Bio: Amina H. Shafi works in the field of refugee and asylum law and has always been passionate about women’s economic development. After traveling to Nepal, Tanzania, and Kenya for work, she witnessed first-hand refugee within camps and the creative efforts that women in particular made to supplement their family’s livelihood. Amina is originally from Springfield, Virginia and attended the University of Mary Washington where she received a B.A. in International Affairs (regions: Latin America and Middle East) and minors in English Literature and Fine Arts. She received her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of Pennsylvania State University and completed a certificate in International Law. She enjoys writing, dancing, and cooking and loves to support locally sourced produce and small, independent businesses. In fact, she learned about Empowered Women International when she was shopping for fair-trade and other unique items at a Global Women’s Bazaar in early 2012! Amina served on the Board for the fair-trade retail store Ten Thousand Villages in Pasadena, California and currently resides in the D.C. area.
Areas of expertise: Developing a non-profit organizational structure, developing in an art related field, displaying/presenting products for art showings, helping to narrow a field of focus in starting a new business, advising on bios and artist statements, working to assess strengths and weaknesses in presentation style, and ability to assist in the culinary field
Bio: Carolyn Friedman is currently a Mentor and Coach for the Entrepreneur Incubator Program offered by Empowered Women International. She began her career in the healthcare field and expanded her experience to include the non-profit sector and small business development. Carolyn was Vice President of the American Association of Healthcare Consultants for more than a decade. It was there that she combined her problem solving and consensus building skills when working with the Board of Directors, members and volunteers. Her desire to nurture her creative and entrepreneurial spirit led her to the development of her small business. She founded Olios Gallery, a home based business that represented nationally and locally recognized artists in local private art shows. Carolyn worked with artists to help them maximize their product presentation and marketing in preparation for these showings. Additionally, Ms. Friedman has worked with women owned small businesses to expand their operations and marketing potential. Carolyn is originally from New York and has a Masters in Business Administration from Marymount University. She resides in Arlington,VA, is a food enthusiast and enjoys traveling with her family.
Bio: Charlene M. Gatewood is a seasoned business professional with more than 40 years experience. She started her work life out of high school with a job with the FBI in Washington, DC. She worked there for 2 years and left to find a career more suitable to her interests. She started as an operator with the telephone company, at that time it was C&P Telephone Company of Washington. She steadily moved up in the company to increasing levels of responsibility and at the same time earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business. She also earned a Master’s Certificate in Project Management and is a certified Project Management Professional. After 32 years, Charlene retired as a Senior Manager from the telephone company, which is now known as Verizon. Charlene currently works as a consultant to a Federal agency and manages 12 analysts performing work on the contract. Charlene is also enrolled at the University of Maryland College Park pursuing a Masters degree in Anthropology. Her domain focus is on achieving economic independence for women through art. She loves art and travel. Charlene has one adult daughter, and is engaged to the love of her life.
Areas of expertise: 14 years experience in the private sector in the areas of sales and marketing, public relations, strategic planning, training and media relations, 26 years experience in program management and design, and strong skills in research, writing, team building, and cross-cultural communications
Bio: Joanne Clark joined EWI’s board in January, 2010. She is a program officer for Meridian International Center in Washington, DC where, for 24 years, she has worked with international visitors from around the globe who have been invited to the U.S. by the Department of State. Prior to her tenure at Meridian International Center, Joanne had a successful 14 year career in the computer industry, where she honed her sales, marketing and public relations skills. Joanne received her BA in French from Manhattanville College and spent one year in Paris after graduation. In 1994, Joanne was awarded a Masters in International Transactions from George Mason University’s International Institute. She is a two-time recipient of National Award for Excellence in Programming, in 1993 and again in 2010, given by the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV). The Award is presented annually to exemplary members of the network, selected by their peers, to recognize outstanding achievers within the NCIV network who have given tirelessly of their energies and creativity to the success of the International Visitor Leadership Program and to promote international education and exchange. Joanne has lived in Boston, Paris, San Francisco, Minneapolis and now lives in Alexandria, VA. An avid traveler, her international travels have taken her to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Tunisia, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank. Joanne has her own small business late bloomers, established in 1998 and featuring original photography and jewelry.
Areas of expertise: Defining a focus around a business and strategy/business plan, development, written and oral presentations, leveraging networks
Bio: Shirah Cohen has 20 years experience in entrepreneurial leadership, training, program development and delivery, business development, sales, marketing, and consulting. Shirah has worked in several start-up IT companies and is co-owner of EPSScentral, where she has been instrumental in growing the company from a consultancy to an enterprise-class organization that provides process and knowledge solutions across government and corporate clients. As an entrepreneur, she has been responsible for all aspects of running a company from strategy and communications to implementation and company infrastructure. She has designed and presented national educational webinars and served as a guest speaker at entrepreneurship forums. Shirah also has worked as a consultant at large established companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Thomson NETg. Shirah is an active leader in her community and has volunteered as a Neighborhood Association Representative, Odyssey of the Mind Coach, Recreational Youth Sports Coach, and Foreign Language in the Elementary Chair. Shirah holds a B.A. in Psychology from Case Western University, and a M.P.A. from Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Areas of expertise: Coach/mentor, apron artist
Areas of expertise: Business startup/development, nonprofit, procurement at the federal, state and local levels
Bio: Addie Gail is a trainer/presenter specializing in nonprofit organizations with more than fifteen years of experience in the non-profit and for profit arenas. On the nonprofit side, she has worked with member and issue-based organizations to community-based organizations. On the for profit side, she has gained extensive office management experience, including day-to-day operations, oversight of budgets, marketing activities, and government filings associated with federal contracts. In addition, she has been involved in proposal writing, contract negotiation, recordkeeping, and time management. Having worked for private consulting firms, Ms. Gail has augmented her knowledge base through the administration of federal contracts. Her hobbies include reading, theater, and bowling.
Bio: Deborah Blank, Ph.D. has expertise in both training design/development, and entrepreneurship. For 20 years she was a partner in a Bethesda-based company that developed technology-based learning materials for both private corporations, non-profits, and the Federal Government. The company had 75 employees when sold in 2000. She continues to work as a part-time contractor designing and developing courses, many of which are delivered over the Internet. In other entrepreneurial pursuits, Deborah assisted in developing and implementing a marketing program for her husband’s dental practice and inventing a senior fitness product which she manufactured overseas and sold to assisted living businesses. Deborah’s professional history also includes working with disadvantaged youth in a GED completion program, and teaching ESOL classes.
Bio: Dianne Lorenz brings a solid business background in organizational and financial management, marketing and communications, business development and entrepreneurial leadership having founded and lead a successful 12 million dollar women-owned high technology company for over 20 years. She was recognized for her passion for quality and her innovative approach to team-centered management and client satisfaction. Dianne describes herself as a “visionary entrepreneur” as she launches a post-retirement enterprise, In Focus Foundation, whose goal is to establish a microfinance vehicle in the Washington, DC area that helps women, especially women with families, become independent through creating their own small enterprise. The organization’s mission is to enable low-income women to reap the benefits of career success, financial security, education for their children and involvement in their communities. She is a co-founder of Womenade Circle, a giving circle that combines individual small donations to make a significant impact in the lives of women and families locally and internationally. She serves as co-chair of the DC Chapter of SERVAS International, which fosters understanding, tolerance and world peace through cross-cultural travel. Recent fundraising initiatives have benefited Dalit photojournalist in Nepal through The Clean Hands Project, Nepali orphans through Soccer Balls for Kids and women from small villages in Kenya seeking education opportunities through the Nikolas Sironka Dance Troupe. Some of her favorite volunteer activities are participating on the Leadership Team at Organizing for America, photographing homeless and low-income families through Help-Portrait and organizing annual winter clothing drives for S.O.M.E. For intellectual stimulation and pure enjoyment, she ushers at Studio Theater, Theater J and Wooly Mammoth.
Areas of expertise: Marketing, digital marketing, branding, and communications
Bio: Hollyn Randolph is interested in helping women market and brand their dreams. Her interests include: reading, writing, cooking, photography, start ups, tech Gadgets, and international marketing
Areas of expertise: Law, business start-up and development for artists/musicians/writers/creative arts, and government/american political system
Bio: Howard L. Feinstein has devoted his professional life to working for the protection and enforcement of civil rights for all Americans, through his legal work, teaching, writings, and speaking appearances. For many years, he was a prosecutor and civil litigator with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, seeking justice for victims of the Ku Klux Klan and other racially-motivated terrorist organizations and individuals. He also pursued matters involving housing and employment discrimination, school desegregation, and sex discrimination throughout the United States and its territories. He has taught and designed a variety of courses, including Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Sex Discrimination, and Criminal Law, as a faculty member at George Washington University (Washington, DC); the University of Maryland, College Park; and Hood College (Frederick, MD). He has also served as a hearing examiner for the University of Maryland system. Mr. Feinstein received his undergraduate degree from the University of California (1968), and graduated With Honors from George Washington University Law School (1972). He also studied international and comparative law in the United Kingdom. Because of his wide-ranging experience in the long struggle for equality for all Americans, Mr. Feinstein has been a highly-popular speaker on civil rights, the legal and criminal justice systems, and the history of the movement for equality.
Bio: Laura Starr Levengard is the President of Starpower Fitness and a serial entrepreneur having started and run four different successful businesses in the last 20 years. Laura has many national certifications in the fitness industry allowing her to ‘teach the teachers’ and is currently endorsed by AARP. She is very active in the Montgomery County, MD community with many volunteer jobs including past president of Women Business Owners of Montgomery County and past president of Glenallan ES Parent Teacher Association. Laura is an alumna of Leadership Montgomery Class of 2010 and has ideas for at least another dozen businesses! Laura is a lifetime county resident and lives with her husband and 2 teenage sons.
Business Coaches, Pre/Post ETS Mentors
Area of expertise: Marketing; Writing for PR materials; Writing for websites; Social media; Creative design
Areas of expertise: Educational field
Areas of expertise: Brainstorming/creative thinking: talking with students about their products, marketing ideas, company name, their client-base, design/logo concepts, writing/editing: resumes, statements, newsletters, web text, budgeting, networking: thinking about who they can connect with
Areas of expertise: Writing and editing memoir and biographical pieces