Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Female Entrepreneur Summit adds resource centers to address capital, certification needs

The debut of two daylong resource centers will highlight the fifth-annual Female Entrepreneur Summit (FES) Oct. 26 at 700 Beta Banquet and Conference Center in Mayfield Village.

The Minority Certification Center will encourage FES visitors to express their needs to officials versed in various certifications, including:

  • MBE — LaShawn Reed-Kendricks, Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council
  • WBENC — Leslie Young, Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council
  • SBA — John Renner, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • LGBTBE — Michelle Tomallo, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
  • B Corp — Jenny Kelley, Prosper for Purpose

The Access To Capital Center will instruct FES attendees how to attain grants, venture capital, and small business loans, from nontraditional sources to traditional banking. Facilitators will include Reka Barabas of Bad Girl Ventures, Carrie Rosenfelt of ECDI and the Women’s Business Center of Northern Ohio, Gloria Ware of JumpStart, and Jean Murphy of the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network.

Each resource center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In the noon keynote speech, Cindy Monroe, the president and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts, will discuss the ascent of her Ohio-based company, which is now worth nearly $1 billion. Other featured entrepreneurs throughout the day will include:

  • Charity D’Amato, CEO, Chartreuse
  • Gwenay Reaze-Coniglio, owner, Lavender Nail Bar and Studio, The Coniglio Company
  • Anne Hartnett, owner, Harness Cycle, GroundSwell
  • Gail Kelley, franchise owner, Two Men and a Truck
  • Mel McGee, CEO, We Can Code IT
  • Terese McGroarty, franchise business consultant, FranNet of Northeast Ohio
  • Candice Peters, founder/CEO, Hello Parent
  • Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes, CEO, InterChez Companies

Hosted by Contempo Communications and Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine, the Female Entrepreneur Summit will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. WKYC-TV reporter Dawn Kendrick will emcee. Several authors will present, including:

  • Mike Belsito, vice president of employer services, DHS Group, and author, “Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us: How to Raise $1 Million for Your Startup — Even Outside of Silicon Valley”
  • Maribeth Kuzmeski, president, Red Zone Marketing, and author, “The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life”
  • Joe Pulizzi, founder, Content Marketing Institute, and author, “Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses”

The conference will begin with a continental breakfast, networking, and book signing with Pulizzi. Breakout sessions will be dedicated to marketing, sales and technology, franchising, law, finance, and leadership. FES will conclude with a networking cocktail hour that features top female chefs from Northeast Ohio.

Tickets are $150 for paid subscribers of CBC magazine and $175 for all others. To register and learn more about the conference, visit For more information regarding sponsorships and naming rights, please contact Renée DeLuca Dolan or Taylor Rupeka at (216) 831-9557 or

The event is co-sponsored by the Monte Ahuja College of Business, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC, Kent State University College of Business, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, JumpStart, Pease and Associates, and Forest City.


Founded in 1996, Contempo Communication is a full-service creative firm known for its uniqueness and ingenuity. The firm enjoys a reputation as one of Northeast Ohio’s top design and creative agencies, offering a full cadre of services ranging from branding, graphic design, website, digital and social media development, event and marketing solutions. Contempo Communications also publishes an award winning magazine, Cleveland Business Connects, a leading regional networking publication targeting business leaders, the event management industry and female entrepreneurs. Together, this unique union of creative services and the notable publication distinguishes the firm as a truly innovative and relevant resource for Northeast Ohio businesses of all sizes.

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