2018 Speakers and Presenters
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The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne was elected the Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice-Champlain on October 19, 2015. A few weeks later, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance of Canada, a position he held until January 10, 2017, when he was appointed Minister of International Trade of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Businessman, lawyer and international trade specialist, François-Philippe Champagne has more than 20 years of experience in large international companies, particularly in the field of energy, engineering, and innovation. He was Vice President and Senior Counsel of ABB Group, a leader in cutting-edge technology that operates in more than 100 countries. Later he served as Strategic Development Director, acting General Counsel, and Chief Ethics Officer and Member of the Group Management Committee of AMEC, a world leader in the energy sector.
In 2009, he was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has also served on several boards over the years, including Incheon Bridge Corporation (South Korea) and C3E (Center of Excellence in Energy Efficiency), and he was President of the Canadian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce.
Ailish Campbell joined Global Affairs Canada in March 2017 as Chief Trade Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Minister, International Business Development. Previously she was at Finance Canada as General Director, Economic Development and Corporate Finance, from November 2015 to March 2017. At Finance Canada, Ailish helped lead the development of two federal budgets including in the areas of innovation, venture capital and defence. She was a senior official on the Finance Canada Secretariat to the Advisory Committee on Economic Growth.
From 2013-15 she was the Vice President, Policy – International and Fiscal Issues, at the Business Council of Canada. Before this position she spent more than a decade in government leading on economic issues.
Ailish has extensive experience leading teams in diverse aspects of public policy, research, economic analysis, legislation, and negotiation. She has also led organizational change, improving effectiveness, cost and performance.
She serves on the board of the Banff Forum, a national non-partisan not-for-profit organization promoting leadership and public policy engagement, and the International Advisory Council of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. In 2014 she was designated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Laura Lane joined UPS in November 2011 as President, Global Public Affairs, where she is responsible for all worldwide government affairs activities for UPS among the more than 220 countries and territories the corporation serves. Prior to joining UPS, Laura was Managing Director and Head of International Government Affairs at CitiGroup; and VP for Global Public Policy with Time Warner.
Laura previously worked in the U.S. government, where she was responsible for bilateral trade affairs with the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries at the United States Trade Representative (USTR). There, she also negotiated market access commitments on trade in services with China as part of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and served as U.S. negotiator for the WTO Financial Services negotiations, which resulted in a first-ever global agreement in 1997.
Laura served in the U.S. Foreign Service from 1990-1997. She worked in the Trade Policy and Programs office in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 1995-1997. She served as the State Department representative on the U.S. Basic Telecommunications negotiating team, which concluded the first-ever global agreement on basic telecommunications in 1996. She also worked in the State Department Operations Center from 1994-1995 as watch officer under Secretary Warren Christopher. In her State Department career, she was the recipient of two Superior Honor awards and a Meritorious Honor award.
In her overseas assignments, Laura was the economic and political-military affairs officer at the American Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, from 1993-1994. She led the evacuation effort of American citizens from Rwanda in April 1994 with the outbreak of the civil war and returned in August as political advisor to U.S. forces providing humanitarian relief to Rwandan refugees. She also served as consular officer in Bogota, Colombia from 1990-1992.
Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region, is responsible for all UPS package and cargo operations in Canada and more than 50 countries and territories across Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, she has oversight of the UPS Supply Chain Solutions operations throughout Latin America, Miami and the Caribbean.
Romaine delivered a TED Talk in 2016 on global trade and is a frequent speaker at community and business events internationally. She has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work in the international business community.
Romaine began her career with UPS in the Missouri district in 1983 as a part-time hub supervisor. She held a variety of operational and management roles in Missouri and was later promoted to hub manager. In 1989, she accepted a five-year assignment in Europe and lived in both the UK and France. She returned to the U.S. in 1994 as controller for the air district, based in Louisville, Kentucky. She held several posts in Kentucky, Michigan and Minnesota before moving to Milan, Italy, as managing director of UPS South Europe. She was promoted to chief operating officer for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, based in Brussels, Belgium. In September 2010, Romaine was promoted to her current position, which is based in Miami.
Romaine servess on several boards, including the Florida International University (FIU) School of Business Dean’s Council, the board of trustees of William Woods University, the United Way of Miami-Dade board, the Conferencia Latinoamericana de Compañías Express board – Latin America Conference of Express Companies, and the World Trade Center Miami board, which she currently chairs. She is a member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee.
Susan Harper is the Consul General of Canada in Miami. Prior to joining the Department of External Affairs in 1983, Susan taught at both Cambrian College in Sudbury, and George Brown College in Toronto. She held trade positions in Yaounde, Paris and Buenos Aires before becoming Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2001. She subsequently was posted to the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., where she became Minister (Economic) from 2008-09. In Ottawa, she was Director General, Trade Controls and Technical Barriers, from 2009-2013, and then Director General and Senior Arctic Official (2013-16).
Jane Geddes has been appointed as chief executive officer of the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), the largest women-focused amateur golf association in the United States. She succeeds Pam Swensen, who resigned from the organization in early 2017 after 15 years of service to pursue other opportunities. As head of the EWGA, she is dedicated to helping the organization expand membership opportunities into currently underserved markets and provide additional playing opportunities for existing and new female golfers. Jane formerly served as executive director of the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA). She previously competed as an LPGA touring professional for 20 years, winning 14 tournaments worldwide, including two LPGA major championships. She achieved her highest rank of third on the LPGA Tour’s money list and won the U.S. Women’s Open Championship (1986), LPGA Championship (1987) and Women’s British Open Championship (1989). Following her playing career, Jane earned a law degree from Stetson University College of Law and re-entered the game as an executive at the LPGA Tour.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey is founder, owner and chair of the board of DPrint, a multi-technology graphic communications company with an international clientele. She is an owner and manager of Good Works LLC, an asset investment company. She has been consistently named as a leading entrepreneur by multiple organizations in Central Florida, including the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2013 Woman Business Owner of the Year for the South District of Florida.
Lisa writes for business publications and has appeared in articles on entrepreneurial women in national publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Entrepreneur’s Exchange and the international e-zine Dialogue.
She is an advocate for gender equity and the empowerment of women worldwide. She is an authority on the global state of women’s entrepreneurship. Lisa has served on multiple state, national and international boards that were strategic to her international interests.
Lisa served at the invitation of the White House on a steering committee for the 2003 Women’s Entrepreneurial Summit in Tampa. She was a member of The Executive Committee (TEC, now known as Vistage), an international organization of CEOs, for nine years. She served as national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners and global president of The International Alliance for Women.
Lisa became an independent certified John Maxwell Team coach, teacher and speaker in 2016 and is a cohost of the local annual Live2Lead simulcast. She is certified to teach 16 John Maxwell courses and has also completed a 14-week international course in the science of marketing.
Lisa Vlooswyk is a seven-time Canadian Long Drive Champion and placed Top 5 at the 2016 World Long Drive Championships. She is an LDA Tour Champion and Callaway Golf sponsored athlete. Lisa was the first woman to ever hit a golf ball the length of 3.5 NFL football fields in competition and currently holds the Canadian Women’s Long Drive record at 350 yards 2 feet 2 inches. Lisa recently won Golfweek magazine’s Golf Fest Entertainer of the Year award.
In addition to her competitive career, Lisa is a golf journalist for several publications including Inside Golf magazine and has had her own column in Golf Digest Canada. Lisa uses her vast experience as a world-class athlete to be a successful keynote peak performance speaker at conferences and conventions. She is a golf entertainer for many corporate/charity golf tournaments across North America, including the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championships and the Champions Tour Greater Hickory KIA Classic, and runs her own golf school for women both in Canada and the United States.
SPEAKERS AMD PRESENTERS
Roz Alford is the managing director at Women Impacting Public Policy. She is a retired principal of ASAP Solutions Group. Prior to launching ASAP Staffing in 1989, Roz completed corporate assignments focusing on linguistics and human resources with Fortune 500 corporations, including Kraft Foods. In 1998, she partnered with Nancy Williams to create the entity now known as ASAP Solutions Group. Roz leveraged her skills for identifying, developing and promoting talent to help build a high-performing ASAP team of professionals and consultants. She worked closely with all business units and functional areas of the company to ensure operational excellence. Under her guidance and leadership and in partnership with Nancy, ASAP launched consulting, workforce compliance and managed services business units to augment the staffing business. ASAP also expanded globally by establishing an offshore facility in Hyderabad, India. In 2011, Roz was appointed by Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a bi-partisan federal advisory council created to provide advice and policy recommendations to the president, Congress and the SBA on economic issues of importance to women business owners. She devotes significant time and energy to supporting programs in the women’s business community and actively participates in the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), among other organizations. She is also an advocate for many charitable organizations including Junior Achievement, The American Red Cross and The United Way.
Nancy Allen is the president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida/Her Company Inc., a not-for- profit organization whose mission is to certify, connect and champion women in business. The WBDC/Her Company is the Florida regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies that businesses are owned, operated, managed and independently controlled by women. Certification opens the door for national and federal contracts as well networking opportunities with powerful and successful women business owners. Over the years, Nancy has been recognized for her work on behalf of women in business through numerous prestigious awards, and she is an award winning international speaker on women’s issues. Nancy’s most coveted honor is the Mary Schnack Award, which she received from the Go for the Greens Foundation in 2016 for her work in helping the global women business owner community. Nancy recently achieved certification as an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching. This distinction, combined with her many years of business development expertise, enables Nancy and her team to coach and consult women business owners through all phases of their lives. Nancy is a founding member of the Go for the Greens Board of Directors and serves on the Go for the Greens Executive Planning Committee, where she serves as Procurement Chair
Krissi Barr is the CEO of Barr Corporate Success, which is in its 15th year of helping business individuals succeed, working with start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Barr Corporate Success is a results-oriented consulting firm delivering cultural transformation, visioning, strategy and execution, executive and team coaching, leadership and sales training, keynote speeches and assessment programs. Krissi was featured in Inc. magazine as one of the country’s Top 10 “super-efficient. Many clients annually are on Inc.’s 500/5000 list and several clients have been recognized as Best Places to Work. A speaker and writer, Krissi co-authored a business/golf fable about getting the right things done called Plugged, which is endorsed by Marshall Goldsmith, the late Dr. Paul Hersey, Jeffrey Gitomer, Matthew Kelly and others. Krissi’s first job at P&G provided her business foundation. She is a member of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, Institute of Coaching Professionals, and CoachSource. She is a 2015 recipient of a Venues Today magazine Women of Influence Award and in 2012 was named one of the 100 Minds Thought Leadership within the Greater Cincinnati Region.
Debbie L. Berry works with Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions as a senior staff analyst in the business development organization and as business development manager of the Innovation Demonstration Center. She has supported both domestic and international opportunities for the company as a systems engineer, project engineer and program manager. Debbie has 32 years of experience in the simulation and training industry spanning product design through delivery of fixed and rotary wing simulators, tank gunnery trainers, battle management training devices, instrumented training range systems and reconnaissance systems. As customer engagement liaison, she is responsible for management of capabilities demonstrations, business development and strategies. Debbie is a founding member of the Central Florida Chapter of Women In Defense and served as the inaugural chapter president. She served as president for the Central Florida Chapter of National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and for the Association of the U.S. Army Sunshine Chapter. Debbie currently serves as a WID CFL Advisor, CFL NDIA Director, and Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation board member. She was conference chair emeritus for I/ITSEC 2001 and ITEC 2009, and she is a charter member of the Modeling and Simulation Professional Certification Commission (CMSP) and an alumnus of Leadership Orlando (Class 78). She serves on the I/ITSEC Council of Chairs, the I/ITSEC STEM Committee and the ITEC Conference Committee. Her credentials include lifetime memberships in NDIA, WID, Navy League of the United States, and the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA). In recognition of her distinguished service, Debbie is the second recipient of the prestigious NDIA Silver Medal. She has been awarded the AUSA Sunshine Chapter Royal of the Flamingo medallion and is the inaugural recipient of the CFL WID Debbie L. Berry Legacy Award. Debbie is a member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee.
As executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), Camille oversees all functions of the headquarters office, including financial directives, human resources, marketing, technology and administration. She plays an active role in planning educational programs, annual meetings and conferences. Since joining the WPO in 2000, she has worked with Founder and President Marsha Firestone and the board of directors to help steer the significant growth trajectory of the organization. Camille is an ardent supporter of women’s economic development. She represents the WPO and the women’s business community as a speaker at events around the world. She is a member of the advisory council of Enterprising Women magazine, sits on the steering committee of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), and is on the Executive Steering Committee for Go for the Greens. She also sits on the board of directors for LilySarahGrace, a nonprofit organization that brings arts education to underfunded elementary schools.
Jean Cannon is the founder of MyStartupSuncoast.com, which focuses on jump-starting entrepreneurs and small businesses to create living-wage jobs. The company provides centralized, online information, connecting contacts, providing training, and identifying resources to assist new entrepreneurs with existing local skilled experts to quickly locate what is needed or to provide answers to questions to assist businesses. Entrepreneurial employment will attract and retain current population as well as continue to support community growth by attracting new residents with skills to move in and start businesses. Jean has a passion for addressing and engaging the 55-plus workforce, which brings the experience, resources and abilities to contribute to new business growth. Jean built her career around defining and solving problems, working with global teams to design and deploy solutions to resolve issues. She has worked for large companies, small startup companies, nonprofits, and as a part-time university professor. She has been a consultant, a project team leader and an educator.
Susanna Carson is an entrepreneur building her personal and corporate legacy through the business of sustainable/compostable packaging. She is the founder and CEO of BSI Biodegradable Solutions, a compostable packaging distribution company, and more recently Besics Packaging Corporation, a compostable retail products company. She has more than 22 years of education and work experience in environmental issues and business development. Susanna serves as co-chair of the Product and Packaging Working Group of the National Zero Waste Council; is a topic expert for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition; and is a founding member of Women for Nature, supporting environmental conservation and education programs. One of her more personally satisfying roles is as a member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee, where she serves as Sustainability Chair.
Tim Center is an attorney and statewide leader focused on building better communities. He serves as the executive director of Sustainable Florida, which promotes sustainable practices in Florida that protect natural resources, strengthen the economy and improve quality of life. Tim is also the CEO of the Capital Area Community Action Agency, a $9 million nonprofit that helps people who have the will to move out of poverty positively change their lives. He also operates Centerfield Strategy, a consulting firm. A fourth-generation Floridian, Tim received the 2014 Hero of Service Award from City Year and is a graduate of Leadership Florida and Leadership Tallahassee. He is a founding member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee and a member of the Go for the Greens Board of Directors, where he is chair of the Governance Committee.
Cindy Chace is the director of sales for the government sector at UPS, where she has worked for 31 years. She is active in the corporation’s Congressional awareness program, working with elected officials who have included Robert Wexler, Ted Deutch and Clay Shaw, all of South Florida. Cindy represents UPS on the Corporate Board of Advisors for the Cuban American National Council and served on the President’s Advisory Council at Radford University, her alma mater. She actively participates in activities with minority and women’s business organizations, including The International Alliance for Women, which recognized her as a Leader in Global Development in 2012, and the National Association of Women Business Owners, which recognized her work in presenting UPS with the 2008-09 National Chapter Corporate Partner of the Year Award. In 2014, Cindy was recognized with the Corporate Advocate Award for the WBE Hall of Fame. Cindy is co-founder and co-chair of the Go for the Greens conference and is a founding director of Go for the Greens Foundation Inc. She chairs the sponsorship committee and serves on the golf, mentorship, finance and programming committees.
Jessica Chace is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. She began her career as part of the Student Career Experience Program at the National Weather Service in Shreveport, La., during her sophomore year at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Upon graduating in 2010, she accepted a full-time position with the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama. After four years, she was promoted to general forecaster and was transferred to the Huntsville office. During her career, Jessica has worked numerous severe weather events, helping the community prepare and recover from hazardous weather. She has also participates in outreach events for girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), along with other middle and high school students, providing insight into the weather enterprise and the federal government. She is the 2016 recipient of the Local Isaac Cline Program Management/Administration Award and the 2014 and 2015 Local Isaac Cline Leadership Award.
Nirali Chokshi is a CPA at her family’s firm, Chokshi Accounting & Tax Services Inc. She serves on the Leadership Council for the Indian American Chamber of Commerce in Central Florida Nirali also is a Bollywood dance instructor for little girls for C Studios, and is one of the key leaders for Bollywood Magic, a Bollywood performance show partnered with the Orlando Magic professional basketball team.
Rhonda Clark is vice president of Corporate Plant Engineering for UPS. She is responsible for the construction and expansion of automated facilities and innovative material handling systems, facility maintenance and housekeeping, and environmental and regulated goods compliance for UPS worldwide. Rhonda previously served as chief sustainability officer and vice president of environmental affairs. In these roles, she led a dedicated engineering group that managed global sustainability data for reporting. She also was responsible for UPS’s compliance programs controlling hazardous waste management and the transportation of hazardous materials. Previously Rhonda served as the plant engineering manager for UPS Airlines in Louisville, Kentucky. There she was responsible for all areas of UPS facilities management along with the construction and maintenance of all new development projects. She also oversaw all of UPS Airlines’ sustainability initiatives. Rhonda joined UPS in 1989 as a plant engineering supervisor in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a board member of Girl’s Inc. of Greater Atlanta, an organization committed to helping girls realize their potential and exercise their rights. She serves on the board of National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, which provides support to diverse students pursuing careers in engineering and computer science. She also has served as chair of UPS’s Women’s Leadership Development program, a companywide initiative dedicated to creating an environment that encourages and enables the attraction, retention and development of women.
Lee Cristou is the founder of KROMA® Makeup as well as an educator and celebrity makeup artist. Kroma means “color” in Greek. KROMA® was born in 2000 to cater to the healthy-conscious. The collection is unique because of its rich pigment, durability, high-grade minerals and natural preservatives safe for the most sensitive skin. It is widely used from everyday wear, to photo shoots, print, HD TV, post-op procedures and ideal for any skin conditions. Lee has applied her exacting standards for more than 20 years, creating looks for thousands of women. Her past experience in modeling, aesthetics and development of beauty lines moved her to create a collection of products that cater to customization. Kroma products are exclusive, luxurious, doctor recommended, organic, age-defying and planet-friendly.
Lisa has more than 16 years of experience in real estate advisory and has worked with a diverse array of clients including cities, counties, developers, lawyers, national homebuilders, equity funds and large landowners. She has worked on projects throughout Florida and across the nation and brings the perspective of national success and lessons learned while framing them through a local lens. Her work and client recommendations are recognized as being creative, market supported and financially feasible. Lisa started her career with Ernst and Young’s Commercial Real Estate Services Group, where her primary focus was valuation of commercial properties and site selection for industrial and government users, including the National Archives and Records Administration and Serologicals, a biotechnology company. She also worked with RCLCO, a nationally recognized knowledge solutions provider to the real estate industry. Her work at RCLCO included market feasibility studies and analysis of residential and commercial opportunities to maximize market share and financial returns. In addition, she worked for Beazer Homes as a strategic market analyst, where she advised on land acquisitions, target market audiences, repositioning of existing communities, and expansion strategies. Lisa is an active member of the Urban Land Institute of Central Florida, serving in a leadership role on the state Product Councils and Central Florida’s Executive Committee. She was selected as a recipient of the Orlando Business Journal 40 under 40 award.
Kay Douglas is president of Douglas Marketing Group, a full-service advertising agency in Michigan and Ontario since 1991. Driven by connections that stimulate communications, Kay recognizes the importance of relationship-based marketing with global reach. Specializing in brand culture, Kay creates comprehensive big-picture online-offline strategies and puts them into action. DMG Big Picture Landscape® is the company’s proprietary software that manages brands and fully integrates return on investment ROIALLY® software dashboards to track results for their clients. Kay has received multiple recognitions, including the 2014 Perfect Pitch Award, 2014 Athena Award, NAWBO Top 10 Michigan Women-Owned Businesses, and six international design and communication awards in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. She has served as an ambassador for the “International Region” of Detroit and Ontario and has been at the forefront of progressive collaborations. She serves on the Canadian U.S. Business Association board of directors, the Detroit Athletic Club membership development committee, the Community Foundation and Oakland University School of Nursing Board of Visitors, Corp!, and 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Michigan.
Josh Ferguson is the director of sales and operations for the West Coast of Florida at Enterprise Holdings, where he has worked for the last 10 years. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer extensive car rental, car sharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales and other transportation services. The company operates 9,600 fully staffed neighborhood and airport locations worldwide. Josh actively participates in the corporation’s formal mentoring program. After several years of participating in the Go for the Greens conference golf event, Josh joined the Executive Planning Committee in 2017. He serves as co-chair of the golf committee.
Clayton Louis Ferrara is a poet, a naturalist, and the executive director of the United Nations-accredited NGO IDEAS For Us. He is a classically trained biologist and world traveler who has conducted research on five continents on evolution, conservation and ecology. His work as leader of IDEAS focuses on advancing sustainability through the creation of solutions that benefit people and the planet and generate profit to transform communities and lift families out of poverty. He is a celebrated alum of Rollins College, the first American to be named a Darwin Scholar, a member of the SDSN Youth group for Pope Francis, and a handpicked member of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s GreenWorks task force. He was born in Chile and currently lives in Winter Park, Florida.
Donna Fiedorowicz worked for the PGA TOUR for 24.5 years before retiring in 2015. The PGA TOUR, located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. She held positions as manager of on-site marketing and promotions, director of corporate sales and title sponsor procurement, and vice president of the Champions Tour with oversight of management and operations of 30 national and international tournaments. In 2007, Donna was promoted to senior vice president, PGA TOUR Tournament Business Affairs, and was responsible for oversight of the financial and operational growth and development of each PGA TOUR tournament. She also led the development of strategic plans with each of the tournaments and their host organization board members. In January 2012, Donna was charged with creating a new department (Tournament Activation and Outreach), focusing on driving attendance and revenue to events from non-traditional outlets. Specific initiatives included the creation of a Women’s Initiative, Collegiate Days, Family Zone areas and sponsorship of charity platforms to drive philanthropic donations. Donna conceived and created the Executive Women’s Day program at PGA TOUR events. In September 2014, Sports Business Journal selected Donna for recognition among its 2014 Class of “Game Changers – Women In Sports Business.” Donna played professional golf on the Futures Tour and came to the PGA TOUR from ESPN, where she managed major accounts that included the LPGA, PGA TOUR and the NFL.
Benita Fortner recently retired as director of supplier diversity for Raytheon Company. She served in the supplier diversity space for 28 years. In her previous position as procurement manager at Hughes Aircraft Company, Benita was instrumental in significantly increasing the number of corporate agreements awarded to small, minority and women-owned suppliers, implementing supplier customer feedback sessions and second-tier alliances. Benita is the immediate past chair of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and served in numerous leadership roles with government, industry and advocacy groups focused on business owner diversity in the supply chain. Benita served as the chair of the advisory board for the Tuck Minority Business Executive Education Programs and served on the Tuck School of Business Board of Overseers. Benita has been inducted into the WBE Hall of Fame from the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce and was recognized with a Clarion Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
Debbie Gust is president and owner of WOW! Factor Desserts, a Canadian upscale frozen dessert supplier to restaurants, hotels, banquet halls, cruise ships, healthcare institutions and airlines. In business for 35 years, the company is family-run and prides itself in excellence, quality and customer service. Debbie comes from a family of entrepreneurs on both sides, each of which run several different businesses in various industries, from construction and development to energy, storage, and the golf course and banquet business. Debbie is a member of Women Presidents’ Organization and Women’s Foodservice Forum, and a graduate of Western University Quantum Shift Ivey Program for Entrepreneurs. She was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Entrepreneurs in 2016. She was accepted for a scholarship for this November for Harvard University’s executive program Women on Boards: Succeeding as a Corporate Director.
Desiree Hanson serves as the manager of supplier diversity for Moffitt Cancer Center and has more than 25 years of supply chain experience in the public and private sectors in the manufacturing, information technology and healthcare fields. Desiree administers the supplier diversity program and is responsible for policy development, implementation, and management of the center’s supplier diversity vision and strategy. She actively pursues purchasing opportunities and promotes the inclusion and utilization of diverse suppliers in the center’s procurement and supply chain processes.
Desiree represents Moffitt Cancer Center in the business community in leadership roles through involvement in minority and women-owned business associations and organizations. She currently serves as a board member for the Minority Enterprise Development Corp and previously served as president of the West Coast Chapter of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council. She also has conducted supplier diversity webinars and is a frequent speaker and moderator on supplier diversity-related issues for local and national organizations. Desiree has received numerous awards for her leadership, outreach, and mentoring of diverse suppliers. In addition, under her leadership, the supplier diversity program at Moffitt Cancer Center has received both local and national recognition and is a recipient of numerous supplier diversity awards and recognitions from the Florida Minority Business Opportunity Center, Central & North Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, Tampa Bay MedWeek, Tampa Organization of Black Affairs, and Premier Inc. Prior to joining Moffitt Cancer Center in March 2009, Desiree served as the supplier diversity manager for the University of South Florida. She previously worked for the Fulton County government in Atlanta as a cable franchise manager administering cable television/telecommunication franchise agreements for the county.
Dana Hill is the manager of procurement programs for BlueCross BlueShield of Florida. Within 18 months after he started in 2010, the organization increased its overall spend with diverse suppliers from less than 1 percent to more than 5 percent, and in 2013 hit 117 percent of its diversity supplier goal. Dana formerly served as director of MBE development for the St. Louis Minority Business Council, director of procurement analysis for Peabody Energy, manager at Xerox, purchasing manager at American Airlines, and buyer at Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work in supplier diversity, including the Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award in 2012 from the Minority Business Development Agency, Buyer of the Year in 2012 from the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, and Business Corporate Champion in 2013 from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
Retu Jalhan is the director of business development at The RMP Group, where she is responsible for the detailed financial analysis and valuation of acquisition opportunities, preparation of legal and marketing documents, and assistance with due diligence items. In addition to buy-side activities, she has been charged with the development of an offshore fund and oversees all fund administration items such as transaction support and limited partner reporting. Retu previously worked in the banking, investments and insurance sectors. She served as group account manager for the Cooperators Insurance Company, where she managed a portfolio of group insurance clients valued at more than $160 million in premiums. In her spare time, Retu teaches yoga and volunteers with organizations including the Indian-American Chamber of Commerce and the Kesri youth organization. She is the founder of the We Are Your Sisters (WAYS) Yogathon aimed at raising funds for rape and trafficking survivors. Retu is a member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee, where she serves on the programming and finance committees.
Karen Keene is the director of marketing and business development at Dean Mead, a corporate law firm headquartered in Orlando with five offices statewide. She is an exemplary leader in the organization, where she advises the attorneys on regional growth strategies and niche practices. She has 23 years of experience in marketing, branding, strategic planning and business development coaching. Prior to joining Dean Mead, she led regional practice development strategy for Foley & Lardner’s East Coast offices. Karen is the president of ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership Inc., which produces the Women’s Leadership Luncheon and the ATHENA NextGen leadership series that was created in Central Florida and is being developed into a pilot program internationally. Proceeds are gifted toward a $100,000 endowed scholarship that was established to benefit female students at the University of Central Florida. She also launched ATHENA PowerLink in 2005, a program dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs in Central Florida achieve success, growth and profitability. She currently serves on the board of directors for ATHENA International. Karen has been active with the Legal Marketing Association for more than 13 years, having served as the chair of the Orlando chapter twice and as a member of the Southeast board for three years. Additionally, she is a member of the Metro Orlando EDC Investor Relations Committee and the American Heart Association’s Go Red executive leadership team.
Diana LaTour is the managing partner of LaTour & Associates, an international consulting firm focused on innovative business development, and the operating partner for LFE Capital in Minneapolis, Minn. She has extensive experience in the successful formation and development of new enterprises, the repositioning of under-performing organizations, development of effective and winning management teams, and creation of global market strategies. Her career has focused on the high-tech, healthcare and consumer industries. Diana previously served as president and CEO of World Telehealth Corporation, an online healthcare company serving the G77 countries; CEO of ContourPak International, a cold therapy healthcare products company (acquired by Futuro); founder, CEO and president of Theranetics Inc., a physical therapy media products company (acquired by Kaiser Permanente); Founder and CEO of RedCreek Communications, an industry leader in network security systems (acquired by SonicWall (SNWL); president and CEO of Cross Access Corporation, an industry leader in data access and data warehousing software technology, (acquired by IBM); vice president and general manager, Data Communications Group, AST Research; international consultant and partner of Latco International, an international business consulting organization (residing overseas); and founder and vice president of Tra-Tech, a training and educational company (acquired by McGraw-Hill). Diana currently serves as the board chair of Earthrise Space Inc., PN Medical Inc., and Zuke Music Inc.; a board member of Karman Space Inc.; and a board observer for TAO Connect Inc. She also serves on community boards at the Crummer Business School Entrepreneurial Program at Rollins College; the Regional Joint Partnership Capital Task Force for Orlando Inc., BizLife and Factur. Formerly, Diana served as the board chair for Futori International Ltd. and a board member of World Telehealth Corporation, Contour Pak International Inc., Palm Tree Software Inc., Contempo Health Inc., Theranetics Inc., International Nutrition Consultants Inc., RedCreek Communications Inc., and Cross Access Corporation. She was a founder, executive director and board member of The Enterprise Network, a non-profit organization in Silicon Valley focused on improving the success rate of new ventures. In addition, she served as a member of the IBM board of advisors for Silicon Valley.
Lori Lemmon is an integrated customer communications manager for UPS. As a passionate advocate for the company’s customers over the last 23 years, she applies her expertise in marketing and communications to manage communications with customers during crisis events. Lori also oversees a team responsible for communications about UPS services and technology products and directs UPS’s sponsorship of organizations for women business leaders including Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Past roles at UPS include recruiting MBAs for marketing and leading UPS’s 2007 Centennial celebration. She holds a master’s in telecommunications from Indiana University and an MBA from the College of William & Mary.
Dr. Ken Lindeman has focused on building the Academic Sustainability Program at Florida Institute of Technology since 2010. The curriculum includes rigorous interdisciplinary education and student senior projects that emphasize applied management experience on and off campus. In 2017, Florida Tech will exceed 100 graduates of the sustainability major and minor programs. Ken has worked since the 1980s on another passion: the sustainable management of coastal lands and fisheries affected by human disturbances including climate change. This work requires interdisciplinary combinations of biological, physical and social sciences. Geographic foci include: a) the Southeast U.S. and b) the northwest Caribbean and Mesoamerica, with work in Spanish in multiple Latin American countries. He has had more than 70 conservation research articles from his work published in 20 different science and policy journals. Ken has also co-authored three books published by the Smithsonian Institution Press, Duke University Press and Sigma Press.
Nadine Manjaro operates Beyond Machine to Machine Communications LLC, a consultancy that provides business development and guidance involving the Internet of Things (IoT). In late 2016 she began delivering IoT training for high school students and started delivering this training in late 2016. Nadine formerly served as director of IoT programs for Tech Mahindra, where she was responsible for IoT pre-sales, solutions, and North America ecosystem partner development. She previously worked on projects with Verizon, Sprint, Huawei, Telefonica, Etisalat and Telcel. She contributed to Industry Standards for HL7 and DSL technology in her former role as co-chair of the DSL Former Service Provider Action Council while at Sprint LTD. Nadine also worked as an industry analyst for ABI Research for three years, providing global coverage of the wireless infrastructure market. She has written extensive research on LTE, WiMAX, IMS, global spectrum, managed services, cell site infrastructure and mobile backhaul. She has been quoted as an industry expert in the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, International Data Group, RCR Wireless, Fierce Wireless and several other publications.
Beth Merrick has been a cast member with the Walt Disney Company for 24 years, including 15 as a recruiter with the Parks and Resorts division. Her story began with her opportunity to work as a tour guide at the Magic Kingdom after college. This was very exciting because her father also worked as a Disney cast member on the opening team of Epcot. Her career has included time in theme park guest relations and resorts concierge, as well as management roles in parks and resorts and workforce management. Some highlights Beth is most proud of include writing and creating the orientation program for the Magic Kingdom cast members, “Once Upon a Time is Now”; opening team for the first “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party”; part of the events team for the “Remember the Magic” 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Magic Kingdom; many company and local volunteer events; and being the recipient of the Recruiter of the Year Award for the National Hispanic Corporate Achievers. Beth currently supports recruitment for the sales and marketing and new vacation operations segments.
Josie Mousseau joined Global Affairs Canada in 2003 after working in other government departments and the private sector. She leads a team committed to addressing the specific needs of women business owners and coordinating programs that support and engage women in international trade. Josie is widely recognized as a strong advocate in promoting business women in international trade and played an instrumental role in bringing together partner departments, representatives of women’s business organizations and corporations from across Canada to establish certification for businesswomen in Canada. Under her leadership, the initiatives taken by her division sparked numerous business success stories. She has received numerous awards for her work, including an Excellence in Service Award by the Government of Canada, a 2015 World of Difference 100 Award from The International Alliance for Women, a Leadership in International Trade award from the Toronto Chapter of Organization of Women in International Trade, and the 2014 WEConnect International Supplier Diversity Champion of the Year Award. She was also recognized in the Profiles in Diversity Journal Women Worth Watching. Josie is a founding board member of the Ottawa Chapter of the OWIT and is an active volunteer in her community.
Sunny Nastase is the president of Enterprise Sales for UPS’ Healthcare business unit with a sales target of more than $4 billion annually. She joined UPS in 2000 as vice president of Strategic Alliances, working toward new business models and strategies to exploit the emerging e-commerce marketplace. Known for vision and boldness, Sunny was tapped to join UPS’s first healthcare strategy team in 2005, which thrust the company into the healthcare industry. Before recently returning as president of Enterprise Sales, in the interim she has had key roles of increasing responsibility in healthcare marketing, sustainability, customer solutions, strategy and human capital. Sunny has been a visible, vocal and deeply engaged advocate for women and minorities in the workplace and society. She was a founding member of UPS’s Women’s Leadership Development group, and remains an active participant. Sunny’s commitment and participation is strongly evident in her support of aspiring young women. She organized and still supports a formal and highly effective mentoring program that has changed the lives and career trajectories of hundreds of women. Sunny is proud to be an active agent of change regarding diversity and inclusion in its most robust form. She was recently honored with the 2016 Healthcare Leadership Award by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association for her work supporting the growth of female leaders in the healthcare sector.
Carolyn Parrs is the CEO and founder of Mind Over Markets, a creative marketing communications company devoted to helping purpose-driven products and services build their brands and a better world for more than 13 years. She speaks internationally on women’s leadership, sustainability and purpose-driven marketing. Carolyn is a certified business, marketing and life coach and the co-host and producer of the online summit Women As Game Changers featuring 27 powerful women who are changing the game in the world right now. She is the creator of Women Of Green, an online community and news source that turns up the volume of the feminine voice in green.
Carolyn began her career on Madison Avenue working for big brands including General Foods, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, AT&T, American Express, Time-Life Publications and more. This prompted her to start her own consumer products company, Poochi, a high-end pet fashion and accessory business. In less than four years it was acquired by a multibillion-dollar corporation. She and her products have appeared on television shows such as Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News and on radio and cable shows such as HBO, CNN and Lifetime Channel. Print coverage includes The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, People magazine and Cosmopolitan.
Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD, is the director of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations at the University of Florida. A nationally recognized expert on supplier diversity, small business development and entrepreneurship, Kathey has led supplier diversity programs and acted as business consultant for higher education, municipalities and the federal government for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker/panelist at conferences and events focusing on supplier diversity, small business development/entrepreneurship and women’s entrepreneurship, and she was recently appointed to the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development by the Secretary for the Florida Department of Management Services. An adjunct business instructor for more than 10 years, Kathey is the author of 50 Billion Dollar Boss: African American Women Sharing Stories of Success in Entrepreneurship and Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and a contributor to local and national publications/platforms including Gainesville Business Report and OPEN Forum (American Express), and was a featured business expert in Essence magazine. In 2017, she was recognized as a Fierce Woman by Business In Greater Gainesville magazine, a Florida Woman on The Move by ONYX magazine and a nominee for Advocate of the Year – Supplier Diversity by the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC).
Devi Records has devoted her life to understanding and working with the below-conscious mind. Devi has helped develop many methods that assist both individuals and businesses in becoming more conscious – using strengths more strategically and avoiding potential pitfalls. One of the maps she helped develop is the Generative Business Process, which she adapted specifically for the Woman As Game Changers workshop and training. The process defines a game-changing idea and explores how to develop it, looking at the four types of derailers that can interrupt or stop a game- changing idea. Devi is one of the founding members of the Hakomi Institute and was the British Isles director of training and development for 10 years. She has many years of clinical practice as well as business coaching with CEOs of major companies.
Hue Reynolds is the executive director for the Office of Supplier Diversity, the statewide office within the Florida Department of Management Services responsible for helping improve business opportunities for Florida-based woman-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses. For the past decade, Hue has worked in a communications capacity for several state agencies, including the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and the Department of Education. Her last role in state government included serving as a project manager for a large-scale technology migration for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Prior to state government, Hue worked for a decade in web development for professional trade organizations, including the Florida Medical Association, the Florida Institute of CPAs, and the Florida Bankers Association.
Ruben Olmos Rodriguez is the president and managing partner of Global Nexus LLC, an international advisory firm that specializes in government and public affairs, business development, political analysis and communications. Clients include Fortune 500 companies and subnational governments. Ruben has more than 20 years of government and political experience operating at the nexus of the U.S.-Latin American relationship advising clients on a range of federal, state and local administrative and legislative matters with a particular focus on international relations, trade, logistics and travel and tourism. He has combined his professional and academic life in Washington, D.C., New York City and Mexico City. In the think-tank and international organizations arena, he has served in different capacities at The World Bank Group, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Council of the Americas in New York. There, he developed his expertise in all topics related to Mexico, focusing on business, politics and social issues, and helped several constituencies understand the broad range of subjects that encompass the U.S.-Mexico bilateral agenda. Ruben brings an insider’s understanding of the political process in both the U.S. and Mexico. He has served as a congressional aide and has worked in the federal government as well as in local political campaigns. Ruben is a regularly scheduled newspaper, radio and TV columnist, analyzing U.S.-Latin America relations.
Pamela Rogan is the president and CEO of Rogan Marketing and Communications. She brings with her a depth and breadth of experience that directly benefits her company and indirectly enhances the companies she works with for the past 30 years. Pamela is known by colleagues and clients for her natural leadership ability, team-building skills and a commitment to “Blue Sky” thinking, where ideas can be shared collaboratively without fear of being judged. While working in New York City, Pamela successfully ran two in-house advertising agencies and went on to turn around a third. The final, near-failing agency, was on the verge of losing its key client when Rogan stepped in to purchase the company and completely revamp operations, turning the small design firm into a full-service marketing, advertising and communications company. She successfully ran the agency for eight years, with 11 employees, before closing the company to relocate to Atlanta, where she opened a similar company and then transferred it when she and her husband relocated permanently to Orlando in 2010. Throughout her career, Pamela has been committed to volunteerism. The majority of her efforts have been directed towards encouraging the growth of women and young adults who display entrepreneurial leanings while continuously educating herself in order to best foster diversity and help her clients grow their businesses. In Orlando, she previously served as president of NAWBO Orlando for four years. Her current volunteer efforts include serving on the governing board for Athena Powerlink for seven years and joining the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as a board member. Pamela is a member of the Go for the Greens Executive Steering Committee, serving as the marketing chair.
Billie Bryant Schultz is CEO of CESCO Inc., an award-winning printing equipment and software solution provider focused on managed document services and sales of copiers, smart multifunctional devices, scanners, plotters, 3D printers and supplies. Since joining the company, Billie has transitioned CESCO from a coin and office equipment service company to one that has extensive experience and knowledge cultivated through partnerships with leading printing equipment manufacturers and software providers, all for the benefit of sustainability and cost reduction in document printing. Those partnerships include Xerox, Lexmark, HP Ricoh, Dell, Epson, Brother and Y Soft SafeQ Software. Billie served on the formation boards of the Women’s Business Council Southwest and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, where she served for 10 years. She was the first chair of the WBENC Leadership Forum and a chair of the certification committee and task force, and she currently serves on the program committee and is a Leadership Forum chair emeritus. Billie continues to serve on the WBCS board of directors, in addition to the board of directors of the American Institute for Diversity and Commerce’s Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame. For her advocacy for women, minorities and small businesses, she has won numerous awards, including the WBENC Applause, WBE Hall of Fame, WBENC Star vendor, WBE WBCS award of the year, TXU/CESCO Star Vendor, EFH CESCO/Xerox Partnership award, Enterprising Woman of the Year. Billie serves on the Go for the Greens Foundation board of directors and is a member of the Go for the Greens conference Executive Steering Committee, where she chairs the mentorship committee and serves on the sponsorship committee.
Diane Sears of Orlando, Florida, is founder and president of DiVerse Media LLC, which assists clients with content marketing projects, including nonfiction books, research, white papers, TED Talks, executive speeches, event planning, media relations, online marketing and social media. The company has coached authors of more than 100 nonfiction books. Diane is the author of Tapping Your Inner Entrepreneur: Making the Move from Employee to Business Owner and Inside AP: A Guide to Today’s Accounts Payable Profession, as well as thousands of magazine and newspaper articles. An award-winning journalist, she has served as editor-in-chief of two business magazines and as a writer and editor for several others. She also served as an editor and news reporter at The Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today newspapers. Diane is the Orlando Chapter chair of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a founding governing body member of Athena PowerLink in Orlando, and the Central Florida regional director for the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida, which certifies companies as
women-owned for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. She was inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame in December 2015 by the American Institute of Diversity & Commerce. Diane also was presented with a 2015 World of Difference 100 Award by The International Alliance for Women, and the National Association of Women Business Owners named her National Member of the Year in 2006 and again in 2009. Diane is co-founder and co-chair of the Go for the Greens conference and is a founding director of Go for the Greens Foundation Inc. She chairs the programming committee and serves on the finance, marketing, sponsorship and mentorship committees.
Jordanna Sheermohamed is the president and lead forecaster for Weather Forecast Solutions, a private-sector weather forecasting company. Jordanna began this endeavor as a meteorological consultant for the financial industries: Exactly how would hurricane season affect the price of orange juice next year? What would be the expected price of next year’s wheat crop, as a result of Australian drought conditions this year?
Long-term trend forecasts segued into marine forecasts for several U.S. Naval Air Stations and their associated operational/research vessels, as well as shore-side businesses and interests, yachting/shipping best routes, business logistics, emergency preparation, hazardous weather monitoring, and other specialized requests. As a science liaison who believes in a common-sense hands-on approach to learning, Jordanna also teaches as an adjunct science professor and can additionally be found doing public speaking engagements on weather/climate-worthy topics to all ages an interest groups.
Monica Smiley is the editor and publisher of Enterprising Women, a national and now global magazine she and her team launched in May 2000 to provide a strong voice for women entrepreneurs. Enterprising Women provides a friendly meeting place where women business owners share best practices and inspire one another to grow their businesses to the next level. The magazine is available in print and digital editions, and is supplemented by a monthly blog, The Connector, available through the publication’s website at www.enterprisingwomen.com. The Enterprising Women community extends to more than a million women entrepreneurs in 185 countries around the globe. Monica also serves as president of the Enterprising Women Foundation, a nonprofit she founded in 2010 to encourage philanthropy among women entrepreneurs and support initiatives to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship in the U.S. and globally. The foundation has a North American initiative to educate and inspire through its Young Enterprising Women Mentoring Forums. The annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, now in its 16th year, honors the top 100 women entrepreneurs from around the globe at a two-day event held each spring. Monica serves on the board of directors for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women supporting its PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS program, and has mentored Rwandan and Afghan women entrepreneurs in the program for the past nine years. An award-winning journalist, she has more than 35 years of magazine publishing experience and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the first Adrienne Hall Award presented by the Women Presidents’ Organization in recognition of her work to build bridges and alliances within the women’s business community, and the President’s Award from Women Impacting Public Policy. She received the 2013 Gold Stevie Award for “Women Helping Women” and The International Alliance for Women’s “World of Difference 100 Award.” Folio magazine named Monica to its 2015 list of “Top Women in Media.” In 2015, she was recognized by STEMConnector.org and the Million Women Mentors Program for her work with the Enterprising Women Foundation’s National Mentorship Initiative to inspire the next generation of Young Enterprising Women. She received the 2016 ATHENA National Leadership Award. She has been a speaker and a delegate at the Global Summit of Women in Morocco, Germany, China, Chile, Turkey, Greece and France. She has served on the National Association of Women Business Owners National Advisory Council and the Board of Governors for the Athena PowerLink program in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Corey Smith joined Major League Baseball in 2011 as the Senior Director of Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity. His responsibilities include league-wide procurement and cost-savings initiatives across all MLB entities while simultaneously increasing spend with diverse suppliers. To date, MLB’s diverse spend has increased 200 percent since he joined the League. Corey’s career reflects 20 years of experience in procurement and supplier diversity. Prior to joining MLB, he worked at NBC Universal as the director of supplier diversity. At NBC Universal, he increased diverse spend more than 400 percent in a five-year time span. Before working in the entertainment industry, Corey held strategic sourcing and supplier diversity positions across various industries including consumer goods, education and technology, beginning his professional career at IBM. Corey serves on the board for Diversity Information Resources, an organization that focuses on developing and supporting supplier diversity programs by enabling both the corporations and the suppliers to achieve their goals. He is also chair of the board for the New York/New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council.
Cheryl W. Snead is the president and CEO of Banneker Industries Inc., a world-class provider of supply chain management solutions, including product sourcing, value added warehousing and logistics services. Headquartered in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, Banneker has three operations in the state and has a national footprint, including California, Illinois and Alabama. Cheryl is chair of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Women’s Enterprise Forum and serves on the WBENC Board of Directors. In 2016, she was named Women’s Business of the Year by the Center for Women & Enterprise. In 2014, Cheryl was inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame. In 2009, she was named a Women’s Business Enterprise Star by WBENC and the New England Businesswoman of the Year by Bryant University’s Women’s Summit. Banneker Industries has been featured nationally in Inc., MBE, Essence and Black Enterprise magazines. Banneker industries was named the National Subcontractor of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2008. She is a charter member and officer of the Greater Providence (RI) Chapter of the Links Inc.
Leonard Spencer leads the supplier diversity function for The Walt Disney Company. In this role within the Sourcing and Procurement organization, he sets the vision and business strategy for the identification and utilization of diverse suppliers that help the company reduce costs, deliver quality, drive innovation and enhance economic inclusion reflective of the guests Disney serves and the communities where Disney operates around the world. In previous roles with The Walt Disney Company, Leonard used his leadership and change management expertise to guide the Strategic Sourcing and Procurement organization’s decision-making with respect to the development, adoption and implementation of best-in-class procurement programs, processes, procedures and tools. His team led the strategic planning and budgeting activities for the Theme Parks and Resorts segment and provided in-depth spend analysis. He provided segment leadership for teams based in Asia, Europe and the United States. Prior to joining The Walt Disney Company, Leonard held leadership roles with the General Electric Company and the Federal Reserve Bank. He is a graduate of Leadership Orlando and currently serves as treasurer of the East Winter Garden Improvement District and chair of the Florida Supplier Diversity Roundtable. He is a member of the Roper YMCA Board of Directors and the Central Florida Smithsonian Advisory Council. As a dedicated alumnus of Tuskegee University, he is the President of the Central Florida Tuskegee Alumni Club and a member of the Tuskegee University School of Business and Industry Advisory Council. He also is president of the Winter Park Kappa Foundation and a guest lecturer at the Rollins College Crummer School of Business.
Dein Spriggs is president of the Florida Amateur Driving Club, an organization of licensed harness racing drivers who compete on a professional level and donate 100 percent of their race earnings to charity. The organization began partnering with the Go for the Greens Foundation in 2013 to provide an annual donation to help a woman business owner who has survived breast cancer. As a racer, Dein has in excess of 400 wins. When he is not on the horse track, Dein is a real estate consultant.
John Stephenson’s journey with Disney began in the 1980s in what was then known as The Magic Kingdom College Program. His travels with the Walt Disney Company have led him to all 12 Disney theme parks around the world. John has also worked in the company’s headquarters in Burbank, Calif., with Disney Consumer Products. In the early 1990s, he was part of the opening management team of Mickey’s Kitchen, the first Disney restaurant ever opened outside of a Disney theme park. In 1992, John left Disney to pursue a career with the Starbucks Corporation. He was the first recruiter to be hired outside of the corporate office of Seattle, Wash. John recruited for all levels of the organization, including IT, management, sales, marketing and coffee roasters. After 13 years, he returned to Disney. The highlight of his career came in 2005, when he was selected as the recruiter to launch the Disney College Program at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., introducing the Disney College Program to Southern California students who were not aware of it. In 2006 he was awarded the highest honor a cast member can receive: the Spirit of Disneyland award. After the successful launch of the program at Disneyland, he rejoined the cast at Walt Disney World in Florida as a college program recruiter. He has recruited for Disney professional internships since 2013, starting with technology positions and now for sales, service and events.
Monica Stynchula is the CEO and founder of REUNIONCare Inc., located at the Innovation Lab @ Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. REUNIONCare is a healthcare provider portal connecting doctors, agencies and community-based services into one central communication without an expensive electronic health record system. She is a member of the AARP Florida Executive Council and serves on the Florida Agencyfor Healthcare Administration Telehealth Advisory Council to craft recommendations for Florida’s first telehealth law. Monica is the program director of the Caregiver Accelerator, helping new companies enter the $72 billion caregiving marketplace. In 2016, she was a featured speaker representing the USA at the Seoul 50 Plus International Forum in Seoul, South Korea. Monica is a member of the Tampa Bay Bold Goal Elder Hunger Task Force. She is a graduate of the USA Office of National Coordination HITECH health information specialist program.
Mike Taylor has worked at Disney for 18 years. He has spent the last five years on the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Environmental Integration Team. Mike is responsible for environmental documentation, training and standards development efforts. He also leads a team of environmental project auditors who assess various emissions, waste and water reduction efforts.
Karen Townsend is the founder and principal of Integrated Building Maintenance Services Inc., which is woman- and minoritiy-owned (Native American). IBMS provides building maintenance and cleaning services. The company has a corporate turnover rate of less than 7 percent, compared with the national janitorial industry average of 28.5 percent. Karen opened her first janitorial business in Indiana in 1996 and sold it in 2004. After moving to Florida, she started IBMS later in 2004 and has grown it to operations in 15 States and Canada. In 2008, she introduced ProMaka, a proprietary line of chemicals that are completely sustainable and eco-friendly.
Barbara Tulskie is the president of TREC Group Inc., an engineering consulting business she and her husband Joe Tulskie founded 16 years ago. TREC is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as woman-owned and operates in the Mid-Atlantic Region and also in Florida. She holds professional engineering licenses in Pennslyvania, Delaware and Florida. Barbara has volunteered as a youth coach for both volleyball and basketball for her local Catholic Youth Organization. She is actively seeking and mentoring young women in the technical fields of study. She is a member of the Go for the Greens Steering Committee, where she serves on the mentorship committee.
Rains Vickery is a Sustainability Consultant at ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability, a certified Small Business and DBE/MWBE/LDB, where her work experience includes planning and implementing high-efficiency, low-impact, building design and operational strategies for universities; state and local governments; and businesses, including the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. She has recently taken on the role of Board Chair of the Florida Chapter of the U.S Green Chamber of Commerce, where she hopes to strengthen relationships between local governments and businesses to promote socially, economically and environmentally inclined policies and initiatives. Rains has received accreditation from the U.S Green Building Council as a LEED-Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction and from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a Florida Stormwater, Erosion and Sedimentation Control Inspector.
Nicole Wickens is the founder of Validus Construction Services LLC, a commercial construction company that opened in 2012. Validus reached $6 million in its first year, exceeded 9 million in its second year, cleared $15 million in its third year, and closed 2016 with more than $17 million in annual revenue. Validus Construction offers a comprehensive package of services including design build, interior/exterior renovation, construction management, consulting, and joint ventures. Nicole and Validus have earned several recognitions over the past few years, including: Enterprising Woman of the Year Champion in 2016 and 2017; Orlando Business Journal Business Owner of the Year in 2017; and Orlando Business Journal 2017 Top 25 General Contractors in Central Florida ranking 19.
Patti Winstanley is president of the Aztec family of companies, all certified woman-owned businesses. With locations in Tucson, Arizona, and Austin and Waco, Texas, and an additional sales office in Dallas, Texas, Aztec has 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Aztec specializes in screen-printed and embroidered apparel including uniforms, promotional products, wide-format print, chenille for banners, signs, buttons, auditorium logos and jackets, sublimation, employee incentives, fulfillment and design. Patti serves as vice chair for small business for the Greater Austin Chamber and is co-chair of the AISD Reagan Early College High School community advisory committee. She is on the board of directors for the Women’s Business Council Southwest, and won Regional Advocate of the Year in 2010, the Women Working Together and the Lilly Knox Investing in Growth Award in 2011. Patti also represents WBCS as an advocate on the WBENC Forum, where she is the vice chair for the government committee, and served as chair of the 2015 WBENC National Conference and Business Fair host committee. She is a member of WBEC-West, where she was nominated for WBE Advocate of the Year in 2012, and serves as Forum Chair for Tucson. She was named an Enterprising Woman for 2013 by Enterprising Women magazine, and as a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization she served on the steering committee for WPO’s 2013 annual conference. Patti serves on the board of directors of the Go for the Greens Foundation and is a member of the Go for the Greens conference Executive Steering Committee, where she works with the sponsorship, programming, procurement and mentorship committees.
Kimberly Wyant is president of UPS Florida, where she directs all staff, departments and operations for 56 package centers, four hubs, six gateways, an air facility, and Trailer Conditioners Inc. Nearly 14,500 UPS employees support UPS’s sophisticated transportation network, delivering approximately 970,000 packages and documents daily. Kimberly began her UPS career in 2000 as a part-time supervisor in the Central Pennsylvania District. She was promoted to business manager in 2003. Following several job rotations in operations, Kimberly was promoted to package division manager in 2005. She accepted the assignment of feeder division manager the following year. Kimberly accepted a similar assignment for the Laurel Mountain District before becoming a package division manager in the Mid Atlantic District in 2008. Kimberly was named Central Plains District Operations Manager in 2011. She accepted a promotion as Central Plains District Manager in 2015. In May 2016, Kimberly accepted her current assignment. Kimberly serves on the Atlanta Federal Trade and Transportation Advisory Council.