NAWBO Leadership Academy - Winter 2022 | NAWBO

NAWBO Leadership Academy - Winter 2022

Our NAWBO members are busy women entrepreneurs who not only run their own businesses, but many are also in leadership positions in their local NAWBO chapters. They care who supports their community of women business owners through NAWBO. They want to do business with these businesses; and refer others to do the same. That’s why you won’t want to miss the opportunity to personally connect with these women business owners and leaders by sponsoring and participating in the NAWBO Leadership Academy in January.



Registration Fees


    Be sure to book your hotel now to be a part of the room block! Want to come early or extend your stay?  Please contact Daniel Cruz at for discounted rates. An event registration cancelation fee of $50 is in effect until January 24, 2022. After that time, all event registration fees are non-refundable.






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The Westin Tempe

11 E. Seventh Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Phone: +1 480 968 8885
Room Rate: $219.00/night + tax
Check-in 3:00 pm and Check-out 12:00pm

Room Block ends on January 6, 2022 or when room block is full. 

Book Now

Event venues are handicap accessible. Please let us know if you have any special requirements.

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

Register Now Get Updates
January 30, 2022
  • time
  • description
  • location
  • 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. MST

    For a taste of Arizona and the opportunity to jump start your Leadership Academy experience, our NAWBO Phoenix chapter has arranged for dine around options at three nearby restaurants. This is not included in your registration and is an additional cost to you, are first-come/first-serve and require RSVP to attend. To learn more and participate, please email Zulma Jacquez at with:

    1. “NAWBO Dinner” in the subject line
    2. Your name, chapter and which dine around you would like to attend
    Area Restaurants
  • 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. MST

    If you would like to take an onsite COVID test, we will begin offering tests at 6:30 p.m. Otherwise we are asking for proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours prior to the event.


    Registration/check-in will begin at 7:00 p.m. where you can show your negative COVID test result, sign the event release waiver and receive your name badge.

    Outside of Opal Ballroom
  • 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. MST

    Join us for a special coffee and dessert reception. We will meet and greet with the National Board and use this time to connect and reflect as a community on what it means to “belong” as NAWBO members. 

    Opal Ballroom
January 31, 2022
  • time
  • description
  • location
  • 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. MST

    If you would like to take an onsite COVID test, we will begin offering tests at 7:30 a.m. Otherwise we are asking for proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours prior to the event.


    Registration/check-in will begin at 8:00 a.m. where you can show your negative COVID test result, sign the event release waiver and receive your name badge.

    Outside of Opal Ballroom
  • 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. MST

    Toast to NAWBO - Breakfast with Celebratory Toast and Networking

    Opal Ballroom
  • 9:30 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. MST

    Welcome Remarks - Cristina Morales Heaney, NAWBO National Board Chair

    Opal Ballroom
  • 9:40 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. MST

    Sponsor Remarks - Karen Harrison, Bank of America

    Opal Ballroom
  • 9:55 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. MST

    "Isms" in the Systems - Keynote Presented by Joy Mason

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It's time to move from steps to strides, from a crawl to a run!  True change will not come from vague problem statements, a few more brown faces in the room, and check the box training. You need to implement systems and structures, with metrics and accountability. The "Isms" are embedded within systems. That's why DEI work is systems work.

    By the end of our time together, you’ll know what “good” looks like, and you’ll learn a systematic path for meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion transformation.

    Presentation Main Takeaways:     
    Crawl - DEI training is a step, not a stride.
    Walk – DEI requires a self-assessment.
    Run – DEI actions must focus on systems.

    Opal Ballroom
  • 10:55 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. MST


  • 11:10 a.m. - 11:25 a.m. MST

    Welcome Remarks - Samantha (Sam) Berg, Next Street

    Opal Ballroom
  • 11:25 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. MST

    DEIB Candid Conversations - Presented by Sertrice Grice, Mattingly Solutions

    Opal Ballroom
  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. MST

    Networking Lunch with table conversations prompts based on Sertrice Grice's presentation

    Opal Ballroom
  • 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. MST

    Track 1 - Transitions & Succession – Smoothing the Road to New Leadership in Your Chapter - Presented by Megan Patton

    Transition is the most vulnerable time for an organization. This session will provide ways to create continuity, avoid burnout and make leadership a team sport. Topics include recruitment, the nomination process, preparing for board transition and more. It will cover ways to address common challenges in preparing the board, the chapter and yourself for change.

    Opal Ballroom
  • 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. MST

    Track 2 - 6 Things a Leader Should Do Every Day - Presented by Sherri McManus

    Learn six specific things that the most successful leaders do every single day. You will learn specific habits that need to be implemented to aid in the success of your leadership journey to get from where you are to where you intend to be.

    Not only will you take away specific strategies that you can implement immediately, the Six Things a Leader Should Do Every Day is presented in way of an acrostic structure using the letters of the word LEADER as an easy way to remember what you learn in this presentation.

    Topaz Room
  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. MST

    Track 1 - Membership Panel - Presented by Chapters Winners from Fall Membership Drive

    Opal Ballroom
  • 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. MST

    Track 2 - Panel Discussion from the Woman Business Owner of the Year Top 10 Class

    Introduced and moderated by Lisa Coppola, NAWBO National Board Member

    Topaz Room
  • 3:00 - 3:15 p.m. MST


  • 3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MST

    Track 1 - Best Practice Roundtables - Presented by PASC

    You are one of our chapters across the country working toward the same mission. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn what works in other chapters and share what is working for you! Best practice table discussions include: • Board Succession & Governance • 5-Star Healthy Chapter Program 

    Opal Ballroom
  • 3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MST

    Track 2 - Mastermind Discussion Groups 
    Two rounds of discussions and each will include the following topics:

    • Leadership
    • Effective Feedback
    • Strategic Planning
    Topaz Room

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. 

Elizabeth Colón

President & Founder, Metaphrasis Language and Cultural Solutions, LLC

Elizabeth is president and founder of Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions, LLC, an award-winning interpreting and translation services company. As a pioneer and innovator in the language services profession, Elizabeth’s passion and dedication for providing access to quality language offerings as well as educational resources have won her numerous honors, including Crain’s 2020 Business Notable Entrepreneur, 2017 Negocios Now: Latina In Business Award and NAWBO’s 2015 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award, to name a few. Elizabeth is also proud of her distinction as the first Latina president of NAWBO Chicago.

Sertrice Grice

Chief Consulting Officer & Co-Founder, Mattingly Solutions

Sertice is chief consulting officer and co-founder of Mattingly Solutions, a diversity, equity and inclusion consulting firm. Sertrice is passionate about helping organizations use their metrics to create data-backed DEI strategies. She has partnered with organizations such as DICK’s Sporting Goods, American Eagle Outfitters and Intelsat in reviewing and developing various DEI programs, and is now excited to partner with NAWBO. She has also led numerous webinars, trainings and presentations at conferences on different I&D topics. 

Felena Hanson

Founder of Hera Hub

Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven. Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. She has two company-owned locations in San Diego and licensed locations in Carlsbad, DC, Irvine, and Temecula, with more cities launching soon. She’s on a mission to support thousands of women in the launch and growth of their business.

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 and President, New Horizons, LLC

Stephanie Isaacson is the founder, President of New Horizons, LLC, an environmental solutions firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Lincoln, NE. The mission of her business is to lead governmental, commercial and residential entities to cost-effective environmental and demolition solutions. Stephanie also owns Pink Roll-Off, LLC, a commercial dumpster rental and debris hauling company. Stephanie holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental science and a master’s degree in business administration. 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.

Joy E. Mason

Owner, Optimist Business Solutions

Joy E. Mason is a successful business owner and dynamic speaker from Indiana. Joy is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Strategist who worked at Eli Lilly for most of her career in Quality leadership roles. After retiring in 2017, Joy established Optimist Business Solutions, a training and consulting firm that helps organizations optimize results by leveraging six sigma and lean strategies. She is currently applying organizational change management and continuous improvement strategies to enhance DEI effectiveness. Joy’s DEI consulting focuses on diversity data and equitable/inclusive systems. Joy wrote: 5 Steps to Sustainable Solutions for Women in Business in 2019, and she recently launched an academy to certify Black Women in six sigma to drive community and workforce solutions across business, education, and non-profit sectors.

Sherri McManus

Co-Founder & COO, The Lou Everett Group

Sherri McManus has Master's in Organizational Management, and 19 years in management, training, teaching, and coaching. She has skilled and seasoned experience with personal and professional development. Sherri is a Certified Executive Leadership Coach and Corporate Trainer and is instrumental in connecting The Lou Everett Group to you and your personal and professional needs. She is also a Certified Trainer in the DISC Method of human behavior analysis. One of Sherri’s passions is telling her personal and inspirational near-death story on the result of poor leadership in hopes of positively impacting the Leadership landscape. Sherri's passion is seeing that 'ah-ha' moment in the eyes of those she trains and coaches - truly Transforming Today’s Leaders!

Rishona Myers

Owner & Chief Flavor Officer, Olive Lucy Gourmet Foods LLC

Rishona Myers, owner and chief flavor officer of Olive Lucy, is an accomplished business woman with a passion for good food and transforming the way we cook at home with simple, quality ingredients. She has over 20 years experience in business, customer relations, sales, organizational management, leadership and product development. Rishona believes success is earned through thoughtful leadership and by giving back. In 2017 Rishona began her second career and entrepreneurial journey with the purchase of Olive Lucy, a gourmet food retail shop, and has led her team through both periods of expansion and contraction.

Katie O'Toole Smith

Owner and President, Katie The Carlady LLC.

Katie O’Toole Smith has been breaking cycles in the auto industry for 28 years. Her zone of genius is educating, consulting and empowering consumers through their car buying transactions. She has started, owned and help to grow multiple businesses in the auto industry. 

Megan Patton

Partner, Beyond Strategy Partners, Inc. and ODA Strategy

Megan is a business strategist who has been a management consultant, trainer and executive coach for most of her career. She spends her time working with individuals, companies and non-profits to help define and implement strategies that enable peak performance and growth. Megan received a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College, and an MBA in Strategy from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Megan is a certified professional business coach, and a proud member of the Professional Business Coaches Alliance. She is a licensed affiliate of The One Page Business Plan™ Company.

Deeannah Seymour

Co-Founder, pH-D® Feminine Health

Unsatisfied with the lack of holistic feminine hygiene and wellness products on the market, Deeannah co-founded pH-D® Feminine Health in 2014 with the introduction of the brand’s best-selling boric acid suppositories. Today, pH-D has successfully helped millions of women while becoming one of the best-selling feminine hygiene brands. An independently held, woman-owned and women-run business, pH-D’s suppositories have been so successful that one bottle is sold every 30 seconds. The brand is available nationwide at over 37,000 retail locations including Walgreens, Publix, CVS, Target, Walmart, Kroger, Meyers, Dollar General and more.

Janie Stubblefield

Professional Counselor and Founder, Mobile Counseling, PLLC

Janie is a Licensed Professional Counselor - Supervisor in Texas, a Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) who has professionally served individuals, families, youth and children for more than two decades. Janie founded Mobile Counseling, PLLC in 2011 as a supportive therapeutic counseling practice where clients are able to explore their own emotional needs and overcome barriers that limit their full potential by meeting clients where they are most comfortable—in the office, at home or online.

Niki Trentacosta

Owner and Consultant, The Tanna Group

As owner and consultant with The Tanna Group, Niki helps to build, manage and maintain strategic benefits offerings for small and mid-size businesses. She listens to her clients to understand how they got to where they are today and where they want to go and then devises a tailored benefit plan to suit their unique needs, providing access to multiple carrier products and solutions at no cost to the employer. Niki’s experience in the small to mid-size benefits arena began back in 2009 when navigating the Affordable Care Act sparked her industry passion. She offered her expertise to private employers as a human resources and payroll professional until her transition to becoming a Texas Life and Health Insurance licensed broker in 2018. Since then, she has been a full-time benefits consultant focused on educating and empowering employees and decision-makers on how to navigate the health and ancillary markets.

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. Carla is NAWBO’s Woman Business Owner of the Year award recipient for 2021.