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

Ali Anab Anab Ali is founder and CEO at Oasis Home Healthcare Inc. based in Ashburn, Virginia. The company provides home healthcare services and is a diverse agency with more than 15 languages spoken by its employees—from Arabic to Chinese and Spanish. When she founded Oasis Home Healthcare, Anab had more than 15 years of experience as a floor nurse, case manager, head nurse and other roles in several VA hospitals. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from New York University. In 2012, Anab founded Orphan Care to provide basic human needs for orphans in Somalia, including food, clothing, shelter and educational assistance. The organization supports hundreds of children in family-style children’s homes in four Somali towns/villages. She also created a nonprofit focused on helping endangered youth, and she is a founding member of a free health clinic through the Chantilly Adams Compassionate Healthcare network.  

Oasis Home Healthcare

Delaina Allen is CEO of the firm and in addition to the above memberships and community volunteer work, she founded Young Mothers Don’t Quit as a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing services to teen moms to help them maintain a positive outlook, obtain high school diplomas and college degrees, and ultimately become responsible citizens and mothers. Bianca and Delaina are co-chairs of the 2018 Houston Young Enterprising Women Mentoring Forum Program on behalf of the Enterprising Women Foundation. Recipient of the 2017 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Recruiting Source International

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

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

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

René is co-founder and CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation, an Austin, TX-based company that buys, sells and leases corporate aircraft worldwide. She applies a background in business journalism and marketing from several industries to the company she started in 2008. Charlie Bravo works with government entities, non-profits, corporations both large and small, and private individuals and has closed deals more than 40 different countries ranging from hundreds of thousands to $30+ million. René is part of an elite group—only 4-6% of high-level aviation positions are held by women in North America and Europe. René serves as a spokesperson for business aviation and women in aviation in speaking and press appearances all over the world. René serves as Vice President-Communications on the International Aviation Women's Association board, driving all Connect, Inspire and Lead activities. In 2018, she held organized and emceed the IAWA Inaugural GA Women’s Leadership Forum, with more than 100 female leaders from the industry in attendance. René is an active member of the National Business Aircraft Association. She served on the advisory board of Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy, a group that teaches the love of STEM learning through aviation in her local community for three years and continues to promote STEM learning through other activities. She serves as a Supply Chain Coordinator for PALS Sky Hope Disaster Relief, a charitable organization that utilizes business aviation to help in times of natural disaster or life-threatening situations. René is also the host of a podcast called Defying the Status Quo. René met her husband and Charlie Bravo Aviation co-founder, Curt, while studying journalism at Ohio University. To satisfy her passion for writing, René is an editorial contributor to several aviation business publications. In 2017, she wrote and produced a 28-lesson video course on how to buy an airplane. In 2016, she wrote a book entitled Crushing Mediocrity: 10 Ways to Rise Above The Status Quo with a co- author in the automotive industry. 2017 Enterprising Women of the Year Winner 2017 Austin Business Journal Profiles in Power Finalist

Charlie Bravo Aviation

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

Gina Diez Barroso HeadshotGina Diez Barroso has been a pioneer in the fields of arts and education for over 20 years. In 1990 she created and launched Grupo Diarq, a holding company with eight subsidiaries currently employing over 600 people. One of the most prestigious real estate development and design firms in Latin America, DIARQ has completed over 850 residential and hospitality projects to date.

In 2004, Mrs. Diez Barroso founded CENTRO; the first university in Mexico City specialized in creative studies with a strong emphasis in business and entrepreneurship. CENTRO currently offers seven undergraduate degrees and six master’s programs, as well as a broad range of graduate studies and continuing education courses in related disciplines. In just 12 years since opening, the university has grown rapidly to its present student enrollment of 2,500 and is recognized as Mexico’s best university in its field.

Mrs. Diez Barroso has given lectures in business schools in the United States, Latin America and Europe.

In 1992, she founded Fundacion Diarq, a non-profit organization that works towards eradicating domestic violence and preventing bullying in schools. In 2004, she founded Fundacion Pro-Educacion Centro, a non-profit organization granting merit-based scholarships to deserving students pursuing degrees in creative studies.

In 2016, Mrs. Diez Barroso founded Dalia Empower, an initiative created to empower women under a unique educational methodology, enabling their hard and soft skills. DALIA is the first international integrated platform with a global network.

Mrs. Diez Barroso sits on several international boards and is one of the two Mexicans belonging to C200 (200 Women Business Leaders of the World) and represents Mexico in W20, the women initiative from G20.

Betsy_Final_1.pngBetsy 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.

Panagora Group

lorin bellerLorin Beller is an Amazon best-selling author and now working on her 5th book. She is also an entrepreneur, strategist, coach, speaker, inspirer and most important, a single mom. Lorin, an entrepreneur since she was laid off from her first job 30 years ago, has owned a number of businesses, one of which she grew to a 3 million dollar firm, then sold it. Since 2001, Lorin has owned, Lorin Beller & Co. Lorin and her team have been working with Women Entrepreneurs almost exclusively the past 17 years in the area of Conscious Leadership. Lorin Beller & Co does this through Executive Coaching for the leader, our popular management team conscious leadership program, and our intimate Starfish retreats that are game changers for Women Leaders. In 2010, Lorin was honored to be the recipient of two prestigious Stevie awards: Women Supporting Women and Mentor of the Year. Lorin has served on NAWBO’s National Board and speaks at local NAWBO Chapters as often as she is able. Supporting Women Entrepreneurs to consciously create wild success is a passion for Lorin. Lorin feels honored to support women in both professional and personal growth to be the best they can be. For more on what Conscious Leadership is and more about Lorin Beller & Co. see:
Fran Biderman Gross is the Founder, CEO and Strategista of Advantages. After losing her first husband and business partner to cancer in 2001, Fran assumed the leadership of Advantages and grew it from a local printing business to an Inc. 500 national marketing and branding agency. With 20+ years of marketing expertise, Fran leads her clients on a journey of brand discovery that explores their core values, mission, vision and the personal "WHY" that propels them to excel every day. She then transforms the essence of their discovery into intensely creative branding, marketing and business campaigns. Fran has been a featured speaker at numerous events.



2016 Image

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. 

Thinking Media/Learning Blade
Latoya Bullard Franklin Latoya Bullard-Franklin is Founder and CEO of The Bulsard Group, LLC-a firm focused on partnering with clients to uncover value, create value, and deliver value in the pursuit of Operational Excellence. She advocates Supplier Diversity through organizations such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Who’s Who in Black Houston has recognized her as a catalyst to motivate the achievement of excellence for organizations such as WBEA, NSBE, HMSDC, AABE, Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, AKA Sorority, Inc., and GHBC where she serves on the Board of Directors. In her spare time, she instills excellence and provides scholarships to young students through her non-profit, the Girl POWER Network with Principles to ensure success: “Persevere, Own, Win, Empower, and Respect.”

The Bulsard Group, LLC



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.

SusieCarder 31Profit coach, speaker and SC Consulting Founder Susie Carder has worked with thousands of businesses to help them create radical business strategies and achieve exponential growth. Susie started her own business trajectory with one salon and health spa that she took nationally, and then founded and sold three profitable companies, the last of which sold for eight figures to Cengage.

Carder became passionate about helping other business owners achieve growth and sustainability. As she led business after business to success, the true test of her talents came unexpectedly. A serious car accident threatened Carder’s life and instantly took her away from her business. As she took time off for surgery and healing, not only did her business stay afloat, but it also expanded tenfold. The systems she created enabled her staff to carry on without her. Her calling became crystal clear: Bring this level of freedom to others.

In her popular program, the Predictable Success Method™, Carder has guided companies to develop personalized operation systems in finance, sales, and marketing. An international speaker, Carder’s dynamic personality, sharp wit, and heart-warming stories are beautifully woven in with her decades of business knowledge to educate and compel audiences toward financial freedom.
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

Nicole CoberNicole Cober is principal managing partner for Cober, Johnson and Romney, a Washington D.C. firm providing consulting, legal and strategic services to nonprofit, private and public sector clients.  Earlier in her career, she spent eight years as owner and operator of a day spa and hair salon chain that served as a revitalization catalyst in a developing area in Washington D.C. Each year, she used her business for philanthropy by providing complementary services to Rachael’s Women Shelter.  She graduated from Howard University School of Law and served as a judicial law clerk for the Chief Judge of the DC Court of Appeals. Today, she is a regular contributor to Black Enterprise and Citibank’s Women and Co. as well as a legal consultant for the local news.  She is the author of CEO of My Soul, which chronicles her early days as an entrepreneur.  Nicole serves as a SCORE mentor and an instructor for the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program. She was a 2018 recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award

Cober, Johnson & Romney

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

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.

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

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
Nathalie DoobinA Harvard Co-Owner, Nathalie spearheads Harvard’s company-wide strategy efforts. She is the Owner and CEO of Harvard Services Group (Janitorial Services) and Harvard Enterprise Risk Solutions (Strategic Consultative Security Services). Before becoming an entrepreneur, Nathalie spent her career building brands globally for Fortune 500 companies. She holds an Executive MBA and is a Private Detective.

Harvard Services Group is the only Diversity Certified Building Service Contractor based in the NY Tri-State area to be awarded Green Seal GS-42 and CIMS-Green Building certifications. Harvard Enterprise Risk Solutions providesInvestigative & Security Advisory Services, as well as Executive Protection.

In addition to being recognized as Enterprising Women of the Year, Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners in NJ and Best 50 Business Women in NJ, her company wasnamed a Top 500 Diversity Business in the US.

Nathalie is an Enterprising Women Advisory Board Member, a U.S. Building Service Contractor Association (BSCAI) Board Member, as well as a member of the XPrize Innovation Board. She is a member of Women’s President Organization (WPO), Executive Women of New Jersey, The Hygieia Network, the Building Owners& Managers Association (BOMA), ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, NJ Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), and the US Green Building Council (USGBC).Nathalie and her husband Stan contributeto multiple charities, includingStep Up Women’s Network, Big Brothers-Big Sisters and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Harvard Services Group
As an entrepreneur since the age of 12, Desiree Doubrox has been the founder/owner of several businesses, including the Marina Mermaid, A Models Media, Lookin Good Productions and Celebrity Auctions. She is currently the CEO of HomWork in California. An Empowered Woman has developed into an exclusive global networking community and resource center for women professionals and entrepreneurs. In 2011, she launched the Foundation of Empowered Women, a non-profit division and the Association of An Empowered Woman, with chapters throughout Southern California. In 2015, Desiree produced and published “Let’s Talk Success.” a digital magazine distributed in 11 countries with access to over one million viewers, featuring women who have achieved millionaire status as they share their stories, challenges, victories and secrets to success.

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.

TransPerfect Translations
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

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

Anne Freedman HeadshotAnne B. Freedman, is an internationally recognized business communication and executive presentation consultant, corporate trainer, author and E-course developer. As founder and president of Speakout, Inc., a Miami-based company established in 1990, her mission in life is “to help prevent everyone from ever having to listen to or give another boring speech or presentation. And to keep the art of face-to-face communication alive and well!"

Anne works privately and in groups to help executives and community leaders create powerful messages, while reducing the frustration and anxiety of public speaking. Bilingual, in English and Spanish, she also conducts programs on team and leadership communication, networking skills, and developing elevator speeches. Clients include SAB Miller, Perry Ellis International, Kaufman Rossin CPAs, DHL, Western Union, Royal Caribbean, Florida International University, Banco do Brasil, and many other multinational and US corporations, nonprofits and business owners.

A University of Florida graduate and former journalist, Anne is the author of Public Speaking for the Genius, and Say It! Own It!, a 240-page illustrated Workbook. Her 14-video E-course, Speak Your Way to the Top, is due out early next year.

Active in the community, Anne currently serves on the President’s Assembly Steering Committee of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She is past president of Miami NAWBO, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the South Florida Progress Foundation. She serves on the Florida International Bankers Association’s Women’s Leadership Committee and is involved in other business and civic groups.

Speak Out Inc.



Joan Killian GallagherJoan Killian Gallagher is the founder and president of Warden Brooks New York. Since 1978, her visionary leadership in the field of custom designed corporate gifts established Warden Brooks as the preferred manufacturer of branded merchandise. Made in America, the distinctive line of canvas bags with woven ribbon trim includes totes, briefcases, and the, often imitated but never duplicated, original Wall Street banker bag.

In 1998, while successfully running Warden Brooks and raising her daughter, Joan followed one of her many dreams and began the restoration of the original cottages on the farm where her great grandfather, Laurence Killian, was born in 1833. Fifteen years, three cottages and a true labor of love later, The Killian Homeplace received the All Ireland Pride of Place Award. The 60-acre compound has been reimagined as a meeting place that fosters the educational and cultural exchange for students, relatives and friends from all over the world.

In 2017, Joan’s daughter, Caroline, joined the Warden Brooks team and has brought a new dimension of design and marketing innovation to the company. Joan is the proud recipient of the Enterprising Woman of the Year award and continues to enjoy being a long time member of the EW Advisory Board and the Women Presidents’ Organization.




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.

Peggy Gionta CFWPeggy Gionta is the President and Founder of Partner’s Consulting, Inc., a woman-owned project leadership company that helps enterprises meet the changing demands of technology. Under her direction, Partner’s Consulting has been recognized for its remarkable growth by the Inc. 5000, Philadelphia 100, Philadelphia Business Journal and Philadelphia SmartCEO, was named the 2017 Professional Services Excellence Award winner by The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She was a 2017 recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award. Partner’s Consulting, Inc. was launched in 2006, when after 15 years as a top sales producer in the IT consulting industry, Gionta fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning her own business. With a constant focus on people and partnership and a strong drive for success, she propelled her business from a two-person team to one of Philadelphia’s fastest growing companies. Her enthusiastic and driven personality, blended with a sincere desire to help people realize their career goals and support their need for a better balance between work and family life, established Partner’s Consulting as an employer of choice, particularly for women with families, whose focus is building a successful career. Partner’s Consulting’s success and trustworthy reputation can be attributed to Gionta’s steadfast determination to work collaboratively and build solid relationships to expand her network. In her role as an envoy and mentor for the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC), Gionta supports other women-owned businesses by connecting them with her many industry contacts, mentoring them in business matters and looking for opportunities to partner with them, earning their distinctive WBE Leadership Award in September 2018. She is also an active member, dedicated sponsor and strong advocate of organizations that are devoted to championing women and economically disadvantaged youth to excel and become leaders in STEM careers. Gionta completed the Executive Program in Management at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy with a minor in Spanish, as well as her Master’s Degree in International Marketing from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Partner's Consulting, Inc.

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.

Linda Hamilton

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

Dee Hawking is President and CEO of A Better Answer. Her business insight and leadership capabilities have placed A Better Answer Call Centers in an enviable position to be the only call center and answering service in North America to receive the Association of Tele-messaging Services’ (ATSI) highest and one-time-only award, the Miss Emily, for professionalism and courtesy. Dee has won several awards including the 2014 eWomen Network Femtor Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been published in industry magazines, trade magazines, and newsletters and A Better Answer is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise by WBENC. She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

A Better Answer

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. 


Regina O. Heyward is Senior Vice President and head of Supplier Diversity for Wells Fargo. With more than 17 years of experience, she leads a team that is responsible for developing and engaging certified diverse suppliers to integrate them into the company’s sourcing and procurement processes. She is a member of the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Ethical Standards Committee and, from 2010 to 2013, was Chair of ISM’s Diversity Committee, where she implemented a diversity undergraduate student mentoring program. Heyward has been featured three times by DiversityPlus magazine as one of the “Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity,” and has received numerous other awards for her leadership in supplier diversity, including honors from Minority Business News and DiversityInc. magazine. She is actively involved in the Million Women Mentors Program and chairs the Entrepreneurship Committee for MWM.

Wells Fargo Bank

Arria Hines is CEO and President of Allegheny Science & Technology (AST), but proudly wears many other hats: award-winning entrepreneur, successful businesswoman, trusted advisor, valued mentor and native West Virginian. Under Arria’s leadership, AST was named to the Inc. 500/5000 in August 2017 for the fourth consecutive year. The Inc. 5000 is an expansion of the Inc. 500, which ranks the country’s top 5000 fastest-growing private companies. In September 2017, AST was named to the Washington Fast50 for the fourth straight year, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing small businesses in the government market according to Washington Technology. Arria has received several awards and most recently, she received the 2017 Innovator of the Year Award from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Allegheny Science & Technology (AST)

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

Bianca Jackson is COO of Recruiting Source International, a Katy, TX-based full-service workforce solutions firm offering executive search, staffing, IT and project management. The women and minority-owned certified enterprise has been in business for more than 15 years. Bianca and Delaina are members of the Katy Chamber of Commerce, the Black Chamber of Commerce, and several other organizations.  Both women give back to their community by hosting job fairs, working with organizations such as Between Jobs Ministry and local churches in order to bring job opportunities to local unemployed workers. Bianca started her career as a chemical engineer working for Occidental and Honeywell, and holds an MA in Theology. Recipient of the 2017 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Recruiting Source International

Margo JacquotMargo Jacquot is founder and director of The Juniper Center, one of the largest women owned counseling and therapy practices in the Chicagoland area. She is a winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the 14th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. She is on the Board of Directors for the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation, which works on addressing drug use by children and teens, and is Chairperson of the Women in Business Group, and a member of the Healthcare Co-op Committee for the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce. Margo is a strong advocate for helping other mental health practitioners get started in their own practice. She offers one-to-one guidance and started a monthly “meet up”, providing guest speakers and networking opportunities. She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

The Juniper Center

Sushumna Roy JalajamSushumna Roy Jalajam co-founded Softpath System, LLC in 1999. Softpath is a certified Women and Minority-Owned Business Enterprise headquartered in Norcross, Georgia. As President of Softpath System, Sushumna is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations, as well as leading the company’s staffing and technology strategy. The organization is the recipient of numerous awards including Investment Partner of the Year - 2014 by Informatica and the 2016 Georgia Women Business Council (GWBC) LACE Trailblazer Award. She actively mentors women business organizations and provides volunteer committee support to GWBC. She has served as Board Member to U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce – Southeast Chapter (USPAACC-SE) and as Trustee to multiple non-profits and community organizations. She was a 2017 recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Softpath System LLC

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.


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

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.

Merrilee Kick

Merrilee Kick is the CEO/Founder of BuzzBallz/Southern Champion, the only woman-owned Distillery/Winery in the United States, located in Carrollton, Texas.  BuzzBallz/Southern Champion makes ready-to-drink cocktails called BuzzBallz, as well as spirits like rum, vodka, gin and bourbon, which are sold in 46 states and 7 countries in convenience stores, liquor stores, casinos, arenas and airlines.  The company is family operated, and home to 100 employees in the Dallas area. The company sponsors educational scholarships as well as non-profits dedicated to helping fight human trafficking.

She is a winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Southwest 2018, EY's Winning Women Award 2016; Winner of the Enterprising Women's Award 2017, and Winner of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas Woman’s University.  Merrilee is involved as a Member of the Committee of 200, Women's President's Organization, Entrepreneurial Women's Organization/NAWBO, and WBENC (Women's Business Enterprise National Council).   She frequently is asked to speak about innovation, marketing strategy, manufacturing, vertical integration, and international business.   

She was a former CBS News Anchor, writer & "live" radio newscaster, non-profit executive, event producer, public speaker, and voice-over artist/actress. She was a former high school teacher of international business, entrepreneurship, business law, marketing, and business computer systems.  Merrilee is married to Tim Kick, and has 2 children, Alex & Andrew Kick. All of them work in the family business.

Southern Champion / Buzzballz, LLC

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

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 LeaguediSophia Fouzia Leaguedi is the Founder and President of Ameroc Export, an international trade company that provides U.S. manufacturers all the services they need to export their products from the United States to countries all around the world. Sophia’s success has earned her a number of awards including the Athena Leadership Award by Athena International, Illinois Exportner of the Year Award by the Illinois SBA and the Influential Woman in Business Award by the Daily Herald Business Ledger. She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.





Cathy Caserza LightCathy is a successful entrepreneur with experience working with global corporate clients across a wide range of markets and industries. Her passion for building businesses has led her to the launch of Liderança Group, Assessment Leaders, Leadership Balance, Be Well Perform Well, and Business Builders. She is a dynamic speaker with an engaging personality who has a genuine passion for helping business leaders achieve their goals.

Lideranca Group, Inc.






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.

Gia MachlinGia Machlin is President & CEO of EcoPlum, Inc. A successful entrepreneur, she founded her company in 2007 with the goal of inspiring and motivating people to live a more sustainable lifestyle and practice conscious consumerism. As a for-profit company, EcoPlum has a strong social mission to help combat environmental issues and is committed to a triple-bottom line strategy focused on people, planet, and profit.

EcoPlum Business Gifts is the company’s primary service, offering branded marketing solutions with its Sustainable Swag® line of promotional products at EcoPlum curates best-in-class eco-friendly gift items and customizes them for clients with their logos, taglines, or messages. The company’s environmentally responsible business gifts and premium promotional items enhance its clients' marketing efforts with their own branded merchandise - a visible symbol of their values.

EcoPlum is a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and is a Green America “Gold” approved business. Machlin and EcoPlum have been featured on ForbesBooks Radio, Green is Good Radio, WOR Talk Radio, Crain’s New York, Inc. Magazine and many other business publications.

Prior to founding EcoPlum, Machlin was President of MMC 20/20 Systems, Inc. In 1998, she co-founded Plan Data Management, Inc. (PDM) growing it into a thriving software and data services provider servicing Fortune 500 companies. A public company acquired PDM in 2006. Machlin’s professional experience also includes management consulting at Deloitte & Touche, along with sales and marketing roles at Unisys and AT&T.

Machlin received an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School and a BS with honors from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Machlin is a longtime member of the Women Presidents’ Organization and a founding member of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club’s Sustainable Business Committee. She also serves as Board President of the Blue Card, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides cash assistance to needy Holocaust survivors. For the last 15 years, she has been an active volunteer in the New York City public schools.

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.

Purba Majumder, President and Co-Founder of Cybervation, a high-growth technology solutions company in Dublin, Ohio. With offices in the U.S. and India, the company serves clients nationwide with enterprise software solutions, custom software/mobile app development, staffing and transcription services. Cybervation is deeply committed to empowering girls and women for STEM careers through community-focused efforts and its non-profit organization, CoolTechGirls, founded in 2013 as a joint initiative with the City of Dublin. CoolTechGirls aims to expose school-age girls to a variety of academic and career options through hands-on activities and showcasing women role models.

An accomplished software executive with over 22 years of experience in software development, consulting and program management, Majumder worked in corporate America for over 15 years, including as a vice president at JPMorgan Chase and as a senior software professional with Sterling Commerce (now IBM).

Majumder and Cybervation have earned numerous awards and recognition for its business and philanthropic contributions: 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award by the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council; 2016 Proclamation by the City of Dublin in Honor of National Entrepreneurship Week; the Smart 50 Award in 2016 and 2017, the Columbus Business First BizTech Minority Business Award in 2017; the Biztech Outstanding Woman in Technology Award in 2016; the Smart Business Progressive Organization award in 2016; the Philanthropic Leader Award by the Ohio Asian American Commerce Group in 2016, and the First Corporate Caring Award in 2015. Sunny 95 recognized her as one of its 20 Outstanding Women.

She is a member of the National Board of Directors for Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD). She received her Master’s from the University of Toledo. She is the mother of two daughters and resides with her family in Dublin, Ohio.

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.

Karen Maples is the founder and president of Myutiq, an innovation strategy consulting firm. Recognized as a thought leader and accomplished strategy expert, Maples established the company because of her passion to help companies build innovation capacity for long-term viability and growth. Maples is deeply dedicated to working on global issues impacting women’s leadership and entrepreneurship. She is a member of the Global Brain Trust of Quantum Leaps, an international network of leaders focused on advancing women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. Maples is a founder of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and served two terms as President. She is a national founding partner of Women Impacting Public Policy and currently on its Executive Advisory Board. A previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award,  she holds a B.B.A. and M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her post-graduate studies include strategic planning and marketing strategy at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


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

Kris Martinez

Kris Martinez is owner and creative director of Martinez Creative Group, a digital marketing agency based in St. Charles, IL. MCG provides creative, branding, and integrated communications for a diverse range of clients on a national basis through print, mobile, digital, and video.

Kris has over 23 years experience creating award-winning marketing and advertising campaigns. Since 2004, Kris has built her business from a one-woman shop to a full service boutique agency serving clients in security, manufacturing, food, agriculture, and other industries. MCG's long-term success has been built on the relationships they've grown with their clients. Kris and her team aim to learn everything about their clients’ businesses in order to effectively communicate on their behalf.   In 2018, Kris was honored as an Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine. The awards are an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs. Award winners demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. Kris was also a panelist for Crain’s Chicago Business in May, 2018 for the Small Business Week panel on entrepreneurship and fostering growth among women-led businesses.

MCG’s work has been recognized with several industry awards over the years. MCG received a 2018 Communitas award, which recognizes top businesses doing work to benefit their communities. MCG was also recognized with 2017 and 2018 SAMMY Awards for Stanley Security for Best Overall Marketing Campaign. The SAMMY Awards are the most highly regarded awards in the security industry.   Kris is a member of several organizations, including: WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council), IABC (International Association of Business Communicators), PWCC (Professional Women’s Club of Chicago), NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association), NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), and the American Advertising Federation.   MCG is a certified WBENC corporation.

Martinez Creative Group

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

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

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.

Shaila Rao Mistry

Jayco MMI innovates, designs and manufactures human machine interfaces for aerospace, medical devices, security, communications, and industrial applications ranging from mobile devices to rack-mount systems. Established over 27 years Jayco has earned the loyalty of customers and employees. We are national and international with clients including Fortune 500 and other high technology companies.

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. We also focus on forging pathways to break the glass ceiling in the boardroom and mentor girls to advance in STEM fields.

Shaila 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 is also a serves on the Small Business Advisory Council for California Department of General Services. This SBAC is responsible for small and diverse business access to procurement in the State of California. 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.

A global advocate for women empowerment, she is active across five continents having presented papers at UN level, seminars, and workshops on business, diversity and equality, women’s issues, reform, and economic advancement; topics that are at the forefront globally and domestically. At UN level, she participated actively at every CSW’s in New York since Beijing for 21 years, taking leadership roles including working on the MDGs. She has lead pioneering work on Internet and Human Rights including co-authoring Human Rights Charter and Internet. Whilst serving as a leader for multiple state and national-level organizations, she has been a passionate advocate for prominent issues effecting 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 their Marco Polo Award: Entrepreneurship & Global Humanitarian work. NAWBO recognized her with Life time Entrepreneur award. Born in India, educated in London, and settled in California, Shaila is a true global citizen.



Cindy Monroe Fall 2017Cindy Monroe launched Thirty-One Gifts in the basement of her home in Tennessee in 2003 with just two employees at her side. Today, the company is headquartered at New Albany, Ohio, where there are nearly 1,000 employees, and an independent sales Consultant force of more than 75,000 throughout the U.S. and in nine provinces in Canada.

The goal when starting Thirty-One was foremost to provide an opportunity for women to find financial freedom through owning their own businesses in direct selling. Cindy also wanted to provide affordable and fashionable products for busy women. She held the first party, recruited the first Consultant and helped develop the first products.

She named the company for Proverbs 31, a chapter of the Bible that celebrates women’s strengths. Like the Bible verses, Thirty-One also celebrates the virtuous woman and her many gifts and talents. Scores of independent sales Consultants find balance in their lives by running their own businesses while being home with children, making their own hours, and working as much or as little as they wish.

Thirty-One’s independent Consultants sell products at home parties and online. Thirty-One offers exclusive handbags and wallets, totes, accessories, home décor and organizational solutions, pillows, jewelry and more. Many Thirty-One products can be personalized, which allows Customers to create unique gifts and keepsakes.

The success of Cindy Monroe and Thirty-One has been honored and recognized on a local and national level, including:

  • UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame (2019)
  • Most Influential Women in Direct Selling (2017, 2014)
  • No. 1 Family-Owned Business in Central Ohio (2019)
  • Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) Riveter Award (2016)
  • Enterprising Women magazine Hall of Fame (2016)
  • No. 1 Woman-Owned Business in Central Ohio (2016)
  • 23rd Largest Direct-Selling Organization in North America & 38th in the World (2016)
  • Medical Mutual SHARE Award for Community Service (2016)
  • Forbes magazine “Self-Made Women to Watch” (2015)
  • Enterprising Women Hall of Fame (2015)
  • Salvation Army Need Knows No Season Award (2014)
  • Fastest-Growing Woman-Owned Company in the World (2014)
  • Enterprising Women of the Year Award (2014)
  • Corporate Caring Award (2014)
  • Regional Recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2011)

In 2012, Cindy founded a philanthropic initiative called Thirty-One Gives with a mission to empower girls and women and support families. To date, they have donated more than $100 million in products and cash to nonprofits that share the mission.

Cindy established the Cindy Monroe Vision and Values Scholarship in 2013, available to any high school girl in Hamilton County, TN, providing $12,400 to attend a college or university. The scholarship has been awarded six times.

Cindy serves on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, DSA Executive Board, and Enterprising Women Board. She is a member of the Columbus II Chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and the Young Presidents’ Organization – Columbus Chapter.

She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is married with two children.
Monika Moss GransberryMonika Moss-Gransberry is an extraordinary visionary and the designer of Life Mapping, a manifestation practice, supporting people all over the world in mapping the life they have always dreamed of living.  Like many of us, she has been on her own journey to wholeness, during which she says in 1987 “the Life Mapping process was revealed to her.” In 1996, she began to share this process through workshops and seminars. In 2007, she authored the book, Life Mapping: A Journey of Self Discovery and Path Finding, in which she shares this process in a workbook style format so the reader can map their own life and begin the process of transforming their reality.  And in 2017, her newest book was published, The Technology of Doing Creating & Being.

Her business career spanning over 30 years, Monika has dedicated her talents to transforming organizations and building the capacity of the individuals in them as a coach and consultant in the company she founded, MKM Management Consulting.  As a coach, Monika is a trusted thinking partner, intervener holding space for entrepreneurs, nonprofit executives and corporate leaders assess their situations, expand their thinking, and explore options. She partners with them in creating integrated strategies to address the complexity of the challenges they face be they external or internal, personal or professional.  

She credits The Gestalt Organizational Systems Development Center with supporting her own self-mastery and helping her to hone her talents and skills.  In 2017, Monika was awarded the prestigious Gestalt OSD Center Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a certified Gestalt OSD Practitioner and serves on the faculty of the Gestalt OSD Center. Monika also serves as a senior coach and trainer for Move the Crowd and serves on the faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative, Cleveland & National programs.  She has taught at several universities and is a regular presenter and trainer at regional and national conferences.

Monika’s publishing credits also include contributing author to Embracing Cultural Competency:  A Roadmap for Nonprofit Capacity Builders, regular columnist for the COSE Mind Your Business blog and newsletter and guest blogger with Move the Crowd.  She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Howard University and Columbia University, respectively, is a member of Leadership Cleveland, and involved with numerous community and civic organizations.

MKM Management Consulting

Siobhan Mullen

SAS GSAS Games, Inc. is led by Siobhan Mullen, CEO, a dynamic former aerospace executive and entrepreneur who has assembled a group of talented, successful individuals and corporate partners with extensive experience in start-up and early-stage ventures, as well as management and growth of significantly larger organizations. She has extensive executive experience in high-technology ventures, especially in the areas ofaerospace, space infrastructure and telecommunications. Mullen has developed considerable national and
international expertise in negotiating agreements at the senior executive level with corporations, investors and
governments. She has led the development of, and raised financing for, several large, technically and
logistically sophisticated ventures.

Mullen was a founder of and consultant to The ARGOS Foundation (mobile satellite solutions) and to Jean-
Michel Cousteau’s Global Ocean Network (real-time environmental data). Mullen was formerly the Founder,
President, and CEO of AKJUIT Aerospace, as well as Founder and CEO of its three subsidiaries: SpacePort
Canada; SILA Communications; and AKJUIT DataLink. Previously, Mullen was a Special Assistant for
International Commercial Issues to the Administrator of NASA. She holds a Master of Business
Administration from The Wharton School, a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of
Pennsylvania, a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Bachelor of Science in Optical Engineering from the
University of Rochester.ames, Inc. is led by Siobhan Mullen, CEO, a dynamic former aerospace executive and entrepreneur who has assembled a group of talented, successful individuals and corporate partners with extensive experience in start-up and early-stage ventures, as well as management and growth of significantly larger organizations. Mullen was a founder of and consultant to The ARGOS Foundation and to Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Global Ocean Network. Mullen was formerly the Founder, President, and CEO of AKJUIT Aerospace, as well as Founder and CEO of its three subsidiaries: SpacePort Canada; SILA Communications; and AKJUIT DataLink. She is actively involved with the Million Women Mentor Program.

SAS Games, Inc.

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.

Bonnie Nawara is the Interim President and CEO of the Association of Women’s Business Centers. She is also the CEO of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a Women’s Business Center in Grand Rapids, MI. A former business owner, she is considered a leader in the local business community and was recognized as one of the Top Fifty Most Influential Women in West Michigan by Grand Rapids Business Journal in 2012 and 2013. Bonnie has had leadership positions with West Michigan Planned Giving of Women Entrepreneurs, Kent County Silent Observer, National Day of Philanthropy, Michigan Women’s Foundation, and Quota International. Additionally, she is a former mentor for United Way’s FACT Program where she mentored 3rd grade students in reading comprehension.

Association of Women's Business Centers

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

Caron NgCaron Ng, a UC Berkeley alumni, majored in English and aspired to become a UN translator. Her plans changed when help was needed in the family business. Since joining NU‐SET® she has proactively grown her own business acumen and expertise through participation and attendance at the Southern California Gas Supplier Diversity Institute (Mastering Business Growth), UCLA Management Development for Entrepreneurs, Toyota Pilot Mentorship Program, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative Management & Education, the Intercity Capital Connection Program, and the WBEC‐West Platinum Supplier Program, all within the last two years. Most recently she was nominated as “Executive of the Year” at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s annual Women’s Summit, and was a finalist for the “Asian Business Leader,” also sponsored by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2016. She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.


Rachel Nielsen 1Rachel Y. Nielsen, CMP, is a serial entrepreneur business woman whose personal philosophy of achieving results that matter permeates her life and her companies. As Founder & CEO of both Advanced Events, Inc. and Result Drivers, Inc., Nielsen helps her clients use design-thinking to achieve great business results.

“When everyone is focused on a result, rather than a process, barriers are broken down and clarity is achieved. Strategies become easily adopted and repeatable,” she says.

With experiences working in major Chicago sports stadiums with the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks, and consulting for Fortune 100 corporations like Exelon, McDonald’s and ComEd, Nielsen developed a disruptive, result-oriented process for conceptualizing and designing meetings and events that have a direct impact on business growth.

For Advanced Events, Nielsen and her team bring more to the table than traditional event planning. The Alignment Advantage process enables clients to define success early and build towards it at all phases of execution. She leads by creating a side-by-side environment of success that empowers her team and develops new leaders.

Similarly, for Result Drivers, Inc., Nielsen brings her “results matter” mentality to a consultative role in turning a client’s vision into a reality. As an expert in experiential marketing, change management, alignment advantage and organizational growth, she is versatile in her approach and her guidance.

Underlying her approach is the Beyond your Event methodology that has been featured in as a powerful minimum viable product. Huffington Post recognized her as a "disruptive innovator.” Nielsen is Co-Author of the popular ”Success Hackers: Conversations With Elite Performers Who Have Cracked The Entrepreneurial Code”.

Nielsen is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, IC Genius, and is an alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. She is also active in her community by serving on multiple boards of schools, sports organizations and Town Hall.

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

Kris Oswold is a leader in global business process design and organizational transformation. As the director of supplier diversity, she brings a unique perspective to the role. In addition to being passionate about expanding opportunities for diverse suppliers to transact with UPS, Kris brings experience from across the UPS enterprise identifying where results fall short of desires and redesigning metrics, processes and systems to better achieve goals. Prior to her current role, Kris had responsibility to execute, and then to redesign, UPS processes across the globe, including all aspects of customer support, technical support, billing, payment processing, and collections. In addition to pioneering enterprise-level process design and ownership at UPS, Kris has opened and operated UPS offices in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.

United Parcel Service

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

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.
Sharon W. Reynolds is President/CEO of DevMar Products, LLC, founded in 2007 and distributing environmentally-friendly products, including green cleaning solutions, pathogen protection products, and office solutions, and educating clients and suppliers on topics surrounding healthy workplace initiatives. In 2013, DevMar Products became the sole provider of janitorial supplies and for CoreCivic servicing over 65 facilities throughout the United States. In addition, DevMar partners with Office Depot as a Tier I and Tier II National Office Supplier for Supplier Diversity initiatives.

Reynolds launched DevMar Manufacturing, LLC in 2012 to partner with larger manufacturers to formulate sustainable cleaning and sanitizing solutions to meet the sustainability goals of Fortune 100 and 500 companies. In 2016, DevMar Global Healthcare Solutions, LLC was formed in partnership with Ni-Q, LLC to provide commercially-sterile human donor milk for micro-preemie and premature infants.

Among Reynolds’ recent honors is MBE magazine’s 2018 WBEs Who Rock Award, the nomination to the 2018 Nashville Business 100 Leading Women, the 2017 Women’s Business Enterprise Council South Tier 1 Supplier of the Year, and the 2015 Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

She is a graduate of the 2016 SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative for Entrepreneurs, and was selected by WBEC South as the WBE Spotlight Company in 2014 and as a finalist in the 2014 Small Business Awards. In October 2013 Sharon was a WBENC scholarship recipient and attended the Tuck Business School WBENC Executive program at IBM.

Among DevMar Products’ many awards has been the WIPP Business Leadership – “External Communications” award, and the NEXT 50 Companies to Watch by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneur Center.

Reynolds serves on the Board of Directors for Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank and the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South in New Orleans, a Regional Partner of WBENC National. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management with honors from the University of Phoenix, and is a graduate of the Tennessee State University’s Executive MBA Program. She and her husband DeMarco are parents of two adult sons and a granddaughter, and reside in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Equipa helenaHELENA RODRIGUES has a Philosophy degree and a Masters in Marketing specialized in Key Accounts Strategy and Management.  She worked for 13 years in the pharmaceutical industry, developing management, consulting and marketing skills, among others.  In 2013, she founded Think Strategic, aiming to provide consulting services to different companies, ranging from financial to food industry areas: Edinteriores, Chefs Agency, FactorChave, Grupo Your, Merck, Abbott, ArtBooks and Herdade Vale da Rosa.  Helena describes her work as helping people to build something of their own and demonstrating that it is possible to make money out of what you love to do. She is focused on helping SMEs on being sustainable.
All this accounts for her being invited to represent Women Presidents’ Organization in Portugal in 2016.

Helena has broadened her ability to reach results and her company AllBy has grown from 3 to 20 people in less than 2 years. The company has expanded business internationally, namely in Timor-Leste, strengthening its growth. Helena embraces her mission of leading businesses and entrepreneurship to change. This implies daring, risking and making it happen, her daily motto. Helena is Portugal Chapter Chair for WPO, she is United Success Ambassador for Portugal, she is a founding member of Women Win Win and actively participates in the development and empowerment of women entrepreneurs and business women.  She has been awarded The Enterprising Women of The Year 2018 in the category “Up to $1 million annual revenue” in Florida, reflecting the core values and giving back every day to mentor and assist successful businesses.

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 

Nina Roque currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council. Nina  served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, where her portfolio included apprenticeships and women in the workforce, among other policy initiatives. Prior to joining the Administration, she was the Director of Programs and External Affairs for the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that focuses on youth development and leadership, public service and corporate responsibility. Throughout her career in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Nina has dedicated herself to the advancement of the American workforce. Nina is a second-generation Cuban-American, who is passionate about mentoring youth leadership, empowering the American worker to succeed, and fostering an economy that allows women entrepreneurs to thrive.

National Women's Business Council

Noetic Nancie Ruder

Nancie McDonnell Ruder founded Noetic Consultants over a decade ago with the goal of becoming an effective extension of her clients’ teams.  Her over 25 years’ experience in marketing strategy, marketing training, branding and consumer research includes 10 years at the Leo Burnett Company where she worked with Procter & Gamble, Eli Lily, The Gap, Lexmark Computers and Hoerchst Marion Rousseau.  Over the last 16 years Noetic has successfully delivered brand strategies, research and trainings to many clients, including AT&T, Discovery Communications, NIKE, Pepsico and Wells Fargo. Nicole is actively involved in many industry and community endeavors, including serving as a DC Chapter member of the WPO and the Chamber of Commerce. She is an adjunct professor teaching marketing strategy at Georgetown University, her alma mater. A frequent speaker at national conferences, she authored the book Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill: How Senior Marketers Scale the Heights Through Art and Science, within which she identifies and shares the “secret sauce” that fuels success in today’s complicated landscape.

Noetic Consultants

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

Robyn Smalletz HeadshotRobyn G. Smalletz is President/CEO and Co-Owner of Gloria Duch in, Inc. a leading design and manufacturing firm of seasonal metal ornaments, jewelry and gifts. As President, she has led the business into a design focus, pioneering a trend forecasting program and incorporating the latest trends in fashion and home decor into new holiday ornaments, keepsakes and jewelry. Because of her work, she has been featured in Woman's Day, The New York Times, XM Satellite Radio, and QVC Home Shopping Network and ION TV.

The company's products are retailed at national and regional mass merchants as well as drug chains, home centers, catalog retailers, specialty stores, and e-commerce sites. Gloria Duchin, Inc. has over a 100 million copyrighted ornaments in circulation, and designs custom and licensed programs.

Under Robyn's direction, the product line expansion includes new jewelry collections created for the Smithsonian Museum Stores and several of the largest retailers' worldwide, e­commerce divisions. As a result, Robyn and her team were asked to co-design a custom necklace for Fatigues to Fabulous, a non- profit honoring female veterans. The design was modeled by many of the women at the Spring New York Fashion Week several years ago. The company has designed jewelry for numerous celebrities and worked with Ellen Degeneres in collaboration with Halo Pet Food Company on a licensed jewelry, pet tag and accessories program for the Adopt-a-Pet US Postal stamps.

In 2015, she was the recipient of the Business Women Industry Leadership Award in Technology and Manufacturing from the Providence Business News.

Prior to accepting the position at Gloria Duchin, Inc., Robyn held executive marketing positions in the financial service industry in New York City and the greater metropolitan area. 

She has long been involved in the seasonal products industry having served as a board member of NOEL in New York City, a group of Christmas professionals collaborating to better serve the season market.

Robyn has also held numerous leadership positions on community boards throughout Rhode Island and remains actively engaged.

She is a member of the Women Presidents' Organization, Rhode Island Chapter and is a , graduate of the University of South Carolina and New York University.

Gloria Duchin, Inc. is a WBENC-certified, woman-owned company and all products are Made in the USA.

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

Jodi Standke HeadshotJodi Standke is a trusted partner who advances organizations through its people while assisting people increase their effectiveness. Talon developed T.A.P. (Talent Alignment Process) which is a cohesive approach to talent selection, leadership development and retention in the digital age. Aligning one’s talent makes a difference in the world one person at a time.

Talon Performance Group is Minnesota based – providing Midwest values and cost-effective service to organizations and professionals nationally. Emerging companies to fortune 50 organizations – Talon has a track record of creative and innovative solutions.

Jodi is an elected Fellow of the prestigious College of Law Practice Management. She is a frequently sought author, keynote speaker and seminar presenter. Jodi was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of six outstanding Minnesota Women Business Owners. She was recognized by Finance and Commerce as one of 40 Minnesotans to Watch, and by the Twin Cities Business Journal as a Top Woman to Watch. Her bachelor’s degree is from Minnesota State University, Winona and a mini masters via the e-200 program. Jodi is certified in numerous coaching, assessment, personality and emotional intelligence programs. She has participated on several boards which include The National Association of Women Business Owner, MN Chapter, The National Association of Legal Search Consultants and The Minnesota Zoo.

In her “free” time, Jodi coaches a ½ marathon and marathon run group, teaches a yoga for runners’ class and teaches mindfulness meditation. She is an athlete participating in triathlons, running events and yoga. Her claim to fame is mastering the wall push up and she has a rocking canned beet recipe!
Kathy Steele

Kathy Steele is the Founder and President of Red Caffeine: Marketing + Technology. The firm works with visionary organizations that need a strategy and execution team to enter a new market, launch a product, and attract top talent. Their client list includes Elk Grove Village, Mitsubishi, Microsoft, Baird & Warner, and more. Kathy’s passion for building an exceptional workplace while giving back to the community has contributed to Red Caffeine's growth. She is an Executive Breakfast Club Council Member, Chicago’s Local Group Leader for the Small Giants Community and a Great Game of Business Practitioner. Red Caffeine has contributed over $150,000 in time, talent, and monetary donations to causes in their community since 2014. She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Red Caffeine: Marketing + Technology


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.

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

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

Cristina Vicini is President of The International Alliance for Women. She is an international senior executive and board member with innovative companies and charities in Europe and North America, with a special focus on International Business Strategy and Sustainable Development, Cross-Sector Digital Innovation and New Ventures, Global Diversity and Economic Empowerment, Ethics and CSR. On top of her business engagements, Cristina Vicini served as Chair of Boston University’s Advisory Board for MET’s International Programs (Brussels) and as Chairwoman of international non-profits. Committed for decades to women's economic empowerment, Cristina is an Entrepreneurship Mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation and a Board Mentor with the European Women on Boards Foundation. Cristina was honored with the “TIAW World of Difference Award 100” in May 2015.

The International Alliance of Women

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

Thomasina H. Williams, the Principal of Sankofa Legacy Advisors, is a Strategic Thought Partner, Consultant and Coach to Enterprising Families. She specializes in guiding clients to be as intentional in developing their family’s human capital as they are in growing their financial capital. Clients who work with Williams develop the capacity to have sensitive conversations and make difficult decisions, while navigating the complexities that come with combining family and finances.

Williams was the first in-house consultant hired by one of the nation’s largest private banks, assuming a key leadership role in developing its service offering to help ultra-high net worth clients navigate generational wealth transitions. She has also served as a family business consultant with a leading consulting firm. She has published articles, presented to international audiences and conducted trainings addressing issues of family business, family dynamics and legacy family planning.

She worked for more than 20 years as a lawyer, during which time she became
a partner in one of Florida’s large full-service law firms in a record three years, and then co-founded the first Black-owned law firm in Miami with a primarily corporate clientele. Williams was recognized as one of the Top 150 Lawyers in South Florida, and the Miami-Dade County Commission named a day in her honor to acknowledge her pro bono public interest legal work. Thereafter, she relocated to New York, where she served for six years as a program officer at the nation’s second largest philanthropic foundation and invested more than $42 million in grants to strengthen non-profits and
the non-profit sector.

Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Black Studies from Mount Holyoke College, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She has three years of post-graduate training in family systems theory, and holds certificates in Advanced Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from the Family Firm Institute. She is also a member of the Purposeful Planning Institute, the Galliard Family Business Advisor Institute, and The Florida Bar. 

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.


Tina YoungTina Y. Young started QCM with the goal of “Inspiring Excellence through Training”. QCM has served as a management and technical assistance supplier for the U.S. Small Business Administration. As a learning and development professional, Young is a highly-sought trainer/certified facilitator and strategic business leadership coach and she has held various executive and technical positions. Young is a member of the Project Management Institute, Association for Talent Development (formerly American Society of Training and Development), served on the Advisory Board of the Pharmaceutical Training Institute, served as Board Secretary on the Maryland State Board of Counselors and Professional Therapist and as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maryland. She is a previous recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award.

Quality Compliance & Management
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