WBENC is fortunate to have so many amazing WBE CEOs highly engaged in the network helping to fuel opportunities, education and growth for WBEs and Supplier Diversity programs. The Women’s Enterprise Forum (the Forum) is central to that immense WBE engagement as “the WBE voice within the WBENC network.”
New Forum leaders have recently been appointed and include Peggy Del Fabbro, Forum Chair / CEO, M. Davis & Sons; Hannah Kain, Forum First Vice Chair / President & CEO, ALOM; and Kelly Kolar, Forum Second Vice Chair / President & Founder, Kolar Design Inc.
Read on to get to know our Forum leaders and more about the Forum, including how you can get to know them and network and learn from them!
Peggy, Hannah and Kelly – congrats! You are now our Forum leaders. Thank you for your leadership.
What are each of you focused on in that leadership role?
(Peggy Del Fabbro, Forum First Chair) First and foremost, I am grateful for the opportunity to be in the leadership position as Forum First Chair. I do not take lightly the responsibility and trust that WBENC has in both me and my fellow chairs to lead and drive the Forum and its goals. As we work together to lead the Forum, I am focused on being a clear voice for all WBEs, helping them drive successful diversity programs to support their organizations and to be aware of the needs of the WBEs.
I will focus on the Forum’s role within the WBENC network and work to communicate the Forum’s objectives and goals. I look forward to working with the other chairs and building relationships, which will, in turn, enhance the Forum and the entire WBE community. It’s truly a pleasure to be in a leadership role to represent the WBEs within WBENC. It is exciting to know that we are creating opportunities to impact all our WBEs and fantastic network positively.
I’m passionate about supporting the growth and success of woman-owned businesses by providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed, based on my experiences. We can build a brighter future for all women entrepreneurs by working together and supporting one another.
(Hannah Kain) I am honored to be part of the Forum Leadership and serve with the other chairs. My focus is to support and promote the WBEs throughout the entire WBENC network. I have so much respect for the WBEs and really want us to succeed. We could probably run a small, well-managed and prosperous country with the 18,000 WBEs and their businesses, ranging from mining and manufacturing through cybersecurity and marketing.
I am delighted to have a platform where I can promote the WBEs. I am also focused on continuing to build community among the WBEs in the Forum. We are standing on the shoulders of so many past great Forum leaders and the fantastic WBENC leaders and staff; I want to continue to build on their accomplishments and take the Forum activities to a new level. We achieved such connectivity during the pandemic where we were invaluable sources of support for each other.
My first goal is to represent the WBEs within WBENC. This is about creating opportunities for growth for everyone.
(Kelly Kolar) As a WBENC Forum Leader, I’m focused on creating a supportive and inclusive environment for women-owned businesses. My leadership role involves working closely with other Forum Leaders and members to develop meaningful programs and initiatives that promote diversity and equity in the business world.
I’m passionate about supporting the growth and success of women-owned businesses by providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed based on my experiences. I believe that by working together and supporting one another, we can build a brighter future for all women entrepreneurs.
Why would you encourage all WBEs to connect with Forum members and become engaged in Forum activities (as available)?
(Peggy Del Fabbro) There is no substitute for learning from other Women business owners. No one can truly understand challenges quite as well as another WBE. In addition, there are many opportunities to work together in supporting our WBENC corporations. WBE to WBE sales are also great opportunities. Many of the larger WBEs like M. Davis have their own formal Supplier Diversity programs.
The energy level within the forum to lift each other up is like no other organization that I am aware of.
I highly encourage WBEs get involved with your Regional Partner Organization, many of whom have local Forums or Forum-type groups. RPOs nominate WBEs to the Women’s Enterprise Forum at the national level every two years.
(Hannah Kain) As with everything else, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The cost-benefit of the Forum really speaks for itself. There is this amazing network and bond between the engaged WBEs. We support each other with advice and updates – and sometimes just empathy when some of the less fortunate life or business events happen. We do business with each other. The camaraderie is fantastic, and great friendships are built among us. The WBEs are resourceful and knowledgeable. I learn something new all the time. There is always somebody who is an expert or has extensive experience when an issue comes up. The network makes me more successful. Finally, we are helping each other by doing business with each other and by introducing each other to new opportunities.
(Kelly Kolar) As a Forum leader, I highly encourage all WBEs to connect with Forum members and become engaged in Forum activities. The WBENC Forum provides a unique platform for women-owned businesses to connect, collaborate and learn from one another through networking. By joining the Forum, WBEs can gain access to a wealth of knowledge, a supportive ecosystem of powerful women, and resources that can help them grow their businesses and achieve their goals.
Through engaging in Forum activities, WBEs can build relationships, and share experiences, and best practices, while expanding their networks. This can ultimately lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations, as well as a stronger voice for women-owned businesses in the marketplace. I strongly believe that the Forum is an invaluable resource for all WBEs, and I encourage everyone to get involved and take advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer.
About Peggy Del Fabbro, CEO – M. Davis & Sons
Peggy Del Fabbro assumed the role of CEO of M. Davis & Sons in 2008, having served in leadership positions in the company for over 20 years. Peggy is the 5th generation of the Davis family leading M. Davis & Sons, now in their 153rd year in business. Peggy works to distinguish the construction company in the marketplace through an unwavering commitment to safety and quality and a forward-thinking approach to sustainability and the future of construction.
In 2009 Peggy pursued WBENC Certification to set her company apart. Peggy promotes diversity by participating in various roles to support WBENC and is currently the Women’s Enterprise Forum Chair. Peggy has received numerous awards both regionally and nationally for her leadership in the WBE community. In 2023, M. Davis received a National Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Excellence Award from Associated Builders and Contractors.
Peggy serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Pharmaceutical
Engineering (ISPE) Delaware Valley Chapter, The Brandywine Valley SPCA Advisory Board, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
About Hannah Kain, President and CEO – ALOM
Prior to founding ALOM in 1997 in Fremont, California, Hannah Kain held various management and executive positions dating back to 1983, with a wide range of experience in the packaging industry since 1990.
Her unwavering focus is on customer commitment and quality while challenging her team to deliver a competitive advantage for the customer. This focus led to ALOM receiving ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, ISO 14064-1 certification, and expanding the ALOM footprint to five continents. It has also fostered many long-term customer and business relationships.
Hannah has extensive international management experience, membership, and involvement in numerous governmental and educational agencies and business groups. She is a board member of the National Association of Manufacturers, WBEC-Pacific, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) where she also serves as 1st Vice Chair of the WBENC Forum. She is the board chair of How Women Lead – Silicon Valley and serves on the Advisory Council of Heritage Bank of Commerce. Kain is a member of the exclusive invitation-only Committee of 200 (C200) for executive women.
About Kelly Kolar, President and Founder – Kolar Design Inc.
Kelly Kolar is President & Founder of Kolar Design, Inc. an award-winning global brand experience firm specializing in building branded experiences at the intersection of people and place. She is a alumni of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, & Planning, where she has served as an adjunct professor as well as past President of the College Alumni Board. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Ohio Arts Council. She is a trustee at Contemporary Arts Center and The Cincinnati Arts & Technology Studios.
In addition she serves the City of Cincinnati, Small Business Advisory Committee, and is the second vice-chair of the the Forum for Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. In 2016, She was awarded SEGD distinguished member award. She believes art and design breathes life into our communities, making a positive impact through education, innovation, & entrepreneurship.
The Women’s Enterprise Forum (the Forum) is a select group of WBENC-certified WBEs that are nominated by their Regional Partner Organization (RPO) and appointed by WBENC. Forum members serve on business-focused Teams where they share their expertise and knowledge with each other. Forum members are recognized as the voice of the WBEs within the WBENC network. All WBEs are invited to attend Forum sessions at our national events.
WBEs are nominated by their RPO Leader every other year for appointment. Forum WBEs are among the most successful, most engaged women business leaders in the WBENC network, and those who have demonstrated their commitment to helping WBENC further the efforts of women in business.
In 2023, the Forum, through their 5 Forum Teams, are leading valuable sessions on key topics relevant to the entire Forum and to all WBEs. Stay tuned for more information on the next installment of the 2023 Forum Insights Series!