From a small town in Texas named Columbus, Sarah arrives in Houston in 1981. Starting Sarah’s Florist in 1987, she became one of the top 500 florist worldwide and was chosen the Women of the Year in her industry through the National Association of Professional and Executive Women. Sarah has been in numerous magazines and was featured on the cover of the Small Business Today Houston Magazine. Sarah is founder and chair of the Women Driving Business Series.
Ft. Jackson, SC born Southern lady Jeannie began her career working to prevent child abuse in such cities as Miami, Atlanta & Houston. Twenty-five years later she landed at the Houston West Chamber as CEO where she leads a successful & growing business organization of 900+ members. She cherishes her two daughters, stepson & handsome husband, Erik above all. She believes that the world could use a little more empathy & civility. On women - dare to be yourself, have courage and find your voice.
Tere’s story is just another example of the American dream in action. Born in Cuba in the 1960s, her family escaped to start a new life here. Tere’s first foray into entrepreneurship was in 1989 when she started her own bookkeeping company. Several companies later, she is the owner of Employers One Source Group, an HR firm that serves clients across the metro area. Two of her three sons have graduated college (one to go!) and she couldn’t be more proud of them.
Liz is Outreach Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program which focuses on stimulating Small Business Growth. National Mod Faculty in Leadership, Operations and Negotiations.
Former Executive Director of K9s4COPs a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, providing Law Enforcement with K9s trained and ready to serve.
Owns LLC- Strategies, creating intentional culture and growth strategies for small businesses and non-profits. Liz’s global expertise is from 21year career with Continental Airlines in numerous leadership roles and initiatives across the globe.
Martha has owned and operated ELP Enterprises, Inc. dba MC Business Products for 16 years. She has always believed that customer service comes first. It’s this philosophy that has allowed her company to endure through tough times and prosper during good times. Her attitude in life is to befriend everyone she meets and help in any way she can. She has been a volunteer on several Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committees for 16 years. She has been married to her loving husband for 34 years and together they have two daughters and a grandson.
Debra Crabtree, is the president of Advantage Business Consulting, Inc. – ABC, Inc. is an outsourcing sales company that provides sales and marketing consulting for service oriented companies.
Debra’s previous experience as a woman owned business for the past 18 years in the legal support area and sales has provided an excellent platform for networking and relationship building. She provided linkages and strategic alliances for project management, sales and marketing. Debra has been a certified women-owned business for over 10 years.
ABC, Inc. assist in providing strong relationships and networking to build alliances.
As CEO of Westpark Communications, Kathie L. Edwards helps shine the global spotlight on the city of Houston. Her customer service call center is based in the Bayou City, but thanks to Edwards’ dynamic leadership, the company’s reach is worldwide. Consistently engaged in evolving her businesses and professional education, she lends efforts to the non-profit sector to benefit others. Her philanthropic spirit showcases her passion for giving back to the community. Kathie Edwards is truly a woman on the move.
Claudia Gutierrez has always harbored a desire and a sense of responsibility to help those in need and envisioned empowering women by giving them an opportunity for financial independence supported by a flexible schedule. As a wife and mother, she knows firsthand the challenges women face in juggling a career, family and personal life. She began designing jewelry and small fun handbags at home, selling them to friends and family. Based on the women's fantastic reaction, Claudia soon realized she could offer the same opportunity to others as way of gaining financial independence without sacrificing the responsibilities and joys of family life and community involvement.So was the genesis behind the ClaudiaG concept.
Connie has been an account executive with iHeartMedia for twenty years. She’s loved every minute of her sales career, because it’s like having her own company! There are budgets, but she plans her roadmap to get there; has learned so much about various types of business and met great people along the way! Connie is a native of Minnesota; hated winter and got to the South as quickly as possible! She lives by the philosophy of “treat others as you want to be treated yourself” and “don’t ever burn bridges”. It works!!
After growing up in South Carolina and spending 14 years in New Orleans, Constance McDerby found her home in Houston in 2000 following her 20+ year career in advertising media sales, management and training. She founded Food & Vine Time Productions out of her passion for wine and all its many benefits including spending time with friends old and new, cultivating business with a glass in hand. This part time passion has now grown to a full service, large scale culinary, wine and craft beer event production company that she runs with her husband of 25 years Clifton McDerby. Constance says her best gig ever is her son Chance. Constance’s motto is “Tip a glass, share a laugh, and take it in.”
Gail graduated cum laude from the University of Indianapolis and is actively involved in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Gail has more than 25 years of public accounting experience in management, consulting, tax and auditing for businesses and non-profit organizations. Before co-founding Prather Kalman in 2007, Gail operated her own firm while concurrently serving as the accounting department chairman at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. An active industry participant, Gail is also a former commentator for CNN Radio News' Tax Tuesday Show.
Megan F. Salch has 20 years of marketing experience. As the president of Tell Your Tale Marketing & Design, Megan and her team promote clients’ products and services through graphic design, web development, PR and professional writing. Her company serves the B2B and retail markets. Megan graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, Cohort 15. She is a member of The Leadership Council of Prevent Blindness Texas – Southeast Region. Megan also serves as secretary of the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA).
Kristie earned her BS from Louisiana Tech University and MBA from LSU. Her desire to consult stemmed from helping multiple business through the Small Business Institute Program. Over the years, she has been involved in a multitude of charitable causes and in the future, looks forward to creating her own non-profit organization mentoring children and young adults. Kristie has two children - ages 11 and 13. She enjoys her family adventures in nature, scuba diving, cooking, and sports - especially football. In the future, she hopes to become an adjunct Professor, respected speaker and published author.
Pittsburgh native, Leslea moved to Texas as soon as she could. Her love of the entrepreneurial spirit and western heritage of Houston makes it her idea home. Leslea become a Financial Advisor 18 years ago because numbers and solution-finding are her passion. As the VP of investments for Wunderlich Securities, she’s living her dream job every day. Family is the center of her life, she and husband Louis are blessed with 2 beautiful children.
On women – follow your heart, even if it takes you outside tradition or comfort.
A fourth generation native Texan, Dulcie Green Wink is a litigator who represents businesses to resolve disputes through negotiation, trial and alternative dispute resolution. She has represented diverse businesses, including banks, manufacturers, distributors, general contractors, oil and gas production companies, health care providers, recruiters, securities brokerage houses, insurance companies, staffing companies, spas, automobile dealers, developers and commercial property owners and managers. Ms. Wink has served on the Houston West Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors since 2005, and served as Chairman in 2008 and 2011.
Jessica is a strategic, multidisciplinary graphic designer, with a keen eye for innovation and pixel perfection. In 2012, after over 10 years in the graphic design industry, she opened Infiniti Graphics. Jessica genuinely cares about helping others and has volunteered her considerable talent, time and money to a host of non-profit organizations. She currently resides in Katy with her husband and three children. Jessica believes in living life one day at a time with a freshly baked cookie. Okay, and a coffee. And maybe some chocolate...