open-ended questions, and challenging great minds to come up with exceptional ideas and brilliant solutions. Miller believes, as a successful CEO, you must force yourself to stay out of the weeds and focus on strategic planning and building substantive relationships. Each month for over 15 years, she has supported our platoons heroically serving overseas, and the local children of the county's only homeless shelter. She sits as Chair of The Board of Influencers for the internationally acclaimed, World Leaders Group.
Winning countless awards on the local, state and national level, Miller selects The Governor's Award for Women's Excellence in Enterprise, the Case Western Reserve - Weatherhead 100 School of Management Award, the recipient of the Inc 500/5000, and the SBA - Economic Development Achievement award as a few that make her stand up and say, "Women Rock!".
Ms. Millman is a career advocate who has represented the interests of various corporate and industry groups. As one of the founders and current president of Springboard Enterprises, she built an organization that facilitates connections to sources of financial and human capital for women-led emerging-growth enterprises. Prior to Springboard, she served as Executive Director of the National Women's Business Council, a federal commission providing advice and counsel to the President and Congress on issues of importance to women business owners. During her tenure, the Council launched several public and private sector initiatives that increased, measurably, access to capital and market opportunities for women. Millman began her career working on Capitol Hill and spent twenty years representing corporate, trade association and government interests
3DOM (Asia Pacific) Ltd.
The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women
LEM Products Inc. is a contract manufacturer specializing in industrial printing & converting of durable substrates making custom industrial identification products for applications in challenging environments! Above ground, below ground, in water and in space - our industrial strength labels, tags and signs are providing safety and branding information that lasts in challenging environments.
Since 1967 we have been manufacturing Industrial Safety Labels, Tags & Signs for the OEM, manufacturing, energy, utility, telecommunication, transportation, and industrial markets. We manufacture our products to exact engineering specifications and diligently focus on the unique inventory reduction programs and fulfillment requirements of each and every customer.
At LEM Products Inc. we focus on understanding the needs and challenges our customer faces so we can deliver valuable solutions that meet or exceed their exact requirements.
Nationwide and across industries we partner with supply chain companies to create successful, seamless response for industrial identification products which is used by Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies. Our Company provides safety identification products to every major utility nationwide, as well as original equipment manufacturers globally. WBENC certified since 2003, business with LEM Products Inc. also qualifies for supplier diversity initiatives.
LEM Products, inc.
Kathie is also active in community and industry activities as a volunteer, committee, and board member. Kathie donates monetarily and with her time but she also loves being hands-on. She visits the Ronald McDonald House, collects pajamas for critically ill children, and participates in fundraising projects of all kinds including biking 140 miles to raise money for Moveable Feast. "My dream is to have enough money so I can give to those in need. I plan to continue giving—not for recognition but because it helps me live happily."
Kathie often appears on business radio and gives workshops at business forums. She is an inspiring speaker with a talent for sharing experiences in ways that resonate with audiences and listeners. "I like helping people realize their goals are attainable. My background is such that people are amazed when they find I came from limited means, with parents that both died young. Helping others realize that they too can be successful and that they just need to take the necessary steps is extremely rewarding to me." In addition to finding tools for success in life, it is Kathie's passion to help others find answers to their issues with money, put their plan together, and coach them along the way to financial success.
The Okun Financial Group
Sheri Orlowitz is both a visionary and a practical entrepreneur. She founded Artemis Holdings Group LLC (Artemis) to bring together a team of creative professionals and advisors, some of whom she has worked with in the past, who have hands-on experience in dealing with all stages of the life cycle of a business. Sheri finds this experience to be essential to providing comprehensive advice on M&A, acquisitions, divestitures, restructuring and growth. Sheri
directs the strategy behind Artemis’ international private investment fund and travels extensively to Southern and Western Europe, using her wide network of international banks, funds, government officials, CEO’s, business owners and advisors to identify opportunities.
Founding Artemis is a natural progression of Sheri’s twenty-year history of successfully acquiring, running and divesting diverse companies, both domestically and internationally. During her career, Sheri raised well over $100 million, acquired or created a dozen companies from $6 million to $70 million and, importantly, was responsible for the companies and its employees, investors and the eventual successful divestitures.
Prior to Artemis, Sheri founded and operated Shan Industries LLC, an acquisition vehicle targeting manufacturing companies. Sheri financed and led Shan in identifying companies, raising capital, negotiating and conducting the associated due diligence. When Shan acquired two companies from Tyco International, Sheri operated them as the CEO and CFO, successfully prosecuting a company crippling environmental fraud by the seller and ultimately improving the EBITDA of the effected businesses by almost 320%. Shan exited through a sale to its minority partners, Prairie Capital, a mid-market private equity company
Artemis Holdings Group
Desirée Patno is owner of the industry leading, bi-coastal, woman-owned REO brokerage Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE). Based in Southern California and also licensed in North Carolina, DPE has achieved over ten years of unparalleled service to major REO banks, financial institutions, and individual clients. Desirée’s extensive resume reflects the resources and knowledge necessary to effectively manage high volumes of pre-foreclosures, short sales, and foreclosures. Over the last ten years, leading publications such as Time Magazine and the Los Angeles Times featured Desirée. In those same years, she won an excess of 150 industry awards, founded the first major women’s REO organization and this year alone authored five feature articles reaching an audience of nearly 90,000 readers.
At the helm of her own business, Desirée has mastered every aspect of the REO property management process from cradle to grave. Desirée’s expertise allows her to tailor each process to her client’s unique and individual needs allowing for performance timelines, cost effectiveness, and top net returns resulting in a satisfied client base.
Desirée’s dedication to the industry is not limited to her business; she is also active in many professional organizations, most notably the National Association of Women REO Brokerages (NAWRB), which Desirée founded in 2009. A pinnacle achievement of Desirée’s career, NAWRB embraces the women-business enterprise (WBE) designation, and is the first and only certifier of women owned businesses (WOB) in the Distressed Services Industry. The organization has established a non-profit Community Enhancement Program to restore public spaces in areas facing an acute foreclosure crisis.
Desirée presently resides in Irvine, CA with her husband of twenty years, Jay, and their four sons, Joshua, Nathaniel, Aristotle, and Odysseus. Desirée considers herself a fanatic NHL fan (Anaheim Ducks), is an avid lover of animals and designer attire, and counts the empowerment of women in business as one of her greatest passions in life.
National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses
Bison Scaffold & Masons Supply
Roberta Zenn Phillips is the Executive Director of the Center for Women in Business at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At CWB, Phillips works with women executives, entrepreneurs, military spouses, and the Chamber’s Federation of local and state chambers across the country.
Previously, Phillips was director of the Chamber’s Campaign for Free Enterprise (CFE), a public education initiative designed to remind the public of the values and virtues of a free enterprise system and its impact on society. Phillips managed a $10 million budget, conducted research, data analysis, outreach, conferences, and other special events for the national campaign.
Prior to leading the CFE, Phillips was managing director at the Chamber for small and midsize membership. She was responsible for reaching out to small businesses, acquiring new members, renewing membership, and managing U.S. Chamber field staff across the country.
Earlier in her career, Phillips worked for more than 10 years at the Export-Import Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States. She joined the agency in 1996 as a political appointee and held a progression of increasingly responsible positions as confidential assistant to the chief operating officer and board member, ultimately serving as director of program administration. She was responsible for centralizing all information, including reporting, processing credit applications, and supervising line units. She also led a key initiative to automate the insurance and loan guarantee processing system, eliminating all paper applications and policy issuance documents.
Phillips is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Center for Women in Business
Antonella Pianalto joined the Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC) in September of 2014. As President and CEO, she provides leadership to support and sustain the national network of Women's Business Centers in their efforts to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunities for women. Her priorities include enhancing the AWBC's visibility and influence in the women's business development arena, increasing the membership and member engagement, and creating long-term sustainability.
Prior to joining the AWBC, Ms. Pianalto served as Vice President of Government Affairs for American Express, where she managed a broad portfolio of legislative, regulatory, public policy and advocacy issues including small business and financial services. She built and maintained relationships with key policy makers, small business groups, trade associations and other corporate teams. Ms. Pianalto developed and implemented the strategic plan for advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. to raise the profile of the American Express small business division with policy makers and influencers. She partnered with the White House, Small Business Administration, and small business groups on initiatives, including the Give Me 5% and ChallengeHer government contracting programs, and led the Small Business Saturday efforts in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining American Express, Ms. Pianalto was the Executive Director of the Interactive Travel Services Association, where she managed all aspects of the association including government relations, member relations, communication and the budget.
Ms. Pianalto held several senior positions in the Clinton Administration. As Senior Adviser to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, she served as his liaison to the Embassy's 700 employees and 26 government agencies. She also led the strategic planning and implementation of the Ambassador's outreach efforts.
At the White House, Ms. Pianalto served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel where she managed the selection and hiring process of the President's 5,000 appointees. She also served as Associate Administrator for Management and Administration for the Small Business Administration directing the $260 million operations of the agency's 3,600 employees and 100 locations.
Association of Women's Business Centers
As a pioneer in diversity consulting, training, culture change and measurement for more than 30 years, Patricia Pope has worked to create an inclusive workplace for Fortune 500 companies, government and non-profit organizations. Pat spent the first ten years of her career working in a Fortune 100 consumer products company. It was there that she met her late husband, Merlin G. Pope, Jr, an external consultant in the early 1970s hired to conduct racial awareness training. Pope & Associates was one of the nation’s first companies specializing in this field. In 1977, they coined the term “diversity” to refer to the changing demographics of the US workforce.
In 2002, Pat provided expert analysis and commentary for the Fox 19 program, “Breaking Polite Silence” which won two local Emmy awards for best interview format. Also that year, Pat joined forces with The Myca Group, a technology company, to create Myca-Pope. The business combines Pope’s 30+ years of diversity intellectual property and experience with the technical knowledge and capabilities of The Myca Group. Their first product entitled, The EDGE Advantage™, is a 4-module E-learning program. It won two international Axiom awards for innovation in the field of training media and has received a 4-star (highest) rating from the American Society of Training & Development (Training Media Review).
Pat is currently working on the 2nd edition of her book, Relationship Mapping: A Tool for Diagnosing Personal and Professional Relationships. Her next book, The Illusion of Inclusion, will be based on over 15 years of research about the dynamics of power and influence at the executive level. Pat also writes a column on Diversity and Inclusion for Diversity MBA Magazine.
Her undergraduate work in Business and Social Sciences was done at The Union Institute & the University of Cincinnati. She earned a master’s degree in Organizational Development from Pepperdine University. She frequently speaks on Diversity & Inclusion at national conferences, professional associations, Women’s Leadership Forums, and universities.
Pope & Associates
Jeanette Hernandez Prenger is the Founder, President, and CEO of ECCO Select, an award winning IT consulting and services firm based in Kansas City, and one of the top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the United States. ECCO has not one, but two offices located in downtown Kansas City, as well as a recent location added in DC.
Jeanette and ECCO are recipients of numerous awards for their achievements in business and generosity in the community. Jeanette’s most recent award, bestowed in February 2013 by Enterprising Women Magazine, named her as a 2013 Enterprising Woman of the Year. Other awards include the SBA Region VII Minority Small Business Champion of the Year and CEO of the Year from the Latinos in Information and Science Technology Association.
Jeanette serves for Governor Nixon as a commissioner on the Workforce Investment Board and serves for Mayor James’ Early Education Commission. She was appointed in 2002 by President Bush to serve on the SBA Regulatory Fairness Board and has worked on councils for Senator Roy Blunt and Congressman Sam Graves.
Although her contributions outside of her business include serving on boards that advocate for business, the arts, and education, her passion is in helping children. She is the immediate past chair of Junior Achievement of Mid America and is an executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America Heartland Council. She is also on the board of the New York based Orphaned Starfish Foundation, which provides technology to orphanages in Spanish-speaking countries and Ethiopia.
Jeanette and her husband, Kevin, reside at Weatherby Lake. They have two sons, married to the beautiful mothers of their four grandchildren.
Fabi Preslar is president of SPARK Publications, an 18-year-old, Charlotte based graphic design and custom publishing firm specializing in print and interactive digital magazines, books, catalogs, and marketing materials . The firm was started as a home-based business and has moved, expanded, and restructured several times. Clients include enthusiasts and professionals who express their visions and knowledge through custom magazines, books, or promotional campaigns to increase their business revenues. SPARK Publications has won more than 100 industry awards in the past few years. In 2015, Fabi was named B2B Marketer of the Year by the Business Marketing Association of the Carolinas. She’s received numerous other honors, including Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine, and the Stevie® Award for Best Entrepreneur with under 100 employees.
Pamela Prince-Eason is the President and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), she assumed the role in 2011. In 2014 Prince-Eason was appointed to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a non-partisan federal advisory council who advises the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners.
Prince-Eason’s professional career as both corporate executive and woman business owner has honed her expertise in supplier diversity, strategic leadership, management best practices and cost ownership processes. Prior to joining WBENC she held the position of Vice President of worldwide Procurement for Pfizer Inc. During her tenure at Pfizer she also held the role of Chair of the WBENC Board of Directors. In addition to her roles at Pfizer, she previously held various leadership positions at Texas Instruments, GSE Systems, Warner Lambert and as a co-owner of women-run RMR Associates.
Prince-Eason’s dedication to women’s business leadership is illustrated in her many professional and personal roles advancing women’s excellence and opportunity. In addition to WBENC, she has been a strong supporter of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), WEConnect International, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). In addition Prince-Eason is on the advisory committees of several Corporations including the Ernst & Young Winning Women program, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Walmart’s Women Owned Business Advisory Council, Shell Diversity & Inclusion Collaboration Partners, MGM Resorts International Diversity Advisory Board, as well as the Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative.
Prince-Eason holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from East Tennessee State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland with a Master of Administrative Science in International Business and Finance. In May 2008 she was among the first to receive ISM’s Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) designation, in 2010 was named a Power Women by NYMoves, and in 2012 she received the WBE Hall of Fame Executive Leadership award. She is interviewed often for her views on Diversity & Inclusion, Capacity Building of Small Businesses and is extremely passionate about women’s advancement in the United States.
Prince-Eason and her husband John have 3 children and 4 grandchildren and enjoy participating in family tennis, basketball and snowboarding.
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
Robin serves as Manager, Supplier Diversity at American Airlines, working to facilitate relationships with minority/women-owned, LGBT, veteran-owned and small businesses to give them potential opportunities to prove products and services for the airline.
Robin previously held the position of Sr. Commodity Manager, in the Procurement and Supply Chain department for six and a half years with American Airlines. Her career experience spans thirty years in the Print, Promotions and Publishing industry.
She was awarded the “Diversity First Award” for leadership in promoting collaboration in the Minority community and has been nominated several times for the DFW Minority Supplier Development Council “Buyer of the Year Award”. Currently, Robin serves on the Women’s Business Council Southwest board and is a member of their Certification Committee. Also, she is an active member of the Corporate Advisory Board of U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Southwest.
American’s Diversified Supplier Program is specifically design to bring the added value of diversity and inclusion to the company’s purchasing program. With American Airlines’ commitment to supporting a diverse community through its Supplier Diversity Program, Robin’s position has afforded numerous opportunities to actively participate in supporting these efforts throughout her tenure. She has represented American at various diversity focused workshops and networking events.
Robin has actively worked to help minority suppliers achieve the necessary inroads to connect and contribute in larger organizational environments. She proactively identifies opportunities for minority, women-owned, LGBT, and small businesses through direct relationships with American Airlines and indirect relationships with their prime suppliers and contractors.
Robin resides in Coppell, Texas with her husband and daughter.
Shaila Rao Mistry is president of Jayco MMI and STEM-Institute. Jayco MMI innovates, designs and manufactures human machine interfaces for aerospace, medical devices, security, communications, and industrial applications that range from mobile devices to rack-mount systems. STEM-Institute leverages experience from private sector, academia, government, and civil society to advise organizational leaders to influence change and create growth opportunities through insightful analysis and innovative strategic planning.
She serves on several boards, locally and nationally including the NAWBO National board. She is active on the International Task force, Public Policy Task Force and Tax regulations and Reform Council. She also serves on the Small Business Advisory Council for California Department of General Services. She is proud to serve on The University of California Small and Diverse Business Advisory Council UC SDBAC, which oversees all nine UC campuses’ budget.
She is a global advocate for women’s empowerment, while being active across five continents, having presented at the UN level at seminars on business, diversity and equality, women’s issues, reform and economic advancement. She is a passionate advocate for prominent issues that impact women business owners and healthcare reform.
Shaila has received several Lifetime Achievement awards and recognitions for her humanitarian work and entrepreneurial accomplishments. She was listed among the Top 20 Women to Watch by OC Metro; SABAN awarded her Entrepreneur of the Year; ABAOC awarded her its Marco Polo Award for Entrepreneurship & Global Humanitarian work. NAWBO recognized her with Lifetime Entrepreneur award. Born in India, educated in London, and settled in California, Shaila is a true global citizen.
Founded in 2008, Strategy and Management Services, Inc. (SAMS) is an award-winning Small Business Administration 8(a) Participant, Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Commonwealth of Virginia SWaM certified company that provides operations support, information technology services, facilities management functions, and a range of enterprise-wide, complex services and solutions for federal agencies, state and local governments and commercial buyers who want the high-quality service of a top-tier company with the “high-touch” of a client-focused small business.These certifications equip SAMS to better identify and relate to a broader range of clients. Whether serving federal civilian and defense agencies, state and local governments or commercial buyers of management, operations, and technical services, SAMS has proven to be a highly responsive, reliable and trusted resource for clients.
A public relations expert for over 20 years, Lynthia Romney brings her distinctive brand of issues-based PR to positioning her clients for Leadership Visibility.
As president of RomneyCom, a full-service communications firm, Lynthia works with leading corporations and national nonprofits to help them develop and deliver their key messages powerfully to internal and external audiences. Over the years, she is proud to have served distinguished clients including Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, Thomson Reuters, Guggenheim Partners, College Savings Foundation, and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Capturing her clients’ brand strength, Lynthia builds message platforms that resonate through multiple channels before their customers, prospects, employees and other audiences. These include media relations, speaking opportunities and executive communications.
Her media accomplishments include a Page One feature in The New York Times and two Page One Greater New York features in The Wall Street Journal. When 529 tax benefits were threatened, she helped defend the industry for the College Savings Foundation, with placements in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NPR, and Fox Business. For WBENC she has placed hundreds of articles in outlets from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Today.com and Marketplace to Cavuto and has conducted message and media training for over 300 CEOs.
Quoted in The Wall Street Journal for her advice on presentations, Lynthia prepares executives at all stages of the career continuum to showcase their personal and professional brands. For Thomson Reuters, she designed a C-level executive visibility program resulting in elite speaking opportunities and in by-lined articles. She has built Speakers Bureaus for firms such as Guggenheim Partners that led to C-level engagements at the World Economic Forum at Davos and The Wall Street Journal CEO Forum.
Lynthia’s years of experience span the worlds of journalism, public relations and financial services. During the three entrepreneurial years she spent in Warsaw, Poland, she built ground-breaking charitable programs for disadvantaged youth.
Lynthia holds a BA from Brown University. She served on the WBENC Board of Directors, and received the “Applause” Award at its National Conference and Business Fair in June 2011. She served for many years on the Board of the Financial Women’s Association, and contributes annually to the Forbes “In Good Company” series on women’s leadership. She has shared her expertise on Key Messaging with Reputation Communications and Women in the Boardroom.
Shonda Scott is a recognized business woman, civic leader, spokesperson, producer, philanthropist, and overall international powerhouse. In 2012, she was appointed to President Obama’s Platform Committee. She later served on The White House Council for Women and Girls inaugural committee of community leaders. Ms. Scott is the CEO of her Oakland-based consulting firm, 360 Total Concept, boasting offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and was the recipient of the International Stevie Awards’ Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2016. With over two decades spent actively engaged in the business world, Ms. Scott has garnered the experience and perspective to successfully oversee management projects for international airport facilities, small business programs for billion dollar transit projects, and to develop public relations strategies for major corporations and public agencies. As a passionate philanthropist, Ms. Scott founded The Pink Access Foundation, a non-profit cancer foundation that uses creative approaches to bring awareness and raise funds to support organizations providing services to cancer survivors in underserved communities. And as an extremely proud single mother, Ms. Scott regards her beloved son Austin as her single greatest achievement in life.
360 Total Concept Inc.
Robyn G. Smalletz is President/CEO and Co-Owner of Gloria Duch in, Inc. a leading design and manufacturing firm of seasonal metal ornaments, jewelry and gifts. As President, she has led the business into a design focus, pioneering a trend forecasting program and incorporating the latest trends in fashion and home decor into new holiday ornaments, keepsakes and jewelry. Because of her work, she has been featured in Woman's Day, The New York Times, XM Satellite Radio, and QVC Home Shopping Network and ION TV.
The company's products are retailed at national and regional mass merchants as well as drug chains, home centers, catalog retailers, specialty stores, and e-commerce sites. Gloria Duchin, Inc. has over a 100 million copyrighted ornaments in circulation, and designs custom and licensed programs.
Under Robyn's direction, the product line expansion includes new jewelry collections created for the Smithsonian Museum Stores and several of the largest retailers' worldwide, ecommerce divisions. As a result, Robyn and her team were asked to co-design a custom necklace for Fatigues to Fabulous, a non- profit honoring female veterans. The design was modeled by many of the women at the Spring New York Fashion Week several years ago. The company has designed jewelry for numerous celebrities and worked with Ellen Degeneres in collaboration with Halo Pet Food Company on a licensed jewelry, pet tag and accessories program for the Adopt-a-Pet US Postal stamps.
In 2015, she was the recipient of the Business Women Industry Leadership Award in Technology and Manufacturing from the Providence Business News.
Prior to accepting the position at Gloria Duchin, Inc., Robyn held executive marketing positions in the financial service industry in New York City and the greater metropolitan area.
She has long been involved in the seasonal products industry having served as a board member of NOEL in New York City, a group of Christmas professionals collaborating to better serve the season market.
Robyn has also held numerous leadership positions on community boards throughout Rhode Island and remains actively engaged.
She is a member of the Women Presidents' Organization, Rhode Island Chapter and is a , graduate of the University of South Carolina and New York University.
Gloria Duchin, Inc. is a WBENC-certified, woman-owned company and all products are Made in the USA.
Maria de Lourdes Sobrino is Founder and CEO of Lulu’s Dessert® Corporation. Established in 1982, Lulu’s Dessert®, is ranked among the top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the United States. As Jim Hopkins from USA Today wrote she is “the queen of ready-to-eat gelatin and a force in the surging number of Hispanic entrepreneurs.”
Born and raised in Mexico City, Ms. Sobrino’s first business was in the tourism industry. She later expanded her business to a travel agency, which grew so rapidly that she decided to open an office in Los Angeles. In 1982, Ms. Sobrino had to close her Mexican travel business due to unstable economic conditions in Mexico; however, her entrepreneurial spirit grew stronger and she began to explore other passions and ideas.
Ms. Sobrino came up with the great idea of ready-to-eat gelatin when looking for the popular dessert while living in the U.S. A staple in her native Mexico, the concept was new to the U.S. and a novelty when she introduced it to American grocers in California. She recognized a need, filled it and revolutionized the food industry by creating the firstever ready-to-eat gelatin category, based on her own mother’s recipe. From the initial production of 300 cups of gelatin a day, Lulu’s Dessert® has overcome many challenges and obstacles to become a leading maker of ready-to-eat desserts.
In her capacity as a Public Speaker, she participated in a panel for Baruch College in New York for their conference, “A World of Opportunity, The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs”. She has also been invited by Verizon Wireless to speak in Miami, Florida and Irvine, California, and Microsoft Corporation, to share her story as a successful Hispanic woman entrepreneur. Ms. Sobrino’s leadership also gained her recognition and an invitation to be part of President George W. Bush’s, Economic Forum in Waco, Texas to represent “Small Businesses”.
Lulu's Dessert Inc.
Susan Wilson Solovic is a small business expert, award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, best-selling author, media personality, and attorney. As the co-founder AND CEO of SBTV.com – Small Business Television -- the first video news and information destination site for America’s small businesses, Solovic led the company from an idea to a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Solovic is a sought-after keynote speaker and media personality. She is a small business contributor on ABC NEWS NOW'S "GOOD MONEY" program. In her hometown of St. Louis, she is an exclusive contributor on Fox 2, KTVI-TV with a segment called “It’s Your Business with Susan Solovic”. Her expert advice columns, blogs and webinars appear on the small business web sites of major brands such as AT&T, MasterCard, Microsoft and Dell. Additionally, she is a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post and AllBusiness.com.
PBS produced a feature show with Solovic entitled: “Reinvent Yourself Now: Become Self-Reliant in an Unpredictable World.” Solovic has written three best-selling books: “The Girls’ Guide to Power and Success”; “Reinvent Your Career: Attain the Success You Desire and Deserve”; and “The Girls’ Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business.” Her next book “From Employee to Entrepreneur: Making a Smart and Successful Transition” is scheduled for release in 2011.
Susan was honored to serve on the National Women's Business Council which advises the President, Congress and the SBA on issues impacting women business owners. She holds leadership positions with numerous small business organizations including: Chairman of Women Impacting Public Policy's Executive Advisory Board; Advisory Board Member of John F. Cook School of Business Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Louis University; Board of Advisors Enterprising Women Magazine; Advisory Board for Women Leadership Exchange's LEXCI Circles; and former member of the Women's Leadership Board at Harvard University.
In 2009, Solovic received the “Leader of Distinction” award from the Institute of Women Entrepreneurs, and in the same year she was named an honorary SCORE Chapter member for her on-going support of the SCORE organization. In 2008, she became the first recipient of AT&T’s Innovator of the Year Award for being a pioneer in a new industry. Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) honored Solovic with the organization’s highest recognition, The President’s Award in 2007, and that same year she was named an Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine. In 2006, Solovic accepted the Stevie Award on behalf of SBTV.com for the Most Innovative Company under 100 employees and SBTV.com was selected the Best Investment Opportunity by a group of Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Additionally, she has received the Distinguished Leader award from Southeast Missouri State University and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia College. The St. Louis Business Journal named her one of the Most Influential Women in St. Louis and she received the YWCA’s Special Business Leader award for Entrepreneurial Success. Twice she has been named an SBA Small Business Journalist of the Year.
It’s Your Biz
Deborah Stallings established and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of HR Anew. In business for more than 17 years, she has grown a multi-million dollar woman owned and minority business enterprise providing services and support to private corporations, government agencies, and non-profit entities. She has more than 25 years of authentic human capital, human resource management, and professional services experience supporting several industries. Client industries include and are not limited to scientific, engineering, information technology, medical and healthcare, law enforcement, securities, banking and finance, higher education, social entities, housing, employment law compliance, homeland security and defense, and parks and recreation.
Ms. Stallings’ expertise includes advisor to executives and management, business and human capital management strategist, talent acquisition, organizational assessments and workforce studies, management and leadership development, employee development, performance management, career coaching, employee and labor relations, EEO and diversity/inclusion, and employment law compliance.
Ms. Stallings is currently completing a M.A., Management and Leadership; and earned a B.A., Business from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has also taught Entrepreneurship at her alma mater. Ms. Stallings is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute; and is also certified to administer several assessment instruments. She serves on boards including Lincoln Technology and the Howard County Human Resources Society.
Clients and employers HR Anew has served or presently supports include NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Department of Homeland Security ICE, USDA, Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Courts, EEOC, U.S. Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, FDIC, HUD, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Capitol Police, Howard County Government, National Library of Medicine/NIH, Montgomery College, Strayer University, Associated Black Charities, Goodwill Industries, Land Trust Alliance, M. Luis Construction Company, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Doctors Community Hospital, Nexus Health Corporation, Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Transportation Authority, and more.
Andrea Stevenson Conner is a change agent and strategic relationship builder. Through her success in global leadership roles spanning four countries, she promotes corporate social responsibility, leadership development, and gender equity.
As Executive Director of ATHENA International, Andrea leads the organization in its mission to support, honor, and develop women leaders. In doing so, she brings an international approach and global awareness of the challenges facing women’s educational and equal opportunity advancement.
A servant to the global community, Andrea is the Board Vice President of Sias International University Foundation and a Governing Body Board Member for the Raleigh Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She is a consultant for the World Academy for the Future of Women and previously worked for United Nations Women Beijing.
Andrea holds a master’s degree in Global Leadership from Duquesne University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Edinboro University. Currently residing in North Carolina, Andrea leads ATHENA International and also consults with leading organizations so they, too, can have a global impact by supporting international leadership opportunities for women.
Stevenson-Conner Global Strategies
Nicolina A. Stewart, CPA, PFS, CLU, ChFC founded Capital Management Advisors, Inc. (CMA) in 2002, CMA Solutions, Inc. in 2006, and CMA Accounting Solutions, PA in 2009. She serves and as President and CEO of all three companies. CMA and CMA Solutions are prominent investment and wealth management firms with offices in Sarasota, FL, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY and CMA Accounting Solutions, PA is a Certified Public Accounting firm.
Ms. Stewart graduated from the University of Evansville in 1985 with a BS degree in Accounting and has been a licensed CPA since 1991, first in Indiana and then transferred her license to Florida. Prior to owning her own Registered Investment Advisory firm, Nikki worked for Northwestern Mutual Life, New York Life and other private and public companies. Nikki has been selected in the “Who’s Who” among executive professionals, nominated twice as “Business Woman of the Year”, a finalist for “Business Executive of the Year” and nominated for “Business of the Year.” She holds life, health and variable annuity licenses in various states and a Series 7, 24 and 63 and is registered to do business in multiple states. She lives in Bradenton, FL with her husband, Kenneth, and their 4 Yorkshire Terriers (Sugar, Spice, Mimi and Champ), 3 Conures (Guido, Mimibird and Virgil) and an iguana (Iggie).
Capital Management Advisors, Inc.
Shelli Tench is the Founder and President of Shelten Media, a Raleigh, NC-based online marketing agency. They are experts at designing, launching and maintaining the social media presence for small and mid-size business owners. They have extensive knowledge of how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, blogging, and email marketing to drive your clients to your business.
In October 2012, she was named one of the “Top Movers & Shakers of the Triangle” by Business Leader Magazine. She sits on the advisory board of Enterprising Women Magazine, the Cary Innovation Center and sits on the Governing Board and is the Panel Facilitator for Athena PowerLink of the Triangle. She is also a keynote speaker and published author on topics related to online marketing best practices and reputation management.
Shelten Media, LLC
Janice Tippett founded JT’s Graphic Design in 1990, and after seven years, she expanded with the purchase of a small print shop. Millennium Marketing Solutions was born after merging the acquisition with JT’s Graphic Design. After 20 years, Millennium has evolved into a full-service marketing agency by providing strategy, design, printing, web development and digital marketing, in addition to promotional products. Tippett has been recognized as a leader in business by many organizations, and her past awards include Maryland’s Minority Business Enterprise Award, Property Management Association Vision Award, Top 100 Best in the Business, Maryland Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, SmartCEO’s Future 50 of Greater Baltimore’s Fastest Growing Companies, and SmartCEO’s BRAVA! Award. In addition to her many accolades, she is a founding member of the Baltimore chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and has supported various nonprofit organizations, such as the American Heart Association andthe National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. She has also volunteered for Anne Arundel Medical Center by helping to raise funds for the hospital.
Millennium Marketing Solutions
On a typical day at BlackLine’s Los Angeles headquarters, BlackLine CEO and Founder Therese Tucker is fast on her feet, a blur of color as she sprints from one meeting to the next across three floors of the office tower that bears BlackLine’s name. A certified yoga instructor, she is equally nimble with words, a necessity given the arcane language of Finance & Accounting (F&A) that she has mastered. Her financial acumen and technological ingenuity have combined to make the work of thousands of accountants more efficient and humane, lowered the stress levels of internal auditors and given CFOs extraordinary visibility into their organizations’ business performance, informing smarter decisions to enhance competitive standing.
Altogether, BlackLine touts at least 25 customers in the Fortune 100 and 100 of the Fortune 500. The company also has penetrated the ranks of mid-sized companies, and has offices now in more than 10 cities around the world. Additional Europe and Asia offices are planned, as BlackLine continues to add global clients, demonstrating the increasing demand worldwide for software to automate key F&A processes.
Today, many leading advisory firms, like Ernst & Young, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC, employ a growing list of representatives that are ‘BlackLine Certified Implementation Professionals.’ In 2013, the BlackLine Financial Close Suite for SAP® Solutions became an SAP-endorsed business solution, joining the ranks of fewer than 40 other software offerings globally to be recognized by the enterprise application software leader. BlackLine also is an SAP Gold Partner. In 2016, Therese spearheaded the acquisition of Runbook, a Europe-based provider of F&A automation solutions to the SAP market, further solidifying BlackLine’s position as a leading provider of software solutions to automate and control the entire financial close process for SAP customers worldwide.
Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the President, CEO, and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a corporate led non-profit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets. She is a world leader in women’s economic empowerment and global supplier diversity and inclusion.
Ms. Vazquez is the co-author of the book, Buying for Impact: How to Buy from Women and Change Our World. The book includes information on women business owners and ways to support and leverage their potential to create a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. As the CEO of WEConnect International, Ms. Vazquez is responsible for mission delivery. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with member buyers. The WEConnect International eNetwork supports and promotes women-owned businesses based in 100 countries, including local support in 22 countries—Australia, Brazil, Chile, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.
Ms. Vazquez works with many corporate leaders, including WEConnect International members with over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power, such as: Accenture, Act-1 Group, Adient, AIG, American Express, Anthem, Apple, Avis Budget Group, Barclays, BMW, BNY Mellon, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chevron, Coca-Cola Company, Cox Automotive, Cummins, Inc., Dell, Delta, Disney, Dun & Bradstreet, ECOLAB, EDF Energy, Enterprise Holdings, Estee Lauder Companies, ExxonMobil Corporation, EY, Glaxo Smith Kline, Goldman-Sachs, Google, Hilton, IBM, Ingersoll-Rand, Intel, Interpublic Group, ISS, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Knoll, KPMG, Marriott International, MasterCard, Merck, MetLife, Microsoft, Monsanto, Morgan Stanley, NatWest, Nokia, Pacific Gas and Electric, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Pinsent Masons, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Royal Bank of Scotland, SAP, Superior SDI Limited, Sodexo, TD Bank, TransCanada, Turkish Economy Bank, UPS, Verizon, Walmart, Walt Disney Company, Wells Fargo, Westpac Bank, Wyndham Worldwide and Yangfeng.
Ms. Vazquez is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Cornerstone Capital Group and Win-Win Strategies, and is a W20 Representative to advance G20 commitments and the B20 SME Development Taskforce. She also sits on the Walmart Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative’s International Advisory Council, the Procter & Gamble Supplier Diversity Advisory Council and the Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE Girls’ and Women’s Committee.
Ms. Vazquez was born in Mexico, has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University, and was honored by the Barrett Honors College as an Inspiring Alumni for making significant contributions in her career and community. She has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where she studied development economics and international negotiation as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She also completed graduate seminars at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea.
Lucie Voves is the founder and president of Church Hill Classics, a specialty picture frame manufacturer located in Monroe, CT. The company creates diploma and award frames, as well as insignia desk accessories, for over 1,000 colleges and universities across the U.S. Church Hill Classics also provides custom framing services for corporations, hotels, professional associations, Greek fraternities and sororities, and the U.S. military.
Lucie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 1986. She began her entrepreneurial career in college and, after selling the successful candid event photography company she started on campus, Lucie joined Procter and Gamble in Brand Management. Her first assignment was on the newly acquired Metamucil brand. In 1989, Lucie accepted a transfer to lead the Bain du Soleil product line at P&G’s Richardson-Vicks division in Shelton, CT, where she later managed the integration of the newly purchased Noxzema brand.
Lucie founded Church Hill Classics in 1991 as a home-based operation publishing artwork of college campuses. The business transitioned into licensed diploma frames, building a strong national customer base and online presence at www.diplomaframe.com. Today, the company employs 49 people from its 47,000 square feet facility purchased in 2007.
In 2006, Church Hill Classics was awarded the International Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics from the North American Council of Better Business Bureaus. Lucie’s company won for the 11-99 employee category. In 2007, Lucie was honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners as one of three “Trailblazing Women” from across the U.S. She was also chosen by Enterprising Women magazine as a 2007 “Enterprising Woman of the Year,” and in 2008 she was named to the publication’s Advisory Board. In 2008, Lucie was the inaugural recipient of the Macricostas Family Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by the Ancell School of Business in recognition of her role as a Connecticut business and community leader.
Lucie serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Connecticut Better Business Bureau. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Union Savings Bank. Lucie lives in Ridgefield, CT with her husband Joe and their four children: Joseph, Jordan, Lindsay, and Jonathan.
Church Hill Classics
Joanna’s life took a different path when her eyes were opened to the horror of human trafficking. She got involved, and focused on reducing the exploitation of women and children through economic empowerment. She has travelled the world and seen the power of microfinance to restore hope and dignity, and move people from dependence on aid to self-sustainability. She has committed her life to helping women and their children flourish through inclusion in economic opportunities.
Joanna was a 2012 BRAVO award nominee from National Association of Women Business Owner and has received the 2009 Global Woman of Influence award at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council conference for her efforts to empower women and the 2009 Excellence in Innovation award from the World Vision International Microfinance Board for her leadership in developing an innovative online platform to fund loans for microentrepreneurErase Poverty
Sally began her career in sports PR and marketing in London, England. She founded the company in 1987 as one of the first dedicated event management companies in the UK, and opened offices in the USA in 2001.
As a founding figure and recognized leader in the event industry, her personal accolades include International Event Producer of the Year by Event Solutions Magazine, Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK International Special Events Society, Business Leader Magazine’s Top 50 Women Extraordinaire Award and Special Event Magazine’s Top 25 Greatest Industry Influencers of the past 25 years. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Steve Kemble Leadership Award for outstanding contributions to the special event industry.
Sally is a regular lecturer in event management globally, speaking at numerous conferences, including CASE, IMEX and The Special Event Show, and in several universities as a regular speaker, including the Duke Event Certification Course, NCSU, Perdue, UCLA and Oxford Brooks. She is a founding member and former president of the United Kingdom Chapter of the International Special Events Society, and past regional vice president for the Euro-Africa region. Sally sat on the Certification Committee for ISES and was the first member of the UK chapter to obtain the Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP) designation.
Sally sits on the advisory board of Special Event Magazine and the Event Industry Benevolent Society, The SEARCH Foundation. She is also a main board member of Roger Daltrey’s Teen Cancer America non-profit.
Sally resides in Cary, NC with husband Grant Berry, a professional PGA tour caddie. They have a combined collection of offspring: Charlie, Isobel, George, Rupert and Harry.
The Special Event Company
With over 30 years of executive leadership experience in the public and private sectors, both domestic and international, she has found great success, using her results- oriented leadership style, in the arenas of global business development, strategic planning, operations, finance, risk management and program management. In her last position, as the US Postal Service, Global Business Development, Executive Director, Weir was responsible for a $2.5 billion revenue budget, developed a 5-year strategic plan focusing on increasing revenues, launched new products and services primarily in e-commerce and completed several bilateral agreements with foreign posts, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area.Peg holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA from Siena College. She has completed several courses towards a doctorate degree in management with Walden University. For the last 14 years, Peg has been an adjunct professor with Syracuse University in the iSchool, teaching IT Capital Planning in the Information Management graduate program. Peg resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
The International Alliance of Women
Patti Winstanley is owner and President of Aztec Promotional Group, LP, TEE Time USA and Southwest Stitches, all full service promotional manufacturing companies. She also serves as an owner and CEO of Chicka-D, an original, unique line of licensed women's and girl's apparel that follows the latest clothing trends selling to the retail market. Patti has offices in Dallas, Austin and Tucson.
She serves on the Board of Directors and Regional Committee for the Women's Business Council Southwest, and won Regional Advocate of the Year in 2010, and the Women Working Together Award in 2011. Patti also represents WBCS as one of their Advocates on the WBENC Leadership Forum. She is a member of the Women's Business Enterprise Alliance serving on the membership committee, and a member WBEC-West, where she was nominated for WBE Advocate of the Year in 2012. Patti also serves on the steering committee for the Go for the Greens Women's Business Conference. As a member of Women Presidents' Organization – she is currently serving on the steering committee for the 2013 annual conference.
Patti is active in the community serving as Chair of the Austin ISD Reagan High School Community Advisory Committee, as the Junior League of Austin - Community Council and Financial Development Committee Sustaining Adviser, and the Women's Symphony League Education Committee. She serves on the Austin Women Business Leaders-Powerful Women Committee which mentors Graduate Women in Business at The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently working to complete her CAS Certification through the Promotional Product Association International.
Patti has a long history of special events and promotional experience with the City of Dallas. She enjoys promoting other WBE's as much as her own companies. She has built her business through investment in technology and acquisitions, and is constantly making changes in their processes to promote sustainability.
Patti has a BA in Education from The University of Mississippi. She and her husband Dave have twin boys, Austin and Ellis, daughter in law Paige and twin one year old grand sons, Hugh and Bauer.
Aztec Promotional Group, LP
Bonnie Wong is the founder and President of Asian Women In Business (AWIB), a national non-profit organization for Asian women entrepreneurs and professionals. Under Ms. Wong’s leadership, AWIB is known as an innovative and proactive force in the community; and promotes leadership and business development in the Asian American community. Ms. Wong is frequently featured or quoted in the media, including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsday, Crain’s, Working Mother Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, all the major networks, and numerous Asian media outlets.
Prior to her present position, Ms. Wong was a small business owner for over 10 years. Before joining the ranks of entrepreneurs, she held executive positions at various government agencies. Ms. Wong is a member of the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the City of NY (reppresenting Scott Stringer); member of the Diversity Advisory Board of Ogilvy & Mather; member of Mayor deBlasio's Advisory Council on MWBEs and member of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer's Advisory Council on Economic Growth. Formerly, she was part of the Deloitte and Touche Diversity Board; the Advisory Council of the NYC Small Business Services; the MWBE Committee of the NY Sports and Convention Center; and board member & co-founder of the Chinatown Partnership LDC. Her prior associations include: Transition Committee Member, John Liu (NYC Comptroller) and Michael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor); Commissioner, NYC Commission on the Status of Women; Vice Chair, National Women's Political Caucus; President, Asian Pacific Women's Political Caucus; Vice President, Manhattan Women's Political Caucus and more.
Among her awards: 1997 Award for Excellence from the Governor of NY; 2000 Commendation from the NYC Comptroller; 2001 “Business Leader of the Year” Award from the US Department of Commerce; 2002 community service award from the Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly; 2006 leadership award from the Jamaica Business Resource Center; 2008 Outstanding Women Entrepreneur award from The National Minority Business Council; 2008 Community Service Award from OCA-NY, 2010 Community Service Award from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce; 2012 Outstanding Service to the Community Award from the NY Chinese Cultural Center; 2012 Award from the AT&T Employee Network; 2013 Commendation from the NYC Comptroller; 2014 Community Service Award from the National Minority Business Council; 2014 Honoree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Women’s History Month Celebration and more.
Asian Women in Business
The quest to find a solution to a common problem standing in the way of business success is how Sandra Yancey’s entrepreneurial path took root to grow. Networking for business was her nemesis. In 2000, from a room above the garage of her Dallas, Texas suburban home -- with limited entrepreneurial experience -- Sandra boot-strapped her way to create one of the largest and most decorated business networking organizations in North America, eWomenNetwork.
Today, her company is a multi-million dollar enterprise with over 500,000 women connected through 118 chapters spread across North America. One of the key ingredients to eWomenNetwork’s 17 continuous years of success is its culture and face-to-face engagement. The company produces nearly 2,000 women’s business events each year and the #1Women’s Entrepreneur Conference and Business Expo of its kind in North America annually. eWomenNetwork is guided by nine core values, the first of which is “Giving first, sharing always and empowering the community to thrive in an environment of encouragement, kindness and empathy.”
Sandra is an award-winning entrepreneur and is recognized by the International Alliance for Women as one of the world’s 100 Top Difference Makers and by CNN as an American Hero. The eWomenNetwork Foundation she created has, to date, awarded cash grants to 108 non-profit organizations and scholarships to 161 emerging female leaders of tomorrow. Sandra is featured in ChickenSoup for theEntrepreneur’s Soul and is a #1 bestselling author of five books, including Relationship Networking: The Art of Turning Contacts into Connections and Succeeding in Spite of Everything, which rose to #1 in ten categories at Amazon. She is also featured in and producer of The GLOW Project—called “one of the most inspiring movies ever created for women,” by the Orlando Film Festival.
Sandra holds a Master’s of Science degree in Organizational Development from The American University, Washington D.C. and a two-year post-graduate certification in Organization and Systems Design from the prestigious Gestalt Institute. Sandra is married to her life and business partner, Kym, and together they are the proud parents of a daughter and son. Sandra is a femtor® (her word for mentor and is a registered trademark) to thousands who have been shown by example that they have unlimited possibilities to make a difference and succeed in spite of everything.
Enterprising Women is a partner in the new Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative.
The initiative supports the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors — women and men — to increase the interest and confidence of young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.