The 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit (WEES) took place on June 24, 2022, from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm at the co-host Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus.
The 2022 theme, “SUCCESS! How Women Entrepreneurs Make It in America” alludes to the struggle that minority women entrepreneurs and female founders face to start and expand their businesses in an environment of discrimination and barriers to opportunities.
From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm ET, the event included panel speakers of who’s who in each area of development, along with a Lunch Reception and Latina in Business’ signature peer-to-peer networking session to help women entrepreneurs elevate themselves and their businesses.
“We selected 3 areas in which most women entrepreneurs continue to struggle to achieve their own goals: Personal Power, as they have to confront the demands of home-schooling young children, caring for their parents, and running their business; Financial Wellness, struggling with funding and business barriers; and Business Innovation, all the new requirements and adaptation that the post-pandemic world is demanding from their businesses,” Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, explained.
The speakers list for the event showed a variety of successful women in business including:
Gina Ference, Managing Director and Head of Business Development, Marketing and Client Relationship Management at OneTeam Financial. Gina is devoted to enhancing the lives of those around her and advocating to bring them valuable opportunities that can help them live the lives they always imagined.Gina manages the OneTeam Financial’s client relationship activities, employee development, and building relationships with strategic partners to continue growing our firm’s presence and service offerings throughout our community.
Rechelle Balanzat, CEO & Founder of JULIETTE and thrice time entrepreneur, immigrated from the Philippines with her parents as a teenager. She graduated from Fordham and has a background in tech. She is the recipient of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses award, she is a Tory Burch Fellow, and a graduate of the International Drycleaning & Laundry Institute. She’s a straight shooter, not afraid to ask for what she wants (or hearing the word ’no’) and she’s ready to disrupt the laundry and dry cleaning industry, city by city.
Andrea Martinez-Mejia, Chief of Staff for the New Jersey Department of Health, has extensive experience in government, serving in various capacities. During her tenure in state government, she worked closely with statewide stakeholders and diverse constituencies. In addition to her career in public service, she has served on various boards and mentored first generation college students through a college mentoring program. As a woman and Latina, she is passionate about the empowerment of younger generations of women and Latinas.
Victoria Flores – Entrepreneur, WE NYC Mentor for the City of NY, Former Wall Street Executive, Co-Founder & President of Lux Beauty Club Botanicals and Panel Guest Speaker on Startup Fundraising.
“Trust your instincts, dare to be different, and create your path and core values that are uniquely yours,” said panelist Gina Ference, Managing Director and Head of Business Development, Marketing and Client Relationship Management at OneTeam Financial.
Watch our highlights reel below!
This portion of the event brought together members and leaders in a camaraderie environment with peer-to-peer networking and a fantastic open bar Mixology Reception with Stand-up Comedian Celebrity Speaker GINA BRILLON.
“I’m proud to support this event that is full of leadership and entrepreneurial women that are making an impact in their communities,” said Albania Rosario, Founder and CEO, Fashion Designers of Latin America
Among the list of Leaders Awardees were:
Ivana Sedia – Founder of Unida Translation
Jacqueline Sansone – Vice President of Investors Bank
Laura Matos – President of Board of Latina Civic PAC
Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina – President Latina Civic PAC
Andrea Martinez-Mejia – Chief of Staff for the New Jersey Department of Health
Samantha Telfair – Founder, theMERGER. State of Mind
Marcela Berland – President and CEO of Latin Insights
Lucy Pinto – Manager of the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program
Evelyn Padin – Founder, Law Offices of Evelyn Padin and Nominated U.S. District Court Judge in NJ Supreme Court
Elisa Neira – Deputy Commissioner at NJ Department of Human Services – Office of New Americans
Monica Ramirez – Founder/President, Justice for Migrant Women; Co-founder, The Latinx House
2022 Small Business Champion:
Natalie Madeira Cofield – SBA Assistant Administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership
“I see the friendliness, the happiness in faces, I see people who are excited, and that is what keeps me going. So we thank everybody who participated, we thank Berkeley College for being an incredible partner, our sponsors without whom this event would not be possible. And, of course, our members, Latinas in Business,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO of Latinas in Business.
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