Academy for Public Service Speakers | NAWBO


Academy for Public Service Speakers

DJ Heckes
Author, Full BRAIN Marketing
Author, The NOISE Behind BUSINESS

DJ speaks on motivational and inspirational topics and thoroughly enjoys sharing her knowledge in branding, marketing strategies, social media, leadership and diversity training, and how to deliver exceptional customer service across multi-generations. She speaks and lives by the E-Myth principles of how to grow your business to work on your business more than work in your business.

She plays an active role both locally and nationally in supporting small businesses and is very actively locally and nationally in many organizations as a volunteer. DJ is actively involved in New Mexico and Texas. Her current volunteer roles include President, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO NM), Ambassador-Albuquerque Economic Development, Certified Mentor for SCORE NM Chapter for mentoring business owners in the Mentor Program, & is a Site Visit Recertification Volunteer for Women’s Business Council. Her past volunteer roles include Past President of the American Marketing Association, New Mexico Chapter, and won Chapter of the Year for 2005 for the NM Chapter. Served a three year term as National Professional Chapter Council Board Volunteer for the American Marketing Association. Past President for KeepitQUERQUE (Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance) to support their buy local-grow local-thrive local message. DJ believes in being active in the community to help show that small businesses can have big impact in growing New Mexico!

She is firmly committed to growing business opportunities through involvement and dedication. Marketing and strategic growth are her passions and are what have driven her company to the success it has achieved since opening in February 2000. She has helped many businesses achieve this same level of success through her marketing and strategic development consultation. If you know DJ, she is a community "servant hearted" person through her dedication and volunteerism in the community. EXHIB-IT!’s B2B Expo is New Mexico’s premier Expo event. The event’s mission is to foster economic development by creating a prosperous learning environment through a network of leaders. and local businesses exhibiting to build a "buy local" mentality in our state.

Hilary Lentini
Founder and Creative Director
Lentini Design & Marketing, Inc.


Drawing on over 25 years of notable experience in the advertising and creative services industries, Hilary possesses both a creative flair and solid business acumen. She enjoys the challenge of crafting unique solutions for her clients’ design needs, always resulting in original and compelling campaigns and solutions that drive clients’ objectives.

Her firm, Lentini Design & Marketing, Inc., reenergizes static brands into dynamic forces. LDM works with established businesses and non-profits whose brands have gone stale and whose sales have gone flat. With their proprietary process, LDM enables clients to discover their special brand of “magic,” then shapes their brand visuals, messaging, and clients’ digital presence via websites, social media advertising, email campaigns and more.

Hilary and her entire team value communication and collaboration — knowing these are the keys to their clients’ marketing successes. This desire to merge the strategic with the creative has allowed LDM the opportunity to create award-winning work for a wide range of clients, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, Metro, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade, UC Irvine, Angel City Press, the American Heart Association and the Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter, to name a few. 

Lentini Design & Marketing has won over 130 national design awards to date. Hilary was named by preeminent industry leader Graphic Design Magazine (GDUSA) as one of 30 People to Watch in 2015. She has been honored with the Comerica Bank | Los Angeles Lakers Woman of Entrepreneurship Award. In December of  2016, Hilary graduated from the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. In April of 2017, she was named by Los Angeles Confidential Magazine as a Woman of Influence. In early 2018, she was named President-Elect (2019) for the National Association of Women Business Owners California Chapter (NAWBO-CA). In May of 2018 Hilary was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as a commissioner on the California Workforce Development Board. She also serves as Immediate Past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners Los Angeles Chapter (NAWBO-LA), and is an active member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Lea Marquez Peterson
President, Marquez Peterson Group
Government and Community Affairs Expert


Lea owns Marquez Peterson Group, a public affairs firm that assists in community and government relations in Arizona.  Lea served as the President/CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber (THCC) from 2009 until November of 2018. The chamber grew dramatically under her leadership from 350 members to over 1800. The chamber's mission is to advocate for and provide services that help grow our member's businesses in our bilingual and bicultural region. The chamber expanded into Nogales, Sierra Vista and Douglas and continues its work in Sonora, Mexico. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber was named the 2013 Large Chamber of the Year by the USHCC!

Lea was a candidate for Congress in Arizona District 2 in 2018. Previously, Lea owned a chain of six gasoline stations and convenience stores and a Business Brokerage Firm.  Lea has been recognized with several awards including the 2015 NFL Hispanic Heritage Award and as a University of Arizona Distinguished Alumni.

Olalah Njenga
CEO, Yellowwood Group
Small Business Economy and Policy Enthusiast


Olalah is the chief executive officer and chief strategist at YellowWood Group, the strategy consulting firm she founded in 2003. As a result of her leadership, she has earned several achievement awards including one for leading her company to record growth despite a crippling national recession. An accomplished strategist, Olalah and her team have helped companies, agencies and non-profits transform ideas into objectives and objectives into outcomes. The firm specializes in strategy development, strategy frameworks and strategic planning.

A Fellow of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership (NC IOPL), Olalah is appointed to the NCWorks Commission and holds the designated commissioner seat representing North Carolina’s 900,000 small business owners. In this governor-appointed role, Olalah advocates for small business initiatives through the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Workforce Development System. Olalah also serves as the Vice Chair of the NCWorks Commission where she contributes to the steering efforts of the executive committee. She previously chaired the Commission’s strategic planning committee where she led the formation efforts of the biennial strategic plan for presentation to the North Carolina General Assembly.

Helping more small business owners become small business employers and ensuring they have a voice regarding workforce policies at the federal and state levels is Olalah’s passion. She serves on the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association (NSBA) where she advocates for legislation to strengthen and protect the small business economy and is a member of its Health & Human Resource Committee. Olalah also serves on the National Workforce Issues Council for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as well as the North Carolina Leadership Council for the National Association of Independent Business (NFIB) where she contributes to policy-shaping discussions affecting North Carolina’s small business community.

Olalah has previously served as a Braintrust Contributor® for Forbes Small Business and as a featured expert for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. A trusted source for national and local media, her media credits include BBC, NPR, New York Times, Marketplace, Fox and local broadcast affiliates.

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