Get ready to be swept off your feet by the 2024 WBENC National Conference, the largest event of its kind for women-owned businesses, where we’re cranking up the energy with our empowering theme, AMPLIFY!
In this feature article we are honored to introduce our inspiring 2024 Host Committee of WBEs from each of our 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs). These WBEs are truly our national Conference ambassadors, helping to represent the amazing work that is done in each of our RPOs.
We encourage everyone in the WBENC network and anyone attending the 2024 National Conference to engage with their RPO and support these amazing WBE Host Committee members!
Cara Burzynski | Host Committee Chair | Aero Dynamics
Cara Burzynski is President of AeroDynamics, LLC, located in Seabrook, NH, a metal finishing company that serves the aerospace, defense, and medical industry. After a 25-year nursing career with a focus in clinical research, Cara made the seamless transition to aerospace manufacturing. Her background in nursing gives a unique perspective into quality system management, regulations, and compliance. Cara is passionate about environmental regulation, employee engagement and continuing education.
Cara is on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium (NHADEC) and the National Association of Surface Finishing (NASF) and serves on their Education Committee. She is the founder of the New England chapter of Women in Manufacturing and served as their first President of the chapter. Cara is also a Corporator of Meredith Village Savings Bank and serves on their Funds Committee.
Geraldine Keogh | Biens Chocolate Centerpieces
Geraldine Keogh is a trailblazing entrepreneur, renowned for her innovative spirit and unwavering commitment to empowering women in business. As the Co- Founder and CEO of Biens Chocolate Centerpieces Corp and The Dessert Ladies, she has established herself as a driving force in the culinary world and beyond.
With a remarkable portfolio of five patents to her name, Geraldine has demonstrated her pioneering expertise in the field of confectionery and dessert artistry. Her creations not only tantalize the taste buds but also leave a lasting impression, redefining the concept of edible art.
Geraldine’s journey to success has been paved with dedication, perseverance, and an unshakable belief in the power of entrepreneurship. She has harnessed her passion for creativity and culinary excellence to build not one, but two thriving enterprises that have garnered acclaim far and wide.
Beyond her entrepreneurial achievements, Geraldine Keogh is a staunch advocate for female business owners. She actively mentors and supports women in their pursuit of entrepreneurial dreams, serving as an inspiration to countless aspiring leaders. Her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in the business world is a testament to her vision of a brighter, more equitable future.
In a world where innovation and empowerment intersect, Geraldine Keogh stands at the forefront, leading the way for aspiring entrepreneurs and championing the cause of women in business. Her journey is an extraordinary testament to the heights that can be achieved with talent, determination, and an unwavering belief in one’s dreams.
“Amplify your potential, network, and impact at the WBENC National Conference in Colorado, March 2024. Join us to be part of a community dedicated to empowering women in business. Together, we’ll amplify your voice, opportunities, and success. Don’t miss this chance to turn up the volume on your dreams and aspirations. Attend the WBENC conference and let your potential soar.”
Julie Auslander | Couranto
Julie Sue Auslander is the company’s Chief Cultural Officer or Corporate Evangelist and avoids the traditional “President” persona. These terms better reflect her commitment to a process of insight and discovery—a process that shaped her role as a leader of a successful woman-owned business.
Year after year, her leadership earns Couranto national recognition, including a spot on Inc 5000 and “Top 50 Women Owned Business” in New Jersey. She was also named a WBENC National Star in 2012. Auslander was honored with the “2008 Enterprising Woman of the Year” recognition and made the Women’s Enterprise list of 2008 top businesses in the U.S. She earned her MA and MEd from Columbia University and a BS from Pace University in New York.
“What I love most about the annual conference is seeing old friends and meeting new business prospects in the same place.”
Caren Schweitzer | Creative Resources LLC
Creative Resources was born 25 years ago out of Caren’s basement while raising three young children as a single parent. With steady growth, she has the led company to include a team of 28 with a global footprint. Creative Resources is an established leader in the industry ranking in the top 5% of branded merchandise companies nationwide. Creative Resources became WBENC certified in 2009 and understands that when you put your name on something you are making a statement. Caren along with her business partner, Mark, have built a company that delivers unparalleled promotional expertise, boundless creativity, highly personal customer service all while being a champion for diversity.
Through Creative Resources technology of building ecommerce solutions, graphic design and warehouse and fulfillment, Creative Resources delivers the WOW factor from idea generation to product delivery. In 2020 Creative Resources built a platform allowing delivery of custom Engage boxes delivered to the doorsteps of employees and clients. From HR onboarding, D&I, remote meetings and events, employee appreciation and more Creative Resources created a solution to keep people connected, Engaged and Appreciated in a remote world.
And then came Pickleball. Caren an avid pickler since 2020 saw a gap in the pickleball gear market. There was a lack of creative, quality and affordability in the market. Jenna is an expert in retail and design. Together as mother and daughter they launched Posh Pickler. We are a purposeful, premium brand that is dedicated to creating fun and functional gear inspired by our love for the game.
“WBENC and the WBENC network provides us with the opportunity to learn, grow and connect. One of my favorite quotes is by Simon Sinek. Leaders don’t complain about what’s not working. Leaders celebrate what is working and work to amplify it. WBENC and this conference is an opportunity to learn from each other, grow as individuals and leaders, connect with this amazing community and bring back what we learn.”
Jennifer Schaumburg | FUSE Solutions Inc.
Jen Schaumburg is a Digital Ecosystem Builder dedicated to strengthening businesses of all sizes through secure closed platforms and data-driven technology.
As the founder and leader of multiple technology companies, including FuseSolutions.com, FuseConnect.ai, Econic.AI, and Force4Change.com, Jennifer is pioneering new models of digital collaboration and commerce. Her mission is to connect enterprises to platforms and solutions that provide real-time insights into trends, empowering all organizations to leverage disruption as an opportunity. Before founding her own ventures, Jennifer garnered awards for service excellence during her tenure in IT Operations at a global semiconductor company. A certified Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen facilitator, she is committed to continuous process improvement.
Jennifer recognizes the transformative potential of technology to benefit society in meaningful ways. Through Force4Change.com, she sheds light on the economic challenges women worldwide continue to face and advocates for the integration of financial literacy and fair and unbiased technology in business. Her dedication to making technology accessible extends from small businesses to patients in need of tech-enabled home care. Jennifer serves as a powerful role model, demonstrating that women can achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions while also prioritizing personal responsibilities and wellness.
Fuse Solutions Inc, under Jennifer’s leadership, is a proud member of the Women’s Business Council Southwest (WBCS) and is a longstanding WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Jennifer also participates in the Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), The Ellevate+ Network, Women in Cyber Security (WiCys) and locally throughout her community. She serves on the WBENC Women’s Enterprise Forum and is a distinguished board member of the WBCS.
“To me personally, the National Conference represents an empowering journey, both pre and post certification. It symbolizes the strong and impactful woman I have chosen to become. ‘Amplify’ isn’t just about turning up the volume. It’s about tuning the world into the frequency of WBE potential and redefining the game. By doing so, we challenge the status quo, spark innovation, and shape the future of tech. As a software and technology entrepreneur, when I amplify, I am not just elevating my own voice, but the voices of all women in business, echoing our shared ambition, resilience, creativity, and capability.”
Dede Van Quill | Image Projections West Inc.
DeDe Van Quill purchased a controlling interest in IPW in 2021. The company was struggling to recover from the huge blow delivered by the global pandemic. When the country began to work from home, the toner cartridge industry was hit especially hard. Yet, even in a shrinking industry there is always room for growth. With a combined 30 years of experience in the paper, packaging and toner industries, DeDe identified avenues for untapped potential within the industry.
In addition to running a small, International non-profit organization, she has been working on the development and implementation of a 10-year business plan, hatched collaboratively with her husband, to regrow and reinvigorate the U.S. toner remanufacturing industry via acquisitions and inter-industry collaborations. IPW was a fantastic fit as part of this plan. Since purchasing the remaining shares of IPW in early 2022, from the last remaining founder, DeDe has been able to gain traction within the industry. As a result, IPW has been able to retain all of our employees as well as our beautiful, Denver, manufacturing facility and are now poised for dramatic growth!
“The WBENC National Conference is an extraordinary platform for women entrepreneurs to amplify our shared strength by forging business connections and partnering with fellow women-owned enterprises. We are strengthened by our unity through which we can each unlock our endless potential!”
Sara Webb | InTandem
Ever since she can remember, Sara Webb has been a juggler. Juggling activities, career, family, friends, and volunteering. Sara has learned through all of this juggling that she can do it herself. But it’s far easier (not to mention more fun) to juggle with a partner.
And it was on this premise that InTandem Promotions was born! With over 25-years of experience in the promotional products industry and working with a wide-range of companies and organizations building their brand stories, Sara is excited to build-upon that experience and meet our clients’ needs. In 2013, InTandem Promotions open its doors. And from there, Sara has built the organization nationally and globally with multiple locations. InTandem Promotions creates and manages numerous online stores, fulfillment and warehousing, safety and recognition programs, and custom designed products.
Sara received her undergraduate and graduate degree from Kennesaw State University in both Marketing and Finance. Sara believes that only through continued education can she continue to develop not only herself but InTandem Promotions. In 2017, Sara was awarded the CVS Supplier Diversity training (a 6-month mini master’s program) and in 2018, she was selected to participate in Launchpad2X for Women Owned Businesses.
In 2018, Sara was thrilled to receive the Trailblazer Award given by the Greater Women’s Business Council.
She lives in Dallas, Georgia with her husband, Matt Webb and 2 daughters – Riley and London. Her family is highly entrenched in the success of InTandem through their support, weekend help, and late-night work and brainstorming sessions. Sara’s passion is to be a role-model for young women entrepreneurs (including her daughter’s) and loves building up the next generation.
Cindy Towers | JURISolutions
Cindy Towers is Co-Founder and CEO of JURISolutions Legal (JSL), an award-winning legal services innovator and one of the largest WBENC-certified legal service providers in the country. Since 1997, JSL has specialized in the development and strategic utilization of legal talent, and JSL’s newest service line, jurisADVANCE: DEI, offers customized diversity, equity & inclusion consulting for law firms and corporate legal departments.
Cindy is committed to advancing diversity in business and law. She participates in formal mentorship programs, serves on legal DEI committees, and is a frequent speaker on DEI. Cindy serves as Vice Chair of the WBEC East Board of Directors, is a multi-term Board member of Women Owned Law and the SBA Regulatory Fairness Board, and is an active member of WIPP and WBENC. Additionally, JSL is a Corporate Partner of the NGLCC and Cindy serves as the Co-Chair of the NGLCC’s National Legal Industry Council.
“For 15 years, the WBENC National Conference has remained the highlight of JURISolutions’ long list of networking initiatives every year. The Amplify theme is particularly appropriate to our journey as a WBE because no industry needed a louder wake-up call than legal. In the beginning, legal opportunities were non-existent at the Conference. But, thanks to the determined voices of the amazing supplier diversity professionals who listened to our challenge and knocked loudly on legal’s door, the needle has moved. Today, conference attendees can learn about upcoming sourcing initiatives in legal and even meet legal professionals. Way to AMPLIFY WBENC – Thank you!”
Stephanie Leader | Leaderpromos Marketing Agency
Stephanie Leader founded Leaderpromos Marketing Agency over 25 years ago with a vision of creating memorable and impactful marketing experiences through branded merchandise. Through thoughtful leadership, strategy, and an emphasis on DEI and sustainability, Stephanie has led the company as CEO/visionary to the Top 40 of the promotional product industry, making Leader the largest wholly woman-owned promotional marketing agency.
Stephanie’s entry into branded merchandise began as a student at The Ohio State University. As an incoming freshman, she needed a way to make money to help pay for her education. Stephanie was given an opportunity to sell branded apparel and merchandise and fell in love with the job.
Business began to take off almost immediately, and Stephanie began to see the power of branded merchandise. She found success in helping companies and organizations find precisely the right branded products to best represent their corporate initiatives and marketing.
Her passion for branded promotional marketing soon led her to change her career course completely. Stephanie decided to follow her growing passion, decline her admission to law school, and immerse herself in the branding industry. In 1995, she became an owner and continued building her corporate client base. This was done through phone calls, referrals, and drop-ins.
Along with being an entrepreneur, Stephanie has a family of two kids, Andrew and Alexis, and an English bulldog named Molly. Grateful for her healthy family both at home and at work, Stephanie committed her philanthropic efforts to organizations that focus on women, children, and the environment. Stephanie, her family, and employees regularly participate in fundraising and volunteer activities aimed at making the world a better place. This is the foundation of the company’s culture today.
“My favorite aspect of WBENC’s National Conference is the platform it provides all women to connect with one another, educational resources, and the opportunity to find potential collaboration/networking that ultimately contributes to the growth and success of women-owned businesses. The theme AMPLIFY is about the opportunity for all Women to have their voices heard. Share their ideas, experiences, and expertise with one another. Contribute to open discussions, decision-making, and being an advocate for all women in business.”
Cindy Brewer | LEO Events
Cindy Brewer is Co-Founder and Principal of LEO Events, a women-owned global brand experience agency that produces over 150 events a year for clients including Walmart, Hilton Hotels, Google, AutoZone, and Sherwin-Williams. Formed in 2012, LEO is an award winning, full-service agency with four focus areas: Live Production & Digital Broadcast, Meeting and Event Management, Creative Content & Brand Development, and Festivals/Public Events. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, LEO Events employees 90+ full-time employees with additional offices in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as Asheville, North Carolina.
With more than 25 years’ experience in hospitality, public relations, destination marketing and management, and event planning, Cindy oversees the development, marketing and administrative teams and concepts all internal meetings and philanthropic initiatives. In 2010, she cofounded the Jay Uiberall Foundation and currently serves as Board Chair overseeing $350,000 in grants made annually in Memphis to underfunded youth development programs. In 2022, she acquired Serving Memphis, a 501c3 that will fund initiatives in the Memphis area for those in hospitality. And in 2023, she launched the 12th Seacrest Studio, a Ryan Seacrest Foundation initiative, at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
A recent highlight, Cindy was awarded Meeting Professionals International MPI Top50 Most Influential and has been named to the Hall of Fame for “Smart Women in Meetings” by Smart Meetings Magazine; “Top 25 Super Women in Business” by Memphis Business Journal; an Inside Memphis Business Magazine Power Player; and “Top 500 People in Events” by BizBash. A WBENC certified WBE since 2014, Cindy is a Women’s Business Center (WBC) South Advisory Board Member, a WBEC South Chairman’s Circle member, a 2024 National Conference Host Committee member, and was named Supplier of The Year 2023 by the Women Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South). An alum of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Cindy is on the Board of Visitors for the College of Communication & Information and a Rocky Top Business Award winner. She is married to her long-term love and business partner, Kevin Brewer, has two teen sons and an adorable dog named Trevor Clem.
“Hands down WBENC has been the best business development decision for my company in years. Through its supplier diversity initiatives, WBENC has amplified our opportunities to seek and obtain RFPs and land qualified business. My favorite part of the National Conference is the Meet & Greets, as its an excellent opportunity to showcase your services to corporations in a professional and effective way. Also, the LEO Events sponsored Sneaker Jam during the Opening Night Welcome Reception is a can’t miss. See you in Denver!”
Helen Stefan-Moreau | Midtown Group
Helen Stefan-Moreau is the CEO, President, and Owner of The Midtown Group, a WBENC-certified woman-owned business based in Washington, D.C. that has provided flexible staffing solutions across the nation for over 34 years. As the “Best Place to Work” for high-performance entrepreneurial staffing professionals, Midtown provides the most qualified resources specializing in IT, Legal, and Professional Services, to solve client problems and achieve their goals with the right solution, delivered with speed unmatched by competitors.
Helen impressively opened her company in 1989— just months after beginning her career in the staffing industry. Following her graduation from the University of Florida (UF) in 1988, she used her brand-new degree in Public Relations and Business to apply for a PR position at a staffing firm. Sensing her potential, the firm hired Helen, not for PR, but for recruitment. Quickly realizing her talents, Helen knew it was time to pursue another agency or start her own staffing business. Choosing the latter, Helen grew her small business into a multimillion-dollar success. During the first decade, Midtown earned a strong reputation in the legal community, providing permanent placement services to some of the best law firms in the country.
In 1998, Helen incorporated contingent workforce solutions while expanding into various industries seeking professional services. In 2001, she added a successful government division to offer her consultants to Federal, state, and local governments. Then in 2007, Helen expanded Midtown again to form an IT division. After placing IT professionals across the legal, professional services, and public sector divisions for some time, it was clear the company needed a dedicated team solely focused on these skillsets to meet clients’ growing needs for IT support. More recently, Midtown has responded to clients with even more capabilities, including providing Tier 1, 2, and 3 call center support.
Over three decades, Midtown has evolved from a staffing company to an organization capable of providing full-service solutions, thanks to Helen’s tireless effort to exceed client expectations in an ever-changing market. With her leadership, Midtown is recognized as DC’s premier staffing and consulting firm, consistently winning awards such as “Best Workplaces” from Inc. Magazine, “Best Places to Work” from the Washington Business Journal, and “Great Places to Work” from the Washingtonian. In 2023, for the first time, Helen made it on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. Female Founders 200 list, Staffing Industry Analysts’ List of Fastest Growing Staffing Firms, Staffing Industry Analysts’ List of Diversity-Owned Staffing Firms, Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy List (ranked No. 7 of small-size companies), Washington Business Journal’s List of Fastest Growing Companies in Greater Washington, and was recognized by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur Of The Year Mid-Atlantic Finalist.
“The conference is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the mission of WBENC. Women supporting women to support each other and share success is what amplify means to me.”
Denice Olson | Strategic Staffing Solutions
Denice Olson makes certain S3 has the right people to support S3 Customers. She finds and identifies the right talent to serve as account managers, recruiters, and market leaders. She then mentors and coaches them in the S3 way, keeps everyone motivated and ensures success in individuals, teams and common goals.
Using her vast experience in all aspects of staffing, Denice understands what’s expected of every position at S3. Consequently, she is known as a tough mentor and coach who recognizes individual strengths and has a robust plan to ensure his or her success at the company. The result: excellent teams who have all realized their full potential.
Never satisfied to wear just one hat, Denice also supports national sales development and has a proven track record in fostering strong relationships with customers and expanding national accounts across multiple markets. She plays an integral role in designing and developing solutions to support customer demands. She believes we must earn the right to do business with our customers every single day.
She has also grown organizations from scratch. She joined S3 in 2003 as branch manager of the Chicago office and grew that office from 10 billable IT consultants to 140 in four years. As a result S3 was ranked the #1 vendor with two national customers in Chicago for twelve consecutive quarters.
Before joining S3, Denice was senior vice president of sales at Spherion Technology. Charity work is also part of her commitment. Denice spends a few hours each week calling on local businesses and parishioners looking for fundraising donations to the Notre Dame Parish and School, which her son attends. Dedicated to helping change people’s station in life, Denice helps to prepare them for interviews and connects them thru her vast network.
She has developed S3’s Supplier Diversity program and is active in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council and TechServe Alliance. Denice attended the College of DuPage as well as the Program for Senior Executives On Negotiation at Harvard University.
Arlene Inch | Transpak
Arlene Inch is Chairwoman of TransPak, which she acquired in 1969 when it was just a small shop and a dozen employees serving the nascent technology industry in Silicon Valley. Today, TransPak is a global leader in packaging, crating, material control, supply chain and transportation logistics. Over the company’s history, Arlene has fulfilled all roles necessary to further TransPak’s mission of delivering peace of mind by protecting its customers’ key assets on their global journey. Arlene’s innate ability for relationship building and identifying strategic growth options have been critical factors to TransPak’s success. The company currently operates all over the world in 65+ facilities with more than 3,000 team members and a host of international partners.
Arlene’s everlasting optimism is infectious beyond the TransPak family and pours into our communities. She is a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and on the board of WBEC Pacific, and is member of C200 National Organization, headquartered in Chicago. Arlene also holds board positions on the Bay Area Tumor Institute (BATI), the American Film Institute National Council (AFI), the San Francisco Guild, Bay Scholars, the San Francisco Host Committee, and the San Diego Symphony Board.
Deborah Trevino | Treco Services
Debbie Trevino is CEO and Owner of Treco Services, Inc. Debbie started Treco Services in 1983 as a small mom and pop cleaning service and forty years later has built the company to the full-service corporation it is today providing Janitorial, Ground Maintenance/Vegetation, and Facility Maintenance services.
Debbie has led the diversification of the business, which is headquartered in San Antonio, TX, to include experience with clients throughout Texas and other states with corporate, commercial, and government accounts. As well, it is certified as Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency Hispanic American Business Enterprise (HABE), MBE, Small Business Enterprise (SBE), and WBE, Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Disadvantaged Business (SBD), a graduate of the SBA 8(a) program, SBA HUBZone, and Texas HUB.
Currently, Debbie is serving on the board of the Southwest Minority Business Council and has previously served as a board member of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Awards she has received include Small Business of the Year, Service Firm of the Year, San Antonio Business Journal 40 under 40, WBEA Rising Star, Community Minority Business Advancement Program Participant, Graduate of Leadership San Antonio, MBE Idol of the Year with the Southwest Minority Business Council, and Graduate of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
Debbie is a native of San Antonio, TX and is the proud mother of three daughters, a son and grandmother of 13 grandchildren.
“Woman is where it ALL began. We brought defeat & disappointment, never realizing we were the ones that held the Victory all along.”