Featured Keynotes & Speakers | NAWBO

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Elizabeth GilbertElizabeth Gilbert
Monday General Session


Author of Eat, Pray, Love and most recently Big Magic! With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us.


Shabnam Mogharabi
CEO and Executive Producer, SoulPancake
Tuesday General Session


Shabnam Mogharabi is CEO and Executive Producer at SoulPancake, an award-winning media and entertainment company that explores 'Life's Big Questions' and curates uplifting, thought-provoking content to celebrate the human experience.   Shabnam is one of the co-authors of the New York Times bestselling book SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big Questions.  She is an award-winning journalist and former magazine editor, covering entertainment, finance, real estate, and home design.  

Powered by Purpose: Trying to define your purpose as a professional woman can be daunting. But identifying what fuels you, and finding your authentic voice, can be a powerful tool for success, and more importantly, significance in the world. In this session, SoulPancake CEO Shabnam Mogharabi will share insights into what it means to identify a purpose, and offer tips for how to live an authentic, joyful, grateful life that takes you and your team to the next level.



Jill Kerrigan
Founder and CEO
JAK Creative Design
Monday General Session Panelist


Jill A. Kerrigan is the founder and CEO of JAK Creative Design in Darien, IL. She was born in the Chicago suburbs and raised by a hardworking single mother. Since launching JAK in 1995, she has built an award-winning branding and design agency serving clients such as American Express, Exelon, and ComEd. In 2017, Jill was named an Enterprising Women of the Year Champion by Enterprising Women magazine and Rising Star of the Year by the Women’s Business Development Center. She has been affiliated with NAWBO for nearly 10 years.

Earlier this year, Jill launched a new sister company, JAK Premiums, which specializes in the design of high-quality promotional products. Both of her companies are WBENC-certified, 100% woman-owned enterprises.

Adreanna Limbach
Personal Development Coach and Meditation Instructor
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Monday General Session Panelist


Adreanna is a personal development coach and meditation instructor based in New York City. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, Refinery29, xoJane and Women's Health. She is the head teacher at MNDFL, a student, coach and mentor at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a regular host of online meditation series and international wellness retreats. Her first book, Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy, will be released in spring 2019. 

Carolyn Rodz
Monday General Session Panelist


Featured in Fortune, Inc., Fast Company and Entrepreneurmagazines, Carolyn is the founder of Alice. She helped raise billions of dollars in capital for innovative organizations, created a luxury retail line that sold in more than 400 stores worldwide and later, launched a global marketing firm that supported specialty product launches within Fortune 500 enterprises and startups. Carolyn serves as an advocate for women entrepreneurs, connecting them to sources of capital, strategic partners and mentors to create businesses that scale. 



Robyn Nance
Anchor, Good Morning Northwest


Robyn anchors Good Morning Northwest from Monday through Friday along with Derek Deis and Mark Peterson. Robyn, who grew up in Bonne Terre, MO, has been living in Spokane since 1996. She began working at KXLY 4 News in 2003. She has a degree in Broadcasting and a B.S. in Education. Since the early ‘90s, Robyn has served on several boards overseeing organizations serving children. Each week on KXLY 4 News, you can watch Robyn's Wednesday’s Child Stories, featuring children in foster care who need adoptive homes. Her interaction with many of those amazing young people spurred her—along with friend and foster parent recruiter Linda Rogers—to start up Teen & Kid Closet, a specialty shop where children and youth in foster care in eastern Washington and northern Idaho can shop for free. To learn more, go to teenkidcloset.org. Family is Robyn’s passion, and her favorite thing in the world is spending time with her children.




Jill Calabrese Bain
Managing Director and Head of Small Business
Bank of America Merchant Services


Jill is the managing director and head of small business for Bank of America Merchant Services. She is responsible for managing small business from an end-to-end perspective, leading sales and providing the oversight, development and delivery of critical business priorities. Jill joined Bank of America in 1992 and has been in the financial services industry for 25 years. She was previously the small business national sales executive for Bank of America. 

Susan Baracco
Executive Coach
Story Architect for Women


Susan brings the skills of a writer, editor, project manager and executive coach to her role as Story Architect for Women. She is a passionate advocate for women and believes that putting their stories into words is a powerful tool for change. Her ultimate goal is to help a million women become authors. To reach that, Susan wrote her practical guidebook for women entitled 6 Things No One Tells You About Writing a Book.  

Mindy Barker
Barker Associates


Mindy is CEO of Barker Associates, where her and her team are known for delivering results that make a difference. Through her work with the C-level suite of entrepreneurial growth and private equity backed companies, she helps drive strategy and execution that result in deliberate growth and a new vision of where the entrepreneur can take his or her company.   

Rendi Bell
Global Expansion Sales Manager


Rendi has more than 25 years of business experience, including 10 years with UPS. She currently serves as the global expansion sales manager for UPS, where she manages a team of international account executives that are focused on international business development. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, gardening, playing golf and reading.

Penny Benkeser
2018 Woman Business Owner of the Year Finalist

Owner and Operator
SERVPRO Northwest Charlotte


Penny helps people regain control of their property and put their lives and businesses back together following a disaster. Her company helps clean up property damage caused by fire, water or mold. Since opening five years ago, her company has grown by 1,250 percent, leading her team to become a TOP 100 SERVPRO franchise. Previously, Penny spent 20 years in the financial services industry, building high-performing teams. 

Lynda Buel
Owner and CEO
Security Risk Management Consultants, LLC


Lynda is the owner and CEO of Security Risk Management Consultants, LLC with more than 35 years of professional security management experience. She serves as the “Virtual” Security Director for several organizations and is a member of the Corporate Threat Assessment Team for a privately held organization in the United States.

Rosaria Cain
CEO and Founder


Rosaria left a burgeoning corporate career in the media business and launched her own advertising agency because she was tired of working for men without character. She started her agency, now known as knoodle, in 1999 and has spent the last 19 years creating a team that listens to clients and creates effective research driven marketing campaigns. 

Kiran Contractor
Director of Talent Acquisition


Kiran is a Director of Talent Acquisition at ADP, where she manages a client-facing service group focused on delivering talent acquisition services. Prior to her current role, Kiran started as a recruiter at ADP and grew into managing the department. Previously, Kiran was a corporate recruiter for Unity Source Group for three years where she recruited for corporations in various industries.

Mary Cravets
Client Generation Expert and Speaker


Mary is a client generation expert and international speaker who works with entrepreneurs to significantly grow their businesses without working nights and weekends. Her clients include the former CFO of Microsoft North America and thought-leaders in a wide variety of service-based professions.Mary is also an avid roller coaster enthusiast and a kayaking volunteer for a wildlife protection program in Morro Bay. She is past president of NAWBO-Sedona-Verde Valley, served on the NAWBO National Board in 2016-2017, was chair of the PASC and is currently president of NAWBO-Central Coast of California.

Michelle DeClerck
Conference Event Management


A proven industry leader and innovator, Michelle founded Conference Event Management in 2003. The company was the only small business in Iowa selected by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and is one of 150 small businesses throughout the nation to participate in an elite business growth program. Michelle won the 2018 Enterprising Women Award, the 2017 SBA Iowa Women in Business Champion of the Year, the Inspiring Women of Iowa – Character Award and more. Some of her several leadership roles include being the Director at Large Counsel and Programming Chair of the NAWBO–Iowa chapter and serving on the Executive Council for Iowa Women Lead Change.

Patty DeDominic
Entrepreneur, Leader,  Author


A past NAWBO National president, Patty is an expert in organizational development and corporate governance. As president, she co-founded the nation’s first WBO certification program and Enterprising Womanmagazine, which grew out of NAWBO board projects. Patty has been involved in the creation of at least eight NAWBO chapters and loves the work that goes into empowering entrepreneurs around the world. Two of Patty’s favorite awards are from NAWBO: Induction into the Women Business Owners Hall of Fame and the Susan Hager Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joyce DeMonnin
Communications Director


Joyce is the communications director at AARP-Oregon, where she has lead several successful campaigns, from expanding access to prescription drugs to helping create a new and easy way for businesses to provide retirement savings options to their employees. Joyce recently won a national AARP award for excellence in communications and an award for innovation for developing an elder abuse victim assistance, prevention and education program.

Kathleen Diamond
Founder and Consultant
Language Learning Enterprises


Kathleen is a consultant and business leader in the language services industry. In 1979, she founded Language Learning Enterprises, Inc. and joined NAWBO’s Capital Area Chapter. Kathleen went on to serve as NAWBO VP & International Chair, 1989-1994. In 1999, she was nominated by NAWBO for the FCEM Lifetime Achievement Award for Woman Entrepreneur of the World. Subsequently, she accepted an appointment to the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Women Business Owners.

Denise Doczy-DeLong
Maria Sharapova Women's Entrepreneur Program

President and Majority Owner
Singleton Construction, LLC


Denise is the president and majority owner of Singleton Construction, LLC, which was founded in 1995 and has grown into a leading commercial construction general contractor focusing on transforming retail spaces. In 2006, Denise joined Singleton Construction as the managing director of the business and has significantly expanded its customer base and geographic footprint. Denise was recently selected for a yearlong mentorship by NAWBO and the Maria Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program.

Reema Dutt
Maria Sharapova Women's Entrepreneur Program

Co-founder and Head of Business Development

Reema is the co-founder and head of business development at Luminoustudios, a digital video marketing production company for tech and lifestyle startups and small businesses. She has worked as a content creator for several years, producing features, shorts, commercials and documentaries. She also works as a marketing/brand consultant for start-ups in retail, entertainment and tech.  


Dawn Dyer
2018 Woman Business Owner of the Year Finalist

President, Founding Partner
Dyer Sheehan Group, Inc.


For over three decades, Dawn has been passionate about the importance of housing stability for the health of cities, families and individuals.  She helps create communities by facilitating effective dialogue and cooperation regarding land use issues.  As a volunteer, Dawn founded the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund, a multi-million dollar 501c3 non-profit Revolving Loan Fund, for the creation of Affordable Housing. Dawn is dedicated to empowering women, and is a CA Delegate to the Vision 2020 National Women's Equality Coalition.  She was selected as the 2018 Woman Business Owner of the Year for NAWBO-Ventura County and for NAWBO-California

Camille Vizzanova Eddera
Maria Sharapova Women's Entrepreneur Program

Founder and CEO
Birthstone Scents 


Birthstone Scents is a line of environmentally friendly, fair trade fragrances inspired by the ancient tradition of birthstones as a healing and protective talisman.  The scents are offered in perfumes, scented candles and diffusers. Viola!

Mina Fies
Founder and CEO
Synergy Design & Construction


Mina built a successful and award-winning design and construction management firm in 2008 against formidable economic circumstances. As founder and CEO of Synergy Design & Construction, creator of the online app, Renovation Roadmap and recipient of Samsung’s Innovation in Remodeling Award, Mina knows how to create environments that foster growth in organizations. As a keynote speaker, author and strategic advisor Mina has been featured on HGTV, NPR and other national, local and online media outlets. 

Dusty Folwarczny
Ink Factory 


Dusty was born and raised in a small country town named Winfield, Missouri.  She earned a BFA in Sculpture from Truman State University and made her way to the Windy City. She started out sculpting and working in the management consulting space. After half a decade of independent contracting, it was time to co-found Ink Factory with Lindsay Wilson and Ryan Robinson.  Dusty uses her people skills and big picture mindset to connect the dots at Ink Factory.  She's always generating new ideas and loves to foster new partnerships.

Stella Fox
Certified Business Coach
High Caliber Solutions


Stella’s first objective is to determine the most urgent priority for the client by helping them define, execute and profit from their priorities. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from Eastern Washington University. She also has a NxLevel entrepreneurship from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and her business and executive coaching certificate from ActionCOACH. Stella also actively serves on various organizations in the business community and she has plans to complete her first book by spring 2019.

Heidi Gibson 
Sr. Director of Product Management and Growth


Heidi is Sr. Director of Product Management and Growth at GoDaddy, where she’s built the company’s growth team from the ground up. She has 20 years of experience building teams and products for startups and tech companies, is on the board of the entrepreneurship non-profit, The Renaissance Center and has coached hundreds of aspiring business owners on how to start and grow their business. She also opened a restaurant chain, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen.

Loreen Gilbert
NAWBO Institute Board Chair

Wealthwise Financial Services


Loreen is an experienced wealth manager who has spent more than 20 years creating successful wealth strategies for her clients. In addition to being the Chair of the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development Board, she serves on the Advisory Board for International Princess Project (IPP) and on the Regional Advisory Board of Hope International.  Loreen is also a member of the Women's Philanthropy Fund and Impact Giving. 

Molly Gimmel
NAWBO National Board Chair

Co-founder and CEO
Design to Delivery


Molly has been working in government contracting and acquisition management since 1991, with eight of those years spent working in the government practices of three of the "Big Five" accounting/consulting firms.  She is an expert in government contracting and regularly speaks to organizations and groups who are interested in it.

Dr. Patricia Greene
18th Director of the Women’s Bureau
U.S. Department of Labor


Dr. Greene is a former entrepreneurship professor at Babson College, where she held the Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies. While at Babson, she served terms as Dean of the Undergraduate School and Provost. Dr. Greene was the founding National Academic Director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative and the Global Academic Director for the 10,000 Women program. She is a former Federal appointee to the national advisory board for the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers. 

Francine Friedman Griesing
2018 Woman Business Owner of the Year Finalist

Griesing Law


Francine is founder of Griesing Law, a full-service law firm based in Philadelphia with offices in Cincinnati and New York. Francine is a strategic advisor to entrepreneurs at all stages of their businesses, as well as executives and general counsel at major institutions. With more than 35 years of legal experience, Francine founded Griesing Law so women could reach their potential in a male-dominated field. She is a civic leader and has received many recognitions including the Influencers of Law Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Deborah Hansen
Owner and Wine-Maker
Cougar Crest Estate Winery


In 1996, Deborah and her husband, David, took their first steps to realizing their dream of owning their own winery into reality. After 20 years of business experience as a pharmacist who loved wine, and as a mother who wanted to raise her children on the farms in a small community, the perfect business was born.


HarrisonKaren Harrison
Senior Vice President, Credit Products and Partners Executive, Small Business Banking
Bank of America


As Senior Vice President, Credit Products and Partners Executive, Small Business Banking, Karen is responsible for delivering credit solutions to priority small business clients, while also ensuring clients benefit from the full franchise value of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Karen also manages a national team of credit performance managers, serving more than 3 million small business clients nationwide. She is a recipient of the Global Diversity and Inclusion award at Bank of America.

Janet M. Herrick
CEO and President
Onsite Environmental Consulting, LLC


Janet is an award-winning community leader and sought-out public speaker on the issues of environment, business and leadership. Since July 2004, Janet has led Onsite Environmental Consulting, LLC as CEO and president to be a leading environmental firm specializing in wetlands, gopher tortoises, Phase I ESAs and dune restoration. Her field experience includes gopher tortoise relocation, wetland delineation, bald eagle monitoring, Florida scrub jay surveys and mitigation monitoring serving the energy, public and private development sector. 

Mary Hiland, Ph.D.
Hiland Consulting


Mary has 40 years of experience with nonprofits—as an executive, on boards and consulting. She understands first-hand the daily challenges nonprofit leaders face. After leading two mergers, she became the CEO of a nonprofit with 530 employees. After 26 years as an executive (and years of board service), Mary has been consulting and coaching nonprofits for the last 14 years. Her passion is working with nonprofit leaders to unleash the potential of the board and strengthen the board-executive relationship. Mary is a published author, speaker, trainer and researcher.  

Patti Kibbe
President and CEO
Evergreen Business Capital


Patti is a former bank executive who left the banking industry when she accepted the COO position at Evergreen Business capital, a certified development company. Patti accepted the President & CEO position at Evergreen Business Capital in 2013, and helped to set-up Evergreen Business Capital Community Finance a couple years later. Patti leads both companies to provide superior economic development solutions that support small business stability, growth and job creation.  

Joanna Knox
Senior Business Development Manager


Joanna has spent her career using data-driven insights to help small businesses thrive through marketing, technology and finance. She came to Fundbox from Intuit in 2015 to help level the playing field for the SMB2B economy. Fundbox uses data science to provide growth capital for small businesses. 

Betsy Linder
Vice President Product Marketing


Betsy is a seasoned marketing specialist with nearly two decades of experience. In her current role as Vice President Product Marketing at ADP, Betsy leads strategic product growth initiatives, positioning, messaging and product launch activities for ADP's Human Resources Outsourcing, Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Small Business offerings. Betsy earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications at California Lutheran University.

Virginia Littlejohn
Co-Founder and President
Quantam Leaps


Littlejohn is Co-Founder and President of Quantum Leaps, a global accelerator for women's entrepreneurship. She was President of NAWBO National in 1984-‘85, coordinated NAWBO’s involvement in the White House Conference on Small Business in 1996 and was a primary architect of H.R. 5050. She served two terms on the National Women’s Business Council, as FCEM’s Vice President and as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Senior Advisor for three global best practice conferences on women’s entrepreneurship in Paris and Istanbul.

Laura MacNeil
Regional Leader of the Pacific Northwest
Wells Fargo Banking Group


Laura is the Regional Leader of the Pacific Northwest for Wells Fargo Business Banking Group. She is responsible for providing strategic leadership throughout the Pacific Northwest Business Banking region, where she focuses on the strategy and leadership necessary to enhance overall relationships with customers. Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and European studies from Vanderbilt University and earned her master’s in international business studies from the University of  South Carolina.   

Jill Mitchell
Manager Association Partnership Programs
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles


Jill is a versatile, results-oriented automotive professional with more than 15 years of experience with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, working in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment where she handles all aspects of marketing. She has extensive strength and experience in vendor management, event planning, customer service and corporate training. She currently manages a Business Development Call Center, local and national fleet preview events and association partnership programs.  

Deanna Montrose
Maria Sharapova Women's Entrepreneur Program

Founder and CEO
Paraffin International, Inc. 


Paraffin International, Inc. is the next generation of paraffin wax treatments and products for beauty, health, wellness and sports markets.  With more than 20 patented components and an FDA approval as a medical device, Paraffin International is poised to be the  top paraffin wax treatment in the nation.

Dr. Terry Neese
Founder of Terry Neese personnel services, National Grassroots Network, Women Impacting Public Policy and the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

Dr. Neese has spent more than 30 years finding careers for men and women. She is the founder of Terry Neese Personnel Services, National Grassroots Network, Women Impacting Public Policy and the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). 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.

Kelly "Pea Brain" Parthen
Maria Sharapova Women's Entrepreneur Program

Co-founder and CEO
Bean Sprouts


Bean Sprouts is a nationally recognized cafe concept where kids and families participate in a playful eating experience.  With cafes located inside family destinations (museums, science centers, zoos, theme parks, etc.), it is meeting the demand for healthier food choices while making healthy food more fun (every team member has their own fun "pea" name!).

Suzanne Pease
Ampersand Graphics


Suzanne is the owner of Ampersand Graphics, a 29-year-old design firm specializing in brand management, and she has also developed a designer line of wearable art. Through these two passions, she attracts attention for growing businesses and makes them look good in person and on paper. From 2003-2004, Suzanne served as the NAWBO National Board Chair.

Susan Perreault
Training Manager
Washington Women's Business Center and Business Impact


Susan is the Training Manager for the Washington Women’s Business Center and Business Impact NW (BINW), a non-profit small business community development lender supporting the continuing growth of local small businesses through micro-enterprise. Prior to joining BINW, Susan spent the majority of her career as a serial entrepreneur and in senior management positions in the professional beauty industry. As a business owner, Susan understands how difficult it can be to start and run a business, so she is very passionate about working with and empowering entrepreneurs.

Wendy Lyn Phillips
Founder and Brand Coach
Wendy Lyn Unlimited


Wendy is a natural born ringleader who inspires others to achieve personal and professional excellence. As a maestro with 30 years of experience as a business owner, she shares her business acumen for strategic development with organizations and leaders that want to be intentional about how they execute initiatives and programs. Her company, Wendy Lyn Unlimited, provides coaching services for individuals and teams wanting to improve their brand identity. 

Stacey Brown Randall
Entrepreneur and Author


Stacey is a member of the business failure club, a contrarian on how to generate referrals and an entrepreneurial dream supporter. Through her programs, she provides a roadmap to take control of your business. Stacey is a three-time entrepreneur, author of Generating Business Referrals…Without Asking and the host of Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. Stacey has taught her “no asking” referral generation strategy to hundreds of companies, including Bank of America, Carroll Financial, International Minute Press and Dogtopia. 

Nikki Rausch
Founder and CEO
"Sales Maven"


Nikki is the founder and CEO of “Sales Maven,” an organization dedicated to authentic selling. With more than 24 years of experience selling to such prestigious organizations as The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett-Packard and NASA, Nikki has shattered sales records in many industries and received multiple “Top Producer” awards along the way. Nikki’s popular books, Buying Signals: How to Spot the Green Light & Increase Your Sales and Six-Word Lessons on Influencing with Grace are available on Amazon.

Christina M. Reger
Shareholder and Attorney
Bazelon Less & Feldman, P.C.


Christina helps businesses avoid litigation from employees and applicants. With more than 10 years of litigation experience, Christina has developed a practice in educating businesses on the trends and pitfalls in today’s employment market, working with them to audit and analyze their business practices and provide them with cost-effective solutions to ensure current and ongoing compliance.

Nina C. Roque
Executive Director
The National Women's Business Council

Nina currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council. Recently, she served as special assistant to the Secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta. Nina was also a law clerk at the North Carolina Industrial Commission, a quasi-judicial agency in the State of North Carolina. Nina holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminology from Florida State University and a Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University School of Law. 

Brandy Sales
International Award-winning Video Producer


Brandy is a four-time international award-winning video producer who posted his first video on the internet in 1999. Brandy owned a video production business that was built on helping non- profit organizations raise more than $75 million, as well as helping entrepreneurs generate thousands of leads for their business. Now a speaker and coach, he focuses on teaching business owners how to create marketing videos with their smartphones. 

Roby Schapira
Small Business Leader for National Field Initiatives
Wells Fargo


Roby, a 20-year Wells Fargo veteran, serves as the Small Business Leader for National Field Initiatives. In this role, he leads programs that build the team’s skill development and focus on serving small business customers. Roby holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School in Seattle. He is also an accomplished speaker and has presented on small business topics at financial industry forums, local and national media outlets and nonprofit organizations.

Lesa Seibert
Co-founder, CEO and CFO
Mightily and Xstreme Media


After a long career across a range of different business categories, from running her own restaurant to corporate accounting and managing a team of  35 accounting staff for the Kroger Company, Lesa founded Xstreme Media in 2000. Then in 2013, she co-founded Mightily. Both firms are located in Louisville, where she serves as CEO and CFO.  She oversees all facets of the companies' operations with a focus on strategy, consulting and finances.

Emily Shanks
Division Sales Executive, Small Business Banking National Sales Team
Bank of America


Emily, who joined Bank of America in 1989, is the Division Sales Executive for the Small Business Banking National Sales team for the North West Division. She leads a team of small business banking managers focused on meeting the needs of small business customers. In addition, Emily integrates with lines of business across the enterprise, including working closely with Financial Centers, Customer Contact Centers, Commercial Banking, Global Wealth and Investment Management, Merchant and Corporate leadership to ensure we are making the financial lives of every customer better.  

Allison Shapira
CEO and Founder
Global Public Speaking LLC


Allison is the CEO and founder of Global Public Speaking LLC, a communication training firm that helps people speak clearly, concisely and confidently. She is a former opera singer who teaches public speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School and has spent the last 15 years working with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations around the world. Allison was a finalist for the 2017 Woman Business Owner of the Year by the NAWBO-San Diego chapter. Allison is the author of Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others which comes out October 16 with Harper Collins Leadership


Cece Smith
Tollbox Studios


Cece is CEO of Toolbox Studios, an award-winning branding firm in San Antonio, TX, specializing in creative solutions for highly complex marketing challenges and are a single source for strategy, design and production services. Toolbox’s proprietary branding methodology brings alignment and clarity to brands in all industries both regionally and nationally.

Noreen Sumpter
Radio Host and Life Coach
Beyond Potential: Live Life Your Way


Noreen holds a certification from NYU for personal life coaching and has been coaching for 13 years. She is the creator of the Live Life Your Way coaching program and host of the talk radio NYC radio show, Beyond Potential: Live Life Your Way. In addition, Noreen is VP of Member Engagement for NAWBO-New York City, where she won an award for Board Member of the Year.

Heather Tinsley
Senior Advisor


Heather is a Senior Advisor at AARP, where she helps drive AARP’s focus on providing members and workers 50 and older with the tools they need to thrive in today’s work environment. With a background in marketing, innovation and digital project management, Heather works with consumers, external partners and academics to create educational programs and tools that inspire employers and Americans 50 and older to capitalize on the value of experience.  

Lisa van der Lugt
Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (OMWBE)


Lisa is the Director for the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE). OMWBE brings together agencies, higher educational institutions, contractors and minority and woman small business owners. Lisa has an extensive understanding of both the private and public sector, having spent more than 25 years dedicated to public service and in private sector executive management. Most recently, she was the executive director of Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

Ashley Watanabe
SMB Community Engagement Coordinator
Facebook Small Business Team


Ashley works as a SMB Community Engagement Coordinator on Facebook's Small Business Team in Menlo Park, CA. She spends her days teaching small business owners how to use Facebook for their businesses, and learning from small business owners about what works for them in growing their businesses. Ashley comes from a small business family; her father and grandfather have been running a small farming business for more than 50 years. 

Tara Wear
Founder and Owner
Powerful Connections Now, LLC


Tara is the founder/owner of Powerful Connections Now, LLC. As an expert in the field and an instructor for Gonzaga University’s Certificate in Women’s Leadership, she brings nearly 30 years of experience giving dynamic presentations, facilitating impactful trainings and providing powerful coaching to develop business professionals. Tara specializes in working with women to cultivate their leadership capacities and therefore, increase the number of women in key, influential roles

Kimmi Wernli
Maria Sharapova Women's Entrepreneur Program

Crazy Richard's Peanut Butter Company


Crazy Richard's products are made with the highest quality ingredients, with no added sugars or additives.  This family-owned business puts people first through producing healthy, high-quality products and through their philanthropy work with the Healthy Kids Happy Future Project. 

Pamela West
Division Sales Executive
Bank of America Merchant for the North West Division


Pamela is the Division Sales Executive for Bank of  America Merchant for the North West Division.  She leads a team of Regional Sales Managers and Business Consultants focused on meeting the needs of small business clients. Active in her community, she currently serves as a board member for the Trauma Intervention Program in Nevada and has served on the Working K9 Rescue and Grant a Gift for Autism boards.

Amy S. Wilson
Labor and Employment Practice Group
Frost Brown Todd LLC


Amy is a member of the Indianapolis, IN, office of Frost Brown Todd LLC and practices in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. She concentrates her practice in employment litigation and general business counseling and advises companies on all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, provides management and employee training, and drafts handbooks, agreements, policies and procedures. Amy received her Juris Doctor degree, summa cum laude, from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hanover College.


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