Salient is an excellent design with a fresh approach for the ever-changing Web. Integrated with Gantry 5, it is infinitely customizable, incredibly powerful, and remarkably simple.

Sassa Akervall Honorable MentionAkervall found Akervall Technologies in 2008, doing business as SISU Mouthguards. Since then, she has grown the company from a one-woman business to an 18-employee manufacturing success story. Akervall grew the company by promoting brand development strategy, focusing on web marketing and creating a unique R&D plan with Small Business Innovation Research grants from the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation. Today, she is focusing on leading a second-stage company with high growth potential. In 2014, Akervall Technologies won the advanced material track in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, in addition to becoming one of “50 Companies to Watch” in Michigan.
Roz Alford Roz L. Alford is the retired Principal of ASAP Solutions Group. Prior to launching ASAP Staffing in 1989, Roz completed corporate assignments focusing on linguistics and human resources with Fortune 500 corporations, including Kraft Foods. 

In 1998, she partnered with Nancy Williams to create the entity now known as ASAP Solutions Group. Roz leveraged her skills for identifying, developing and promoting talent to help build a high performing ASAP team of professionals and consultants. She worked closely with all business units and functional areas of the company to ensure operational excellence. Under her guidance and leadership and in partnership with Nancy, ASAP launched Consulting, Workforce Compliance and Managed Services business units to augment the Staffing business. ASAP also expanded globally by establishing an offshore facility in Hyderabad, India.

In 2011, Roz was appointed by Congress and the SBA to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), which is a bi-partisan, federal advisory council created to provide advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress and SBA on economic issues of importance to women business owners. She devotes significant time and energy to supporting programs in the women’s business community and actively participates in the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) among other organizations. She is also an advocate for many charitable organizations including Junior Achievement, The American Red Cross and The United Way. 

Roz received a Bachelor of Science from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Institute in Frankfurt, Germany and the University of Chicago.

Women Impacting Public Policy

Mary AndersonIn her role as president of WBE Canada, Mary Anderson is the driving force behind this corporate-led national non-profit organization that opens doors to new supply chains for women business enterprises (WBEs) by offering access to the growing demand for diverse and innovative suppliers. Mary began her role with WBE Canada in June 2010.  She has been instrumental in accelerating the growth of the organization through increasing the number of certified WBEs and corporate members and through forging innovative partnerships with stakeholders and other organizations. 

Bringing with her a wealth of experience, during her career Mary has worked in corporations, non-profit organizations, academia, and has also been an entrepreneur. She was the first woman president to be appointed in the 75-year history of the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (I.E. Canada), a position she held from 2005 to 2009.

Mary serves on many advisory committees and received a number of awards and recognitions including:2015 Global Advocate Award from Astra Women’s Business Alliance.2014 the top 10 Diversity Change Leaders by Diversity Canada magazine and June 2014, the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) at its inaugural Supplier Diversity Forum named her the Program Ambassador of the Year in recognition of her efforts in counseling CGLCC on the start-up of its supplier diversity program. 2013 the top 18 Influential Women in Diversity and HR.

WBE Canada

Betsy_Final_1.pngElizabeth “Betsy” Ann Bassan is the founder, President, and CEO of Panagora Group, a woman-owned small business that provides integrated and novel solutions in international health and development. The main goal of this company is to develop innovative solutions that are tailored to developing country needs that maximize sustainability. She has held executive and leadership positions with a variety of organizations, such as, Chemonics International, Save the Children, and SID-Washington. In addition to these positions, she played a key role in founding the Coalition of International Development Companies (CIDC) and served on its executive committee while also serving on the board and executive committee of the USGLC. She is a senior planner and management specialist with more than 30 years of experience in design, implementation and evaluating international development projects that strengthens institutions and builds public-private partnerships. Bassan holds an M.A. from Columbia University, where she participated in a joint degree program on Planning in Developing Nations within the School of International Affairs and the Division of Urban Planning, as well as, a B.A. cum laude from St. John’s College and served on its board.
Leslie-Atkins From LinkedIn biographies to the ghostwriting of books, articles, and speeches, Leslie Atkins' writing and editing company, LA Communications, LLC, assists business owners and executives capture their ideas and knowledge on paper, screens, and at speaking engagements.

Leslie is an award-winning journalist, author, and ghostwriter with a keen knack for observation. She has worked as a television writer for Oprah Winfrey as well as a writer for The Washington Post and national magazines.

With her impressive talent for storytelling, Leslie also writes books with her own byline and has authored an intriguing app for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

LA Communications is a WBENC-certified Women's Business Enterprise and Leslie is an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award winner. She is also an eloquent and accomplished speaker.

LA Communications, LLC

e32d1d72 c986 4b96 8f02 4e630de8d893 Virginia Aulin is Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for Fathom.

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.

EyvonCAustin Eyvon has been with The Coca-Cola Company since 2003. She is responsible for assisting the beverage leader in implementing a global cohesive strategy supportive of its supplier diversity commitment to promote and increase the inclusion of diverse suppliers throughout the supply chain.

A strong advocate internally and externally, Eyvon's commitment to developing relationships with key stakeholders contributes to Coca-Cola's success in supplier diversity. She is actively involved in the Company's 5 By 20 Global Initiative to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020 and was selected to participate in Coca-Cola's Women in Leadership Program, which is designed to provide key female talent an opportunity for accelerated development. Eyvon serves on the Board of Directors for the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest certifying organization for women business enterprises. She is also very active in other organizations including, but not limited to, WEConnect International, the Greater Women's Business Council (GWBC), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

The Coca-Cola Company

Robin Bailey Winner Robin was born in Rochester, New York. Robin attended Highland School of Nursing for 1+ semesters then decided she would rather be married. While living in Potsdam, New York Robin served as president of the student wives. After graduation, we moved to the New England area while he attended graduate school at Northeastern University. After officers’ training in Augusta, Georgia, we moved to the Washington D.C. area to complete his active duty tour in the army.

After the army, we returned to the New England area with our four children. It was there that I decided it was time to go back to school if only part time. I knew I wanted to be in business but not sure in what area so the first course I took was accounting and I was hooked. After only a couple of basic courses, we moved to Birmingham, Alabama.

In 1990, Robin remarried and my husband worked in Tuscaloosa while I worked in Birmingham. We moved to Tuscaloosa in 1991 and I commuted to Southern Progress, 140 miles round trip. In 1997, the opportunity to buy the answering service arose. I loved my job and the people at Southern Progress but I did not feel a part of the Birmingham community anymore or a part of the Tuscaloosa community.  I purchased the company and became a part of the company and the community.The Legacy Connection.


alta bakerAlta 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 bardRobert 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.

Latina Style

sbariheadshot Susan Phillips Bari is Senior Vice President, Paygevity, which provides prompt payment services to suppliers to America's government agencies and corporations.

Ms. Bari has spent her career promoting opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. As the founding Executive Director of the S.B.A.-funded Washington Regional Training Center of the American Woman's Economic Development Corporation, she helped 2,000+ women start and grow businesses. Ms. Bari is President Emeritus of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and was its founding president in 1997.

The author of three books for entrepreneurs, she has been extensively featured in the business press as an expert on the growth of and challenges faced by women-owned businesses. Ms. Bari was appointed by President Reagan as chairman of the Council on Women's Business Enterprise and by President Clinton to a term as a member of the National Women's Business Council, and was subsequently reappointed by President Bush. She is a member of the board of the Women Presidents' Organization where she serves as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee

The Susan Bari Company

Mary Beall AdlerMary 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 and

150130 DB High Resolution Darla Beggs holds a degree from Scottsdale Community College, where she graduated with honors. Her broad business experience includes consulting with HR professionals to evaluate and establish effective managed care plans with a focus on cost effectiveness coupled with employee satisfaction and retention.

Darla has held positions in account management, marketing, and benefits administration leadership. She has succeeded in balancing the needs of the employee population with cost-effective solutions for business clients to provide solutions that provide a "win-win" solution at every turn.

She is active in various minority and women-owned business groups focused on providing quality solutions for clients' needs at every level. She is also active in many associations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Fort Worth Human Resource Management (FWHRMA), Mid-Cities Human Resource Management (MCHRA), Women's President Organization (WPO), National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO®), HEB Chamber of Commerce and the Mid-Cities Pacesetters Rotary Club. She is the driving force behind Abba's commitment to the community through volunteerism and financial support.
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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, 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

Kristina red 1000p   Kristina Bouweiri is President and CEO of Reston Limousine, Washington DC’s premier chauffeured transportation provider and the 10th largest fleet operator nationwide. Starting with only five vehicles in 1990, Bouweiri diversified the business and grew it to a $25 million company today with more than 240 vehicles. As a woman in an industry traditionally dominated by male executives, Bouweiri has been committed to supporting women entrepreneurs over the years and is the founder of the monthly networking luncheon Sterling Women and co-founder of the annual Virginia Women’s Business Conference.

Active in the business and greater community, she sits on the boards or is a member of the DC Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Greater Washington, Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation, GMU School of Business Dean’s Council, Loudoun Education Foundation, Loudoun CEO Cabinet, among others. Recognized for her business acumen regionally and nationally, Bouweiri is an international speaker on topics ranging from startup success strategies to the use of social media in growing your business. Her recent recognitions include Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 and Top Women-Owned Businesses in Washington DC, George Mason University School of Business Outstanding Leadership Award, DC Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year and International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Award.

Reston Limousine


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. 

amanda brown Amanda Brown is the Executive Director of the National Women's Business Council. In this role, she works closely with the Chair, members of the Council, and the NWBC staff in support of the NWBC mission to be a leading voice on economic issues facing women entrepreneurs. She brings a wealth of experience to the Council – forging innovative partnerships, executing grassroots campaigns, advising key influencers in the nation's capital, and growing brand awareness. She is an organizer at heart and passionate about female entrepreneurship.

Two days after graduating from Dartmouth College in 2007, she joined the Obama campaign, organizing in several states during the primary season, and then serving as the surrogate desk for the Great Lakes Ohio Valley region and as the "bodywoman" for the President's sister Maya Soetoro-Ng during the general election. Amanda worked in the Obama Administration through 2011 – first on the President's Transition Team and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, then as the Assistant to the Director in the White House Office of Political Affairs, and then the Advisor for Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Energy. Most recently, she was the National Political Director at Rock the Vote, overseeing the organization's civic engagement programming during the 2012 presidential election cycle and the 2013 election season, and also leading a national advocacy and public awareness campaign for voter registration modernization.

Executive Director of the National Women's Business Council

unnamedMichelle FowlerMMI is a full-service communications firm that provides strategy-led, integrated campaigns to Fortune 500, middle-market, and emerging-growth companies. Established in 2004 and located in North Carolina’s renowned Research Triangle, MMI serves businesses in the bio/pharma/medical, technology, education, retail, professional services, architecture/real estate/construction, hospitality/restaurant and government industries. MMI is consistently a recipient of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Business Steady Growth and Profitability Master Award, was recently named “Best Place to Work” in the state of North Carolina and in the Research Triangle and

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

2013 Headshot
Lana Calloway is the president of Exhibit Resources, a full-service exhibit design agency she established in Raleigh, NC in 1991. Exhibit Resources designs, builds and installs trade show exhibits, from portable projects to large modular or custom displays, as well as corporate interiors such as showrooms and lobbies.  Under Calloway’s leadership, Exhibit Resources was named to Business Leader magazine’s Impact 100 List and Triangle Business Journal’s Fast 50, received the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award, and was recognized as one of the top women owned businesses in North Carolina by  Calloway was named one of the 25 most influential Women In Business by the Triangle Business Journal, and received the prestigious Tarheel of the Week award from the News & Observer. A previous President of the Triangle Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Calloway has received both the NAWBO National Member of the Year and Presidential Spirit Awards.  Named Woman Business Owner of the Year by the Greater Raleigh Chapter of NAWBO, Calloway was honored for her creative initiatives to overcome obstacles, create jobs, grow a successful business and help the community. In 2005, she was named to the Advisory Board of Enterprising Women Magazine and, in 2006, she served as a member of the board of directors for the Women’s Center of Wake County.  Lana was also a recipient of the 2006 Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine.

Mary Cantando 3 Mary Cantando is an acclaimed author, speaker and consultant who focuses exclusively on helping women grow their businesses and their lives. As an entrepreneurial executive, Mary has founded, led and expanded multimillion-dollar businesses for the past 25 years.
A recognized expert in helping entrepreneurial women, she’s written six books and hundreds of magazine articles and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Oprah Magazine and Fast Company Magazine, as well as hundreds of television and radio shows.

Mary is the Founder and Growth Expert of The Woman’s Advantage® Forum, a structured program that helps women with small businesses grow them to the million-dollar level and beyond.

A mother, grandmother, and self-proclaimed “high-maintenance wife,” Mary lives in Raleigh, NC.
Diane 4 High Res Dr. Diane Chen is the founder, president and CEO of Consumer Education Services Inc. At CESI, she is responsible for the Board of Directors and oversees all the operational functions.

Dr. Chen earned both her Master and Doctorate degrees in adult education from North Carolina State University. Prior to CESI, Dr. Chen was the president of New China Development Corporation. In that capacity, she worked as a consultant to facilitate trade and business missions between the U.S. and China.

Diane has been honored professionally as recipient of the Triangle Business Journal Women in Business Award and Enterprising Women of the Year award  2012 by Enterprising Women magazine. In addition, Diane was also featured as News & Observer’s “Tar Heel of the Week” in 2012.

CESI Debt Solutions

Sylvana CocheCoche 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

Tammy CohenIn 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.

InfoMart, Inc.

ESTRELLA CRAMER Estrella Cramer is the Corporate Supplier Diversity Director in UPS. She has more than 26 years of service across the different business units/functions in UPS including Finance, Procurement, Marketing, Product Development and Supply Chain. She was the Asia Pac Sarbanes Oxley Audit Coordinator for all UPS locations in Asia in 2004.

Estrella is the Chairperson of the UPS Asian Business Resource Group Community Connections Committee. She currently serves in the board of several organizations including WBENC and Business Consortium Fund; Board Chair and VP of Finance for the US-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Southeast Chapter; Certification Committee for Greater Women's Business Council; Corporate Mentor in the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connections program; Advisory Council for the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and the Asian-American Peace Officers of Georgia; and Executive VP for the Organization of Chinese Americans Atlanta Chapter.


United Parcel Service

KCripeKaren Cripe is a business owner, who has been closing multi million dollar deals and co-running Label Logic for over 20 years. She has a Bachelors of Science, with a concentration in Engineering Psychology and a Associates in Graphic Art and Design. She had been published twice in Packaging Digest, over her 33 years, in the industry. Her company has been named Flexographic Label company of the year for 7 years standing and her Company was named, Business of the year in 2013. Her company is 1 of 6 certified in US for producing RFID tags and labels. Karen lives in Union, Michigan.

Label Logic, inc.

LindaCromwellLinda 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 small picCarol 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 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

SharonDavison headshot Sharon Davison, Ph.D. is the CEO and co-founder of Red Sky Blue Water (dba: Red Sky), an award-winning, multi-discipline professional services firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Red Sky’s breadth of consulting services includes marketing strategy, user experience, software development, and program management, which it offers to a wide range of companies in the information technology, online retail, gaming, and construction industries. Red Sky’s success in this arena is due in large part to Sharon’s passion for user-centered design, cutting-edge technologies, and her 18+ years of extensive experience in program management and marketing. Together with her team at Red Sky, Sharon cultivates close partnerships with clients to better understand and anticipate their requirements, collaboratively develop solutions that address those requirements, and consequently enable them to realize a higher return on investment. Sharon’s success in adeptly steering her company through the business challenges of the past eight years has won her various accolades – most notably Enterprising Woman of the Year and a finalist for the Nellie Cashman award. Red Sky has also been featured on Inc.’s top fastest growing companies in the United States and has been listed as one of the region’s fastest growing companies by the Washington Puget Sound Business Journal. Sharon obtained her doctorate in ergonomics/human factors with a specialty in human-computer interaction (HCI). Her initial research comparing 2-dimensional to 3-dimensional spaces shaped the direction of early consumer products at Microsoft. Apart from her role as Red Sky CEO, Sharon is an adjunct professor at Seattle University where she teaches HCI design and software development to Computer Science graduate students. After Hours: Sharon is also a fifty-ton U.S. Coast Guard Captain and enjoys sailing in Puget Sound. Her latest venture includes getting her motorcycle license and a Harley Davidson. She is still a Sunday driver.

Red Sky Blue Water LLC

DeborahDelaney Delaney is Founder and CEO of Touching Lives Adult Day Services. Founded in 2002, the company’s vision is to create and invest in other companies that connect people with quality care. Prior to Touching Lives, Delaney spent nearly 25 years in the telecommunications and networking industries, where she held various executive positions with IBM/Siemens and Allot Communications.

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

Nancy DenkerA hobby artist growing up, Nancy Denker, owner/president of Focus Ink, Inc. knew she found her medium as an artist when the Macintosh was released in 1984. She published a personalized children's book that year, Up, Up and Away, A Balloon Trip Over Albuquerque. She later wrote a similar book for San Juan County, and then printed a non-personalized version for broader distribution. The Public Library System in Albuquerque acquired copies for all their branches. Despite its limited success, Nancy was in business.

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.

Alka Dhillon headshotAlka Dhillon is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Technalink, Inc., one of the leading technology companies in the Washington Metropolitan area.Technalink has provided information technology (IT) services and management consulting solutions to both government and commercial clients for 17 years. Ms. Dhillon has over 22 years’ experience in the information technology and management consulting industry. She is a Conscious Leadership Expert and International Speaker.

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, NBC Universal, Blogs and offers OM Factor related merchandise and advice at

Technalink, Inc.

IMG 2466 2 2 Harriet Diamond retired in 2005 from Diamond Associates Muti-faceted Training and Development, a company she founded in 1985. She now occasionally writes for Enterprising Women, blogs about exciting Atlantic City happenings for,  serves on various community committees, and actively participates as a Garden State Film Festival board member. 

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

Emilia Dimenco Emilia DiMenco was named president and chief executive officer of the Women's Business Development Center ('WBDC') on August 1, 2013, a transition from co-founders, Hedy Ratner and Carol Dougal. Emilia joined the WBDC as chief operating officer in July 2010 after completing a 30-year career as an executive vice president of BMO Harris N.A. Emilia had P&L responsibility for 80% of her career and managed budgets in excess of $200 million with revenues multiples greater. Her responsibility included leadership and management for 600 commercial banking employees. Emilia served on the board of the WBDC for several years prior to accepting a position as acting chief operating office in July 2010, a position that became permanent in 2012. In that position, she was responsible for all aspects of non-profit leadership including program management, fundraising, succession planning, and strategic planning. Among her accomplishments, she launched two WBDC microloan programs with a pool of over $1.5 million in loans. Her initiative to automate all economic impact monitoring and reporting has lead to a significant increase in financial contributions. Emilia is well-known for her contributions to leading civic and professional organizations. She currently serves on the City of Chicago's Small Business Advisory Council, State of Illinois Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund Board, Enterprising Women Magazine's Advisory Board, among others. Emilia has also advised the Chicago Area Chapter of NAWBO on strategy and has served as an advisor to participants in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Chicago. Nationally, she is a leader in Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), helping the organization develop policies for access to capital for women-owned businesses. Emilia holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, both in finance, from DePaul University. She also studied international finance at Loyola University's Rome Center.

Women’s Business Development Center

diresta1 Diane DiResta is Founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, Inc., a New York City consultancy serving business leaders who want to communicate with greater impact — whether one-to-one, in front of a crowd or from an electronic platform.  

DiResta an International speaker and is the author of Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz, an 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 Diane’s mantra is “In the absence of communication there can be no business.” 

DiResta Communications, Inc.

Renee DuffRenee 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.

JenEarle Jen Earle has had the honor and delight of working with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) since 2008. Utilizing her institutional knowledge and consistent drive to advancing the mission of NAWBO, Jen has worked collaboratively with National Boards of Directors and past CEO's to help carry out the Board's vision for the organization and navigate NAWBO to where it is today.

She serves at the executive level, working with nonprofit boards, meeting and event strategy and planning, partner outreach and relationship building.

Jen also has extensive experience as a business owner: Within three years of graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in economics, at the age of 25, she became co-owner of a commercial music production company, Element Music Inc. As co-owner, Jen was responsible for all business and operational requirements to grow the company, including all financial aspects as well as sales and marketing. During her tenure, the business grew exponentially, rivaling the largest commercial music companies in the business and working with entities including BMW, Disney, Nintendo and Sprint. A decade later, to respond to her evolving family needs, Jen redefined career paths. She launched, Savvy Ops, a consulting group to provide virtual operational support to the non-profit business world reconnecting her with her passion.

Jen has made it her life's purpose to help others achieve their dreams. A philanthropist at heart, Jen co-founded a family-friendly series of workshops, Kid-Formation, as an outreach to parents like herself.

National Association of Women Business Owners

Liz EltingLiz 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.

Badge Headshot V 040116 2 Denise Evans is Vice President, Market Development for the IBM Corporation. She leads an organization responsible for marketing to Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American owned businesses in North America as well as women owned, led and influenced businesses, globally.

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.

IBM Corporation

Lynne Marie Finn for e mail 3 Lynne Marie Finn is President and CEO of Superior Staff Resources, Inc., part of the Superior Group, - a full service staffing company headquartered in Williamsville, New York with offices in over 30 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Superior is one of the largest woman-owned staffing firms in the U.S. and provides temporary staffing, direct placement services, vendor management programs, and HR solutions primarily to Fortune 500 companies. Superior was one of the frontrunners in the utilization of web-automated labor management tools, including its proprietary system, Work NexusTM, which provides full-circle automation for temporary staffing procurement and management. Lynne Finn graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Executive Editor of Law and Policy in International Business Journal, and is a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of SUNY Buffalo. After law school, Finn practiced at Jaeckle, Fleischmann and Mugel for several years and then served as an Assistant District Attorney for Erie County for two years. She joined Superior as its General Counsel and became President three years later.

Superior Staff Resources, Inc.

Marsha-firestone President and Founder Dr. Marsha Firestone is a recognized expert in entrepreneurship and President of the Women Presidents’ Organization. She previously served as a Vice President of Women Incorporated and the American Woman’s Economic Development Corporation (AWED, and National Executive Director of Women’s American ORT. As Executive Director of The Women’s Economic Summit, she led the development of a plan for accelerating growth of women’s businesses which was presented to Congress. She authored The Busy Woman’s Guide to Successful Self-Employment and has published research in various journals. She serves as a frequent guest speaker, and has received numerous awards including the outstanding alumnae of Newcomb College of Tulane University and the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame awards. She was also the recipient of the Committee of 200 Skills to Succeed Award and the WBENC Applause Award. She was an official U.S. representative to OECD in 2003 in Turkey, APEC Women’s Network in Vietnam in 2006 and to the National Women’s Business Council.

Women Presidents’ Organization

judy pic 2Judy Fourie, President of The Fourie Group and founder of Fourie Insurance in Cary, NC, has been providing insurance strategies since 1980. When she took her first underwriter’s class, Judy knew she wanted to own her own agency. Today, she uses her insurance experience every day along with a strong commitment to customer service, guiding clients to the right insurance plans with a trust they can count on.

Judy has been recognized with such honors as: Governor’s Task Force for Healthy Carolinians, 2010 Enterprising Women Winner by Enterprising Women Magazine, 2007 Pinnacle Award by the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Certified Senior Advisor, Accredited Member of the Better Business Bureau, and Business Leader Magazine’s Woman Extraordinaire 2011.

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.

Fourie Group




Mary Frantz for Deb Delaney Frantz, a 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year recipient, is the founder of Enterprise Knowledge Partners, LLC (EKP), a premier provider of cyber security, enterprise technology architecture, enterprise information governance, eDiscovery and forensics services. Frantz has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of information technology strategy, enterprise architecture, cyber security, compliance, eDiscovery, data breaches, breach remediation, cloud-based delivery models and forensics. Of these years, 12 were spent in executive leadership roles in Fortune 150 corporations. She has accumulated vast international experience and has managed the design and build of global enterprises.When Frantz founded EKP in 2004, it was one of few women-owned technology firms, as well as one of the only firms to combine technology and security with eDiscovery services in Minnesota. Since 2004, EKP has grown to include employees in four states. Frantz also is a passionate advocate for battered women, early childhood education and mentorship for women and minorities in STEM.


ediefraserheadshotfeb08 3 Edie Fraser is CEO of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors (MWM), and a vice chair of Diversified Search, LLC. Edie has worked with more than 250 Fortune companies and associations. Edie has won 45 major awards for diversity and women’s leadership, STEM, entrepreneurship and communications. She is the recipient of the Mosaic Woman Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from Diversity Woman Magazine. She has been inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame and is a founding member of C200. Edie was on the cover of Women of Wealth Magazine for her philanthropy and mentoring. She is the first woman to serve as Chairman of the World Affairs Council of DC and served on the national board of SCORE. Edie has written or served as publisher of many books, papers and articles. Like, the CEO Magazine, The Diversity Primer and The Diversity Officer. Edie wrote a book, Do Your Giving While You’re Living, with co-author Robyn Spizman, and another on women’s entrepreneurship called Risk to Riches: Women’s Entrepreneurship in America. Women and diversity support are at the core of Edie’s work and values. 

Diversified Search
STEM Connector

rsz susan frech headshot Susan is Co-Founder and CEO of Social Media Link,with over 20 years in marketing and advertising, bringing a unique combination of brand, retail, sampling, digital and social media experience. Social Media Link (SML) is a leading advocacy activation company that helps brands amplify social media conversation and word-of-mouth marketing. SML’s robust advocate marketing solutions allow marketers to seamlessly cultivate and mobilize targeted consumersto share content with the social audiences they influence, triggering action and leading consumers through the path to purchase. Since 2009, SML is proud to work with clients like Unilever, P&G, Condé Nast, Nestle, Pfizer, NBC, Kimberly Clark and more.

Susan has a strong passion for the start-up and entrepreneurial environment and sits on the Advisory Board of the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship at University of Delaware, her Alma Mater. Susan enjoys public speaking and is a monthly contributor to Media Post. SML has proudly made the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list in 2014 and 2015, and Susan was recognized on the 2014 Top 10 Women Led Businesses List in NYC by  

Joan Killian GallagherJoan 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.

Warden-Brooks, Ltd.

Molly-Gimmel Molly K. Gimmel is the co-founder and Executive Vice President of Design To Delivery Inc. D2DInc was founded in September 2001 as a consulting firm dedicated to helping small businesses win and manage government contracts. D2DInc helped its clients win hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts, and assisted over 400 companies in getting on the GSA Schedule. In 2009, D2DInc established its own federal practice and is now 100% focused on helping government agencies in navigating their procurement process. Molly serves as the Program Executive for D2DInc's contracts with the Navy, Air Force, and Department of Interior.

Molly is currently serving on the National Board of Directors for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and is a past president of the NAWBO Greater DC Chapter. She was named an Enterprising Woman of the Year in 2014 by Enterprising Women magazine. She is also a member of the Women in Defense, the National Defense Industrial Association, and the National Contract Management Association (NCMA).

Molly holds a Masters of Science in Contract & Acquisition Management from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from the College of William & Mary.

Design to Delivery Inc.

Ludy GreenDr. Green, a national and international spokesperson on financial independence for victims of violence and their children, is the President and Founder of Second Chance Employment Services (SCES), a not-for-profit organization which provides meaningful employment for battered and abused women. She draws on her 15 years experience in the human resources field to find employment for the clients. In 2002, Green resigned her position as Vice President of Human Resources for a Washington-based education policy think tank in order to pursue her dream of starting an employment agency for at-risk women.

Recently Green served as a U.S. delegate to the 2008 Global Summit of Women in Vietnam. An advocate for women and children for over 16 years, in 2006 she was appointed by the U.S. Attorney General to be on the Advisory Council of Domestic Violence Against Women. She also served as the Vice-Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees for the Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia, a board to which Governor George Allen appointed her. Green also was elected to serve on the Commission of the Status of Women in Virginia, the Alexandria Employment Commission and the District of Columbia Council for the Citizens Advisory Committee on English as a Second Language, and the Economic Development Commission in the District of Columbia.   

Earlier in her career, Green was the Director of Human Resources for CEDPA, an international leadership training organization and Associate Director of Human Resources for Smith, Bucklin, and Associates. She started her career in human resources management at the agency for International Development.

Green is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the 2008 Woman of Vision Award;  2007 Washingtonian of the Year; 2007 Professional Innovation in Victims Service by the US Attorney General; 2006 “Volvo for Life Award”; the 2005 Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area “HR Leader Award for Excellence in Community Service”; the 2005 Toyota and ABC Channel 7 “Tribute to Working Women Award”; and the Laura Bradfield Foundation, Inc. 2005 Grant. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Washington Program.

Green has an M.A. in Human Resources Management from the George Washington University, as well as a Ph. D in Industrial Organization Psychology. She and her husband Joseph have a daughter, Megan, and live in Washington, DC. Second Chance Employment Services

P Greene candid03 Patricia G. Greene is the Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College where she formerly served first as Dean of the Undergraduate School and later as Provost. Greene’s current assignment at Babson is to serve as the national academic director for the Goldman Sachs  10,000 Small Businesses initiative and advisor to the 10,000 Women program.  Dr. Greene’s is a founding member of the Diana Project, a research group focused on women’s entrepreneurship.  She is a federal appointee to the national advisory board for the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers.  She loves to talk about entrepreneurship, sharing her soapboxes on changing the way the world does business with anyone who will listen.  Her latest entrepreneurial endeavor is as a co-owner of Artworks, a specialty store in Gettysburg, PA.

Center for Women’s Business Research

Sharon G. Hadary Sharon Hadary is a recognized thought-leader on women's leadership and entrepreneurship. Her new book, co-authored with Laura Henderson, How Women Lead: The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know published by McGraw Hill, has just been released.

Sharon Hadary has been a corporate executive, a researcher, a consultant, a teacher, and an entrepreneur. When it comes to women's entrepreneurial and corporate leadership, she knows the people as well as the data.

As the former and founding executive director of the Center for Women's Business Research, Dr. Sharon Hadary has been a leader in creating social change for women for over two decades. At the Center for Women's Business Research, the premier non-profit research institute devoted to studying women's entrepreneurship, she harnessed the transformational impact of data and altered forever the landscape for women business owners in access to capital, markets, expertise, and networks.

Today, as Principal of Sharon Hadary & Co, she is teaching, writing, and speaking nationally on the subject of women's leadership and is an adjunct professor in the doctor of management program at University of Maryland University College.

Her articles on women's business leadership have appeared in The Wall Street Journal (cover story for the Small Business Report), Enterprising Women Magazine, MBE Magazine and 270inc. She is widely quoted on women's leadership in the media, most recently in Inc. Magazine, Redbook, Bethesda Magazine, The Glass Ceiling website, as well as other national media..

She has received multiple awards for her work on behalf of women entrepreneurs.

Sharon Hadary & Co.

hall-lili Acclaim for groundbreaking design and advertising. Consistent growth rarely seen in its industry. Client loyalty based on immediate and resilient campaign successes. KNOCK, inc., has been achieving all this and much more since 2001, building a national reputation for its solid hand-in-hand delivery of strategy and branding. Founder Lili Hall was driven to find a perfect union of strategy, culture and design; within mere months, it was obvious that the marketplace was in dire need of an agency that understood and leveraged all three.

Much of KNOCK's work focuses on fostering brand loyalty through exceptional retail experiences, translating keen consumer insights into nuanced interactions between brands and their audiences—on the street and in-aisle, all the way through shelf, cart and click experiences. At KNOCK, every shopping moment is impeccably thought through; this attention to detail has translated into remarkable company growth, with a 28% increase in the last three years alone.

This steady growth can also be attributed to a remarkable concentration of talent under one roof, a client-partnership business model, and a two-steps-ahead attitude toward technology. In addition to serving national and international client partners, KNOCK offers the same world-class design plus sponsorship and pro bono services to nonprofits such as The Basilica Landmark, Women in the Boardroom, and Children's Theatre Company. The agency has also been honored with countless industry awards, including recognition from Ad Fed The Show, the One Show, the ADDY Awards, W3 Awards, Pentawards, AIGA, Communication Arts, HOW and Print.


Janice HamiltonAs Founder and President of CarrotNewYork, Janice ensures our Mission “making a difference in the lives of children and families” is integrated into everything we do. Janice’s experiences as a teacher, Corporate Executive, and Agency Owner brings a unique perspective to our programs and outreach. She’s passionate about cultural understanding both in the US and Globally. As a lifetime learner, Janice has graduated from Marymount College, Kansas State University, Pace University and Harvard Business School.

JD HamiltonHeadshots

  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,, AccountEdge, FreshBooks, Mentor Plus and Corelytics Dashboards.

Linda A. Hamilton CPA LLC, New York, NY

HUB 5 Founded in 2004, HUB has grown from a small two person team to a robust team of creative strategists, designers and project managers. With a diverse client base that spans retail, higher education, government agencies and nonprofits, we are equipped to help with a variety of design, marketing and communication needs. With a focus on print and growing capabilities in digital HUB looks to each potential client as an opportunity get to know a team and help them define and design for their audience.


HUB Collective, Ltd.

Rose Harr Picture 3 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.

BlueWare, Inc.

D46 JANET HARRIS LANGE 3National Women Business Owners Corporation
Dee Hays Photo 112 1 7 2014 Low Res Deyona (Dee) Hays, P.E. is the Founder, President and CEO of Excellence Engineering, LLC. A dedicated and detail-oriented Electrical Engineer, Dee earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University in the late 80’s, and is currently attending Harvard Business School where she will be graduating in 2017 with her OPM/MBA degree. Dee is a board certified Professional Engineer with licenses in over 30 states and maintains a model law status with the National Council. Dee is an accomplished President and CEO and has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout the years. In 2014, she was honored with the Enterprising Women of the Year Award by EW Magazine and most recently in 2016 was nominated for Oklahoma Women of Year and named “50 Making a Difference” by the Journal Record.

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.

Marti Hedge Hedge is president and founder of Edge Solutions and Consulting Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions and complex IT architecture design and installation for enterprise clients. Hedge started the company in 1999 after a tenured career at IBM in various sales and management roles. She directs a range of strategic initiatives to successfully leverage the company’s core competencies in sales, services and operational excellence to create customer value. Her extensive experience in the technology industry, combined with her collaborative leadership style, operational expertise and ability to adapt to changes in the business climate, has been the stimulus for Edge Solutions’ continued growth and success over the last 16 years.

An active member of the community, Hedge mentors high school and college-aged young women in charting their educational plans, providing guidance through the rigorous college enrollment process and providing financial assistance through Edge Solutions-sponsored scholarships to pursue their academic goals. Furthermore, Hedge serves as a life coach to at-risk young men and women, providing them with the guiding wisdom, spiritual insight and unrelenting passion to achieve their academic and professional aspirations.

Corinne Heijn 011

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. 


Marion HookFormer 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

SallyHughes003 Upon completion of a professional singing career in 1987, Hughes founded Caster Connection and has led the company as president and CEO throughout its history. She leads the business based upon the solid principle: “providing ergonomic caster and wheel solutions to decrease injuries in the workplace." Hughes serves on the board of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and is a member of theEntrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). The company is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She is on the board of The Wellington School, Women’s Leadership Network Advisory Council for Otterbein University, and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, appointed by Attorney General Mike DeWine. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of women in business, including the 2008 National Woman Economic Development Outreach (WEDO) Broadcast Tour. She is a community volunteer with particular interest in children’s hospitals, The Wellington School, and maintains her interest in singing through active participation with her church. Hugheswas named the 2014 NAWBO Columbus Visionary Award Honoree, a 2014 Columbus Smart 50 Award Honoree, a 2015 Columbus Smart 50 Award Honoree, and a Progressive Entrepreneur Finalist by SBN Columbus

Caster Connection

Barbara Hutchinson optDr. Barbara Hutchinson is the president and managing partner of Chesapeake Cardiac Care, an adult cardiovascular practice that provides cutting edge medical care. She is passionate about caring for people with cardiovascular diseases which is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United Sates. She was born in Tobago, West Indies and received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. Her childhood curiosity about heart disease in her father’s family, led her to the United States to pursue a career in cardiovascular disease management. She completed a PhD in cardiovascular Pharmacology at Howard University before going on to the University of Maryland in Baltimore where she completed her medical degree, residency in Internal Medicine and cardiology fellowship. At the University of Maryland she was the first African American to hold the titles: medical school class president and the chief resident in internal medical.

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

marilynjohnson is the website to locate "The Global Ambassador" -- Marilyn D. Johnson -- who speaks with individuals, groups, organizations, and audiences, all over the globe. Johnson engages every attendee with her special understanding of leadership and empowerment. She does not lecture, she captivates, inspires and escorts her listener into a new comfort zone. Marilyn has a unique ability to connect with millennials, young professionals, middle managers, and C-suite executives in topics including Leadership Development, Empowerment Conversations, Cultural Diversity and Inclusion. Her eclectic network is her most valuable asset. believes that the most important aspect of business effectiveness is the ability to connect with others in leadership.

Barbara Kasoff 2Barbara Kasoff is President Emeritus and Co-Founder of Women Impacting Public Policy, Inc.   WIPP is a nonprofit, membership organization working to increase the economic power and public policy clout of women business owners by providing business skills education, leadership opportunities for business and personal growth, and a seat at the table amongst policymakers in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2001, WIPP is recognized as a national, nonpartisan voice for women entrepreneurs, advocating on behalf of its coalition of over 4 million businesswomen including 78 business organizations.WIPP identifies important trends and opportunities and provides a collaborative model for the public and private sectors to increase the economic power of women-owned businesses.

Barbara previously owned Voice-Tel of Michigan, a voice messaging enterprise, Voice Response Corporation, a database marketing company, and in a global expansion, opened Voice-Tel of Australia and New Zealand. Barbara incorporated her skills in management and communications, empowering her companies to secure a solid foothold in the rapidly expanding world of communications. Prior to becoming a business owner, Barbara previously served as a Senior VP of Research and Software Development for World Computer Corporation.

For many years, Barbara has been an active supporter for small businesses, and women entrepreneurs in particular. She continues this work nationally and internationally educating and advocating on the important policy issues that affect their business growth and health and to provide them the resource and support to allow them to continue to create jobs and fuel the nation’s economy. Her efforts to unite various organizations, has enabled small business owners to share information with each other, learn from one another, become better informed in economic and political issues and to speak with a strong and powerful voice.

Barbara has served as a Delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business, was an invited delegate to President Clinton’s Midwest Regional Economic Summit and the recipient of the State of Michigan Women in Business Advocate of the Year in 1995.   In addition, Barbara served as Co-Chair of the National Global Trade and Technology Board of Directors, whose mission is to help reverse the long standing trends in balance of trade deficits by making the task of finding, selling and delivering US products and services into global markets.

Barbara speaks nationally and internationally on issues concerning leadership and advocacy for women in business.

Women Impacting Public Policy

Inna Global Language Solutions (GLS) is an ISO 9001:2008 and EN 15038:2006 certified translation and interpreting firm. Founded in 1994, GLS specializes in translation, interpreting, language services project management, brand and website localization, and multilingual graphic design in over 100 languages. Its clients include leaders in the eLearning, financial, life sciences, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology industries. GLS has six offices worldwide and is headquartered in Orange County, California. It is a WBENC-certified Women's Business Enterprise and is one of the largest agencies in North America. GLS actively supports several global youth- and health-focused organizations, including the United Nations Foundation and Talk About Curing Autism, through the donation of pro bono translation services. / @OneStopGlobal

Global Language Services

NinaKaufman-headshot Nina Kaufman is a small business champion—not your ordinary business attorney. She's on a mission to help small businesses make more money, more consistently ("scale") so they can maximize their options down the road.

Forbes Magazine calls Kaufman "One of the 25 Most Influential Women Tweeting about Entrepreneurship." The U.S. Small Business Administration named her their regional Women in Business Champion of the Year. In over 15 years in business, Kaufman has helped thousands of entrepreneurs generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

A trusted thought leader, Kaufman reaches over 2 million readers on Her many media and speaking credits include the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, the American Bar Association Journal, MSNBC's Your Business, and Fox′s Good Day NY.

The Legal Edge LLC

JenniferKearney Kearney is the executive partner of Gotham Energy 360, a full-service energy consulting and management firm and she holds major interest in the firm. As executive partner, she oversees day-to-day operations of the firm including all new business development.Before launching Gotham Energy 360, she parlayed her position as the Director of Energy Programs for New York Presbyterian into a consultancy offering energy program development and deployment to hospitals, universities, colleges and cultural centers. As the Director of Energy Programs, she managed an over $70 million energy procurement portfolio including natural gas, power and all distillate fuel oils. In addition, she was responsible for the development and construction of a 7.5 megawatt gas turbine combined heat and power system, which was the first of its kind to connect with ConEdison’s Manhattan grid and run in synchronous parallel. The result of her efforts saved an excess of $11 million annually and has gained her the EPA recognition of ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in the “Sustained Excellence” category. Furthermore, Kearney’s accomplishments with the hospital included involvement in the development of two LEED-rated buildings, one that certified as Gold—a distinction only six health care buildings hold in the country. In addition to authoring several articles published in national energy journals, Kearney frequently speaks at energy conferences. She recently presented her white paper on progressive purchasing strategies to support cogeneration development to the SUNY Maritime Global Research Center. Kearney remains active in The Association of Energy Engineers, as a New York chapter member, and she is a member of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. 

Gotham Energy 360 LLC

Jill KerriganJill A. Kerrigan is the founder, president, and owner of JAK Creative Design, a marketing and design agency based in the western suburbs of Chicago.With a BA in graphic design from Eastern Illinois University and years of agency experience, she founded JAK in 1995. Jill has put so much of herself into JAK: her entrepreneurial drive, her creative intensity, and her evolving vision of what makes JAK a great place to work and play. She strategically interweaves the skills and strengths of the whole team. She is confident that every client can benefit from the one-on-one relationship JAK offers. Jill is an energetic leader, and today her responsibilities include strategic planning, new business development, and maintaining major client relationships, as well as setting the overall creative direction. In 2013, Jill completed the intensive Tuck School of Business program with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. More recently, she honed her skills in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Jill is a member of NAWBO, the WBENC, and WEConnect International. JAK Creative Design is certified as a Women's Business Enterprise with the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the WBENC. For more than 20 years, JAK’s team of imaginative artists, clever copywriters, and always-ready-to- help account executives has partnered with nonprofits, startups, and Fortune 500 companies. The agency creates high-quality, high-impact work that builds brand equity and makes each client’s vision a brandmade reality.

JAK Creative Design

Karen KerriganFor 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 KimSung-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.

Sungjoo Group

colleen pleasant klineColleen Pleasant Kline is a principal at the law firm of Miles & Stockbridge and serves as co-chair of its Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Colleen acts as outside general corporate counsel and trusted advisor to clients ranging from business owners and entrepreneurs to their officers, directors and shareholders for entities of all sizes, covering a broad range of legal and business issues.

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.

Caryn Kopp - Winner 2 Caryn is the Chief Door Opener® at Kopp Consulting whose Door Opener® Service has helped thousands of business owners and sales people secure initial meetings with high level decision makers in almost every major Fortune 500 company including P&G, Pfizer, GE, Merck, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, Kraft, Target, CBS and the list goes on and on.

During a period of time when gaining new customers has become almost impossible, Kopp Consulting helps clients fill their pipelines and achieve the growth their competitors only dream about.  Clients have experienced accelerated sales without adding headcount, suffering through mis-hires, or spending time they don’t have managing the process.   Kopp Consulting is the winner of the 2014 Sales Outsourcing Provider of the Year Award.

Kopp Consulting, LLC

kraus margery flMargery 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.

APCO Worldwide

Sophia Fouzia Leaguedi


Mikaela Wardlaw LemmonWalmart/Sam’s Club
Kim Lineberger

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

Virginia Littlejohn Quantum Leaps’ CEO has been a trailblazing advocate for women’s entrepreneurship for several decades. In the 1980s, she was Vice President for Public Policy for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in the United States, and subsequently its National President. She was also one of the three primary architects of the Women’s Business Ownership Act – referred to as “the Big Bang of women’s entrepreneurship” in the US – which became law in 1988.

Ms. Littlejohn is a judge for the Women in Business Awards for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and for five years she served as Chair of the North American Jury for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. She has been inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, and has won numerous awards, including the US Small Business Administration’s first Women in Business Advocate of the Year Award; NAWBO’s Susan Hager Legacy Award; the WBENC Applause Award; the Priyadarshini Award from the Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE); and Lifetime Achievement Awards from The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) and the America-China Business Women’s Alliance.

In addition to her advocacy efforts, Ms. Littlejohn has served as CEO of the Global Enterprise Group and as Chairman of TradeBuilders, Inc., which created the world’s first virtual trade mission in 1998. She and her husband have two sons, one in Portugal and one in Vietnam, and a granddaughter in Vietnam, where they now live.

Quantum Leaps, Inc.

Runa Magnus 2014 The European Awarded Leadership & Personal Branding Strategist

A Life-time Entrepreneur, founder Connected-Women, co-founder BRANDit.  Runa is a founding and steering committee member at ATL Europe, The Association of Transformational Leaders in Europe and the vice-president at FKA – The Icelandic Association of Women Business Leaders.
Runa is a sought after international speaker, known for her fun and highly interactive seminars and workshops.
She is the author of the upcoming book BRANDING YOUR X-FACTOR, The Secret Sauce to Success for Speakers, Coaches and Consultants.

She is making her mark worldwide, supporting entrepreneurs to build their authentic brands so that they can make their magic with confidence and clarity.

Beatriz-Manetta Beatriz (Betty) Manetta is the President and CEO of Argent Associates, Inc. Argent Associates serves companies that embrace diversity and innovation to achieve holistic, innovative solutions to complex problems.

Manetta founded Argent Associates Inc. in 1998, a certified minority and female-owned company and proven award-winning systems integrator that delivers logistics, warehousing, and monitoring solutions through state-of-the-art quality systems that provide real time information. Argent Associates, Inc. is made up of three divisions, Argent Logistics, ProArgent, and G-Argent providing innovative technology, products, services and supply chain solutions to enterprise and government customers.

Argent Associates, Inc.

Francine isolatedFrancine 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 MarchAndrea 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 MarshallAngela 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

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

Timco Products

Patricia masseyAn entrepreneur can be described as "a person who organizes and manages any business enterprise, with considerable initiative." Or you could just say "Patti Massey."

For 20 years Patti has turned innovative and creative ideas into successful business ventures. In fact, her business career really started with a lemonade stand at age eight. By 9, she was engaged in the manufacture and distribution of potholders.  Now she is President of the MYCA Group of companies, with activities as diverse as managing the repair and maintenance of fork-lift truck fleets, to providing on-line training curriculum to the City of  Los Angeles.  All bridged by Patti's ability to visualize effective use of technology.

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 S MathewsKelly Mathews has over twenty years of experience providing federal and state excise tax services for   clients operating across fifty states. Kelly’s experience has focused on two areas, the oil and   gas industry and large end users of fuel. Kelly has assisted her clients in resolving motor fuels   tax issues, preparing and reviewing motor fuels tax returns in all fifty states, creating a data    retrieval and database process to streamline motor fuels tax compliance, identifying   federal/state licensing requirements for clients in new and expanding business lines and working with clients to implement motor fuels tax preparation software.

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

Heather mayo With 20 years of experience in the warehouse club industry, Heather is currently SVP of Operations at Sam's Club.  In this role, she has the unique opportunity to support a $57 billion business and serve over 47 million members across the country. Heather joined Wal-Mart in August of 2004 leading the merchandising team for  

Heather is also a member of the Thought Leadership Advisory Panel for the Center for Consumer Research at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, as well as, the Advisory Board for the Enterprising Women Organization.  She has also been an active member of the Network of Executive Women since 2007.

Prior to joining Sam’s Club, Heather was an Associate Partner in business strategy with IBM where she provided business advice and counsel to c-level executives of Fortune 500 companies.

Walmart/Sam’s Club

Nell MerlinoNell 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 MERTZMartha is the founder of ATHENA International. She envisioned and established an international non-profit organization dedicated to opening leadership opportunities for women through the ATHENA Award, ATHENA PowerLink, ATHENA World Cafe, Globalinks, ATHENA Young Professional Award, ALM Leadership Program. ATHENA was founded in 1982 and Martha served as president until 1999, with permanent membership status on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

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.
Athena International

MichelSusan-135528B Susan McGlory Michel is the founder and CEO of Glen Eagle Advisors, LLC, a full-service investment securities firm headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 2003, Glen Eagle Advisors maintains registered representatives in six states and manages more than $350 million in assets. Michel volunteers for numerous church, community and professional organizations and recently completed 10 years of board service to the Saint Paul School of Princeton. She is an active member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a premier organization for women presidents and CEOs of privately held, multi-million dollar companies working to improve business conditions for women entrepreneurs. In addition, Michel is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global nonprofit striving to educate, transform and inspire entrepreneurs through leadership-development programs, and more. Michel is a recipient of a 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Glen Eagle Advisors, LLC

kris millerKris Miller is the founder & CEO of Healthy Money Happy Life, a financial literacy and wellness company. She has helped over 6,000 families avoid financial disaster by strategically planning for their futures. Her clients dramatically improve management of their current finances and discover unique and imaginative ways to save, invest and plan for a happy life including retirement. None of her clients has ever lost a single penny on her watch. She works with a wide variety of businesses to create financial wellness programs for their employees, typically providing and ROI of $3 for every $1 invested. Kris is the author of the #1 bestselling book, “Ready for PREtirement: 3 Secrets for Safe Money and a Fabulous Future.” She is a highly sought-after speaker and trainer for small and large companies. When she’s not consulting with families and businesses, she mentors teenagers on how to prepare for a thriving future, both financially and spiritually. She does this through “Motivating the Teen Spirit,” an organization changing the lives of youths across the country. Kris is the owner of Trusts Unlimited and has been nominated for Woman of the Year and Best Customer Service by the Chamber of Commerce of Hemet, California. Her newest program, Create Income You Will Never Outlive, is offered online or through live workshops.

Legacy Shifters

patricia millerPatricia 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!".


SpaceBound, Inc.

Amy Millman photo 3Amy Millman serves as President and Board Member of Springboard Enterprises, Inc. Springboard is a national non-profit organization accelerating women's access to the equity markets. The organization produces programs that educate, showcase and support women entrepreneurs as they seek equity capital and grow their companies.  The Springboard Venture Capital Forum program has prepared and presented over 360 women-led companies to thousands of investors throughout the US.  Those companies raised $4 billion in equity, grants and strategic investments.

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

Springboard Enterprises

Judi-Sheppard-Missett Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett successfully transformed her passion for dance into a worldwide fitness sensation. Today after 45 successful years she is CEO, teaches classes, choreographs routines, travels extensively as a presenter, writes as a featured blogger for Huffington Post, and oversees corporate staff and 7,800 franchisees teaching 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries. Jazzercise was named the #1 Women Owned Business by San Diego Business Journal in 2012 and 2013 and ranked #42 overall on the Franchise 500 list and #7 on the Fastest-Growing Franchises list by Entrepreneur Magazine. With her Jazzercise instructors, Judi helped raise over $28 million for a wide range of charitable organizations. Honors include Lifetime Achievement Awards from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and induction into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame.

Jazzercise, Inc.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Cindy_Monroe_20140714-193226_1.jpg Cindy Monroe is the founder and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts, the 18th largest direct-selling company in the world, offering purses, totes, home organization solutions and more.She started the company in her home basement in 2003, and the operation has since grown to more than 2,000 office employees and 120,000 independent consultants in the United States and Canada. Monroe is the recipient of many honors for her work, including EY's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2013 for her leadership of a successful, growing and dynamic business. Monroe was also named by the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) as the fastest growing women-owned/led company and was recognized by Enterprising Women magazine as a top revenue winner for the 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Thirty-One Gifts
Jacqueline Muller Jacqueline brings a unique coaching style based on unlocking your full potential. Her wide-ranging experiences around the world have brought together a message that is sure to change the life of anyone who encounters it.

Jacqueline’s high energy and passion for human development and growth has taken her all around the world. Her early career started with His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan's Industrial Promotion Services Ltd, in Geneva, Switzer- land. This also led her to working with the Aga Khan Founda- tion. Both were involved with projects in Africa and Pakistan. She then joined Swiss Multi National, Cosa Liebermann where she became Deputy General Manager, and was responsible for suppliers in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and many other coun- tries. Her diligence and expertise led Jacqueline to become the President and Partner of a new company Grove Industries Ltd; a successful garment buying agency and manufacturing company based in Hong Kong and supplying well known American, European and Australian brands & fashion retailers. With a turnover of US $50 million and a staff of 50 in Hong Kong, she was instrumental in creating strategic alliances that opened up new markets and created steady sales revenue.

3DOM (Asia Pacific) Ltd.

Terryneeseheadshotfeb08 2Serial entrepreneur Dr. Terry Neese, is a lifelong Oklahoman and has spent over thirty (30) years finding careers for men and women. She is the founder of Terry Neese Personnel Services (TNPS), National Grassroots Network, Women Impacting Public Policy and the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Terry’s daughter, Kim Neese, is now the President/Owner of TNPS.

Under the umbrella of IEEW operates the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program which educates and empowers women entrepreneurs in developing countries to achieve their dream of financial independence, community involvement, and political activism. Since its creation in 2006, the program has trained nearly 600 women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda, who have in turn employed over 13,000 of their countrymen and women.

A member of the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, past national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and founder of Terry Neese Personnel Services, Dr. Neese is known as a small business expert and was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the “Power 30”—the most influential small businesspersons in Washington, D.C.  She has been featured throughout several media outlets including MSNBC, FOX News, CNN, SBTV, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times and The Washington Post.

Terry is an inductee into the National and Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fames. A successful businesswoman, Terry made history in 1990 when she became the first woman nominated by a major political party for the seat of Lt. Governor of Oklahoma. She was named an Outstanding Business Leader by the Northwood University Board of Trustees in 2006, and received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the university in 2008. In 2013 she received the Enterprising Women Legacy Award, the National Women Business Owners Corporation Leadership Award, and the Journal Record’s “Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO.” In 2014, Dr. Neese was only the second woman to be honored with the Oklahoma Sister Cities Global Vision award.   Other notable accolades include NAWBO’s Lifetime Achievement Award.Terry has been appointed to numerous councils and positions with nominations by prominent leaders, such as Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

noonan Margaretta Noonan is the founder and CEO of noonanWorks (, a firm devoted to helping companies and individuals  “reach remarkableTM”.  noonanWorks is proud to be a WBENC-certified woman-owned business.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Margaretta had a long career as a senior corporate executive where she helped lead a high-growth organization (Kohl’s), an acquirer of over 100 firms (Monster Worldwide), a Chapter 11 bankruptcy (Best Products), a company closure (Carter Hawley Hale), and a successful public-company spin off (Hudson Global Resources).

Margaretta speaks and writes regularly on topics such as generational issues, women in the workplace and corporate culture and leadership.


Maureen OConnorLEM 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.

The Matthews House, LLC

KathieOkun Passionate and results-oriented, Kathie Okun is president of The Okun Financial Group, a financial and investment* services firm in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Kathie excels at providing families, individuals and business owners with personalized financial decision-making, and then assists in implementing their financial goals. With 26 years' experience, Kathie has a wonderful track record of building rapport and becoming a valued partner in retirement, estate, insurance, and employee benefit planning. Multi-generational planning has become a norm with The Okun Financial Group and Kathie's practice. Kathie loves to teach her clients "how money works" and takes pride in working with parents as well as adult children in families that she helps.

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 Head Shot

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

Shina Face Book Picture.JPGShina Parker has over 30 years of experience in strategic business development, including 28 years in the real estate title business representing buyers, sellers, lenders, brokers, investors, credit unions, nonprofit organizations, realtors, builders and developers. With a team of knowledgeable attorneys and a seasoned staff, her firm specializes in commercial and residential settlements, refinancing (commercial & residential), short sale and foreclosure transactions, investors and hard money closings, acquisitions and air right closings, and bond-financed real estate transactions.

Desiree Headshot Cropped 2Desirée 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

KPavlik small Kathleen Pavlik (Kathy) is a Market Development Executive for IBM Corporation, Sales and Distribution.  She leads a team responsible for the strategy and marketing to Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Black and women owned businesses and IBM Suppliers in North America.  She also markets to women owned, led, and influenced businesses in select countries worldwide.

Prior to her current position, Kathy served as the Manager of co-marketing for Business Partners in the U.S. and Canada.  In this role she worked with IBM Business Partners to develop, fund and measure their IBM demand generation plans. Kathy has served in numerous global leadership positions in IBM marketing and sales for over 35 years. She was one of the first female direct sales representatives in IBM, earning 17 100% Clubs and 4 Golden Circles during her sales career.; Her experience is focused on personnel management, consultative sales, customer relationships, market management, operations and channel management.  She has a strong affinity for small and medium businesses with specific expertise in distribution and retail industries and particular focus on services sales and delivery.

Kathleen is a member of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the 800+ member North Carolina IBM Women’s Business Resource Group, and is the organization’s President for 2014. She is active in her community where she volunteers with Women in Technology, the Girl Scouts and Dress for Success.She is a mentor to many women in marketing and sales both inside and outside of IBM.

Kathleen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Iowa. She resides in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, John.  They have three grown children, one of whom works for IBM in Armonk, NY. 


Cathy Head Catherine Pera is the owner of Bison Scaffold and Mason’s Supply and Bison Contracting and Builder Supply, companies that to install and dismantle scaffold and to supply construction materials. The companies are certified women-owned businesses. With a focus on excellent service, Bison Scaffold and Mason’s Supply and Bison Contracting and Builder Supply have grown at a steady pace by supporting their customers’ goals of producing quality construction timely, safely and cost-effectively.

Involved locally with WNY Ovarian Cancer Project, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, St. Benedict’s Church, Cathy is also a Buffalo Niagara Partnership Member. 

Bison Scaffold & Masons Supply

Roberta Headshot202x252Roberta 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 PianaltoAntonella 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

Patricia PopeAs 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 WinnerJeanette 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.

ECCO Select

fabi preslarFabi 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.

SPARK Publications

Pamela Prince EasonPamela 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 pulfordRobin 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.  

American Airlines

Sequoia RamseySequoia Ramsey is the CEO at Realistic Computing Inc. While matriculating at Hood College, Ms. Ramsey started a computer camp for homeless children that resulted in both a significant improvement in their grades and a new eagerness to learn.  This program caught attention of local newspapers and local community organizations, and she began training adults and offering technical services to Hood College students.  Her success inspired her to open her technical support business in 1997, where she provided technical support, training, and web support services to companies and organizations such as University of Maryland, Baltimore, Associated Black Charities of Maryland, National Association for Psychiatric Systems and the IRS Training Institute.   A variety of technology services at the request of her growing number of clients.  From offering basic network integration services RCI has grown into a full service IT consulting enterprise.  RCI now offers turnkey systems integration with expertise in, telecommunications systems, data networking, information technologies, enterprise management and more.  In 2006, Sequoia Ramsey become an ACTIVATE participant to develop additional Business skills in product commercialization and fund development and is currently a apart of the Alumnae program. Despite the growth of the company, Sequoia Ramsey continues to give back she did upon her start to aid in Elementary Schools as Science Project judges to  supporting community programs and partnerships that help make our communities better, stronger, and more vibrant places in which to live, work, and do business.  She has been a Sponsor for the Chris Macalister Foundation, YMCA Baltimore, MD Children’s Hospital Kings and Daughters of  Norfolk, VA, Civic Works of Baltimore, Elaine Clark Center, Atlanta and many more. RCI is also a support partner for the Western School of Technology, Environmental Science High School student career development and Coppin State College in order to help grow our future technical professionals. Realistic Computing Inc.

b2ap3_large_Shaila-Rao-Mistry-.jpgShaila 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.

staci redmon

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.

LynthiaRomney2016A 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, 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 brandsFor 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.

RomneyCom LLC 

manishi sagar-ab Manishi Sagar is the President and CEO of the Kinderville Group, till recently Canada's largest private ISO certified childcare and education services provider. She has ranked 22nd among Canada's Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs and has been nominated three times to Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Manishi and her company were featured in a book called, "L'Entrepreneuriat féminin au Québec" published by the HEC University in Montreal.

Manishi has served on the Board of Directors of "Bharat Bhavan" (India House), "Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal" and "Enterprising Women" a U.S. based magazine for women entrepreneurs. She is also a Founding member of the Quebec India Business Council (QIBC) and the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) in Canada. Manishi and her husband Pradeep have established the "Kinderville Foundation", set up to further education for disadvantaged children.

Manishi and Pradeep now based in Dubai have co-founded Sagar & Sagar a general trading company focused on bringing Canadian and American brands to the Middle East. With two preschools already established in Dubai, Manishi is leading the Kinderville expansion in the UAE. 2014 saw her dream being realized with the opening of the first Kinderville preschool in India.

Kinderville Group

Shonda Scott 2 WinnerShonda 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.

Esther Silver ParkerEsther Silver-Parker, President and CEO of the SilverParker Group, a consultancy specializing in corporate responsibility and reputation, stakeholder relationship management, and leadership development, has made advocacy for social change on behalf of minorities and women a lifetime cause and professional calling.

Before opening her firm in 2010, Silver-Parker served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Walmart Stores, Inc., where she was charged with the strategic planning and execution of the company’s corporate responsibility, reputation, and relationship management among key national and international stakeholders. She also focused on issues that affect emerging markets and small businesses. Prior to this position, she served as Senior Vice President of Diversity Relations for Walmart and was responsible for the company’s diversity strategy. She was a leader in establishing Walmart’s office of diversity. She developed the company’s first diversity and inclusion strategy, grew supplier diversity procurement by $3 billion dollars, established a corporate external advisory council and developed Walmart’s first stakeholder summit. She is recognized for helping to transform Walmart’s reputation among key stakeholders.

Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Silver-Parker served 28 years in various public relations functions for AT&T, including Vice President of Corporate Affairs and President of the AT&T Foundation. She also directed AT&T’s National Constituency Relations and Issues Management Departments and led the company’s award-winning corporate social responsibility programs, including programs that grew the number of diverse people in such disciplines as engineering, business, arts, and small business. Silver-Parker led AT&T’s public relations field offices in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. She designed and implemented the plan to increase AT&T’s presence in local communities in the U.S. and developed the design for AT&T’s field public relations organization worldwide. She also developed AT&T’s first stakeholder relations organizations. She was the recipient of the Catherine Cleary Award, the highest leadership honor AT&T gives to an employee.

The Silver-Parker Group

LulusDesserts distritomexicoMaria 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.

Photo 2008 headshot red dressSusan 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 – 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

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 for the Most Innovative Company under 100 employees and 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 stallingsDeborah 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.

HR Anew

Andrea Stevenson ConnerAndrea 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

Copy of Nikki Stewart 2 3Nicolina 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.

Stacey StrattonStacey is President and CEO of True Talent Group, a successful boutique staffing and recruitment agency that provides its clients with the best marketing, creative and interactive talent in the Twin Cities.

True Talent Group partners with organizations of every sizeto meet their contract, contract-to-hire, and full-time staffing and recruitment needs. The agency’s talent pool consists of more than 9,000 talented professionals with expertise in all facets of marketing and creative and was recently named a Best Place to Work by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. Clients include major corporations, advertising agencies, design firms, marketing groups and nonprofits.

Stacey has rapidly grown the organization since she founded it in 2008, and because of her success, she’s been recognized as 2016 Enterprising Woman of the Year in Enterprising Women Magazine, one of the 2016 (Real) Power 50 in Minnesota Business Magazine, and one of the most accomplished young professionals on Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 2015 who’s who list of 40 Under 40. In 2013, she was named an Exceptional Businesswoman for Dakota County, and in 2012, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recognized her as one of 25 Women to Watch. She is also an active member of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA), as well as the Board for Art Buddies and the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO).

True Talent Group
Rosemary Swierk Swierk is founder and president of Direct Steel and Construction, a general contracting and construction management firm. Swierk holds a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University, a Dartmouth “Tuck” Executive Degree and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Certificate. She has decades of experience in real estate development and construction. Additionally, she contributes her time in several community initiatives. Swierk has received recognition for her accomplishments from many organizations including Manufacturers, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, Athena International, Small Business Administration and theChicago Sun-Times. Swierk is also the recipient of the 28th annual Entrepreneur of the Year award from the national Women’s Business Development Center. Additionally, she is a State of Illinois appointee to the Small Business Development Center advisory board.
Joanne TabellijaJoanne is Director of Constituent Relations and Corporate Affairs at Walmart. She is responsible for building partnerships and strategies that enhance corporate reputation and stakeholder advocacy in the Asian American Pacific Islander markets and community, the Women’s segment, Mature/Aging segment, and People with Disabilities segment.  She seeks opportunities to create new innovative relationships and partnerships that will benefit society and align with the company’s focuses. Joanne brings her expertise in connecting her network of partners to each other, helping them fulfill their mission.   She holds seats on several Corporate Advisory Boards and has help Board Chair positions for several non-profits and not-for-profits, helping them to learn how to navigate corporations when they submit requests for support. She joined Walmart on 9/30/13. 

Prior to coming to Walmart, she worked for MillerCoors and Coors Brewing Company for almost 17 years, as their National Community Commerce and Partnerships Manager, directing and managing strategy on corporate and community partnerships for MillerCoors by strengthening the commercial impact of community investments in support of business objectives leveraging and creating  programs, partnerships and initiatives to increase brand relevance, safeguard the company’s license to operate, enhance company reputation and position MillerCoors as civic leaders.  Over the several years she was with MillerCoors, she served as director and manager of multicultural relations initiatives for the Asian, Women’s, Native American communities and market segments, the lead the company’s emergency disaster relief efforts, and directed the enterprise-wide Employee Volunteer Programs.


Shelli TenchShelli 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 tippettJanice 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

BlackLine CEO Therese Tucker

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 VazquezElizabeth 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.

WEConnect International

Lucie Voves 2008 small 400x400Lucie 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 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 WasmuthJoanna’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 microentrepreneur

Erase Poverty

Sally WebbSally 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

jweeksphoto 4 Julie Weeks is the President and CEO of Womenable, a for-profit social enterprise that works to enable women’s entrepreneurship worldwide by improving the systems – laws, policies, programs and research-based knowledge – that support women’s enterprise creation and growth. Prior to launching Womenable, Weeks served as Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council, a federally-funded bipartisan policy advisory body, and was Deputy Chief Counsel for Statistics and Research at the U.S. Small Business Administration. She has also worked in the field of market research, including serving as Managing Director of the Center for Women’s Business Research.


Margaret WeirMargaret (Peg) Weir is the TIAW President of the Board of Directors and Chair of the 2015 TIAW Global Forum Planning Committee. Previously, she was the TIAW Vice President, Finance & Treasurer where she developed strategies to insure financial stability and sustainability resulting in a positive net income for the organization.   She was chair of the Global Forum in 2012 and 2013.  She is a past President of Executive Women in Government (EWG), where she established a Mentor-Protégé Program and Corporate Sponsorship Advisory Board. She has been a long-time active member of several organizations including Women in Logistics and Delivery Services (WILDS), Federally Employed Women (FEW), Women in Technology (WIT), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG). She is also a member of the US Chamber of Commerce.  In 2010, Peg received the TIAW World of Difference 100 Award.  

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

pattiPatti 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

bonnie2Bonnie 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

Sandra YanceyThe 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.


Be A Mentor

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.

Read the full news release.


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