National Women's Business Conference - 2020 | NAWBO
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Everyone wants to be courageous in life and business. But what does your brave look like? It’s different for everyone, but as women business owners, we have left comfortable jobs to start our own ventures. We have done business the world over. We have met with senators and members of Congress. We have sat on executive boards. We have taken major financial risks. Whatever “brave” means to you, this year’s theme of “Brave Is” will help you put yourself out there, push through fears and say “yes” to life and business even more.

Tweets by NAWBONational

keynote speaker

Glennon Doyle

, Activist, Founder of Together Rising

Glennon Doyle is the of the #1 New York Times bestseller UNTAMED, a Reese’s Book Club selection. She's also the of New York Times bestsellers LOVE WARRIOR (an Oprah’s Book Club selection) and CARRY ON, WARRIOR. An activist and thought leader, Glennon is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $25 million for women, families, and children in crisis. She lives in Florida with her wife and three children.

Registration Fees - All Inclusive
  • Includes Live Stream and OnDemand of Annual Membership Meeting, 2 General Sessions and Breakouts, Virtual Resources, Matchmaking Opportunities, and Conference Swag Bag.





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

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2020 WBC -  Agenda

Thursday, September 17, First Time Attendee Meet & Greet
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  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

    NAWBO - First Time Attendee for Annual Conference

    Join us to help kick off our annual conference. This session will be helpful if you are a first time attendee of the conference. We will learn about:

    • How can UPS help you? Special benefits for being a NAWBO member
    • Online demonstration of how to navigate the virtual conference
    • Special breakout rooms to connect with other WBO’s across the country

    Sponsored by UPS

    Click here to Register and for Zoom Link


    ZOOM LINK *must register separately
Monday, September 21, 2020 - Annual Membership Meeting - All Times Listed are ET
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  • 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

    Fitness Session

    Camp Gladiator is the leader of outdoor group fitness and now is excited to be bringing to you our live virtual workout programs as well!  With classes led by Certified Personal Trainers, participants of all fitness levels can expect a fun and challenging workout from the comfort of their 尊龙会娱乐下载home, driveway, or back yard.  Be prepared with a yoga mat, dumbbells (if you have them), and water bottle for this workout.  Get ready to sweat with some of the top female Trainers in Camp Gladiator!

    Sponsored by Camp Gladiator

  • 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

    State of NAWBO: 2020 Accomplishments and Intiatives
    Presented by Cristina Morales Heaney, NAWBO National Board Chair and Jen Earle, NAWBO CEO

    National Committee Updates
    Presented by Karen Bennetts, Lisa Coppola, Kathy Warnick, Megan Patton, Jaqueline Hayes, and Tanya Hill

    Chapter Awards Ceremony with Wells Fargo
    Remarks by Val Jones, Small Business Leader, Wells Fargo

  • 2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

    General Session Fireside Chat - Women Voting: 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage  

    The upcoming elections will be important for all Americans, but especially for America’s women business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn from AARP’s Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond in this fireside chat about the importance of your voice and the impact it has on national and local elections. It’s when we have our say in leadership, legislation and policy that will have a direct impact on our business communities. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. It gave women a spot at the table, made the table more inclusive and is a reminder of how far women have come over the last century. The women’s vote is powerful—plain and simple.

    Presented by Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Engagement Officer at AARP
    Moderated by Cristina Morales Heaney, NAWBO National Board Chair

    Sponsored by AARP

  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

    Creating Leaders for a World of Change – Choices That Make Good Leaders Great & NAWBO 45th Anniversary Reflection
    *Translated in Spanish and French / Available in Closed Caption

    As NAWBO prepares to embark on its 46th year of powering the dreams of women business owners, two very special NAWBO trailblazers take part in this fireside chat about the founding of the organization. Hear how they helped to change the face of history for women business owners and created opportunities that help us live the lives, and run the businesses, we imagine today.

    Key takeaways:
    • What it was like as a woman business owner before NAWBO
    • The early years of starting and growing the organization
    • How NAWBO came to be involved in advocacy, and why it was important
    • Leadership lessons learned from their NAWBO experiences
    • Where they see NAWBO in coming years

    Fireside Chat with NAWBO Co-Founders Denise Cavanaugh and Dottie Gandy
    Moderated by Crystal Arredondo, Past National Chair (2015-2016)

  • 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.


    Lead Question: Who are you and who do you serve?

    Start with intro (Name and Business – 30 or 60 seconds depending on how many there are in the room)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - Women's Business Conference Day 2 - All Times Listed are ET
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  • 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

    Fitness Session

    Camp Gladiator is the leader of outdoor group fitness and now is excited to be bringing to you our live virtual workout programs as well!  With classes led by Certified Personal Trainers, participants of all fitness levels can expect a fun and challenging workout from the comfort of their 尊龙会娱乐下载home, driveway, or back yard.  Be prepared with a yoga mat, dumbbells (if you have them), and water bottle for this workout.  Get ready to sweat with some of the top female Trainers in Camp Gladiator!

    Sponsored by Camp Gladiator

  • 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

    Fireside Chat with Glennon Doyle, Award-winning and Activist
    Moderated by Eva Saha, Professional Presenter and TV Personality

    Remarks from Presenting Sponsor Bank of America

    Jill Calabrese Bain, Internal & Corporate Communications Executive, Bank of America

  • 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

    Dell Cyber Security Workshop: Secure Yourself and Your Data
    *Translated in Spanish and French / Available in Closed Caption

    With so many of us working exclusively from 尊龙会娱乐下载home since the start of COVID-19, cyber security risk has been on the rise and our defenses challenged. Join Matt Papendorf as he looks into the current threat trends in cyber security and the online Wi-Fi landscape. He’ll help you better understand just how the current remote work environment is a breeding ground for hacker activity. He’ll also share five simple steps and practices for you to take now to secure yourself and your data for the future.

    Presented by Matt Papendorf, North American OEM Brand Manager at Dell Security
    and Mona Besleaga, Business Development Manager, Strategic Partnerships

  • 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

    Workshop 2: Assessing the Financial Impact of Strategic Decisions in Uncertain Times

    Learn the importance of aggressive cash flow management in a challenging business environment in this interactive session. We’ll address how to assess the financial health of your business and how to evaluate the effects of an external shock like a global pandemic on your business. Using scenarios, we’ll also evaluate different funding options, revenue streams and other potential pivots your business could pursue and weigh the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, we’ll leave you with an understanding of how to account for uncertainty in challenging times, and the importance of using financial metrics to steer your business to new opportunities and/or a “new normal.”

    Presented by Dr. Richard Bliss, Professor of Finance, Babson Collefe and National Academic Director of Goldman Sachs10,000 Small Businesses 
    and Edward Byrne, National Deputy Director for Goldman Sachs10,000 Small Businesses

    Sponsored by Goldman Sachs10,000 Small Businesses

  • 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 1: Financing for Now and the Future

    More than ever, accesssing capital is critical for the success of your business.  In this session, a panel of leaders will discuss the current small business lending environment.

    Sponsored by Bank of America

    Moderated by Jill Calabrese Bain, Internal & Corporate Communications Executive, Bank of America

    Sharon Miller, Managing Director, Head of Small Business, Bank of America
    Karen Harrison, SVP, National SBA Executive, Bank of America

  • 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 2: Shifting Your Marketing Strategy Post-COVID
    *Translated in Spanish and French / Available in Closed Caption

    In times of change, like we’re facing now, it’s imperative that you not only adapt, but also are proactive in addressing challenges. COVID-19 has created the need for many organizations to shift how they market their products and services. If this is the case for your business, you’ll need to think about how to market now and in the future as economic shifts continue. This practical, workshop-style session focuses on the foundation of marketing strategy and how you can use it to make educated decisions in times of change.

    Key takeaways:

    • The marketing lifecycle model
    • What things you should be doing now to set you up for the short- and long-term
    • What you need to think about for the future

    Presented by Jenn Lisak Golding, Founder and CEO at Sapphire Strategy

  • 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 3: The Power of Storytelling

    Stories are one of the most powerful tools you can use to inspire trust and connect with your audience. In this skill-building breakout, former opera singer turned entrepreneur and public speaking expert Allison Shapira shows you how to find, craft, and tell personal and professional stories. This program is highly interactive, engaging, and practical. Participants will leave the program inspired by each others’ stories and excited to use their own stories – in their business or in their community.

    Key Take-Aways:

    • Discover your own personal and professional stories
    • Learn to craft and tell a compelling story
    • Understand how to use stories in your next meeting, pitch, or presentation

    Presented by Allison Shapira, Founder and CEO of Global Public Speaking

    Download Session Worksheet - CLICK HERE

  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

    Happy Hour Celebration

    Join NAWBO Nation to celebrate your brave! This fun, engaging and inspiring event features esteemed vintner Sharon Harris, owner of RARECAT Wines, and NAWBO member Kelly Scanlon, owner of Rare Fermentations, leading you through a journey of sparkling wines, including:

    • The difference between Champagne and sparkling
    • How Champagne is made
    • Why Champagne has historically been associated with celebrations and how women in Champagne have played an important role in its history

    Then we’ll rotate through several breakout rooms where you’ll get a chance to network with different groups of NAWBO members and share something you are celebrating! We’ll end the session with a celebratory toast to all our “brave” accomplishments!

    Presented by Sharon Harris, Owner and Director of winemaking, RARECAT Wines

    and Kelly Scanlon, business owner, publisher, podcast host, past National NAWBO Chair and NAWBO Institute Board Director

  • 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

    Networking and Matchmaking

    Lead Question: What is YOUR Brave?

    Start with intro (Name and Business – 30 or 60 seconds depending on how many there are in the room)

  • 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    EXPO: Virtual Exhibit Hall

Wednesday, September 23 - Women's Business Conference Day 3 - All Times Listed are ET
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  • 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

    Fitness Session

    Camp Gladiator is the leader of outdoor group fitness and now is excited to be bringing to you our live virtual workout programs as well!  With classes led by Certified Personal Trainers, participants of all fitness levels can expect a fun and challenging workout from the comfort of their 尊龙会娱乐下载home, driveway, or back yard.  Be prepared with a yoga mat, dumbbells (if you have them), and water bottle for this workout.  Get ready to sweat with some of the top female Trainers in Camp Gladiator!

    Sponsored by Camp Gladiator

  • 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

    Remarks by Presenting Sponsor Bank of America
    Carol Lee Mitchell, Strategy and Segmentation Executive for Small Business at Bank of America

    General Session Panel Discussion: The Brave World of Leading Ladies
    *Translated in Spanish and French / Available in Closed Caption

    One is an accomplished tech executive with a platform for helping other female entrepreneurs and funneling her company’s success back to nonprofits. Another is an entrepreneur, organizational psychologist and CEO of organizations dedicated to the teaching, instruction and development of leadership competencies primarily focused on women. Another left corporate America to launch what’s become the best-selling frozen pizza and fastest growing pizza brand in the U.S. in just a few years. And yet another is an innovation strategist, serial app entrepreneur and podcaster with a background in brand development. While these leading ladies of business have all blazed their own unique trails, they have something in common: their bravery. Hear the obstacles they overcame, the risks they took, the failures they learned from, the wins and what’s next as we ask them, “What’s Your Brave?”

    Moderated by Najuma Atkinson, Senior Vice President for Customer Advocacy, Data Insights and Analytics

    Gail Becker, Founder & CEO, Caulipower
    Usha Boddapu, CEO of ESOLVIT, Inc.
    Dr. Yasmin Davidds, CEO of the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation, Women's Institute of Negotiation
    Amanda Spann, Founder of The App Accelerator

    Sponsored by Dell

  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

    Breakout 1: Is Certification the Edge Your Business Needs?

    Businesses can use every edge to succeed right now, but is certification the one your business needs? Do I really need it? Is it worth the effort? Will it really open doors to new opportunities? Also, which certifying organization is right for me? Experts on this supplier diversity panel—representing UPS, Verizon, and WBENC as well as women business owners on both sides of the certification conversation—will address these questions and more!
    Key takeaways:

    • Advantages of being certified as a woman business owner
    • Different certifying organizations and what they can offer you
    • Why certification is important and valuable to corporations 
    • How to determine if it’s right for your business

    Moderated by Kris Oswold, Vice President, Global Procurement - Supplier Diversity at UPS

    Angela DePaoli, President & CEO, Bargas Environmental Consulting
    Ana Fernandez-Parmet, President & CEO, Parmetech, Inc
    Sandra Nielsen, Head Supplier Diversity, Verizon
    Jill Sasso, Vice President of Human Resources, Governance and Programs, WBENC

    Sponsored by UPS and Verizon

  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

    Workshop 2: Leveraging Technology to Ensure Business Agility & Digitally Transform Your Business With Dell and Microsoft

    Leveraging technology to ensure business agility is important in any environment, but in today’s world of COVID-19 where it’s your main or only way to collaborate with employees and customers, it’s truly imperative. In fact, you have the opportunity to digitally transform your business now to position yourself for the future. In this session, you’ll learn about tools—from Windows 10 Pro to Microsoft 365 Business, that will help you do it.

    Key takeaways:

    • Modern workplace solutions and collaboration technologies
    • Windows 10 Pro
    • Microsoft 365 Business

    Presented by Alykhan Hirani, Sr. Channel Sales Executive MNA Microsoft

    Sponsored by Dell Technologies

  • 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.

    Breakout 1: Power of Inclusion

    Differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality are often used to reinforce power imbalances, but what would happen if we were able to use our diversity to create new, more inclusive power structures?  Deanna Singh will take the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion conversation from theory to action. As a woman of color with executive leadership roles across many different sectors, she has first-hand experience with how to help individuals and organizations move their efforts forward. She uses the art of storytelling to illustrate the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work and provides real tools to implement strategies that will help shift organizational culture.

    Presented by Deanna Singh, Founder and Chief Change Agent at Flying Elephant

    Remarks by Carolyn Rodz, Founder and CEO at Hello Alice

    Sponsored by Hello Alice

  • 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.

    Breakout 2: Assessing and Minimizing Employment Risk in a Post-Pandemic World

    COVID-19 has impacted the American (and global) workforce in ways that we've not yet fully realized. As businesses manage this new legal landscape, they are having to reinvent and reimagine the way they’ve worked with their employees to maximize efficiency and minimize risk. This presentation will focus on how the workplace has changed due to COVID-19, what changes are likely to stick around, and what are some of the best practices to minimize risk that have emerged as the American workforce went back to work. 

    Presented by Catherine Burgett, Labor and Employment Member at Frost Brown Todd

    Sponsored by Frost Brown Todd

  • 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.

    Breakout 3: WBOs and Working Adults with Kids Face a Whole New Level of Challenge This Fall

    Running or contributing to a business during this time of COVID-19 is challenging enough. But for women business owners and working adults with kids, this fall will add a whole new level of challenge as they try to successfully navigate their work while supporting their kids’ online education or providing childcare for their youngest. There’s no road map. In fact, studies show these new responsibilities are falling disproportionally on women, and many are being forced to leave the workplace as a result. During this session, education, childcare and employment/HR experts will address and offer solutions to these challenges of working parents as well as to the concerns of business owners with employees who no longer have the same time to commit, are concerned over the risk of returning to an office environment or are considering leaving their jobs for better pay.

    Vikita Poindexter, CEO, Poindexter Consulting Group, LLC
    Linda Smith, Director Early Childhood Policy, The Bipartisan Policy Center
    Delana Hill, Director of Curriculum, Seaside Charter Schools
    Anne Pazier, Owner Santa Barbara Gift Baskets

  • 5:30 - 6:15 p.m.

    Panel Discussion with Women Business Owner of the Year Finalists

    Sit down with the three amazing finalists for this year’s Woman Business Owner of the Year Award before we announce the top winner. They’ll share their business success stories, unique challenges they’re facing right now and how they’re rising above those and what’s next as they look to come out of this current business environment stronger than ever before.

    Nooshin Behroyan, Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services
    Rebecca Fyffe, CEO, Landmark Pest Management
    Ranee Cress Wright, President, Drillmax

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

    Presented by Bank of America

  • 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

    Inspiration and Reflection with Dr. Berry

    Annual Awards Gala 

    • Dr. Tererai Trent Award - Tammy Renee Butler
    • Susan Hager Legacy Award - Phyllis Hill Slater
    • Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award - Edie Fraser
    • Woman Business Owner of the Year presented by Jill Calabrese Bain, Bank of America

    Fireside Chat with Susan Hager and Gillian Rudd Awardees
    Moderated by Jacqueline Hayes, NAWBO National Board of Directors
    Presentation by Tanya Hill, NAWBO National Board of Directors

    Living Room Acoustic Session with National Blues, Rock and R&B Recording Artist Jackie Venson

Thursday, September 24 - Extended Learning Sessions - All Times Listed are ET
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  • 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.


    Lead Question: Share your main takeaways from day one.

    Start with intro (Name and Business – 30 or 60 seconds depending on how many there are in the room)

  • 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.

    EXPO in Virtual Exhibit Hall

  • 12:00 - 12:45 p.m.

    Ready to Go Live? On-Camera Makeup Tips From a Pro

    Before you hop on your next video conference, make sure you’re looking and feeling your best with these on-camera tips. Professional make-up artist Cathi Singh will walk you through the entire virtual set-up process, including finding your light, watching those angles and choosing your background. She’ll share favorite products from her own make-up kit and tell you what products to avoid on camera, too. Flattering hairstyles, options for false lashes and blotting sheets and powder—she’ll cover all this and more in this fun session!

    Presented by Cathi Singh, Owner LemonPenny Productions 

  • 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 1: Strategic Planning: Refocus, Reset, or Pivot?

    Strategic planning often gets a bad reputation as being extraneous, complicated and dare I say… boring. Olalah will share a few of her trade secrets to ensure your strategic planning efforts spark dynamic thinking and create traction in days – not months. Olalah will challenge you to think “beyond the horizon” to determine when it’s time to refocus, reset or do a full pivot in order to maintain your industry relevance. Delivered in her signature fast-paced, buckle up and hold on style, Olalah will show you how to:

    • identify high-impact areas of your business
    • explore and execute what’s possible
    • make your business more recession proof
    • achieve strategy excellence

    Presented by Olalah Njenga, CEO YellowWood Group

  • 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout Session 2: Recreating Your Executive Presence at 尊龙会娱乐下载home

    In today’s remote work environment, we’re missing the affluence of executive offices, name placards and reserved parking spots. Honor and release those feelings, and get ready to recreate your executive presence at 尊龙会娱乐下载home with help from this interior design coach to top executives. Gain the confidence, design fundamentals and pro tips you need to recreate any space—from your 尊龙会娱乐下载home office to your living room—so that it’s the perfect reflection of you. 

    The importance of space as a reflection of who you are
    • How environment—colors, lighting, patterns and textures—influences your mood and ability to bring your best self to the table
    • The 3 Ps (paint, pillows and plants) in quickly recreating any space
    • The New Executive Office" design guide- quick tips for the virtual meeting to bridge your Work + 尊龙会娱乐下载home space.

    Presented by Monica Viramontes, Founder of Evolving by Design

  • 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    Mixology:  A Spirited Session with Tim Laird, America’s C.E.O. - Chief Entertaining Officer

    Tim will be shaking things up and sharing the history of distilling, cocktails, and trends along with ideas on how to make cocktails at 尊龙会娱乐下载home and easy entertaining. He will explain how it was Alcohol, not Tea, that caused the American Revolution. You will learn the best techniques in making cocktails and find out if James Bond was correct when he ordered his cocktail, “Shaken not stirred.” Tim will show the basics of setting up a 尊龙会娱乐下载home bar and the latest trends in spirits, cocktails, and garnishes. He created a signature cocktail just for NAWBO, the NAWBO Breeze, and will demonstrate how to make it at 尊龙会娱乐下载home. Finally, Tim takes the intimidation out of 尊龙会娱乐下载home entertaining and offers valuable tips to make it easy and fun for your guests and for you as the host.

    Presented by Tim Laird, America's Chief Entertaining Officer

Tuesday, September 29 - Extended Learning Sessions - All Times Listed are ET
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  • 12:00 - 12:45 p.m.

    Breakout 1: Making the Best of 2020: Protecting Your Business in a World of Uncertainty     

    2020 turned the world—and your business—on its head. In the midst of the chaos, employers are navigating the ever-changing tides in the law and surges in the pandemic. Join this session for a discussion on the latest laws and trends that you need to know to protect your business and move forward safely.  We will discuss the new legal challenges employers are facing and the practical implications of managing employees in this extraordinary time.

    Presented by Anne Duprey, Labor and Employment Member at Frost Brown Todd

    Sponsored by Frost Brown Todd

  • 2:00 - 2:45 p.m.

    Breakout 2: Beyond Our Borders: COVID-19's Impact on Our International Sisters
    *Translated in Spanish and French / Available in Closed Caption

    With so many countries having enacted quarantine and travel restrictions since the start of COVID-19, it’s not just U.S. women-owned businesses that are feeling the deep and sustained impact. This session features several of our international entrepreneurial sisters sharing how the pandemic has uniquely impacted their countries, businesses and families, and how they’re adapting to survive and ultimately thrive again.

    Key takeaways:
    • The pandemic’s impact on international countries, businesses and WBOs 
    • How different governments are responding and how it’s making a difference
    • How international WBOs are adapting to run and grow their businesses in this new norm

    Moderated by Crystal Arredondo and Teresa Meares


  • 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 3: Health is Wealth for Entrepreneurs

    As a woman entrepreneur, your business is only as good as you are. It’s more important than ever to optimize your health so that you’re in a mindset to lead your company through these times, and times to come. Don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing your health while striving for success and achievement. There’s a better way! This session will feature Kristel Bauer PA-C sharing tools and mind/body techniques you can use to manage stress and have the energy and focus you need to optimize your performance.

    Presented by Kristel Bauer PA-C, Founder of Live Greatly

  • 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.

    EXPO: Virtual Exhibit Hall

  • 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.

    Networking and Matchmaking

    Lead Question: Share the #1 thing you love about being a WBO

    Start with intro (Name and Business – 30 or 60 seconds depending on how many there are in the room)

Thursday, October 1 - Extended Learning Sessions - All Times Listed are EST
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  • 12:00 - 12:45 p.m.

    Breakout 1: Instagram Stories School - Get Ready to Maximize Your Engagement

    Instagram Stories—the social feature where you post photos and videos and they disappear after just 24 hours—is a great way for businesses of all sizes and sectors to improve their content, visibility and engagement as part of their marketing strategy. Never used it before, but eager to learn? This hands-on workshop will walk you through everything you need to know and do to get started! Just be sure to download the Instagram app on your phone before joining!

    Presented by Elise Fuller, SMB Community Engagement Coordinator at Facebook Small Business NYC

    Sponsored by Facebook/Instagram

  • 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 2: How to Become a Virtual Rockstar Presenter Today – Online and Live
    *Translated in Spanish and French / Available in Closed Caption

    Before Covid 19, it was already challenging to capture and keep an audience’s attention because of cellphones and social media. Now, with nearly every meeting shifted to an online format, and in-person often requiring masks, your success as a presenter and business owner depends on a combination of fresh, new approaches and timeless, proven techniques. In this ultra-practical, upbeat message from veteran speaking coach Anne B. Freedman, you’ll get immediately applicable ideas and examples you can begin using right away no matter who’s in your meeting, what your goals, or what experience you bring. Use this session to help you expand your social media presence and more!  Plus, enjoy a take-away worksheet to get you started on your next presentation with more confidence and clarity.

    Presented by Anne B. Freedman, CEO of Speakout, Inc.

  • 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

    Breakout 3: Assistance for Business Owners During the Pandemic -- Opportunities and Tax Implications

    From making payroll to paying rent – small businesses across the country have been struggling with major economic challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. Hear from an H&R Block tax expert on what relief remains available, and what the tax implications are if your business receives a grant, loan or other assistance. Dealing with applications and understanding the tax consequences may seem daunting, so we’re here to help get your questions answered.

    Presented by
    Kevin Martin, J.D. LL.M., Principal Tax Research Analyst at The Tax Institute (TTI), an independent tax research organization within H&R Block
    Jessica Thomas, Tax Research Coordinator and Analyst at The Tax Institute (TTI), an independent tax research organization within H&R Block

    Sponsored by H&R Block

  • 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.

    EXPO: Virtual Exhibit Hall

  • 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.


    Lead Question: What is your action item, what will you implement as you exit this conference?

    Start with intro (Name and Business – 30 or 60 seconds depending on how many there are in the room)


2020 WBC -  Speakers

Crystal Arredondo

Parnter, MPACT Financial Group

Crystal 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.

Najuma Atkinson

Senior Vice President, Customer Advocacy, Data Insights, and Analytics

Najuma is Dell’s senior vice president for customer advocacy, data insights and analytics. She is an executive leader with more than 20 years of experience leading global organizations. Throughout her career, Najuma has consistently created and implemented strategies to drive innovation and strengthen leadership diversity, and she has used her results-driven analytical mind to enhance and improve the customer and team member experience. She is a founding member and current executive sponsor of Dell’s Black Network Alliance and GenNext Employee Resource Groups, as well as a member of Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN).

Jill Calabrese Bain

Internal & Corporate Communications and Global Human Resources, Finance and Global Risk Management at Bank of America

Jill is a Managing Director and Internal & Corporate Communications Executive for the Global Human Resources, Finance and Global Risk Management teams at Bank of America. Jill joined Bank of America in 1992 and has been in the financial services industry for 28 years. Prior to her current role, Jill served in numerous leadership positions within Small Business, responsible for delivering banking, credit and payment solutions to small business clients across the country.  Jill is the co-chair of Bank of America’s Domestic Violence Taskforce. She also serves on the advisory board of the National Association of Women Business Owners and serves as President of the Board of Directors of Susan G. Komen New England.

Kristel Bauer PA-C

Founder of Live Greatly

Kristel is a female entrepreneur in wellness with an extensive healthcare background, a keynote speaker and a podcast host striving to inspire people to optimize their health and attain a mindset for success. As an integrative medicine fellow, physician assistant and Reiki master, Kristel founded Live Greatly to share her findings on how to achieve optimal health in mind, body and spirit and attain success. Kristel empowers her audience to overcome their fears and live life from a place of joy, self-love and success. 

Gail Becker

Founder & CEO, Caulipower

Gail’s career has spanned the media, politics and business during which she has held executive roles at Warner Bros., Edelman and the US Department of Health & Human Services. But as a mom of two boys with celiac disease, Gail was not happy with what the industry was offering. Knowing she couldn’t be alone in her search for healthier alternatives to delicious comfort foods, she left her job and launched CAULIPOWER. In just three years, CAULIPOWER has become the #8 best-selling frozen pizza and fastest growing pizza brand in the United States. 

Nooshin Behroyan

Founder and CEO, Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services

Nooshin is founder and CEO of Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services. In less than three years, she has grown the company into America’s 9th fastest growing and a leading woman-owned consulting management firms heavily focused on improving critical infrastructures in the oil, gas and utilities industries. The company’s focus is on energy- innovative approaches that emphasize technologies for energy-efficient solutions. Paxon has become a trendsetter and game changer in the oil and gas industry and has been recognized with over 100 awards as a result, including the Energy Innovator Award by Corporate Visions as the Best-Woman Run Oil & Gas Services Firm in the USA. 

Dr. Bertice Berry

Entertainer, Lecturer and Comedienne

Bertice is an award-winning entertainer, lecturer and comedienne. She was host and co-executive producer of her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Bertice Berry Show,” as well as host of the interview and entertainment show, “USA Live.” She’s appeared on numerous other television programs, including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Bertice is also a bestselling of several books, including her inspirational memoir, I’m On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head, and her latest book about her personal journey of healing and wellness, A Year to Wellness and Other Weight Loss Secrets. 

Richard Bliss

National Academic Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Richard is a professor of finance at Babson College and the National Academic Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. He is part of the team that designed the curriculum and trained the faculty and staff at program delivery sites across the country and served as the Babson Launch Faculty for LaGuardia Community College, City Colleges of Chicago, Community College of Philadelphia, Detroit (Wayne State University, Macomb County Community College and Oakland County Community College) and Community College of Rhode Island. Richard has a PhD in Finance.



Usha Boddapu

Founder & CEO of ESOLVIT, Inc.

Usha is a national award winner with 23-plus years of experience in the tech industry.  She is founder and CEO of ESOLVIT, Inc., an IT solutions company, and president and chief AI scientist at ARYTIC, Inc., an artificial intelligence predictive hiring platform. In both roles, she applies her entrepreneurial mettle and technology expertise to the task of providing information technology services and solutions to clients nationwide. She is an accomplished tech executive and with ESOLVIT, she has a platform for helping other female entrepreneurs and for funneling some of her company’s success back to nonprofits. 


Catherine Burgett

Managing Associate at Frost Brown Todd

Catherine is a member in Frost Brown Todd’s Columbus office where her practice focuses on the representation of both public and private employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including traditional labor work, employment litigation, breach of contract and advising employers on a daily basis regarding employment issues. She represents a wide variety of small, mid-size and large employers in the health care, manufacturing, logistics, technology, food service, construction, retail and customer service industries, as well as several public sector entities in Ohio and surrounding states. She is a regular speaker on labor and employment and human resources topics.

Tammy Renee Butler

Managing Principal, Engaging Solutions

Tammy is a proven leader with a background in housing and community development, expertise in public finance and management and a deep commitment to improving communities and the lives of women. As managing principal with Engaging Solutions, she has successfully managed the company’s call center business and co-managed the firm’s planning and community outreach sector . Prior to that, Tammy spent over a decade in State government as a fiscal analyst for the Indiana House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee; assistant director of the Indiana State Budget Agency; director of claims management for the Family and Social Services Agency; and data director for the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning.

Edward Byrne

National Deputy Director at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Edward is national deputy director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the program nationally. In his role, he is responsible for the alumni program, measurement and evaluation, and oversees the delivery of the program across the 16 sites. Edward joined the program in 2016 as alumni manager for the national blended cohorts at Babson and later became the national alumni director, overseeing the programming for then more than 7,000 alumni of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses across all 50 states and U.S. territories. He is the son of two small business owners.

Denise Cavanaugh

Past NAWBO National Chair 1980-1981

Denise met Dottie Cook in Washington, DC in 1973 and started Cook/Cavanaugh Associates—expanding the services of Dottie’s firm, Job Market. She retired from in the fall of 2018. CHPM continues to provide management counsel, strategic planning and leadership support to staff and boards of wide range of professional associations and non-profit organizations serving a variety of local, national and international constituencies. Denise served as NAWBO National Chair in 1980-1981.

Dr. Yasmin Davidds

CEO of the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation

Yasmin is an entrepreneur, organizational psychologist and CEO of the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation, Women’s Institute of Negotiation and Dr. Yasmin Davidds Leadership Institute, organizations dedicated to the teaching, instruction and development of leadership competencies primarily focused on women. Her commitment to the empowerment and development of all women leaders has brought her recognition and acclaim from the U.S. Congress and California State Senate and Assembly. She has been recognized as an influential and leading Latina by Hispanic Magazine and in “The Book of Latina Women.”

Angela DePaoli

Founder, Bargas Environmental Consulting

Inspired by her grandfather, the Bargas namesake, Angela founded Bargas Environmental Consulting in 2012 in Sacramento, California. Under her leadership, the company expanded to include three additional offices in Pasadena, Redlands and Orange California. Angela brings her experience in managing complex projects to guide timely innovative solutions for Bargas clients. She helps project developers, public agencies, private clients, elected officials, construction contractors, sub-consultants and project teams find balance between quality development and environmental concerns. Angela serves as Immediate Past President of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of NAWBO.

Anne Duprey

Employment & Labor Member at Frost Brown Todd

Anne (“Annee”) is a member in Frost Brown Todd’s Columbus office who focuses her practice on the representation of employers in a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters, including employment litigation, traditional labor work and advising employers on day-to-day personnel issues. She has represented a wide variety of small, mid-size and large employers, including those in the manufacturing, logistics, technology, food service, construction, retail, health care and customer service industries, as well as several Ohio municipalities. She is a regular speaker on labor and employment trends, discrimination and harassment issues and best employment a regular speaker on labor and employment trends, discrimination and harassment issues, and best employment practices.  

Ana Fernandez-Parmet

President & CEO, Parmetech, Inc.

Ana, a first generation Cuban American, is president/CEO of Parmetech, Inc. She and her husband, Mike Parmet, co-founded Parmetech in 1991 by selling re-manufactured toner cartridges for laser printers, and later expanded to provide break-fix service. Parmetech is a certified woman-owned (WBENC certified) and minority-owned enterprise that has successfully evolved into a full-service consulting firm and a leading regional document management solutions provider. The firm has received top awards for customer service and sales. Ana has also received many honors, including Enterprising Women magazine’s 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year award. She serves on the board of NAWBO-Philadelphia.

Linda Forman

Founder, Linda Forman CPA, P.C.

Linda is president of a tax and consulting practice in Skokie, Illinois. Linda is a past U. S. Small Business Administration Accounting Advocate Award Winner and a past vice president and board member of the Illinois CPA Society . She is called on as a media expert by the Society for appearances and articles. With NAWBO and other advocacy groups, Linda has spent the last three decades lobbying for the rights of small business and health care issues, both locally and in Springfield and Washington. As a past executive board member of NAWBO, she was a founding member of its advisory board, a group providing strategic perspectives for members’ business and marketing issues.

Edie Fraser

CEO, Women Business Collaborative

Edie is CEO of Women Business Collaborative (WBC), with a powerful vision: equal position, pay and power for all businesswomen . WBC engages businesswomen’s organization partners and stakeholders to accelerate the advancement of businesswomen. She spent 14 years as MD, Diversified Search and Founder and CEO of STEMconnector and Million Women Mentors, with 2.5 million commitments to mentor . Edie has won 57 major leadership awards and served on boards, including chairman of the World Affairs Council of D .C . and founding member of C200 . Edie was active in NAWBO since its inception and was one of the first presidents of NAWBO-Greater DC.

Anne Freedman

Founder & President of Speakout, Inc.

Founder and CEO of Speakout, Inc., (  Anne is an internationally-recognized presentation coach and communication consultant. She works with top community and business leaders, and teams, to improve performance and presence during online and live meetings, client interactions and speaking engagements. She’s of Public Speaking for the Genius and a collection of eLearning resources. Past president of Miami NAWBO, Anne serves on the NAWBO International Task Force, and is active in numerous other business and civic groups.

Elise Fuller

SMB Community Engagement Coordinator, Facebook Small Business

Elise is a SMB community engagement coordinator on the Facebook Small Business team in New York City. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and even ran her own handmade jewelry business throughout middle and high school. Through her experience as a small business owner, Elise learned to appreciate the time and dedication it takes to run a business. She is excited to show other entrepreneurs how they can use Facebook and Instagram to grow and enhance their online presence while making it easier to market to their target audience.

Rebecca Fyffe

CEO & Director of Research, Landmark Pest Management

Rebecca is CEO and director of research of Landmark Pest Management as well as a subject matter expert on policies and programs designed to enable women and minorities to capture a representative share of economic opportunities in corporate and government procurement and contracting. She served as chair of the Chicago Transit ity’s DBE Advisory Committee, and has testified in numerous disparity studies . Before becoming an entrepreneur, Rebecca served as a staff member on the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women in Illinois. Her personal commitment to creating opportunity for women and girls includes a successful job training program and a scholarship for women in STEM.

Dottie Gandy

NAWBO Co-Founder

Dottie is a powerful and transformative speaker, dedicated to inspiring the world to say, “Why Not!” instead of “Why Me?” She shows us that challenging life circumstances are not dead ends but, rather, opportunities to say yes to life. Her career spans 40-plus years as a corporate executive, business owner, and speaker. Her proudest moments include co-founding NAWBO and being in the crowd when Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Jenn Lisak Golding

President & CEO of Sapphire Strategy

Jenn is President and CEO of Sapphire Strategy, an all-female digital marketing agency that blends rich data with experienced-back intuition to optimize marketing performance for technology companies, professional services businesses and nonprofits. An award-winning strategist, Jenn developed the Sapphire Lifecycle Model: an evidence-based audit tool and blueprint for high-performing marketing investments. She was the youngest member of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class in 2017. In her spare time, Jenn is a Mary Kay consultant. She’s also passionate about giving back to the community, specifically focusing on women and girls.


Karen Harrison

Senior Vice President, National SBA executive at 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. A 25-year banking veteran, Karen has held senior executive management positions at leading financial institutions prior to joining Bank of America in 2011.

Cristina Morales Heaney

Chair, NAWBO National Board of Directors

Cristina Morales Heaney brings more than ten years’ experience in the corporate and nonprofit development fields to her role as U.S. Safety Services’ CEO. In 2005 she rebranded U.S. Safety Services and has since shaped the company into a leading provider of temporary medical staffing throughout Central and South Texas. Under Morales Heaney’s leadership, U.S. Safety Services has become the provider for the largest sports and entertainment center in San Antonio and provides temporary medical staffing for the majority of community sports, entertainment and conference facilities in the San Antonio area.  Cristina currently serves as the Chair of the NAWBO National Board of Directors.

Delana Hill

Director of Curriculum, Seaside Charter Schools

Delana is director of curriculum for Seaside Charter Schools, a Waldorf-inspired charter school serving nearly 1,000 students within the Duval County Florida School System in Jacksonville, Florida . Seaside is the largest Waldorf-inspired Public Charter in the U .S . She is responsible for merging Seaside’s Waldorf-Inspired philosophy with a standards-based curriculum, along with building out teacher training initiatives, to create equitable outcomes for all students . Delana has 10 years teaching experience in Public Waldorf schools, grades 1-8 . She has also served as a teacher coach, summer school principal, director of instruction and director of special education.

Alykhan Hirani

Sr. Channel Sales Executive, MNA Microsoft

Alykhan is Sr. channel sales executive with MNA Microsoft. He is a dynamic, mid-level business leader with extensive P&L management, business development and account planning expertise. He’s demonstrated a track record of creating processes and partnerships that deliver desired results in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment . Alykhan also has a strong entrepreneurial spirit with a proven domestic and international track record.

Val Jones

Small Business Leader, Wells Fargo

Val runs the small business customer segment strategy for Wells Fargo retail banking in Texas . As a 19-year banking veteran, Val has focused her time and energy on providing information, resources and tools to help small business owners feel empowered and knowledgeable about their finances. Val also serves on the National Advisory Council for NAWBO.

Sharon Harris Kazan

Owner and Director of Winemaking, RARECAT Wines

Sharon is sole owner and director of winemaking for RARECAT Wines, overseeing all aspects of wine production in Napa, Bordeaux and Champagne. While promoting RARECAT, her greatest passion is empowering women. She uses wine as a tool to bring together thousands of executives to connect with their stakeholders. Innovation and creativity come easily to her and thinking outside of the norm has helped her carve out a successful niche. She is proud to be the only American vintner producing estate wines in Champagne and Bordeaux. Worth magazine also recognized Sharon as one of 29 Most Groundbreaking Women Changing the World in 2019.

Tim Laird

America’s CEO (Chief Entertaining Officer)

Tim is America’s CEO (Chief Entertaining Officer). He is an ity on wines and spirits with more than 25 years experience in the hospitality industry. He is also a gourmet chef and a master at entertaining and execution. He makes hundreds of appearances a year on radio and television programs as well as hosts the weekly Kentucky television show Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs. He is a featured columnist for Louisville’s Food & Dining Magazine and of the books, That’s Entertaining! Cocktails and Appetizers and the recently released The Bourbon Country Cookbook

Nancy LeaMond

Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer

As AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, Nancy leads government relations and campaigns for AARP, widely seen as one of the most powerful advocacy organizations in the country. She also oversees AARP’s public education and outreach initiatives designed to help Americans take charge of their health and better plan, work and save for retirement. In addition to leading efforts to update Social Security and advocating for other retirement savings initiatives, Nancy’s team of 700 staff and 18,0000 volunteers produce and deliver unbiased tools and information to help people make effective financial decisions.


Kevin Martin, J.D., LL.M.

Principal Tax Research Analyst, The Tax Institute

Kevin is a principal tax research analyst at The Tax Institute (TTI), an independent tax research organization within H&R Block. He began with TTI in 2010, and during this time, he’s presented on many tax topics, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and to various groups, including the National Conference of State Legislators. He received his J.D. from the University of Kansas and his LL.M. in taxation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Sharon Miller

Managing Director, Head of Small Business, Bank of America

Sharon Miller is the head of Small Business at Bank of America and serves as member of the company’s Management Operating Committee. Her team is responsible for providing over 12 million business owner clients a full range of financial products and services.

Carol Lee Mitchell

Strategy and Segmentation Executive for Small Business, Bank of America

Carol Lee is Bank of America’s strategy and segmentation executive for Small Business. She is responsible for leading strategic efforts designed to grow the enterprise business at large and is responsible for strategic planning, process design, technology and end-to-end client engagement. Carol Lee joined Bank of America with more than 23 years of experience in global payments and technology, including MasterCard where she spent 14 years in the global payments arena addressing a variety of product, technology and innovation related opportunities. At MasterCard, she led the growth of the Bank of America business globally across consumer, commercial, digital and innovation.


Sandra Nielsen

Head Supplier Diversity, Verizon

Sandra heads Verizon’s Supplier Diversity Program. She has over 20 years of experience with Verizon and has held multiple strategic leadership roles in the areas of sourcing, customer service, marketing and sales.  Sandra attended Farleigh Dickinson University and successfully completed the Wharton Business School Executive Leadership Program. She resides in Long Valley, New Jersey with her husband Robert and son Dylan. 

Olalah Njenga

CEO of YellowWood Group

Olalah is CEO of YellowWood Group. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, accomplished business strategist and advocate for the small business economy. Olalah’s public sector roles include the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association and the Leadership Council for the National Federation of Independent Business of North Carolina. She holds a governor-appointed seat as the Commissioner of Small Business on the NCWorks Commission representing the commerce and workforce interests of 900,000 North Carolina business owners. Olalah served as 2019-2020 president of NAWBO-Greater Raleigh.

Marie-Christine Oghly

World President of Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises

Marie-Christine is world president of Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises (FCEM). She previously served as FCEM’s general secretary and vice president. Additionally, Marie-Christine is president of the Commission of Education, Training and Competences at MEDEF, a board member of APAVE, vice president of the WBAF Global Women Leaders Committee and a WBAF faculty member. She was chevalier of Legion d’Honneur, officer of National Order of Mérite, vice president of AFNET and treasurer and interim chairperson of Astech Cluster, among other roles. Marie-Christine has owned and led such companies as Fluid Dynamics International, Flowmaster France and EnginSoft France.

Kris Oswold

Vice President, Global Procurement & Supplier Diversity at UPS

Kris is a leader in global business process design and organizational transformation. With 30 years at UPS, she has built a career designing and executing global organizational change. As the Vice President leading Supplier Diversity at UPS, Kris brings a process-centric, and data-driven, perspective to the role.  Under her leadership, UPS has more than doubled its spend with small and diverse businesses, and broadened its engagement and collaboration across the UPS enterprise. Kris is a member of the board of directors of WEConnect International, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Georgia Minority Supplier Diversity Council and NMSDC Business Consortium Fund.



Matt Papendorf

North American OEM Brand Manager at Dell Security

Matthew has been the North America OEM brand manager for Dell Security for the past 5 years. Partnering with the internal product management teams, he has established a winning track record for improving knowledge and sales of endpoint security at Dell. His role encompasses everything from online media/advertising, print, social media and sales marketing to analyzing regional OEM security sales performance and making tactical recommendations on levers that drive brand awareness, product knowledge and momentum for OEM security partners. He also develops and implements sales events throughout North America.


Anne Pazier

Owner, Santa Barbara Gift Baskets

Anne is owner of Santa Barbara Gift Baskets. After leaving a long career in corporate sales to start her family, she took her experience with client gifting and paired it with her passion for gourmet foods and wines to launch her business 15 years ago. She started it with her husband Todd inside their garage. She now operates out of a 3,000 square-foot retail, production and wine-bar space where her shelves showcase high-quality goods, most of them made by local women-owned businesses. When she is not in her shop, Anne can be found giving back to her community.

Vikita Poindexter

CEO of Poindexter Consulting Group, LLC

Vikita is CEO of Poindexter Consulting Group, LLC. She has been known throughout her 30-plus year career as the consummate professional and go-to person for human resources. Her extensive knowledge of HR includes, but is not limited to, budget preparation, cost analysis, EEOC compliance, recruiting, Department of Labor and Standards, Department of Fair Housing, benefit administration, litigation prevention, personnel management, arbitration and contract negotiations for multi-million dollar operations. In addition, Vikita is a sought-after public speaker and serves as an advisor on labor law matters for various media outlets.

Carolyn Rodz

Founder & CEO of Hello Alice

An investment banker turned three-time award-winning Latina entrepreneur, Carolyn serves as founder and CEO of Hello Alice, a smart technology that helps business owners find the right path to start and grow their companies. Carolyn has been recognized as a “17 Women to Watch” by Inc. Magazine, testified before the U.S. Congressional House Small Business Committee and featured in a U.S. Senate report titled, “Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive.” She was selected by Mayor Turner of Houston to co-chair the Women and Minority Small Business Task Force in 2019.

Eva Saha

Professional Emcee, Moderator and 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 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.

Jill Sasso

Vice President, Human Resources, Governance, and Programs for the WBENC

As vice president, human resources, governance and programs for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Jill is responsible for strategic human resource planning and alignment of human resource strategies with the organizational vision and mission. She leads the strategic planning and execution of WBENC programs, driving continuous engagement and value for constituents and stakeholders. Jill also oversees the WBENC Board of Directors governance functions, ensuring a highly effective board with diverse representation and talent. Jill joined WBENC in 2016 after serving on the leadership team of WBE firm, Point 2 Point Global Security, Inc. 


Kelly Scanlon

Co-Founder, Rare Fermentations

Kelly is a business owner, publisher, podcast host, past NAWBO National chair and current NAWBO Institute board director. She owns Interrobang Solutions, a company that provides writing, editing and other professional publishing services for companies. It 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 published and produced a variety of publications, products and events that connected growth-minded business owners with practical strategies, resources and information. She sold Thinking Bigger in March 2018. She then decided to pursue her passion of fine wine and, along with her daughter, founded Rare Fermentations to create awareness of small, boutique wineries that offer high-quality, high-value, hard-to-find wines.

Allison Shapira

Founder & CEO of Global Public Speaking

Allison is an opera singer turned keynote speaker and the founder/CEO of Global Public Speaking, a communication training firm and certified woman-owned small business. She teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School and has spent 16 years developing leadership communication programs for Fortune 50 companies, government agencies and nonprofits.  Through her work with Vital Voices Global Partnership, she helps women leaders grow their business, run for office or launch a nonprofit. Allison is also the of Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others.

Cathi Singh

Owner of LemonPenny Productions

Cathi has been a freelance makeup artist for 12 years, working in Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Diego, California. She specializes in television, print and commercial media as well as in live events, and she has won four NATAS Emmys. With a background in synchronized swimming, Cathi worked with waterproof and theater makeup early on, and then started her career in wardrobe styling and film. Today, she works with entertainment and sports celebrities as well as with major brands—always bringing her positive outlook to every set.

Deanna Singh

Founder & Chief Change Agent at Flying Elephant

Deanna is an accomplished , educator, business leader and champion for marginalized communities. As the founder and chief change agent of Flying Elephant, Deanna consults with individuals and companies that are looking to make a positive difference in the world. She is known for giving clients the tools and courage to imagine, activate and impact the world as agents of change. A social entrepreneur at her core, Deanna is also always at the forefront of social change. She has established and operated multiple social innovations, including the New York City office of LIFT, which helps people find a way out of poverty for good.

Phyllis Hill Slater

President & CEO of Hill Slater Group

For over 40 years, Phyllis served as president and CEO of Hill Slater Group (HSG), a highly successful, third-generation, family-owned engineering and architectural support firm servicing the private and public sectors of engineering, architectural and construction management communities. She currently is a sought-after speaker and provides strategic business consulting and professional development coaching services for the private and public sectors. Phyllis holds several positions as board of director, trustee, founder, co-founder, charter member, honorable member and member of various regional, national and international organizations.  Additionally, she is a devoted and celebrated business advocate.

Linda Smith

Director, Early Childhood Policy, The Bipartisan Policy Center

Linda is director, early childhood policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that promotes bipartisanship and actively works to find consensus and common ground on key challenges facing the nation. She is former deputy assistant secretary of early childhood development for the Administration for Children & Families at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. In this role, she led policy efforts and coordination of agency priorities for children from birth to 5 years old and served as liaison to federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Defense and Department of Agriculture.

Amanda Spann

Founder, The App Accelerator

Amanda is an innovation strategist, serial app entrepreneur and podcaster with a background in brand development who has a professional focus on helping individuals and institutions, both domestically and abroad, design, launch and grow new products, incubation programs and entrepreneurship ecosystems . She is founder of The App Accelerator, a program to help non-technical entrepreneurs build their first mobile apps . She has coached, consulted and created content for more than 30,000 entrepreneurs around the world and has had the honor of being named one of Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women in Tech Under 30. 

Jessica Thomas

Tax Research Coordinator & Analyst, The Tax Institute

Jessica is a tax research coordinator and analyst at The Tax Institute (TTI), an independent tax research organization within H&R Block. In her role, she helps to provide research and support for H&R Block’s network of 10,000 retail tax offices. She received her J.D from Mercer Law School and her LL.M in Taxation from the University of Florida. 

Jackie Venson

National Blues, Rock and R&B Recording Artist

Obsessed with music from an early age, singer/songwriter Jackie immersed herself in its study, attending the Berklee College of Music to practice classical piano. However, it wasn’t until she switched to the electric guitar that her passion for emotive live performance was realized. Abandoning the straight-laced world of classical for the raw power of blues and soul, Jackie has since been tirelessly honing her skills into an intoxicating amalgam of Blues, Rock, R&B and Soul with deeply heartfelt lyrics. Her new album “Vintage Machine” is set to release this fall.

Monica Viramontes

Founder & Owner of Evolving By Design

Monica is founder and owner of the award-winning Evolving By Design, a meaningful interior design studio creating engaging spaces that tell her clients’ stories while supporting their natural behavior. Her mission is to help other executives cultivate a physical space that aligns with their purpose—whether it’s an entrepreneur launching a new space, a professional growing out of an existing space or a parent in transition. Monica’s childhood spent growing up in the family construction business is what ignited her passion to become formally educated as a licensed interior architectural designer.

Kathy Warnick

President, Warnick Consultants, LLC

Kathy is president of Warnick Consultants, LLC . 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. Kathy is a past-president of the NAWBO Columbus chapter and a past chair of NAWBO National (2017-2018).

Ranee Cress Wright

President, Drillmax Inc.

Ranee is an entrepreneur and business owner with over 25 years of experience and is president of Drillmax Inc. Through her dedication to innovation and growth, she has positioned Drillmax as a global brand in more than 35 countries. Within her company, Ranee creates a unique culture that stems from her collaborative management style, leading to employee retention of 20 years and earning Drillmax the reputation of premier valve manufacturer of quality products for over two decades. Her visionary approach and ability to diagnose and solve problems has helped to expand Drillmax products and streamline processes, allowing her company to brave a consistently changing oil and gas market.

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