Top-Ranked Tech CEO and Diverse Panel of Women Entrepreneurs Encourage Students and Aspiring Business Owners to Pursue Success

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2015
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122
igl@BerkeleyCollege.edu
 

Berkeley College Women's Entrepreneurship Week

Berkeley College Celebrates Women’s Entrepreneurship Week

TOP-RANKED TECH CEO AND DIVERSE PANEL OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
FROM NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK ENCOURAGE
STUDENTS AND ASPIRING BUSINESS OWNERS TO PURSUE SUCCESS

 

Gender and ethnicity do not have to be barriers to success, a diverse group of women entrepreneurs told more than 150 students and aspiring business owners in the City of Newark yesterday. The panel, titled “Women Entrepreneurs: Driving Success Through Diversity,” was sponsored by Berkeley College as part of Women’s Entrepreneurship Week. Participants discussed the uneven playing field for women in business. They emphasized the need to overcome fear and obstacles while acknowledging their often unrecognized contributions. 

Keynote speaker Monica C. Smith told the audience that there is no perfect roadmap to success. Her company, Marketsmith, Inc., was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the No. 1 Woman-Led Company the New York metropolitan area. 

“It doesn’t matter anymore if you’re a man or a woman. It doesn’t matter your ethnicity. It doesn’t matter your educational status. It doesn’t matter. The ticket is for everyone, so get on board,” said Ms. Smith, CEO and Founder of Marketsmith, Inc. 

The panel of 10 female African American and Latina entrepreneurs, whose industries ranged from entertainment to accounting to transportation, spoke about what women bring to the table in nontraditional fields, and told stories of their own obstacles to success. 

“If you have been called a rebel, a revolutionary, different, a nonconformist, then you’re on the right track,” said Maria Teresa Montilla, PhD, Founder and President of The Institute for Latino Studies, Research and Development, Inc., and President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey. 

She encouraged women in the audience to remember that the female voice resonates with half of the world’s population. 

Berkeley College President Michael J. Smith encouraged students in the audience to learn from the panelists’ poise and determination. 

“If they did it, there is no reason you can’t do it yourselves,” he said. “The difference between failure and success is a small amount of effort,” said President Smith. 

Angela Harrington, Berkeley College Assistant Vice President, Communications and External Relations, said Berkeley College hosted the panel to bring the real world of business to Berkeley College students and aspiring entrepreneurs, and to connect them with women whose stories of building successful enterprises will encourage them to realize their full potential and advance their business aspirations. 

“There are nearly 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States today. They make 1.6 trillion dollars in revenue a year,” she said. “Yet getting there is tough – women start their businesses with six times less capital than men. The starting point is just as important as the end point.” 

Tammy Boxton, a Berkeley College Business Management – Entrepreneurship student and small business owner, thanked the panelists and said their insights and wisdom were inspiring. 

“They are women of different backgrounds and cultures. Things are stacked against them. But they’ve overcome,” she said. “They talked about staying flexible. Staying focused. Staying positive. Believing in yourself, because when you believe in yourself, you’re halfway there.” 

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,000 students – including more than 900 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, the School of Liberal Arts, and the School of Graduate Studies, which offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management.

Berkeley College has six New Jersey locations – Clifton, Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In January 2015, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College one of the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Degrees for the second consecutive year. The website address iswww.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

 Berkeley College Women's Entrepreneurship Week

Photo Caption A (L to R): Angela Harrington, Berkeley College Assistant Vice President, Communications and External Relations; Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College; Mary Baker, CEO, Baker Tax & Accounting Services, LLC, and Get Your Biz in Order, LLC; Cheryl Biron, CEO and President, One Horn Transportation (back row); Maria Teresa Montilla, PhD, Founder and President, The Institute for Latino Studies, Research and Development, Inc., and President, Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey (front row); Monica C. Smith, CEO and Founder, Marketsmith, Inc; Vanessa DeLeon, Owner, Vanessa DeLeon Associates; Beth Castiglia, PhD, Dean, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business; Syleecia Thompson, DBA, President, DYG Management Group, LLC, and Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business; and Su Stewart, CEO and Founder, SuSu Productions. Not pictured: Adenah Bayoh, President, Irvington International House of Pancakes (IHOP); Brenda Hopper, CEO and State Director, New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) network; Taneshia Nash Laird, CEO, Legacy Business Advisors, LLC, and Regional Director, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and Britnee N. Timberlake, Freeholder President, County of Essex Board of Chosen Freeholders. Top:Ms. Smith addresses an audience of more than 150 students and aspiring business owners.

 Berkeley College Women's Entrepreneurship Week

Photo Caption B: A diverse panel of women entrepreneurs answers questions from the audience during “Women Entrepreneurs: Driving Success Through Diversity,” a panel sponsored by Berkeley College as part of Women’s Entrepreneurship Week.

IN THEIR WORDS
Advice & Observations from the Panelists

 

 
 

“You have to be focused on survival, but not at any cost. I had to be true to myself and that was the most important thing.”
– Monica C. Smith
CEO and Founder, Marketsmith, Inc.

“As business owners we think we can do it alone, but we can’t. We need to ask for help, too.”
– Mary Baker
CEO, Baker Tax & Accounting Services, LLC, and Get Your Biz in Order, LLC

“Mentorship does not have to come in the form of mentorship. And for what’s given, so much more is expected. Success is making those who believe in you look good.”
– Adenah Bayoh
President, Irvington International House of Pancakes (IHOP)

“Change with the things that are changing. Be flexible.”
– Cheryl Biron
CEO and President, One Horn Transportation

“(Women) should all be strong and walk up that mountain together.”
– Vanessa DeLeon
Owner, Vanessa DeLeon Associates

“You have to be strategic. You have to be smart about it. And sometimes, you have to take that failure and get back up and come back stronger.”
– Brenda Hopper
CEO and State Director, New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) network

“There are literally hundreds of thousands of women-owned businesses in New Jersey that contribute very significantly to the economy here. So any time that highlights these women who are doing incredible things and are inspiring other young people – I can’t think of any better thing to do this week.”
– Taneshia Nash Laird
CEO, Legacy Business Advisors, LLC, and Regional Director, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

“If you have been called a rebel, a revolutionary, different, a nonconformist, then you’re on the right track.”
– Maria Teresa Montilla, PhD
Founder and President, The Institute for Latino Studies, Research and Development, Inc., and President, Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey

“(In dealing with rejection,) be determined, and push through all obstacles.”
– Su Stewart
CEO and Founder, SuSu Productions

“It’s not about money. It’s not about resources. It’s execution. You have to follow through. That is where most people fail.”
– Syleecia Thompson, DBA
President, DYG Management Group, LLC, and Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business

“When opportunity knocks, always say yes. Just give it a try and see where it takes you.”
– Britnee N. Timberlake
Freeholder President, County of Essex Board of Chosen Freeholders

“Overcoming fears is a true stepping stone to success and a valuable lesson in business. It is important for our students to have these conversations to enhance their learning experience.”
– Beth Castiglia, PhD
Dean, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business

- end -

 

To view high-resolution versions of these photos, visit: photo A, photo B, photo C.

For high-resolution headshots of each panelist, visit:

Monica C. Smith
Mary Baker
Adenah Bayoh
Cheryl Biron
Vanessa DeLeon
Brenda Hopper
Taneshia Nash Laird
Maria Teresa Montilla
Su Stewart
Syleecia Thompson
Britnee N. Timberlake
Beth Castiglia

 

 

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