UPS, Miami, FL
As president of UPS Americas Region, Romaine Seguin is responsible for all UPS package and cargo operations in Canada and more than 50 countries and territories, as well as the UPS Supply Chain Solutions operations throughout Latin America, Miami and the Caribbean.
Romaine began her career with UPS in the Missouri District in 1983. Throughout her career, she has held a variety of operational and management roles including serving as the ramp and division manager in Louisville, Ky., responsible for the opening of the very first automated test wing at the company's global air hub, UPS Worldport. She has been managing director of UPS’s Gulf South District and Minnesota District as well as chief operating officer, UPS Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
While in Europe, Romaine was instrumental in successfully steering the UPS Europe operations through a very difficult economic period, including the challenges faced in April 2010 when the Icelandic volcano eruption shut down air operations across the continent for several days. As a result of her leadership, the UPS Europe operations recorded double-digit export volume growth for the first three quarters of 2010.
Romaine is an active board member of the Florida International University (FIU) School of Business Dean’s Council and sits on the Transportation Advisory Board for Best Buy Inc. She is also the current president of Conferencia Latinoamericana de Compañías Express (CLADEC) – Latin America Conference of Express Companies. Romaine holds a degree in marketing management from William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., and an MBA from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. She is an avid runner, golfer and sports enthusiast.
U.S. General Services Administration, Atlanta, GA
Shyam Reddy is the Regional Administrator of the Southeast Sunbelt Region of the U.S. General Services Administration. He is responsible for the real estate, fleet and procurement operations of the federal government in eight Southeastern states, which encompasses 43 million square feet of owned and leased real estate, a 40,000-vehicle fleet operation and several billion dollars of federal government procurement.
In his role as principal executive of the region, Shyam leads a GSA workforce of nearly 1,000 employees across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Prior to accepting this presidential appointment, Shyam practiced corporate law as a partner in the Atlanta office of the large and prestigious international law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. As an attorney, Shyam assisted a number of public and private clients with their mergers and acquisitions, procurement and technology transactions, and venture capital and private equity deals.
Shyam has served on the boards of directors of the University of Georgia College of Public Health, the University of Georgia Alumni Association, and Common Cause of Georgia. He also is a member of the 2010 Class of Leadership Atlanta and 2005 L.E.A.D. Atlanta Class of Leadership Atlanta.
In addition, he has received a number of awards, including: 2005 Georgia Trend Magazine Top 40 Under 40 Georgians; 2005 Atlanta Business Chronicle Top 40 Under 40 (Up and Comers); 2005-2010 Atlanta Magazine Georgia Rising Stars; and 2005 Multicultural Law Mover and Shaker.
Shyam obtained his bachelor’s degree and his master’s in public health from Emory University and his law degree from the University of Georgia.
Olympic Gold Medalist in Tennis, Winter Park, FL
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gigi Fernandez was first introduced to tennis on her seventh birthday with lessons as a gift from her parents. After a year at Clemson University, where she reached the NCAA finals as a freshman, she turned professional in 1983, becoming Puerto Rico's first female professional athlete in any sport.
After an illustrious career, Gigi retired at the Chase Championships in 1997, ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles. She had been consistently ranked No. 1 or No. 2 since April 1991. She holds 17 Grand Slam doubles crowns and two Olympic Gold Medals. She was voted Puerto Rican female Athlete of the Century and is a member of International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Gigi was best known as a doubles specialist, although she surprised many fans by reaching the singles semi-finals of the 1994 Wimbledon Championships, and the singles quarter-finals twice at the U.S. Open.
After retiring, Gigi continued her involvement in tennis by coaching the Puerto Rican Fed Cup team and mentoring several young Puerto Rican aspiring pros. She was the head women’s tennis coach at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., for three years and coached top WTA doubles team Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur. She also remains active in corporate hospitality events and participates in fundraising events throughout the country.
Gigi has many outside interests including golf, skiing, web design, fine dining and promoting active lifestyles. She is the founder of Baby Goes Pro, a company that provides children and their parents with technically correct, fun and instructional products that teach fundamentals of sports, encourage kids to play and inspire them to move. Gigi recently completed her MBA at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.
Martha Mayhood Mertz
ATHENA International, Sedona, AZ
Martha Mayhood Mertz, founder of ATHENA International, is a speaker, author of Becoming ATHENA: Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership, and successful real estate entrepreneur as president and owner of the Michigan-based firm Mayhood/Mertz Investment Inc. Her book traces the ATHENA history and illuminates the ATHENA principles, with inspiring stories from Martha and other prominent leaders.
Martha developed her vision for ATHENA International while serving on the board of directors of the Lansing Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce. As the only woman on the board, she quickly recognized that the chamber’s boardroom did not reflect the reality of the community. Martha worked with her chamber to recognize the leadership of outstanding professional and businesswomen in the community and advocated to provide opportunities for them to move into leadership positions. The first ATHENA Award was presented in 1982—and the ATHENA spirit was born.
She was honored as one of the Top 25 Women Business Owners in Michigan by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and selected as the Michigan Women-In-Business Advocate by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Other awards she has received include the Visionary Award from Office Depot in 2004; the Vassilissa Award in Moscow, Russia; and induction in 2006 into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame. Martha received her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and psychology from Michigan State University.
WBENC, Miami, FL
Nancy is president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center in Miami. The not-for-profit organization assists in the establishment and growth of women in business and is the Florida Regional Partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies that businesses are owned, operated, managed and controlled by women. Born in Haiti and raised in South Florida, Nancy is bilingual in English and French and fluent in Creole and Spanish, and she has worked in international, community and economic development for more than 20 years. She was named the 2011 South Florida District Women in Business Champion of the Year. Nancy is a founding member of the Go for the Greens steering committee.
Experience Media Group, Toronto, Canada
Ruth is president of Experience Media Group Inc., an interactive learning and communications firm based in Toronto, Canada. A serial entrepreneur, Ruth has produced award-winning digital communications projects for more than 15 years in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom . As co-founder of Medium One, Ruth sold her first business during the dot-com era in 2001. She has been the executive producer on projects including the Ken Burns Jazz for Kids on PBS.org and IN POCKET, a Web-based employee financial education product distributed by Halifax Bank of Scotland. As past president of Women Entrepreneurs of Canada (WEC), Ruth participated in consultations with International Trade Canada, Status of Women Canada and Industry Canada. She has participated in trade missions over the years, and represented Canada at several international events for women entrepreneurs. Ruth is co-creator and program consultant of Rotman School of Management’s “Next Steps: A Program for Experienced Women Entrepreneurs” at the University of Toronto.
Collins Center for Public Policy, Tallahassee, FL
A Florida native and resident of Tallahassee for nearly 25 years, Tim is the vice president of sustainability initiatives for the Collins Center for Public Policy, an independent, nonprofit policy think tank with offices in Miami, Tallahassee and Tampa. Tim serves as the Director of Sustainable Florida, an alliance of private and public partners committed to economic growth and environmental stewardship to create a higher quality of life for this and future generations. He is also the Executive Director of the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida. He is senior-level administrator with 20 years of leadership experience in public, private, and not-for-profit settings reflecting expertise in aligning human, physical, and financial resources with an evolving organizational vision. He has worked for the Florida Legislature, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Home Builders Association and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. He is a member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. He is committed to creating stronger communities and has served on several not-for-profit Boards of Directors, including the Go for the Greens steering committee.
UPS, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Cindy is the state government project manager for UPS, where she has been employed for 25 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. She actively participates in activities with minority and women’s business organizations, including 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. Cindy is a co-founder of Go for the Greens and serves as chair of Go for the Greens 2011.
Growth Innovators, Winter Park, FL
Kirstie is a founding partner of Growth Innovators LLC and consults to incubator and economic development programs focused on technology startups. She is an ongoing advisor to venture capital and angel investment groups throughout Florida. Kirstie has 25 years of experience at technology companies, including 15 years of direct executive-level experience at early-stage, venture-backed startups. She held business development and executive roles at technology companies that included Wind River Systems, Microtec Research, Sun Microsystems, Mentor Graphics, and ISR Global Telecom. In 1999, she co-founded DigitalOwl, a software company that provided a secure digital media distribution platform to Fortune 500 publisher and financial clients. As the company’s CEO, she raised more than $13 million in venture capital. She is the former executive director of the Winter Park Angels, an angel investment group of more than 50 members, and was the recipient of the Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award, the Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, and the Dr. W. Judson King Entrepreneurship Memorial Award.
Strategic Solutions International, Wilmington, DE
Connie is the author of The Magic of the Method: How the Birkman Method Can Be Your Power Source for Success and founder and CEO of Strategic Solutions International, which specializes in helping organizations meet their objectives through improvement of the way they motivate, manage and educate their people. The company’s international client base includes Aramark, PNC Bank, DuPont, Lockheed Martin, Visa, J.P. Morgan, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, First Data Corp., Boeing and Accenture. She has spoken to audiences all over the United States and in Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. In 1993, Connie developed a unique approach to helping businesspeople improve their performance by using the golf course as a classroom. The principles that help a person play a better round of golf are some of the same ones that apply to business improvement. Connie previously worked in employee development for DuPont and served as the education director for the City of Baltimore’s Office of Employment Development.
Hester Taylor Clark
The Hester Group, Jacksonville, FL, and Alexandria, VA
Hester is the owner of The Hester Group, a woman owned- 8(a) professional services marketing communications agency. Since 1998, she has successfully transitioned The Hester Group from a one-person home-based business to a full-service government contractor, serving the healthcare, transportation, energy, tourism and environmental sectors. She has more than 30 years’ experience in public relations and marketing and has provided marketing, advertising and public relations services for organizations and corporations across the United States. She has received several awards and honors recognizing her success as a woman-owned small business. Prior to establishing the agency, Hester worked as the director of marketing for several health and social service organizations in California, Michigan and Florida.
Craig Technologies, Melbourne, FL
Carol is president and CEO of Craig Technologies, with 230-plus employees nationwide and $20 million in annual revenue. She started her company at her kitchen table with just $150 and incorporated in 1999. Carol previously served as a P-3C Orion Naval flight officer, specializing in anti-surface and sub-surface warfare. She was named the Minority Small Business Person of the Year in 2010 and Small Business Person of the Year in 2009 by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Florida District. She was a finalist for the 2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Florida Region and received the 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Society of Women Engineers. Carol serves on several boards including those for the SBA’s Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech, the Dean’s Advisory Board of Central Florida College of Engineering, National Space Club Florida Committee, Junior Achievement of the Space Coast, and United Way of Brevard. She and her husband are founders of the Danny Craig Foundation aiming to raise and administer funds for research of childhood disorders.
Fifth Third Bank, Orlando, FL
As president of the Florida region, Karen is responsible for driving Fifth Third Bank’s strategy and execution of five major business lines: commercial, investment, advisors, retail, mortgage and business banking. Her statewide oversight includes approximately 1,300 employees and more than $8 billion in deposits. Karen joined Fifth Third Bank in October 2006 to provide strategic support on special retail initiatives. Three months later, she was named head of retail banking, overseeing retail strategy, sales, service and operations for more than 1,200 financial centers in 12 states. In November 2007, she was one of the five leaders in the company to receive a distinguished leadership award for “Operational Excellence” related to the retail bank’s re-engineered sales process. In December of 2008, Karen was named president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Central and North Florida. In March 2011, she was promoted to her current role. Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, Karen’s extensive banking experience in Florida included key leadership positions in commercial, retail and private banking.
Jennifer Diaz, Esq.
OWIT, Miami, FL
Jennifer is an attorney in Becker & Poliakoff’s Customs and International Trade Department. She concentrates her practice on assisting clients with issues relating to the import and export of merchandise to and from the United States. She has experience working with federal agencies including the Food & Drug Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on issues relating to proper FDA labeling to registration requirements and entry procedures for cosmetic, over-the-counter drug, dietary supplements and medical device products; FDA voluntary recalls; classification of goods; antidumping matters; scope ruling requests; seizures, forfeitures, and mitigation of fines and penalties; Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism; and trademark recordation and infringement.
ATHENA International, Chicago, IL
Dianne Dinkel has been the president and CEO of ATHENA International since 2008, working with more than 200 communities in the United States and seven countries where over 100,000 people gather annually to honor women leaders in their community. ATHENA supports, develops and honors local women leaders through its programs, including the ATHENA Awards and ATHENA PowerLink. For over 25 years, Dianne has served in nonprofit organizations and as the senior financial officer at private universities. Prior to serving as its president, she was the fiscal director and subsequently on the board of directors of ATHENA International. She is a regular speaker at local ATHENA Award events focusing on the ATHENA Leadership Model.
In July 2011, she was recognized as one of 100 Women Making a Difference in Chicago by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine. Dianne also received the World of Difference 100 Award from The International Alliance for Women in 2009 and the Spirit Award from the West Cook Chapter of Women in Management in 2011.
Progress Energy, Raleigh, NC
Sherrie Duncan is the manager of supplier diversity and business development for Progress Energy, where she has worked for 11 years. Supplier diversity at Progress Energy spans the development, utilization and growth of local and diverse-owned businesses and working with community partners to support economic development both within the communities that Progress Energy serves and broadly across the country. She was appointed to her current role in June 2005 and previously held several key positions within Progress Energy, including department controller and manager of fleet assets. Prior to joining Progress Energy, Sherrie was a financial manager for Litton-TASC in Arlington, VA. She has also held several financial and program management-related positions within the federal government.
PNC Bank, Lake Mary, FL
As a PNC healthcare business banking relationship manager, Mike helps healthcare practices increase profitability and improve cash flow. With a strong knowledge of the healthcare industry, he understands how to capitalize on changing market conditions that directly benefit healthcare practices. Throughout his career, Mike has helped healthcare practices accomplish many objectives, such as expanding operations, changing locations, adding partners and ancillary services, and purchasing the latest healthcare technology and equipment. Mike has worked in the banking and financial services profession for 20 years and has been with PNC since 2007. His experience includes branch management, business banking, private banking and real estate. Mike is an active member of the Medical Group Management Association and sits on the governing body of ATHENA PowerLink in Orlando.
Park Avenue Group, Winter Park, FL
Stacy is the president and CEO of Park Avenue Group, a staffing firm that specializes in the banking and finance industries. Stacy has more than 20 years of experience as a banking executive in the financial services industry. Her most recent position before she formed her firm was as a regional market executive in Orlando. In her first year in business, she won a nationally recognized award as "Rookie Office of the Year." In her second year she was recognized in the Top 25 percent and President's Club, and in her third year ranked in the top 10 of all billing managers in the entire company. Because of her high production levels, Stacy was accepted in 2004 as a member of the exclusive Pinnacle Society and has received numerous national public speaking engagements. She is a certified member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
Speakout, Miami, FL
Anne is founder and CEO of Speakout Inc., an executive communication and training company that works with senior-level executives, business owners, motivational speakers and community leaders to help them create and deliver presentations and speeches and provides customized team communication and sales communication programs. Anne is a former news reporter, an author and new app developer. Her first app, called WowPitch, is set to be released in the fall of 2011. Speakout’s clients include Visa International, .CO Internet SAS, ImprintPlus, Florida International University, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Mastercard, IBM, Western Union, Barclays, BankUnited, Bayview Financial, Disney and Health Foundation of South Florida. Anne is past president of the Greater Miami Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She serves on the board of directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and holds leadership positions in several business and nonprofit groups. Anne is a founding member of the Go for the Greens steering committee.
Progress Energy, Lake Mary, FL
Christopher is manager of emerging technology for the Efficiency and Innovative Technology Department of Progress Energy Florida. He leads a team responsible for supporting research and development initiatives, monitoring advancement in technologies, and managing grants, pilots, and other partnerships related to alternative energy and emerging and innovative technology. Over the past eight years, he has served Progress Energy’s focus on environmental stewardship and sustainability with roles in environmental services, demand side management, and retail strategy and emerging technology. His team currently is working to help the company and customers use energy responsibly, expand use of renewable resources, and aggressively pursue energy technologies, which will enable Progress Energy to continue to provide a secure, clean, affordable energy future.
GH International Consulting, Miami, FL
Glaucia (pronounced glaw-cee-ah) is the founder and managing director of GH International Consulting, which works with international companies to set up U.S. operations, make overseas connections for enterprises expanding abroad, and match businesses to the right professionals in culturally correct ways. Glaucia is fluent in French, Portuguese, Spanish and English and is studying Italian. Born and raised in Brazil, with dual U.S. citizenship today, she has also lived in France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her expertise covers a broad range including domestic and international sales, intercultural marketing, product and services marketing, business development, product launch management, PR, brand positioning, government relations, DRTV, and business strategies. Glaucia has held key executive positions in enterprises ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. She is an active member of Women in International Trade, National Association of Women Business Owners’ Greater Miami Chamber, Aventura Marketing Council, Brazil-Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, American French Chamber of Commerce, and Brazilian
Tigress Financial Partners, New York, NY
Suzanne is a managing partner of Tigress Financial Partners, a woman-owned and -operated broker-dealer that provides trading, compliance, marketing, practice management, advisory and operational support services. Tigress provides institutional investors and corporate clients with products and services in public and private equities, fixed income, corporate finance and investment management. Prior to joining Tigress, Suzanne provided financial advice for business owners during the past 12 years with Wachovia. She guided hundreds of women in obtaining Women Based Enterprise (WBE) designation. She partnered with the Small Business Administration of Summit and Los Angeles County, along with National Association of Women Business Owners
(NAWBO). Suzanne specializes in women in finance, leveraging internal and external strategic partnerships to provide a holistic approach for women business owners. Tigress Financial Partners is an advisor on the White House Business Council Roundtable under the direction of President Obama. The “Winning the Future
Roundtables with American Business” are currently being conducted by the Obama Administration to hear directly from U.S. business leaders about their ideas for how to continue to grow the economy, put Americans back to work, and win the future.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey
Douglass Screen Printers, Lakeland, FL
Lisa is president and CEO of Douglass Screen Printers, a screen and digital printing company operating three facilities in Lakeland, Fla. The Tampa Bay Business Journal has ranked the company as a Top-75 Woman-Owned Business in the Tampa Bay area for seven consecutive years. The firm was named in DiversityBusiness.Com’s 2007 Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses in the United States and 2009 Top 100 Diversity-Owned Businesses in Florida, and is a Top 50 Printer to the U.S. Government Printing Office. Lisa writes regularly for business publications and has appeared in articles on entrepreneurial women in national publications. She is a past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners and currently serves as global development director. She is the president-elect of The International Alliance for Women and is active in international business organizations including the Organization of Women in Trade, the Florida Gulfcoast World Affairs Council, the Orlando World Trade Center, the French-American Business Council, the Latin Chamber of Tampa Bay and the International Committee of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Small Business Council of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Women Impacting Public Policy, among other organizations, and she was a member of The Executive Committee, an international organization of CEOs, for nine years. Lisa is a founding member of the Go for the Greens steering committee.
Creative Communications, Claymont, DE
Cathy is founder and president of Creative Communications, an award-winning certified women’s business enterprise that works with clients in corporate, nonprofit and government organizations to develop detailed marketing plans and communication strategies and then monitor their effectiveness. Cathy previously worked as a manager and communications specialist with Westinghouse Electric Corp., The Boeing Co., and Hewlett-Packard. She served as the 2004-06 president of the Delaware chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She received the SBA Delaware 2007 Women in Business Champion Award, the 2007 Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Superstar in Business Award of Excellence, and the 2009 NAWBO Woman Business Owner of the Year Award. Cathy currently serves on the Go for the Greens steering committee.
UPS, Atlanta, GA
Lisa is the senior group manager in the Corporate Procurement Group for UPS at its worldwide headquarters in Atlanta. She has worked for the company for more than 13 years and is responsible for the procurement of employee benefits and third-party services. She also oversees the company’s supplier diversity program. Other positions she has held at UPS include department manager of the Corporate Finance and Investments Groups and coordinator in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Prior to joining UPS, Lisa worked at Citigroup in various banking-related positions in New York City, Brussels and Atlanta. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Treasury Professional certifications. Currently, Lisa serves on the board of the Greater Women’s Business Council and is co-chair of the certifications committee.
Mercedes Electric, Miami, FL
Mercedes is president of Mercedes Electric Supply, which she co-founded in 1979. Today the company has 45 employees and annual sales of more than $20 million. Mercedes was born in Havana, Cuba, and her family immigrated to the United States after the revolution and settled in Chicago. She previously worked as the first woman buyer for A&P Tea Co., where she was responsible for purchasing grocery items in excess of $200 million a year and was instrumental in negotiating an end to a strike by a group of Mexican workers. Mercedes is an active member of and advocate for organizations including the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Women Presidents Organization, Zenith Group, National Minority Supplier Development Council, IMARK, National Electrical Contractors Association, Independent Electrical Contractors Association, National Association of Women in Construction, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the national advisory board for Enterprising Women magazine and is a director, sponsorship chair and steering committee member of Go for the Greens.
Myregion.org, Orlando, FL
Shelley is president of myregion.org , a business unit of the Central Florida Partnership. Formed in 1999 to serve as a catalyst for Central Florida’s individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments to act together in making the region globally competitive, myregion.org has gained state and national recognition for its ground-breaking work –including the first-ever Central Florida Regional SourceBook, a strategic framework for regional collaboration throughout the seven-county region, along with a library of original research completed with key community partners. Among numerous projects, her organization led How Shall We Grow?, an 18-month community initiative to address projected regional growth in Central Florida. Shelley advances the concepts and ideals of regional collaboration through her service on a variety of local, regional and national boards, including serving as chair of the University of Central Florida’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Advisory Council, on the Executive Board of the Urban Land Institute-Central Florida, and on the National Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce’s Community Growth Educational Foundation. Shelley previously held key executive positions at Walt Disney World and the Arnold Palmer Golf Management Co.
UPS Capital, Miami, FL
Vicki is the marketing director of strategy for UPS Capital, the financial services business unit of UPS. She is a 15-year marketing veteran with UPS and has more than 20 years of both business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing experience. She has worked with Fortune 500 corporations in the manufacturing and service sectors as well as in consulting, where her clients were primarily in the telecommunications (ATT) and food sectors (Kraft).
Colleen Moore Mezler
Moore Research Services, Erie, PA
Colleen is p resident and CEO of Moore Research Services, a global research company, and is sought after as a motivational and leadership speaker. She is a second-generation researcher and seasoned professional with more than 25 years in the market research industry. Colleen has significant experience in both quantitative and qualitative research. She is a past president for the Marketing Research Association and is also certified by the MRA as an expert in market research. Colleen received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award from the MRA and the 2010 U.S. Small Business Administration Woman-Owned Business Award in Western Pennsylvania. She is a 2009 ATHENA PowerLink recipient and currently serves as a panel advisor. In addition, she serves on the ATHENA International Board of Directors.
Women’s Business Center, Florida Institute of Technology
Donn is the director of the Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech and an adjunct instructor at the university as well as Brevard Community College, where she teaches courses in business, advertising and computer technology. She previously served as the assistant director of the National Center for Small Business Information, director of the International Federation of Nonlinear Analysts, and an editorial team member for mathematical journals. Among several advanced degrees, Donn has a doctorate in operations research with an emphasis on women-owned small businesses and federal procurement. She is a member of the National Contract Management Association, Women Impacting Public Policy, and the Association of Women’s Business Centers.
Pamela Chambers O’Rourke
ICON Information Consultants, Houston, TX
Pamela is the founder, CEO and president of ICON Information Consultants, which identifies and recruits professionals in information technology, accounting, finance, human resources and procurement, and offers services in HR, consulting, payroll and project management. Founded in 1998, ICON has more than 1,200 employees in 48 states with 2010 revenues in excess of $125 million. Pamela was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion of the Year in 2005, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2009 in the Houston/Gulf Coast area, and Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance Supplier of the Year in 2010. ICON has been named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies, and numerous times to the Houston Business Journal Houston Fast 100 and Top 100 Fastest-Growing Woman-Owned Businesses. She serves on the board of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the Women’s Business Council – Southwest, and she is a member of Women Presidents Organization, C200, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance and other organizations. She is co-chair of sponsorship for the Go for the Greens steering committee.
U.S. Small Business Administration, Jacksonville, FL
Donna is a business development specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration's North Florida District Office in Jacksonville. Before joining the SBA North Florida District Office staff, Donna was an analyst in the SBA's Office of Minority Small Business Development at its headquarters office in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the National Association of Women in Construction, the American Business Women's Association, Women Business Owners of North Florida, the Enterprising Women Leadership Institute, the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, GLOBALJAX and Sister Cities.
UPS, Atlanta, GA
Nancy is the manager of sustainability for the Customer Solutions Group at UPS based in Atlanta, Ga., where she has worked for 12 years. In her role, she works with both the private and public sectors to develop sustainable processes and solutions. Nancy is a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and holds various certifications. She also serves as an advisor on CSRware’s Sustainability Board and a member of the National Contract Association and Women Impacting Public Policy. Nancy received the Global EXEC Women International Women of Influence Award in Beijing in 2008.
Mary Schnack & Associates, Washington, DC
A specialist in communications, Mary is an award-winning writer, business owner and public relations practitioner who owns Mary Schnack & Associates, where she is a public relations consultant and crisis communications expert. She has helped small businesses, associations and corporations with a variety of public relations needs and speaks on communications and business topics throughout the world. She has presented communications trainings and keynote speeches at conferences in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Palestine, London, Geneva, Germany, Mexico City, Ukraine, Swaziland, Kenya, Belgium, Iceland, Greece, Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States. Mary also started Up from the Dust: Supporting the Global Growth of Women Microenterprises, which brings beautiful handmade products to the U.S. marketplace. The organization helps support and economically empower women around the world.
DiVerse Media, Orlando, FL
Diane is an award-winning journalist and the founder and president of DiVerse Media, which has helped authors produce more than 50 nonfiction books and also specializes in marketing strategy projects, including event planning, research, white papers, media relations, messaging, online marketing and social media. She 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. Diane serves as senior editor of Financial Operations Matters magazine and has written for numerous other business publications, including F lorida Trend,Internal Auditor and Venture Woman, which she served as founding editor in chief. Diane previously held editing and reporting roles at The Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today newspapers. For her work in mentoring women and building community relationships, she was named National Member of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2006 and 2009. Diane has served on numerous advisory boards including the governing body for the Athena PowerLink program in Central Florida. She is co-founder and co-chair of Go for the Greens.
PNC Bank, Erie, PA
Linda is a senior vice president at PNC Bank in charge of the women’s business development program. She previously worked as director of the National City Corp., where she oversaw an initiative for women business owners. National City won recognition in a national study funded by the prestigious Ewing Marion Foundation as one of three banks demonstrating “best practices” in providing access to capital to women-owned businesses. Linda founded and trademarked the Women’s Economic Development Outreach Tour, called WEDO, expanding it to seven states reaching more than 11,000 professional women and women in business. She is on the national board of ATHENA International and has introduced and developed the ATHENA PowerLink program in 14 U.S. communities. Among numerous recognitions, she has received the National City Community Service Excellence Award, U.S. Small Business Association Financial Service Advocate, Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business, Gannon University Small Business Development Small Business Advocate of the Year, SBA Lender of the Year, and an ATHENA Award. Linda also serves on the advisory boards for National Women Business Owners Corporation, Pennsylvania State Small Business Development Centers, Western Pennsylvania SBA Small Business Resource Partners, SCORE, and the Erie ATHENA PowerLink program. She was appointed by Gov. Edward Rendell to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.
Greibo Marketing, Baltimore, MD
As president and CEO of greiBO media, Shelonda is responsible for the overall management of the digital media company, helping organizations create an edge in their marketplace using mixed media. She has more than 15 years of management, communication and media experience in the entertainment, government and commercial business arenas. Since joining greiBO in 2001, Shelonda has helped market many organizations including Hewlett-Packard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Under Armour and State Farm. Under her leadership, greiBO has earned a place in the world of advertising and communications with numerous awards and service to industry leaders and global markets. Shelonda produced the 2011 African American Festival, attracting a record-breaking 500,000 visitors, and is currently producing a children’s fitness multimedia campaign that won the Innovator of the Year Award from The Daily Record in Maryland.
Unique Visions, Orlando, FL
Joseph Tankersley is a storyteller, futurist and creator of immersive experiences and the author of the Unique Visions blog at www.uniquevisions.net . For more than 25 years, he has helped organizations create compelling messages about their goals and visions for the future. He has worked with national and international corporations, non-governmental organizations and governments. Joe employs a wide range of media tools, from oral storytelling to feature films and fully immersive physical environments. He has led workshops in North America and Europe teaching diverse groups how to use narrative tools to create and implement visionary strategic plans. His most recent projects have combined cutting-edge storytelling and game technologies to create immersive activities that entertain, enlighten and empower. Joe is a longtime member of the World Future Society, former member of the board of directors of the Global Future Forum, and current member of the board of directors of the Association of Professional Futurists.
Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Matt is manager of minority business development for The Walt Disney World Resort. In his current position, he manages the supplier diversity program for the Walt Disney Resorts through partnerships with internal departments in Florida and California, as well as relevant business organizations throughout the United States. In this role, Matt identifies qualified and certified minority and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) and matches them against Disney’s procurement and bidding opportunities. He also facilitates mentoring and development of MWBEs through partnerships with community-based organizations, while partnering with the resort sales team to bring minority and women-based organizations to the Walt Disney World Resort for their conferences, workshops and tradeshows. Prior to joining minority business development, Matt led a team in Walt Disney World sourcing and procurement that achieved significant spend with MWBEs. Matt is the past president of the Florida Minority Business Development Council Central Chapter, is part of the FMSDC certification review committee, and is a member of the Osceola Hispanic Business Council Board of Directors. He sits on the USPAACC-SE Board of Directors and is a founding member of the Executive Steering Committee for Go for the Greens.
EcoAsset Solutions, Tampa, FL
John is president and chief operating officer of EcoAsset Solutions, a sustainability consulting firm specializing in advisory, analysis and management for government, corporations and landowners. John’s professional experience spans 12 years of service in corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management, and strategic corporate development. In 2007, he joined the Lykes Bros. executive management team and was responsible for strategic corporate growth and business development initiatives. As a result, he planned, organized and launched EcoAsset Solutions for Lykes Bros. John’s leadership earned him the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Up and Comers award in 2009 and was responsible for EcoAsset Solutions receiving the Sustainable Business Award in 2010 from Earth Charter U.S.
Lori Anne Wardi
.CO Internet, Miami, FL
Lori Anne brings close to 20 years of diverse business experience to her position as director of global communications at .CO Internet. Prior to joining .CO Internet, she founded and managed several businesses, including Dream Big Media, a digital asset strategy consulting firm in New York City. Previously she practiced law for five years at Proskauer LLP, a top-tier national law firm, where she counseled executives on the full gamut of federal and state employment laws. A seasoned management consultant, Lori Anne has served as the global manager of training and professional development for the Technology Division of Goldman Sachs; and has consulted with executives in many of the world's most prominent investment banks, professional service firms and non-profit organizations, including JP Morgan Chase, UBS, and AIG.