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Jacqueline Marriott-Sansone

Investors Bank AVP-Branch Manager, Jacqueline Marriott-Sansone, shares her career success story as a Latina immigrant

Jacqueline Marriott-Sansone is an AVP-Branch Manager at Investors Bank – a division of Citizens Bank N.A. 

Jacqueline was honored with a Leader of the Month award this past Friday, June 24th, at the Latinas in Business 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit (WEES).

With the theme of SUCCESS, the 2022 WEES event featured panels with women leaders as speakers, sharing their stories of entrepreneurship, overcoming challenges, and achieving success as women and minorities. 

“Don’t let anyone else tell you how to measure your success. Measure it in your own terms, within your own aspirations, and in the achievement of your own dreams,” said Latinas in Business President Susana G Baumann in an article defining the event’s theme of SUCCESS

Jacqueline Marriott-Sansone

Jacqueline Marriott-Sansone (L) with Latinas in Business President, Susana Baumann (R) at the 2022 WEES.

As one of the event’s sponsors, Investors Bank is committed to helping small businesses succeed through banking and lending solutions. Their goal is simple: To help customers, colleagues and communities reach their potential. To learn more about Investors Bank visit investorsbank.com 

Jacqueline’s career journey is one of immigrant success, thriving and overcoming obstacles and adversity to rise up in her career and become a leader in the investment banking field. 

Like many immigrants, Jacqueline faced challenges early on. Moving from Ecuador to the US in 2002, she had to adapt to a totally new culture and way of life. 

“I was lucky to have learned the language at an early stage in my life,” she says, “But still I felt like sometimes I did not know what they were telling me, but I never gave up.” 

Jacqueline persisted through challenges and continued to learn and grow, taking advantage of all the opportunities that came her way. Through her determination, dedication, and strong work ethic, Jacqueline’s banking career blossomed and she soon rose through the ranks. 

“I started my career in banking in 2003 -19 years ago- as a bank teller at American Savings Bank in Bloomfield, NJ, which merged with Investors Bank in 2009.  After being a bank teller for a few months, I was promoted to be a banker, also worked in back office, Assistant Branch Manager and then Branch Manager at the Point Pleasant Office location. In 2011 I got my Life Insurance License.” 

Today she is a dedicated and  technically skilled business professional with an extensive fund of operations, banking and administrative knowledge and currently serves as an AVP-Branch Manager of Investors Bank.

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Her journey is one of immigrant success. Starting her career from the ground up, in a new country, with limited knowledge of the culture, adapting and growing along the way Jacqueline’s story is an inspiration to other immigrants and minority women looking to achieve their dreams. 

“My advice to minority women is keep learning and trying,” Jacqueline says. “I just kept doing and trying my best by learning new things, new programs, being involved in every new project that was presented at my job. There are resources out there that you can take advantage of, to become more successful.” 

Your dreams are possible. Your goals are attainable. Success is achievable. It’s time to thrive and make your dreams a reality! 

You might be interested: Dr Liia Ramachandra, founder of skincare brand EpiLynx by Dr. Liia, shares three critical elements for success

Gina Ference to share insights and expertise at the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit

Gina Ference, along with other women leaders, to speak at the Latinas in Business 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit. 

Gina Ference is the Managing Director and Head of Business Development, Marketing and Client Relationship Management for OneTeam Financial, LLC

Gina enthusiastically dedicates her professional life to building authentic relationships with  everyone that she encounters and 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.

In her current role, Gina manages the OneTeam Financial’s client relationship activities, employee development, and building relationships with strategic partners to continue growing the firm’s presence and service offerings throughout their community.

“Educate patiently. Advocate passionately. Inspire consistently,” is a mantra that Gina subscribes to as she works to make a difference in the lives of others.

Throughout her career, Gina has lived by that mantra and worked to improve the lives of others. 

For more than two decades, she served as an investigator at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. While there, she worked feverishly to protect seniors and victims of all ages from unfair practices. 

In addition to her professional work, she is also an active member of the community. Gina is on the board of directors for the American Red Cross – New Jersey Region and a Youth Fundraising Coordinator for Holiday Express, a non-profit that works to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year. She is also an active advocate for empowering women through her work and partnership with the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) Chapter AX-NJ and B.I.G.

 

2022 WEES

Join us at the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit

Gina will speak alongside other women leaders at the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit. The summit takes place on June 24, 2022, from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm at the co-host Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus. 

Tickets are still available but space is limited for this exclusive event. 

Save your spot: REGISTER NOW! 

From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm ET, the Panel Speakers will address the 2022 theme, “SUCCEED! How Women Entrepreneurs Make It in America,” which 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. 

“Expertise paired with determination, focus, and collaboration is the formula for success!” says Gina.

The panel, The Three Pillars of Women Success: Personal Power, Financial Wellness, and Business Innovation will dive into the stories of four women leaders, sharing key insights and expertise on how they achieved success in their careers. 

Become part of our Latina Inner Circle Membership!

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Gina Brillon

“The Latino community is very funny and we often use that humor to heal,” says Latina Comedian Gina Brillon

Gina Brillon was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. The Puerto Rican actress, comedian, writer and mom has been a standup comic since she was 17 years old. Her 1-hour special Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava won a 2021 Gracie Award, is nominated for an Imagen Award, and is available on Amazon Prime Video, along with her first special, Pacifically Speaking. Her 1/2 hour special Easily Offended was one of the top shows from the Entre Nos franchise on HBO Latino, and streams on all HBO Digital Platforms. Gina will be performing at the upcoming 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit Friday 6/24. REGISTER NOW! 

See Gina Brillon perform at the Latinas in Business 2022 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit.

Gina fell in love with comedy at the age of fourteen after years of being exposed to comedy as a form of healing. Growing up in her household she says whenever her family would go through something, humor was always involved in their healing. 

“I think a big thing for the Latino community is, we’re funny. We are very funny. And we often use that humor to help us heal and to help us get through difficult situations. And growing up in that environment I just learned to kind of do the same.”

That sense of humor grew into a passion as Gina was exposed to more comedians through HBO specials and stand-up performances. When she was fourteen she watched southern comic Brett Butler, and then later George Lopez, and both inspired her to want to be a comedian herself. 

“I said, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Gina recounts. “And I had to figure it out and just be willing to do the work. And I think if there’s anything that I’ve noticed about the backbone of the Latino community is we are creators. We are just a creative, beautiful culture. And we are driven.” 

That drive and work ethic was instilled in Gina at a young age and it came naturally to her to push and strive to make her dreams come true. 

She began by diving right into the New York comedy scene. Instead of taking comedy classes like many comedians do when starting out, Gina went to open mic nights every week, bringing friends along to get on stage, and putting in hours of hard work to get noticed. 

“I also ended up having to do this thing called barking, which is when you stand outside of a club in New York, or you stand in your on the street corner somewhere, and you’re literally just giving away a flier that gets somebody into a comedy show and hopefully they show up,” says Gina. 

Gina Brillon

Photo source: Amazon Prime Video

Her big break finally came when she got her first television credit. As she moved up in her television work she began auditioning and getting spots at comedy clubs. 

“Every club is different. Every club has different rules, like some of them want only live performances, some of them will watch a tape and have you come in and perform. And then some of them only need a submission, and then they’ll make up their minds, but most of them do prefer live performances, because they want to see how you do in the moment when you’re on that stage,” says Gina, reflecting back on the auditioning process. 

Since those early days, Gina’s career has taken off and she has achieved much success as a Latina comedian. When asked for her top successes thus far, Gina says her HBO specials and her time on America’s Got Talent are two of her favorite moments. 

“I’ve done two things for HBO, I did a 20 minute special. And then I did a 30 minute special. Now the 20 Minute special was extra emotional for me, because I grew up watching comics on HBO. And that was where I would watch my first couple of comedians. And I remember when I stepped off stage after doing that 20 minutes for HBO I just started bawling. And everybody was like, Oh, my God, like what’s wrong? And it just hit me that I just did stand up for HBO. I was just crying so much. It was incredible.”

Sign up for Amazon Prime and see Gina Brillon on The Floor is Lava

On America’s Got Talent Gina felt so much pride in being able to represent her culture as a Latina comic and South Bronx native, making it to the top ten in the competition. 

“Being able to represent my people, where I’m from, my family, like, it was a huge moment for so many reasons,” she says. “It just meant a lot to me to be representing them and to make it that far in the competition. It was an incredible and life changing experience to make it to the finals, honestly.”

During the competition Gina also had the opportunity to meet and work with her comedia idol, George Lopez. Gina was starstruck when she was paired with the comedy legend as part of a segment in the competition. 

Due to scheduling conflicts, Gina struggled to be matched with a celebrity comedian for the segment until she joked, “Has anybody asked George Lopez,” thinking it would never happen. 

“Well, they reached out to him. And he said, yes. And I froze when my manager told me because I was like, I’m gonna meet George Lopez.” 

Meeting her idol and comedy role model was both exciting and nerve-wracking for Gina. She thought, “Oh my God, I’m gonna cry, I’m gonna run and hide, I’m not gonna be able to talk, I’m gonna be shaking.” But ultimately held it together pretty well. 

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“He came to the set, we spoke over the phone. I had given him my idea of what we should do. And then he threw out this idea that was just crazy to me. He was like, ‘You’re gonna shave my head.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ He goes, ‘You’re gonna shave my head on national TV, it’s gonna go viral. It’s gonna be great.’” 

So she shaved his hair on national television, never having used clippers before! 

Despite the craziness and the nerves, it was an incredible experience for Gina and shows just how important idols and role models can be in any industry. 

See Gina Brillon perform at the Latinas in Business 2022 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit. Get your tickets now! 


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“Who we are, or where we come from, should not dictate how big we’re allowed to dream,” says Juliette Technologies Founder Rechelle Balanzat

Rechelle Balanzat is the CEO & Founder of Juliette Technologies. She’s a solo female tech entrepreneur and launched Juliette in Sept. 2014 from a basement laundromat in Murray Hill. She’s a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, a Tory Burch Fellow, an All Raise Female Founder, and a graduate of the International Drycleaning & Laundry Institute. Rechelle was also awarded Distinguished Filipino Women by the Philippine Consulate. 

Rechelle Balanzat

Rechelle Balanzat is the CEO & Founder of Juliette Technologies. (Photo courtesy of Rechelle Balanzat)

Her story begins in the Philippines where she was born to teenage parents and later became the first in her family to attend university, graduating with  honors from Fordham. Over the years she traveled and studied languages, worked in private equity and later digital marketing for brands like Max Mara, Pepsi, and Fresh. Then, in 2014, Rechelle set her sights on making a dream come true. 

“Juliette Technologies is my third venture. It is a comprehensive software solution for laundry and dry cleaning. Through our app, clients can have their dirty clothes picked up, cleaned, and delivered within 24 hours at the tap of a button,” Rechelle explains. 

Growing  up, Rechelle wanted to accomplish great things, do good work, and give back to her community. She looked for role models and found them, but few looked like her or represented where she came from—her gender, socioeconomic background, or diaspora. 

“It’s hard to be something you can’t see. But I didn’t let that stop me. I set out to become category leader in laundry and dry cleaning—a big dream, I know. But it’s my dream. Should who I am, or where I come from dictate how big I’m allowed to dream?” says Rechelle. 

Rechelle launched Juliette Technologies in September of 2014 after a year and a half of working on her prototype during her night while freelancing to pay the bills by day. 

“In 2012/2013 I was using Seamless frequently for food delivery. Around the same time, I would have to call my local cleaner to pick up and/or drop off my laundry.  Sometimes they would come, sometimes they wouldn’t. That was my a-ha moment!  I asked myself, ‘Why isn’t there an app that could pickup and deliver my laundry & dry cleaning?’” 

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Working nonstop for the next few years, Rechelle built up her company brick by brick. She watched as her competitors raised—and lost—millions. Meanwhile she had nothing and raising money was a constant struggle. 

As a female technology entrepreneur, one of my biggest challenges was fundraising.  Even though I had customers from day one, a profitable business model, and a scalable solution – I failed to fundraise.  As a result I fell into a depression.  I questioned my skill set and my abilities.  Perhaps I am a failure?” Rechelle shares.   

“Then I learned that the systems and paths to success thus far were made for people who do not share my background.  For example, of all VC funding only 2% go to women.  Of that, less than 0.2% go to women of color.” 

While money does not always equal success, it does take money to make money and for Rechelle and her story not raising capital meant her path to success was longer and more difficult. 

Still, Rechelle continued to work harder in the face of these challenges. She would not give up on her dream and eventually she hit her stride in 2017 when she began doubling her revenue. By the summer of 2019 she expanded to a second location. Then the pandemic hit and she lost 90% of revenue in 2020. 

“It wasn’t until Q4 2021 that I was able to stabilize the business. Today we are back in growth mode. We expect to triple our revenue this year.” 

“We pickup, clean, and deliver clothes with the tap of a button.”  (Photo courtesy of Rechelle Balanzat)

Through these challenges and setbacks Rechelle has learned to lean on her strengths. Her “superpower” is her ability to activate the people around her and build strong communities. She leads with empathy and always finds ways to empower the people around her so that they in turn can empower their communities too. 

“I am an empowered woman.  As such, I empower my team to make the right decisions when it comes to running our daily operations.  In the end, we become aligned with our vision and our values and that is a win-win,” says Rechelle. “As immigrants, we are natural survivors, natural entrepreneurs, and natural problem solvers.” 

See Rechelle speak at our exclusive event the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit! REGISTER NOW: Space is limited. 

For other minority women starting their own entrepreneurial journeys, Rechelle says, “It’s not about the challenges or the setbacks. It’s about never losing faith in yourself. It’s about believing in yourself when no one else will; believing in your dreams when no one else will. Standing up for those dreams. Standing up for yourself. That space of self-discovery can be intimidating. But I promise you, it’s the most powerful place you can be. All the challenges, all the obstacles, they refine you—they make you stronger, wiser, sharper.”

Along her own personal journey Rechelle has learned that being an immigrant does not have to be a setback and that each person has the power to change the narrative and create new pathways. 

“Who we are, or where we come from, should not dictate how big we’re allowed to dream – even if the world thinks we’re dreaming too big,” says Rechelle. 

“Be prepared to work twice as hard. Be prepared to get declined and rejected. And when that happens – see it as an opportunity.  Because it is up to us to break the cycle and find new pathways to success.” 

“In our daily hustle, in our daily fight striving towards excellence – we forge the future and create new pathways for the women after us.  Know this: no one can take power away from you. You have to give it away. As you strive to make your mark in the world, do so with grace and compassion. Because in many cases, you may be the first!”

You might be interested: Strong lineup of speakers announced for the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit


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Strong lineup of speakers announced for the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit

Four influential speakers have been announced for Latinas in Business’ 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit. The summit takes place on June 24, 2022, from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm at the co-host Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus. 

From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm ET, the Panel Speakers will address the 2022 theme, SUCCEED! How Women Entrepreneurs Make It in America,” which 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.  

Don’t miss this exclusive event! Register Now!

Speaker lineup for the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit

The speakers list for the event shows a variety of successful women in business including:

Dr. Denise Nuñez, Board-certified general pediatrician and critical care physician and a proud Dominican-American. She has passionately served the Latino immigrant community and created a number of different outlets with her visions to decrease health disparities amongst the Bronx community. Among these outlets are Divino Nino Pediatrics and Nino de la Caridad Foundation Inc.

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.

Become part of our Latina Inner Circle Membership! 

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The segment includes a Lunch Reception and the signature peer-to-peer networking session that allow women entrepreneurs connect with each other and  elevate themselves and their businesses.

From 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm ET, the event will feature keynote speaker, Assistant SBA Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Natalie Madeira Cofield, as well as 12 successful Leaders who will be awarded for excelling at growing their businesses or building their communities during the Leaders Awards Ceremony. Relax and enjoy a camaraderie environment with peer-to-peer networking and a fantastic open bar Mixology Reception with Stand-up Comedian Celebrity Speaker GINA BRILLON. 

Save your spot and Register Now! 

WEES

Latinas in Business announces 2022 Small Business Champion and Leaders Awards at the Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit

Awardees have been announced for Latinas in Business’ 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit (2022 WEES) a unique conference that year after year gathers successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs in the region to Learn. Connect. Succeed!  

The summit takes place on June 24, 2022, from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm at Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus located at 3 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017 (walking distance from Penn Station and Grand Station in New York). Registration is now open at https://2022wees.eventbrite.com/

The 2022 theme, SUCCEED! 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 includes panel speakers of who’s who in each area of development, along with a Lunch Reception and their signature peer-to-peer networking session that will help women entrepreneurs elevate themselves and their businesses.

From 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm ET, the event will feature an inspiring keynote speaker, and 12 successful Leaders will be awarded for excelling at growing their businesses or building their communities during the Leaders Awards Ceremony. Relax and enjoy in a camaraderie environment with peer-to-peer networking and a fantastic open bar Mixology Reception with Stand-up Comedian Celebrity Speaker GINA BRILLON. 

WEES

2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit Small Business Champion and Leaders Awards.

Among the list of Leaders Awardees are: 

Ivana SediaFounder of Unida Translation

Jacqueline SansoneVice President of Investors Bank

Laura Matos President of  Board of Latina Civic PAC

Dr. Patricia Campos-MedinaPresident 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 PintoManager of the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program

Evelyn PadinFounder, Law Offices of Evelyn Padin and Nominated U.S. District Court Judge in NJ Supreme Court 

Elisa NeiraDeputy 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

Join us for this must-attend event where Latinas in Business Inc. will help you gain tools, insights, and resources while connecting with other like-minded women that will propel you and your business forward to SUCCEED! 

For registration: https://2022wees.eventbrite.com/

WEES

National Leaders and Latina Celebrities to Gather at the 2022 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit in NYC to Succeed!

SBA Assistant Administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Natalie Madeira Cofield has been confirmed as Keynote Speaker for the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit and will receive the 2022 Small Business Champion Award

The SBA Assistant Administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Natalie Madeira Cofield has been confirmed as Keynote Speaker for the in-person event, Latinas in Business 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit (WEES), a unique conference that year after year gathers successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs in the region to Learn. Connect. Succeed!  

The summit takes place on June 24, 2022, from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm at the co-host Berkeley College’s Mid-Manhattan Campus. Registration is now open at https://2022wees.eventbrite.com/

The 2022 theme, SUCCEED! 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.  

WEES

Join us at the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit, featuring Celebrity Speaker and Comedian Gina Brillon.

From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm ET, the event includes inspiring a keynote speaker, panel speakers of who’s who in each area of development, along with a Lunch Reception and their signature peer-to-peer networking session that will 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. 

WEES, Natalie Madeira Cofield

Natalie Madeira Cofield has been confirmed as Keynote Speaker for the 2022 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit.

From 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm ET, 14 successful Latinas will be awarded for excelling at growing their businesses or building their communities during the Leaders of the Month Awards Ceremony. Relax and enjoy in a camaraderie environment with peer-to-peer networking and a fantastic open bar Mixology Reception with our Stand-up Comedian Celebrity Speaker GINA BRILLON. 

Join us for this must-attend event where Latinas in Business Inc. will help you gain tools, insights, and resources while connecting with other like-minded women, that will propel you and your business forward to SUCCEED! 

For registration: https://2022wees.eventbrite.com/