RALEIGH, N.C., November 3 – Monica Smiley, CEO and publisher of Enterprising Women magazine, has appointed Carolyn Covington, Seema Chawla and Shital Daftari to the Enterprising Women Advisory Board.
“Carolyn Covington, Seema Chawla and Shital Daftari each exemplify extraordinary inspiration, perseverance and talent. Enterprising Women is proud to welcome them to lend their leadership to our organization as members of our Advisory Board,” said Smiley.
Enterprising Women, the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners, chronicles the growing political, economic, and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women in 185 countries.
Seema Chawla is Founder & CEO, TekValley Corporation, Inc. a full-spectrum provider of IT services focused on digital transformation, with offices in four countries.
She founded TekValley after working in Silicon Valley, where she saw the downside of product-centric cultures at IT companies that were not meeting the needs of most companies because of fragmented solutions delivered through “must-have” software products not designed or installed to work together.
While taking a significant risk, especially for a woman of color, she decided to build her own talented team to deliver the customized IT solutions that companies need in an environment where people could thrive, regardless of gender or ethnicity.
TekValley now has over two decades of experience in designing, developing, and maintaining large and critical enterprise systems and infrastructure. It also brings expertise in rolling out critical knowledge and content management tools. “As a deep engineering firm, we possess proven expertise in all emerging technologies like Cloud Computing, Big Data, AI and Advanced analytics,” said Chawla.
She believes that everyone has the right to opportunities to get ahead in life and that society needs to boost everyone, especially children who have been marginalized. Accordingly, she spends one day out of her week to volunteer her time. Her long-term goal is to work in the public sector.
Chawla serves on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce for the City of Pleasanton. She was bestowed the Economic Driver Awards of 2019 for the City of Pleasanton, and was honored by the Mayor of Pleasanton and the state senators and congressmen. TekValley is an NMSCD Certified Minority Business Enterprise and is a certified WMBE by the Supplier Clearinghouse for the Utility Supplier Diversity Program of the California Public Utilities Commission. http://www.tekvalley.com/
Carolyn Marshall Covington, Founder, Insightful Visionaries.
Carolyn Marshall Covington began living her dream at age 21, opening the first In-Flight Hair Salon in Maryland, eventually expanding the chain to Virginia and North Carolina. She got married and raised two sons while balancing family and a career. Inspired by Madame C.J. Walker, Covington and her team developed DZIRE Hair Care products to empower generations of African American women.
Over the span of 40 years, Covington’s accomplishments are: Licensed Cosmetologist/Instructor, Certified NC State Board CE provider, and a Salon-Spa and Beauty School proprietor. She has employed and mentored over 1500 people, helping many of them start new businesses. In 2000, she entered into a partnership to open the Cameron Village location of Jolie the Day Spa, which produced record-breaking numbers in the first year. The collaborative effort resulted in the site being part of an acquisition by a venture capital group.
Shortly thereafter, Covington was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which would eventually cause her to go blind. In 2016, she founded Insightful Visionaries, a 501(c)3 non-profit, to empower all persons with disabilities. She recently started Visions on the Move, an advocacy fund to support Absentee Voting Program accessibility to voters with disabilities in NC and beyond.
WRAL recognized her as a role model impacting the community. Covington serves on the Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities, and as an Ambassador for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, was featured in the 2020 National campaign “Stronger Together.” She is also a 2020 inductee to the NC Women Business Owners Hall of Fame.
Covington has lost her sight, but not her vision of helping others.
Shital Daftari, Founder and CEO, Saris and Things and SNT Biotech.
Daftari founded her company Saris and Things in 2011 with a small investment and a big dream. She started Saris and Things, which is an exclusive online website where one can Rent or Buy designer Indian clothes for weddings and gala events.
Saris and Things was just named as a 2021 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies by the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO). Daftari is a winner of the 2021 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.
In 2012 she became an Amazon Seller and started selling her brand Saris and Things on Amazon, and also expanded to selling designer shoes, swimwear, fine jewelry and many top designer brands.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, she pivoted her business to selling PPE and was one of the first sellers to sell facemasks on Amazon, and within weeks expanded her product line to include hand sanitizers, gloves, pulse oximeters, swabs, surgical gowns, and all types of PPE. With the huge success with PPE, she grew her business to selling covid tests and lab supplies and launched her wholesale business, SNT Biotech in the latter half of 2020.
Her company SNT Biotech is now one of the largest suppliers of Rapid and PCR COVID tests and lab supplies to various hospitals and labs across the country. SNT Biotech also provides Onsite COVID Testing Services at schools and large corporations.
Shital Daftari’s motto is to “Work each day with the same dedication as the day you first started.”
Saris and Things is a WBENC-certified Women’s Business Enterprise, WOSB certified, City of Chicago Certified WBE and BEP certified by State of Illinois.
She is the Co-Founder of the Women’s Empowerment Campaign Chicago (WE), a networking & empowerment platform for Indian & South Asian women in Chicago.
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