2019-2020 Institute Board of Directors | NAWBO

NAWBO Institute


2019-2020 Institute Board of Directors

Laura Yamanaka
NAWBO Institute for Entreprenuerial Development Chair
President and Co-Founder
teamCFO Inc.

Laura Yamanaka is President and co-founder of teamCFO Inc., a financial and accounting firm offering CFO/Controller services to businesses and nonprofits. teamCFO was founded to improve performance and support the growth of the private business community.

Today, teamCFO has a dynamic group of professionals focusing on both growth issues and turnaround operations for its clients and offers a wide variety of operational accounting services to their clients including remote office support as well as onsite services.

Since its inception in 2000, Laura and teamCFO have received several national and regional awards including the NAWBO Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award, NAWBO-LA Leadership award, Asian Business Leadership Award by Wells Fargo/US Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and the Women in Business and Accountant Advocate Award by the SBA.

Laura’s career began with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young where she managed a diverse portfolio of clients and provided services including audit, mergers & acquisitions, litigation support, IPO and SEC projects and filings. Her extensive private industry experience includes tenures with GE Capital, Zenith Insurance, Quaker State Corporation and the Heritage Insurance Group where she served in various senior financial and operational capacities. Laura’s participation with numerous acquisitions in various roles including responsibilities for the financial assessment and integration to company-wide integration of all operations has given her the opportunity to drive strategic planning, assess business risks, integrate and streamline systems and processes.

A passion for education, helping others, and serving the community locally as well as nationally has also led to various volunteer efforts. Laura was also appointed to serve as a member of the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, Council Member of the National Women’s Business Council, a non-partisan advisory council to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. Laura also has significant service with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) serving as Chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners – National Board as well as serving on the Leadership Advisory board of NAWBO-LA.

As a long-time champion of financial literacy for women business owners, Laura has lectured on the subject to diverse audiences, including young girls who are aspiring business women. Laura also has developed school-based programs to teach teamwork and facilitation skills to students – bringing effective business skills to the classroom. Laura has been featured in various national publications and locally in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Los Angeles Times and is an expert for the Los Angeles Times Small Business makeover series.

Crystal Arredondo
MPACT Financial Group

Crystal Arredondo is a Partner at MPACT Financial Group and a Retirement Planning Specialist. After obtaining her MBA in Finance at the University of North Texas, she began her career as a financial advisor. She realized that her parents could have avoided many difficult obstacles in running their own small family business for years with financial guidance and trusted advice. As a result, her passion is working with people to provide a “total strategy” for a successful retirement. Another area of focus is helping owners of closely held businesses plan for succession and transition out of their businesses.

Darla Beggs
Abba Staffing

Darla Beggs is the President and CEO of Abba Staffing and Consulting, Abba Parking Services and MGD Management Group. Her business experience includes consulting with HR, insurance and oil and gas professionals to evaluate and establish effective programs with a focus on cost effectiveness coupled with employee satisfaction and retention. Prior to acquiring Abba Staffing and Consulting in 2006, Darla held leadership positions with Travelers Insurance and The Principle Group in account management services, marketing and benefits administration.

When Darla is not busy working on her own businesses, she is active in various women-owned and minority-owned business groups focused on providing quality solutions for clients’ needs at every level. She is a devoted leader in both professional and philanthropic organizations. In 2011, Darla was appointed to the National Board of Directors of NAWBO. She served in many capacities on the Executive Committee until 2016, including as National Chair. Darla is committed to helping other women business owners succeed by providing mentoring and professional support. Abba Staffing was named the 2011 Overall Business Enterprise of the Year by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency. In 2012, Darla was awarded the NAWBO-Dallas/Ft. Worth “Star” Award and the Women Business Enterprise Council Southwest 2012 Done Deals Women Working Together Award.

Teresa Meares
Teresa Meares
Audibelle Clothing

Teresa has 20 years of law enforcement experience and is the president of Audibelle Clothing. She is a past president of the Women’s Business Owners of North Florida, past chair of NAWBO National, past chair for the NAWBO Institute, the foundation supporting women’s education, and recently she received an appointment on the international steering committee for Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises

Kelly Scanlon
President & CEO
Interrobang Solutions LLC

Kelly Scanlon is a business owner, publisher, podcast host, past chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners and lifelong small business and entrepreneur advocate.

She currently owns Interrobang Solutions, a company that provides writing, editing and other professional publishing services for companies. Interrobang Solutions is also the producer of Kelly’s podcast, “Talking Business Now.”

For more than 20 years, Kelly owned Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc., a company that publishes and produces a variety of publications, products and events that connect growth-minded business owners with practical strategies, resources and information that will take them to the next level of success. She sold Thinking Bigger in March 2018.

Kelly serves on a variety of local, regional and national boards designed to advocate and assist small businesses. She currently serves on the board of directors for the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, is a co-chair of the Women’s Foundation Patron Committee, and is a director on Country Club Bank’s metro advisory board.

In the past, Kelly has been involved with numerous local and national boards and committees, including a 5-year term on the national board of directors for the National Association of Women Business Owners, serving as board chair in 2010-2011. Kelly was recognized in August 2011 on a list published by Forbes as one of the “Top 25 Women Tweeting About Entrepreneurship.” Some of the other awards she has won include the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners; U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2009 Region VII Women’s Business Advocate (for Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska); and numerous others.

Kathy Warnick
Warnick Consultants, LLC

Kathy Warnick has established a reputation as professional, honest, knowledgeable, innovative and practical. Through over 30 years of business and leadership experience, she has an expansive understanding of the unique needs of a variety of businesses. She built Warnick Consultants on the core principle of refusing to believe that one size fits all and that every business has a unique set of needs for its financial and operational systems.

In 2005, Warnick was honored as Woman to Watch by Columbus Business First. She was selected as an Outstanding Woman in Technology finalist by Rev1 Ventures in central Ohio in 2009. In 2016, Warnick Consultants was honored to be a finalist for the Business First Corporate Caring Award. Kathy Warnick received the Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year for community service for her work in NAWBO, the Women’s Small Business Accelerator and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

Warnick has utilized her extensive business knowledge in leadership roles within her professional and civic communities. Warnick’s leadership expanded to the national level on the National Presidents Assembly Steering Committee and the Nominating Committee. Additionally, Warnick was Treasurer on the board for the Women’s Small Business Accelerator in Westerville, Ohio and instrumental in bringing the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to the Columbus area. Warnick is a Past National Chair of the board of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Jeanette Armbrust
NAWBO National Board Chair
Managing Director
Skyline Greater LA

In 2001, Jeanette started up Skyline Exhibits of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. After growing her company into an award-winning $7 million business, Jeanette sold the company and became the Managing Director of Skyline Greater LA. Jeanette serves as Chair on the NAWBO National Board in Washington, D.C. She was also recently named as one of the 2017 Enterprising Women of the Year and the SBA Small Business Woman of the Year.

Jen Earle
Institute Executive Director

Jen Earle has had the honor and delight of working with NAWBO since 2008. Utilizing her institutional knowledge and consistent drive for advancing the mission of NAWBO, Jen has worked collaboratively with National Boards of Directors and past CEOs to help carry out the Board’s vision for the organization and navigate NAWBO to where it is today. Jen brings to the table more than a decade of multi-disciplinary, high-level experience in operational and project management development, support, and execution for a broad range of boards, business groups, entrepreneurs, CEOs and executives. Jen has successfully established operational infrastructures for her clients. She serves at the executive level, working with nonprofit boards, meeting and event strategy and planning, partner outreach and relationship building.

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