Dress for Success SW Florida Holds Largest-Yet Entrepreneurial Program for Women

Barbara Dell, Executive Director of Dress for Success SW Florida, is pleased to announce The Entrepreneurial Spirit for Women Conference & Networking (E$P) was sold out, with approximately 80 in attendance. The conference, held June 13 in Fort Myers was open to the public, and was the largest E$P yet. The day included panel discussions, in-depth presentations by prominent businesswomen, lunch, power hour and pampering, networking and more.

“Ellie Bee Bakery,” owned by E$P graduate Kara Bernier, was presented with another first: the new Annual E$P award.

Gail Markham, Founding Partner and President of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, served as keynote speaker. She gave a compelling address, drawing from her own personal history to explore “My Personal Journey from Start-up to Success.” Other prominent speakers included Connie Ramos-Williams, CEO and President of CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing, who presented “What to Include in Your New Business Marketing Plan.”

Two panel discussions included “Start-Up Essentials,” and featured Christina Harris Schwinn of Pavese Law Firm, Victoria Loyola of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, Anna Evans of Lykes Insurance, Ingrid Molina of Fuller On-line Solutions and Suzanne Sprecht of FGCU’s Small Business Development Center. The second, “Insights to Success,” featured Caryn Smith of Rodan & Fields, Cherie Rodriguez of Thirty One, Christine Sherlock of Image Matters and April Bordeaux of CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing.

Power Hour networking and pampering was presented by Presented by: CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing, Ellie Bee Bakery, Image Matters, Massage Envy, Paul Mitchell School, Rodan & Fields SBDC, Thirty One, Small Business Development Center/FGCU, Michelle Hudson / Alliance Financial Group

Central Bank Southwest Florida was the Title Sponsor for the conference. Joanne Show, Central Bank Vice President, will presented “The Start-up of U,” offering important information on the essential steps of starting a business.

The program also introduced the launch of the “Entrepreneurial Circle of Support,” a mentoring partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University’s Small Business Development Center and a referral partnership with Goodwill’s Micro-Enterprise. As a follow-up to the E$P conference, attendees are able to continue to receive ongoing mentoring opportunities and workshops provided by Dress for Success SW Florida and the “Entrepreneurial Circle of Support”.

About Dress for Success

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. There are 135 Dress for Success locations internationally focusing on providing career wardrobes, employment counseling and mentoring for women. For information on Dress for Success SW Florida located at 12995 S. Cleveland Ave. Suite 153, Fort Myers, FL in the Pinebrook Plaza, email swflorida@dressforsuccess.org, call 239-689-4992 or visit www.DressForSuccess.org/swflorida.

This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.