|8:00 - 9:00 am
Registration & Breakfast available
at 7:30 am
|James Laughlin Music Center, Chatham University
The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. Casual networking and a continental breakfast precede engaging and interactive presentations on topics essential for women in business such as innovative entrepreneurship, strategic business growth, unique marketing strategies, and logistical business planning.
Upcoming Dates & Speakers
Friday, March 08
Pittsburgh’s Million Dollar Women-Owned Businesses
The Women's President's Organization will moderate a panel of exceptional women entrepreneurs about how they founded their companies, their successes, their biggest obstacles, lessons learned, and their future plans for growth. Only 1.7% of all women-owned businesses get to the million dollar mark, come to hear the “secret sauce” from a few women founders who have made it there!
Yvonne Campos, Moderator
Founder, Next Act Fund
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R. Yvonne Campos, founding CEO of market research and strategy firm, Campos Inc, is a nationally recognized focus group moderator, facilitator and consultant. Under her leadership, Campos Inc, founded in 1986, became the premier research company in the Pittsburgh market by introducing new and innovative research techniques and consumer trend analysis. She is the founder of two Pittsburgh chapters of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a peer-to-peer learning model for women-owned businesses with revenues over one million dollars. Yvonne is a very active member of the Pittsburgh business community; she has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for her entrepreneurship and community involvement.
Asha M. Persaud, MS
Chief Executive Officer, The Hope Learning Center
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Asha Persaud is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Hope Learning Center. In this role, she leverages more than 15 years of expertise in the fields of clinical and school based therapy, behavioral intervention services, specialized education alternatives, and executive management to lead a team of educators and therapists in the delivery of customized services to children on the autism spectrum. Ms. Persaud oversees all levels of corporate direction and strategy at The Hope Learning Center, facilitating company activity in contracts, consulting, innovation and development. Under Asha’s leadership The Hope Learning Center has grown its programming to include outpatient therapy, three privately licensed schools, development and operation of a customer relation management system, teletherapy practice, and an early childhood education center. She has consistently developed high-quality, groundbreaking services to deliver on the mission of The Hope Learning Center by being the premier provider of educational and therapeutic services for children with special needs.
President & Founder, Beyond Spots & Dots
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Melanie Querry knew she wanted to become an entrepreneur long before she could spell it. Upon graduation from Penn State University, she pursued an advertising sales position with KDKA-TV and also Comcast, where she built an extremely successful career. In 2006, Melanie recognized and seized the opportunity she had anticipated since childhood, risking all of her personal finances, as well as her personal life (working nearly every night and weekends for years), to take a chance on her dream. She started Beyond Spots & Dots – a full-service advertising agency - with no investors, partners or clients. Within twelve years of business, Melanie has helped to lead her company to be named among the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Fastest Growing Companies, Top 20 Ad Agencies and Best Places to Work, and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America list, as well as the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list five (5) times. Her personal honors have included being named to the Pittsburgh Business Times’ BusinessWomen First list and earning Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year Award, as well as the Women of Achievement award. Melanie volunteers her time working with young adults and other Entrepreneurs to help them follow the path of success. Melanie is a graduate of Penn State University. Today, Beyond Spots & Dots is operated by Melanie and her husband, Andreas. They have a five-year-old son and travel for fun.
Founder, GK Capital & g17 Properties
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Gina is a successful, driven and resourceful entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience. She focuses as a customer centric leader, while demonstrating a track record of achieving financial goals with a consistent record of growth, which ultimately led to the successful exit of her company in 2013 to an international conglomerate. Gina was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2008. Gina launched her real estate investment business in 2015, renovating her first home successfully. Her business focuses both on residential redevelopment and commercial investing. Gina is a member of Next Act Fund and Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. She has been active in the due diligence process, both leading and participating in teams.
Founder and President, FCG Solutions
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Shelley Fant is the founder and President of FCG Solutions. Prior to founding FCG she was an Assistant Vice President and Senior Attorney with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. Shelley is committed to community service and engagement. As such, she currently serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Board of Directors (Pittsburgh Branch) and on the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Shelley was honored as follows: • Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as one of “Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business” in recognition of her commitment to business growth, professional excellence and her community. • Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (Western Pennsylvania District) in recognition of her outstanding performance and commitment to excellence as an entrepreneur. • A Woman of Excellence by the New Pittsburgh Courier • She is a member of the Women President’s Organization’s, a national peer advisory organization for women who own and lead multimillion-dollar businesses. Shelley earned her a B.S. in Marketing from Hampton University and her J.D. from Cleveland State University. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New York.
Friday, April 12
Best Practices & Lessons Learned From Women in Finance at the Top
Come hear two women in finance discuss their journeys through the ranks in the financial realm, providing real insights and perspectives and answering questions including how they did it, whether or not they had mentors along the way that opened doors for them, and how they handled road blocks.
EVP, Head of Commercial Banking, PNC
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Stephanie graduated from Chatham in 1990 with a degree in International Business and is the Head of Commercial Banking at PNC. Prior to joining PNC, she was senior vice president of market strategy and planning for Lender's Service, Inc., a mortgage subsidiary of Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. Stephanie began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, working with audit, tax, and management consulting practices.
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Nancy received her BA in Political Science from Chatham in 1963 and her MA from Syracuse University in1965. She was the Managing Director and Treasurer of Global Corporate Investment Bank North America for Citigroup New York, Citibank, and retired from this position in February 2000. From 1982 to 1991 she was VP of Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, where she was Manager of Global Funding and Liquidity for Corporate Bank for London, Europe, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and North America.