National Women's Business Conference - 2021 | NAWBO

National Women's Business Conference - 2021

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POWER YOUR DREAM

Every entrepreneurial journey starts with a dream. To create something new, better or more meaningful. To be your own boss and leader. To enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. To leave a legacy for the next generation. To give back to a community. To change the world in positive ways. Whatever your dream as a woman business owner, NAWBO is here to power it by delivering a uniquely fun and impactful experience infused with connectivity, inspiration, learning, resources and more.

For 2021, our major conference focuses are technology and sustainability. The world has changed in ways we never imagined possible. An overnight shift to remote work forced incredible innovation and progress that we will no doubt carry with us and evolve as we move into the future. What do we need to sustain this level of change and opportunity? How can we sustain ourselves through this time—and times to come? What technologies will we tap into to drive even more progress?
 

Virtual Experience
3 days of the Virtual Conference, inclusive of 1-day Membership Meeting and 2-day Conference PLUS several pre-conference activities

Cost: $195.00 members/$250.00 non-members

Includes:
• Pre-conference activities, including business expo, roundtables and first timer meet-and-greet
• Two general sessions
• Breakouts, workshops and roundtables
• Networking connections
• Fun, interactive activities like scavenger hunts with prize giveaways
• Exhibit hall
• Morning workouts
• Happy hours
• Program book
• Swag specially curated for attendees

Registration Fees
  • Virtual Conference

    member

    $195

    non-member

    $250

Register Now

 


Join hundreds of women entrepreneurs as we come together to capitalize on this incredible moment in time.

Register Now

 

 

 

Interested in being a conference speaker? Please submit this form for consideration.

 

Meet our Keynote Speakers

Jessica Mathews

Successful tech companies with a $7 million Series A Round typically start in Silicon Valley, not Harlem. But why is this the overriding norm? In her talk Power, Redefined: Changing the Game By Being Unapologetically You, Jessica—inventor, venture capitalist and co-founder of Uncharted Power—discusses why it’s important to question the status quo, go against the grain and create something that works for you...no matter your location, background or circumstances. She also shares how she’s changed the entrepreneurial game by applying leadership skills in unconventional ways, and how you can, too, as you work to power your dream as a woman business owner. Her motto “succeed not despite of who you are, but because of who you are unapologetically” will inspire you to embrace yourself and everything that makes you unique, as well as to recognize that personal struggle and challenges can give birth to incredible solutions, if you let them.

 

Aneesa Muthana

By the time she was 23, Aneesa was ready to take the lessons she learned from her parents’ shop and become co-owner and CEO of Pioneer Service, Inc. Nearly three decades of leading in an industry traditionally reserved for men has taught Aneesa the necessity of effective outreach and advocacy. Aneesa contributes regularly to Modern Machine Shop on a variety of topics and serves on the boards of National Association of Manufacturing and Precision Machined Products Association. She’s won numerous awards, including the Manufacturing Institute’s Award and 2019 NAWBO Woman Business Owner of The Year.

Diana Nyad

Twenty-five million people worldwide rooted for Diana as she approached the Florida shore, at long last achieving her 35-year-old dream of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida on September 2, 2013. It was 110.86 miles and took her 52 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds on her fifth attempt. Diana has since motivated the world at large to live fearlessly—to chase one’s dreams with unwavering commitment. A prominent sports journalist, filing for National Public Radio, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, The New York Times and others, Diana has carved her place as a compelling storyteller and sought-after public speaker. In 2019, her stage show “The Swimmer” played to sold-out audiences in New York City. Her memoir, Find a Way, has earned worldwide praise. Diana and her Cuba Swim Head Handler Bonnie Stoll have also launched an initiative called EverWalk to turn us into a nation of millions of walkers. And Diana is yet again dreaming big!

 

Cleo Wade

Cleo is a poet, activist and the author of the best-selling books, Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life and Where to Begin: A Small Book About Your Power to Create Big Change. She has been called the poet of her generation by Time Magazine and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. Cleo works to foster connections between self-love, self-care and our moral and spiritual responsibility to build beloved communities. She sits on the board of The Lower East Side Girls Club, the National Black Theatre in Harlem, the Women’s Prison Association, Gucci’s Gender Equality Fund Chime For Change and E Pluribus Unum, an organization based in her hometown New Orleans, focused on ending racial inequities in the American South.

 

 

Eva Saha

Eva is a professional emcee, moderator and presenter. She is best known for having worked as a TV personality on the Emmy Award-winning entertainment show, 190 North, on Chicago’s ABC7. Her natural, warm and commanding presence, both on and off-camera, has also made her the host of choice for a variety of live-event clients, including Cardinal Health, IDEXX, Caterpillar and Philips Healthcare. Eva is also an active volunteer for Selah Freedom and WITS Chicago, working to advance literacy and improve the welfare of disadvantaged women and children. She also supports and fundraises for causes that include international women’s rights and social justice advocacy.

 

Become a Bra Recycling Ambassador at WBC2021!

Start saving your bras you no longer wear, because they can be recycled to reduce your carbon footprint and be provided to women and girls escaping from domestic violence and human trafficking! We’re excited to announce this give-back component to WBC2021: the NAWBO Bra Drive in partnership with The Bra Recyclers (owned by NAWBO Phoenix member Elaine Birks-Mitchell). See the website for types of bras that are accepted.

To recycle your bras, you can simply fill out this form and mail or ship (use NAWBO partner UPS for exclusive savings) your bras to The Bra Recyclers. NAWBO will receive and share a Sustainability Scorecard so we can celebrate our collective impact together! 


 

All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time; events and times are subject to change.

 

 

October 14, 2021 - Pre-Conference Meetings & Workshops
  • time
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  • Get a sneak peak at today's workshops! Click here for a detailed agenda.
     

  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT

    Clarity + Focus = Success!  How strategy, finance and communication align through business planning.

    Sponsored by One Page Business Plan

    Recording on Virtual Platform
  • 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. EDT

    First Time & New Member Meet & Greet

    New to NAWBO or WBC?  Take the time to introduce yourself and meet other NAWBO members.  Plus find out how to get the most out of your NAWBO membership!  

    Sponsored by UPS

    Zoom
October 15, 2021 - Pre-Conference Business Expo & Workshops
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  • location
  • Get a sneak peak at today's workshops!  Click here for a detailed agenda.

  • 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EDT

    Spend time exploring all the exhibit booths before the conference gets started!

    Virtual platform
  • 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT

    Fall Fashion Trends with Yes She May Founder, Mei Xu

    Virtual Platform
  • 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT

    Situational Awareness...Safe & Secure with Javondlynn Dunagan, Founder, JMD Defense

    Virtual Platform
  • 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT

    Server Management with Katy Drozd of Dell, It's Not As Hard As You Think!

     

    Virtual Platform
October 17, 2021 - Annual Membership Meeting - GET CONNECTED
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  • Click here for a detailed agenda of our Membership Meeting!

  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EDT

    Welcome to NAWBO Annual Membership Meeting

    Sponsored by Wells Fargo

    Opening Video & Remarks

    Virtual platform
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT

    State of NAWBO and DEIB Committee Report

    Virtual platform
  • 12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT

    We Hold The Power to a Community of Belonging

    Aneesa Muthana, CEO, President and Co-Owner Pioneer Service Inc.

    Virtual platform
  • 1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT

    Time to Connect in Breakout Rooms

    Virtual Platform
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. EDT

    National Board Reports & Committee Updates

    Community Networking in Breakout Rooms

    Virtual Platform
  • 3:10 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 3:20 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

    Membership, Awards & Events Committee Updates

    Chapter Awards

    Virtual platform
  • 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT

    Virtual Happy Hour - Let's Connect and Celebrate

    Virtual platform
October 18, 2021 - National Women’s Business Conference - GET INSPIRED
  • time
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  • location
  • Are you ready for today's breakout sessions?  Click here to see our detailed agenda so you can plan your day.  Remember, all breakout sessions and workshops are also available to watch on-demand so you don't have to miss anything!

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. EDT

    Breakout Sessions/Workshops

    • Evolving Sources of Capital and Women Business Owners in Action
    • 5 Stages of an Entrepreneurs Journey
    • Closing Gaps, Opening Doors Toward Financial Wellness
    Virtual platform
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT

    Breakout Sessions/Workshops

    • Mental Wellness & Health
    • Medicare 101 For Your Business and Your Eligible Employees
    • Modern Day Technology, Using Hardware to Work Smarter Not Harder!
    Virtual platform
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT

    NAWBO Connects Lunch

    Virtual platform
  • 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

    Exhibit Hall Hours

    Virtual platform
  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EDT

    Fireside Chat with Jessica Matthews, Inventor, Venture Capitalist and Co-founder of Uncharted Power

    Moderated by Eva Saha, Emmy Award-Winning TV Personality

    Welcome Remarks from Cristina Morales Heaney
    NAWBO National Board Chair

    Sponsor Remarks from Jill Calabrese Bain
    Managing Director, Internal & Corporate Communications, Bank of America

    Virtual platform
October 19, 2021 - National Women’s Business Conference - GET MOTIVATED
  • time
  • description
  • location
  • Are you ready for today's breakout sessions?  Click here to see our detailed agenda so you can plan your day.  Remember, all breakout sessions and workshops are also available to watch on-demand so you don't have to miss anything!

  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. EDT

    Breakout Sessions/Workshops

    • Get Social: How Digital Ads Can Help Build Business
    • Franchising: Is It For You?
    • All in the Family: A Panel on Family Business Boundaries & Best Practices
    Virtual platform
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT

    Breakout Sessions/Workshops

    • The Power of Authority: How to Get the Revenue, Respect & Results You Deserve by Authoring a Book
    • The Next Big Online Thing:  Blockchain
    • Championing Women Voices: How to Become an Advocate and Build Relationships that Influence Policy
    Virtual platform
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

    Keynote by Diana Nyad, Author, Journalist, Motivational Speaker & Long-Distance Swimmer

    Introduction by Eva Saha, Emmy Award-Winning TV Personality

    Welcome Remarks from Kathy Warnick
    NAWBO National Institute for Entrepreneurial Development Board Chair

    Sponsor Remarks from Carol Lee Mitchell
    Head of Small Business Strategy, Bank of America

    Virtual platform
  • 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT

    Work on Your Business Workshops:

    • The Power of Certification: Its Advantages Are More Than Meet the Eye
    • Business Strategy and Financials in Uncertain Times
    • Driving Inclusion Through Action
    Virtual Platform
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT

    Exhibit Hall Hours

    Virtual platform
  • 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT

    Networking, roundtables and more!

    Virtual platform
  • 6:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. EDT

    NAWBO Awards Gala

    Woman Business Owner of the Year: Meet the Three Top Finalists

    Sit down with the three amazing finalists for theis year’s Woman Business Owner of the Year Award before we announce the top winner. They’ll share their businesses ups and downs, pivotal points in their entrepruenuerial journey and a few nuggets of sound wisdom for their peers.

    Sponsored by Bank of America

    Panelists:
    Courtney Brockmeyer, Sydney Paige Foundation
    Stephanie Isaacson, New Horizons, LLC.
    Carla Walker-Miller, Walker-Miller Energy Services

    Moderated by Karen Harrison
    Senior Vice President, National SBA Executive, Bank of America

    Virtual platform
  • 6:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. EDT

    BREAK

    BREAK
  • 7:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. EDT

    Readings and Reflections with best-selling poet Cleo Wade, Artist, Activist and Author

    Moderated by Eva Saha, Emmy Award-Winning, TV Personality

    Virtual Platform
  • 7:45 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. EDT

    National Awards Presentations

    - Advocacy Award
    - Rising Star Award
    - Member of the Year Award
    - Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award
    - Susan Hager Legacy Award
    - Woman Business Owner of the Year Award presented by Sharon Miller, Head of Small Business, Bank of America

     

     

    Virtual Platform

​ ​ Speakers

Featured Keynote

Jessica Matthews

Inventor, Venture Capitalist & Co-Founder of Uncharted Power

Successful tech companies with a $7 million Series A Round typically start in Silicon Valley, not Harlem. But why is this the overriding norm? In her talk Power, Redefined: Changing the Game By Being Unapologetically You, Jessica—inventor, venture capitalist and co-founder of Uncharted Power—discusses why it’s important to question the status quo, go against the grain and create something that works for you...no matter your location, background or circumstances. She also shares how she’s changed the entrepreneurial game by applying leadership skills in unconventional ways, and how you can, too, as you work to power your dream as a woman business owner. Her motto “succeed not despite of who you are, but because of who you are unapologetically” will inspire you to embrace yourself and everything that makes you unique, as well as to recognize that personal struggle and challenges can give birth to incredible solutions, if you let them. 

Aneesa Muthana

CEO, President and Co-Owner Pioneer Service Inc.

By the time she was 23, Aneesa was ready to take the lessons she learned from her parents’ shop and become co-owner and CEO of Pioneer Service, Inc. Nearly three decades of leading in an industry traditionally reserved for men has taught Aneesa the necessity of effective outreach and advocacy. Aneesa contributes regularly to Modern Machine Shop on a variety of topics and serves on the boards of National Association of Manufacturing and Precision Machined Products Association. She’s won numerous awards, including the Manufacturing Institute’s Award and 2019 NAWBO Woman Business Owner of The Year.

Diana Nyad

Author, Journalist, Motivational Speaker & Long-Distance Swimmer

Twenty-five million people worldwide rooted for Diana as she approached the Florida shore, at long last achieving her 35-year-old dream of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida on September 2, 2013. It was 110.86 miles and took her 52 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds on her fifth attempt. Diana has since motivated the world at large to live fearlessly—to chase one’s dreams with unwavering commitment. A prominent sports journalist, filing for National Public Radio, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, The New York Times and others, Diana has carved her place as a compelling storyteller and sought-after public speaker. In 2019, her stage show “The Swimmer” played to sold-out audiences in New York City. Her memoir, Find a Way, has earned worldwide praise. Diana and her Cuba Swim Head Handler Bonnie Stoll have also launched an initiative called EverWalk to turn us into a nation of millions of walkers. And Diana is yet again dreaming big!

Eva Saha

Emmy Award-Winning TV Personality

Eva is a professional emcee, moderator and presenter. She is best known for having worked as a TV personality on the Emmy Award-winning entertainment show, 190 North, on Chicago’s ABC7. Her natural, warm and commanding presence, both on and off-camera, has also made her the host of choice for a variety of live-event and virtual-event clients, including Cardinal Health, Philips Healthcare, Women in IT and Thomson Reuters. She has interviewed people from all walks of life, including political consultants professional athletes and actors.

Cleo Wade

Artist, Poet, Activist & Author

Cleo is a poet, activist and the author of the best-selling books, Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life and Where to Begin: A Small Book About Your Power to Create Big Change. She has been called the poet of her generation by Time Magazine and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. Cleo works to foster connections between self-love, self-care and our moral and spiritual responsibility to build beloved communities. She sits on the board of The Lower East Side Girls Club, the National Black Theatre in Harlem, the Women’s Prison Association, Gucci’s Gender Equality Fund Chime For Change and E Pluribus Unum, an organization based in her hometown New Orleans, focused on ending racial inequities in the American South.

Session

Kim Azzarelli

CEO and Co-Founder, Seneca Women

Kim is CEO and co-founder of Seneca Women, a global leadership platform and media company. She has led the development of the Seneca Women Podcast Network, with Founding Partner P&G, and the Seneca Women app. Kim has also advised on significant women’s economic empowerment programs for companies, including Apple, Bank of America, Bloomberg Media, Coca-Cola, P&G and Walmart, among others. Prior to her work at Seneca, Kim held senior legal and philanthropic roles at Avon, Goldman Sachs and Newsweek The Daily Beast. She also worked as a corporate attorney at the international law firm of Latham & Watkins. Together with Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Kim is co-author of the book Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose and is co-host of the podcast Made by Women.

Jill Calabrese Bain

Managing Director, Internal & Corporate Communications Executive, Bank of America

Jill is the internal and corporate communications executive for the company’s Global Human Resources and Finance organizations and is responsible for the overall Great Place to Work and Diversity & Inclusion communication strategy. Over her nearly 30 years with Bank of America, Jill has held many leadership positions across the company, including positions in Consumer & Small Business Banking, Wealth Management Banking and Corporate Banking. Jill serves on the advisory board of NAWBO and is past president of the Board of Directors of Susan G. Komen New England. She also serves as co-chair of Bank of America’s Domestic Violence Taskforce and provides leadership support to several women’s initiatives.

Laura Barker

Co-Founder & COO Co-Founder & CEO BridgePoint Technologies, LLC and Toodlebox, LLC, respectively

Laura is COO of BridgePoint Technologies, LLC and CEO of Toodlebox, LLC, and is president-elect for NAWBO Chicago. She is an accomplished business strategist, publisher and national speaker. She has led both BridgePoint Technologies and Toodlebox from start-up to delivering enterprise Professional Cloud Services, Managed Services and Mobile Apps while continuing to evolve them both in cyber security and blockchain technology. BridgePoint Technologies is a Microsoft Gold Partner and has received multi-year recognition as an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Company. Toodlebox has developed a SaaS application focused on affordable low-code/no-code mobile productivity and workflow solutions. 

Steve Beatty

President, Financial Solutions for Business

Steve is president of Financial Solutions for Business. He stepped into the financial advising world in 1989 with an expertise of working alongside owners of closely held businesses. Since 1993, Steve has been a member of the esteemed Million Dollar Roundtable and has qualified for the Top of the Table since 2004, a distinction achieved by only the top 0.2% of financial advisors worldwide. He is also founder of the Southern Nevada Exit Planning Institute Chapter and served as president from 2014-2018. Additionally, Steve was named to the Top 40 Under 40 in Business Las Vegas.

Shaniece Bennett

Business Coach, Trainer and Small Business Specialist

Shaniece is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), financial instructor and trusted business advisor. She is noted for her personal approach and for going beyond the numbers to add additional value. Shaniece is the founder of FINM Solutions and Accutrak Consulting and Accounting Services PLLC and has over 19 years of experience in both public and private practice. As a CPA, she has successfully operated her licensed public accounting firm for 12 years. Her areas of expertise include small business taxation, accounting, payroll and financial management.

Samantha (Sam) Berg

Managing Partner, Next Street

Sam is a managing partner based in the NYC office. Prior to joining Next Street, Sam founded FITMARK, a consulting business focused on go-to-market strategies primarily for tech start-ups in the fintech and data space. Sam has over two decades experience in financial services, working with both large and mid-sized banks. At Amalgamated Bank, she was head of community banking and the chief marketing officer. Prior to Amalgamated, Sam was the chief of staff for the Commercial Bank and an SVP for small business bank marketing at Capital One Bank. 

Courtney Brockmeyer

Founder and CEO, Sydney Paige Foundation

Courtney is the founder and CEO of the Sydney Paige Foundation and Sydney Paige, Inc., a non-profit and a buy one/give one social enterprise, respectively, dedicated to helping at-risk kids break the cycle of poverty. Courtney has grown the organizations, named after her two daughters, by developing collaborative partnerships across commercial and non-profit business models in order to fuel and extend the reach and positive impact of equal access to the foundational tools needed to succeed in school. Prior to Sydney Paige, Courtney spent 10 years at Nestle USA in business management.

Jessica Bruny

Founder and CEO, JessBeU, LLC

Jessica is a compassionate millennial leader living her life with purpose. Her vision includes changing policy to provide equity in wellness, music and arts education. During the pandemic, Jessica launched JessBeU, LLC to offer mindfulness solutions. It began as virtual space for healing dialogue, then evolved into a “Day of Healing” and now the “Choose Unity, For CommUnity” movement. Jessica also currently serves as program director for the nonprofit Music Changing Lives (MCL), an award-winning organization based in Southern California. In 2019, Jessica received the 30 under 30 honor for the 47 th District by Assembly Member Eloise Reyes for activism she has demonstrated within her community. Jessica is a NAWBO NextGen member.

Meggan Ciaccia

CPA and Owner Ciaccia, CPA & Partner Beyond Strategy Partners

Meggan is the owner of Ciaccia, CPA. With over 15 years of diversified accounting experience, Meggan enjoys the variety of work she does and loves working with so many different clients. She especially loves helping her clients reach their business and personal financial goals. Meggan is a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist. She is a licensed CPA in New Jersey and is a CGMA, Chartered Global Management Accountant. Meggan is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, New Jersey Society of CPAs and American Society of Tax Problem Solvers. Meggan recently partnered with two other women in 2021 to form Beyond Strategy Partner’s, a consulting firm.

Casey Clark

CEO & Co-Founder, Cultivate Advisors

As a motivated business leader, Casey is a passionate entrepreneur who got his start owning a home service franchise. After nearly a decade, he successfully exited his role with 90+ franchise owners and over 600-plus employees. Casey went on to co-found Cultivate Advisors, one of the largest small business advising firms in North America. As the CEO of Cultivate, his team has helped thousands of business owners reach their growth objectives through core business skill development and scalable systemization.

Elizabeth Denham

CEO, Lotus Flower Media, Inc.

Elizabeth is CEO of Lotus Flower Media, Inc. Through her company, she produces content individually and in partnership with others to tell meaningful stories, give a voice to those whose stories have a powerful impact and provide messaging through various media platforms. She is Chief Content Officer of Pillars of Franchising, producing content and co-hosting a livestream show, publishing a magazine and managing marketing. In partnership with her sister, Annie Malloy, she also recently formed The Place for Creatives, which recently launched a line of accountability journals, calendars and bullet journals. 

Katy Drozd

CSS Dell Technologies

Katy is about halfway through her third year at Dell Technologies and 8 months into her role as a CSS. Prior to being at Dell, she managed a hometown Bar and Grill in Cedar Park, Texas, for about four years. During that time, Katy realized she wanted to start her professional career and found a home at Dell! She started as a technical sales representative after a 3-month ISG training. Two years later, Katy was ready for the next step in her career and found a fit in her current CSS role. Being a CSS, Katy is responsible for larger ISG projects and being an informative resource for her TSR alignment.

Javondlynn Dunagan

Founder, JMD Defense, LLC

Javondlynn is founder of JMD Defense, LLC, a safety education business she founded in 2017 after retiring as a United States Probation Officer in Chicago, Illinois, following a successful 25-year career. JMD Defense specializes in safety education training classes and safety consulting. It offers trainings for businesses and homeowners, Introduction to Firearms and Concealed Carry classes and Ladies Self Defense classes. Additionally, it offers Livescan Fingerprint services. In 2017, Javondlynn also founded the Ladies of Steel Gun Club®, which currently has 500 members.

Jasmine Edwards

Executive Director, digitalundivided

Jasmine is the executive director at digitalundivided. Previous to this position, she served as the associate director of operational excellence and senior lead of programs, the 2019 entrepreneur-in-residence and participated in digitalundivided’s 2018 BIG Incubator Program Cohort 3. She has 10-plus years of experience in the social impact sector, and is an award-winning tech and entrepreneurship champion. As CEO of i-Subz, a platform for substitute teachers and schools, she earned numerous accolades for her work. i-Subz was chosen as a semi-finalist for the Echoing Green Fellowship and participated in Goodie Nation’s Pre-Accelerator Program, to name a few.

Melinda Emerson

CEO, Quintessence Group

Melinda, “SmallBizLady”, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, marketing expert and business coach. As CEO of Quintessence Group, her marketing consulting firm serves Fortune 500 brands that target the small business market. Melinda publishes a blog, SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com. Her advice is widely read, reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week online. She also has an online school, www.smallbizladyuniversity.com, and hosts The Smallbizchat Podcast. She is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, Revised and Expanded.

Janel Fields

Culinary Architect and Owner, Fields of Greens DFW

Janel is a traveling culinary architect located in Dallas, Texas, and the owner of Field of Greens DFW. Her focus is bringing fresh and healthy cuisine inspired by her multicultural upbringing to the metroplex and beyond. By using her extended knowledge in biochemistry, long-cherished family recipes and her love for cohesive flavors that lend to nutritional value become automatic. Serving diverse paletes, allergies and health concerns, she is able to construct savory cuisines like none other. Most recently Janel acquired a Women’s Entrepreneurship certification from eCornell with a concentration in Plant Based and Food Science. When she’s not in the kitchen, Janel can be found serving the community with back to school initiatives in conjunction with connecting Fortune 500 companies and their colleague resource group diversity and inclusion programs.

Arlene González-Pagán

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Mastercard

Arlene is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Mastercard. In this role, she serves as a business partner focused on leading programs, initiatives and policies that actively support Mastercard’s diverse and inclusive workplace. Arlene is the driving force for the implementation of Affirmative Action Plans, leading Mastercard’s Disability Engagement initiative as well as managing the In Solidarity Steering Committee. Under her leadership, Mastercard achieved Top 5 status on the Diversity Inc.’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2021, Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality and a host of other industry recognitions.

Lena Graham-Morris

Author, Coach, Personality, Strategist and Speaker

Lena is no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship! In fact, she will tell you it runs through her DNA. Her family has sustained and prospered as third-generation builders and dominate the Southeastern region of the United States with six offices. Lena has been instrumental in establishing critical strategic partnerships, securing over $180 million in contracts. Lena also brings over 12 years in non-profit experience, including program and curriculum development. She has also served as director for the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida for three years and sits on the boards of several organizations.

Karen Harrison

Senior Vice President, National SBA Executive, Bank of America

Karen serves as senior vice president, national SBA executive at Bank of America. Her national team is responsible for delivering credit solutions to business owners across the United States, while also ensuring clients benefit from the full franchise value of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. As a Preferred Lender for the SBA, Bank of America is one of the leading SBA lenders in the nation, helping business clients secure the capital they need to meet their business priorities. Karen is actively engaged in the community and is a recipient of the Global Diversity and Inclusion award at Bank of America. She currently serves as a National Enterprise leader for LEAD for WOMEN and Executive Sponsor for the local San Diego Chapter.

Stephanie Isaacson

Founder, President and CEO, New Horizons Enterprises, LLC

Stephanie is the founder, president and CEO of New Horizons, LLC, an environmental solutions firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Lincoln, Nebraska. The mission of her business is to lead governmental, commercial and residential entities to cost-effective environmental and demolition solutions. She was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® (EOY) 2021 Heartland Award finalist. Stephanie is also a 2019 Enterprising Women of the Year Award honoree and received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Val Jones

Senior Vice President, Small Business Diverse Customer Segments Strategy, Wells Fargo

Val Jones is a strategy consultant on the Wells Fargo Diverse Customer Segments team, where she leads the Women-owned business programming as well as the strategy for diverse chambers and business organizations. As a 20+ year banking veteran, Jones has focused her time and energy on providing technical assistance, resources and tools to support small business owners on their entrepreneurial journey. Jones serves on the National Advisory Council for NAWBO and runs the Wells Fargo NAWBO ambassadors program.

Leigh Keith

President and Co-Founder, Perfect Snacks

Leigh is the president and co-founder of Perfect Snacks, makers of fresh-from-the-fridge protein snacks. At 19 years old, Leigh—alongside co-founder, brother and Perfect Snacks CEO, Bill—launched the brand that would later go on to revolutionize the $9B protein bar category. As an entrepreneur whose education consisted of garage-sale textbooks and sporadic homeschooling, Leigh’s hustle and “roll up your sleeves” approach was critical in building a business to support her 13 brothers and sisters, after their Dad grew ill and later passed away. Launched in 2015, Perfect Bar: The Original Refrigerated Protein Bar is now available in more than 35,000 fridges nationwide.

Daniel Letendre

Managing Director, ESG Capital Deployment, Bank of America

Dan is responsible for managing the bank’s lending and investing activities with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Bank of America currently has over $1.8 billion of loans and investments to more than 256 community-based intermediaries that provide financing for affordable housing, small businesses and community facilities providing health care, education, childcare and other needed social services. Dan also manages the bank’s Blended Finance Catalyst Pool—investments to stimulate more sustainable development and contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Sharon Miller

Managing Director, Head of Small Business, Bank of America

Sharon is the head of small business at Bank of America with over 25 years of bank, wealth management and payments leadership experience, and is a member of the company’s Management Operating Committee. Her team is responsible for providing over 12 million business owners clients a full range of financial products and services through Bank of America’s network of approximately 4,300 financial centers, 17,000 ATMs and its award-winning digital banking platform. Sharon was named to American Banker’s “Most Powerful Women to Watch in Banking” in 2019 and 2020. She appears regularly on national and local TV and radio, discussing small business issues and advocating for the nation’s entrepreneurs.

Carol Lee Mitchell

Head of Small Business Strategy, Bank of America

Carol Lee is the head of Small Business Strategy. She is responsible for leading strategic efforts designed to grow the enterprise business at large and for strategic planning, client experience, process design, analytics and technology. The Bank of America Small Business portfolio represents approximately 40% of women business owners and is committed to driving equitable access to education, research/mentorship and access to capital. Carol Lee most recently led the Small Business social bond investment effort—a part of the bank’s $1.5B investment—to drive social justice to the Black African American community of doctors and dentist in our top low to moderate income markets.

Melanie McCoy

Attorney at Law, Frost Brown Todd LLC

Melanie is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC. She serves as the leader of the firm’s Estate Planning Practice Team and the co-chair of the firm’s Business Lifecycle Planning Group. In addition to assisting individuals and families with complex wealth planning and transfer strategies, Melanie is also experienced in representing individual and corporate fiduciaries with respect to estate and trust administration matters, including reformation or modification of trusts, interpretation questions and beneficiary disputes. She also helps owners of privately held businesses develop comprehensive succession plans. Melanie speaks and writes about wealth planning topics for a variety of audiences.

Tonya McNeal-Weary

Founder and Managing Director, IBS Global Consulting

Tonya is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, international business expert, world traveler, author and global champion for women’s economic empowerment. She is the founder and managing director of IBS Global Consulting, a global management consulting firm that specializes in helping small and medium-sized companies expand internationally. As a global champion for women’s economic empowerment, Tonya founded Michigan Association for Female Entrepreneurs (MAFE) in 2003. MAFE is an award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting, promoting and empowering female entrepreneurs.

Paige Ogawa

SMB Community Engagement Coordinator, Facebook

Paige is an SMB Community Engagement Coordinator on Facebook’s Small Business Team in Menlo Park, California. Growing up in her family’s landscaping business, she witnessed first-hand the importance of supporting small businesses and discovered her passion for entrepreneurship. While studying Business Administration at the University of Southern California, she continued to foster her passion by providing consulting services to local nonprofits in the Los Angeles area to develop strategies to grow their online presences. She is excited for the opportunity to work with small businesses to help them leverage digital tools to empower their businesses.

Elizabeth Orden

Regional Vice President, West Region The UPS Store, Inc.

Elizabeth is originally from Spain and began her professional career with The UPS Store, Inc. in 1999. She has held numerous positions within the company, including training supervisor, franchise consultant, West Region operations manager and now regional vice president, West Region. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University and in 2016 earned Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) designation from the International Franchise Association.

Priya Patel

Franchisee, The UPS Store

Priya joined The UPS Store retail network as a franchisee in 2009. She, along with her husband, currently own three The UPS Store retail locations in the Washington State area, are certified corporate trainers for The UPS Store and are consistently one of the top printers in the Western Washington region. Prior to joining The UPS Store retail network, Priya worked in the hospitality industry as a VP of Operations and Sales overseeing the business development of large-scale hotels.

Narciso “Pat” Patterson

President and CEO Elysium Enterprises, Inc.

Pat is president and CEO of Elysium Enterprises, Inc. (dba Elysium Inclusion and dba Elysium Strong), an NMSDC-certified minority-owned business. He is a Supplier Diversity professional who spent 25 years at Verizon Communications. His most recent responsibilities at Verizon included advocacy/outreach and public policy agreements between Verizon and state/local agencies nationwide, as well as overseeing Supplier Diversity efforts by partnering with multiple Verizon Sourcing teams. In his years with Verizon, he held key roles in Global Diversity and Inclusion, Real Estate and Construction as well as Regional staff positions.

Kirsten Hunter Peterson

Director of Workplace Thought Leadership, Fidelity Investments

As director of workplace thought leadership for Fidelity Investments, Kirsten studies plan sponsor, policy and societal trends impacting employee benefits, and develops points of view on new and emerging benefits to address the needs of today’s workforce. Kirsten joined Fidelity in 2017 as director, public policy, developing positions on retirement savings and healthcare products, and working with policymakers to achieve public policy priorities. Prior to joining Fidelity, Kirsten covered financial services, healthcare and energy policy for the Washington lobbying firm Peck Madigan Jones.

Michelle Prince

Prince Performance Group

Michelle is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational speaker, self-publishing expert, leadership coach and CEO/founder of Prince Performance Group, a “partner” publishing company dedicated to making a difference...one story at a time. She’s helped thousands become published authors through her consulting, courses, seminars and publishing services, and founded the “Book Bound Workshop.” She has also published many successful books, including her best-selling Winning In Life Now and The Power of Authority. Michelle has been endorsed by some of the most influential speakers in personal development, including Zig Ziglar. 

Vanessa Roanhorse

Founder, Roanhorse Consulting

Vanessa is an inclusive solutions-driven problem solver committed to liberating all people and delivering impactful mechanisms for social, environmental and economic change. She launched Roanhorse Consulting (RCLLC) in 2016, an indigenous women-led think tank. RCLLC co-designs wealth- and power-building efforts that directly invest in leaders, support meaningful data collection informed by indigenous research approaches and help build thoughtful community-led projects that enforce values that put people at the center. Vanessa got her management chops working for seven years at a Chicago-based nonprofit, the Delta Institute.

Tricia Sandiego

Senior Advisor, AARP

Tricia Sandiego, senior advisor for AARP’s Caregiving & Health team, is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) experienced in health communication and promotion and public health research and practice. Her current work focuses on strategy for educating the 50+ and their families on caregiving and healthcare through programs, online tools and resources. She serves as a spokesperson on caregiving topics for multicultural Asian American Pacific Islander outreach and live events like webinars and teletown halls. Tricia leads caregiving employer outreach work for AARP, equipping employers with practical tips, guidance and free resources on how to offer supports for working family caregivers. 

Kristina Sarcione

Head of Acquisition for Fidelity Advantage 401(k)SM Fidelity Investments

Kristina is head of acquisition for the Fidelity Advantage 401(k)SM , the new pooled employer retirement savings plan at Fidelity Investments. Responsible for go-to-market strategy, focused on helping small businesses offer a retirement plan for the first time. Kristina started her career with Fidelity in the Finance organization in 2012 and has been actively involved in Fidelity’s Boston Women’s Leadership Group since. She is now co-lead of the business resource group, empowering women to reach their highest potential. Prior to Fidelity, she worked at J.P. Morgan.

Michele Schina

CPA and Owner TMS II, LLC & Partner Beyond Strategy Partners

In 2001, Michele transitioned from senior manager of audit at a global accounting firm to founder of the only 100 percent woman-owned CPA firm in Philadelphia. Last year, she expanded her entrepreneurial footprint—with her partner Tom, they started BBDS, a business development firm. She recently partnered with two amazing women business owners and started a strategic consulting firm, Beyond Strategy Partners. Michele dedicates her professional life to strategic and financial literacy and education. She is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania, running her own firm TMS II, LLC.

Pamela Seagle

Global Women’s Programs Executive, Bank of America

Pamela is the Global Manager for Women’s Programs at Bank of America. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of women’s programs across the company’s footprint. This includes the Global Ambassador Program, a Vital Voices and Bank of America partnership; the Tory Burch Foundation & Bank of America Capital Access Program; in addition to partnerships with Kiva.com and the Cherie Blair Foundation. In 2018, Pamela led the launch of the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell, a collaboration between Bank of America and Cornell University. Most recently, she led the development and rollout of The Bank of America Access to Capital Directory, a comprehensive database designed to help women entrepreneurs learn about sources of funding, including equity, loans and grant capital.

Kristin Selmeczy

Owner, Molly Maid Bloomingdale

Kristin has three kids and balances two hockey teams, in-house and travel baseball, plus is PTA president and chair for her kids’ schools. After having her second child and getting stuck in a snowstorm, Kristin swore she would give up her corporate career and do something that would allow her to spend time with her kids and volunteer. She found a franchise broker, who analyzed her skills, resources and the lifestyle she wanted, then began interviewing and found that Molly Maid checked all the boxes! Kristin finds being a busy mom and owning a business extremely rewarding. She also supports the Ms. Molly Foundation, which helps victims of domestic violence. 

Laura Spaulding

Founder, Spaulding Decon

Laura spent seven years in law enforcement in undercover narcotics and vice. Sick of the low pay and lack of advancement, she obtained her MBA and launched a crime scene cleaning company in 2005. With no business loans, venture capital or angel investment, she got creative and took out a home equity loan for $15,000. She used it to grow the company and eventually franchise it in 2016. There are now over 30 locations across the U.S. and Laura has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. After just three years of franchising, Spaulding Decon made the Franchise 500. 

Tristen Sutton

Trainer, Certified Digital Marketer and Marketing Partner, Facebook

Tristen is a trainer on behalf of Facebook, Certified Facebook Digital Marketer and Marketing Partner who works with organizations and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to increase their revenue and brand awareness by effectively using Facebook and Instagram ads. He has trained more than 2,000 professionals how to use social media to attract and convert their target market and is excited to work with you. Tristen graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Marketing  and certification in Retail Studies.

Jennifer Kelly Ventura

Program Officer – Policy in Entrepreneurship Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Jennifer is a program officer – policy in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she manages a portfolio of grants and programmatic activities designed to improve public policy for entrepreneurs. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Jennifer was a manager of government relations, where she helped clients in the telecommunications, cybersecurity and small business spaces advocate for their regulatory and legislative priorities. Jennifer has been published in various publications, including the ML Strategies Legislative Updates, ML Strategies Viewpoints and Mintz Insights Center, among others.

Paloma Vidgen

SME Segment Strategy - Women Entrepreneurs, Bank of the West

As the daughter and granddaughter of entrepreneurs, Paloma is passionate about helping business owners and entrepreneurs meet their professional and personal goals. With 13 years in banking, spent developing strategy and building partnerships across wealth management and business banking, she creates programs and solutions that help our entrepreneurial community succeed. Paloma currently serves as an SME segment strategy leader and vice president.

Carla Walker-Miller

Founder and CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services

Carla is the founder and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services, a 21-year-old values-driven company that changes lives through energy. Her high-performing firm helps electric and gas utilities achieve mandated energy reduction goals that reduce energy waste, create local jobs, decrease the energy   burdens on families and reduce harmful greenhouse gases. Started in 2000 after an 18-year corporate career in technical sales, Carla reinvented her company during the height of the recession, successfully pivoting from electrical transmission and distribution equipment sales to the rapidly growing energy efficiency industry.

Mei Xu

Founder and CEO, Yes She May

Mei is the founder and CEO of two global companies, Yes She May and Chesapeake Bay Candle®, and the author of Burn, which details her journey from China to starting and growing a multi-million-dollar business in the U.S. Mei successfully negotiated the sale of Chesapeake Bay Candle to Newell Brands in 2017. Her business achievements have repeatedly been recognized by prominent organizations, such as Politico’s 2019 Woman of Impact Award. In 2020, Mei created Yes She May to help women-owned brands reach a larger audience and scale. Her team aims to provide consumers a curated collection of thoughtful, high-quality products made by talented women vendors from around the world.