Past Speakers

Bonnie A. Sewell, American Capital Planning


Bonnie Ashby Sewell, Principal, American Capital Planning, LLC


Bonnie Ashby Sewell, is a nationally recognized financial freedom expert who has been featured on CNBC, is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and many more.  She is the author of “Love-Jacked, Divorce Your Spouse, Not Your Dollars” and a past columnist for the esteemed Journal of Financial Planning.

In the past 12 months, Bonnie spoke at industry conferences, Women on the Move in Miami, Spinning Wheels in Phoenix, National Business Educators Conference in Atlanta and was interviewed on Executive Leaders Radio.

Her pro bono work includes accepting families in need through Building Homes for Heroes and she serves as Chair of Loudoun Therapeutic Riding. She’s the mom of Sean and Kevin, 30 and 28 now and spends her free time rowing, hiking, and traveling.

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson, KsR Solutions, LLC



Karlene Sinclair-Robinson, dubbed “The Queen of Business Financing” is the Bestselling Author of two entrepreneurial books, most recent: ‘SPANK THE BANK: The Guide to Alternative Business Financing’.

She is considered a foremost expert on ‘Alternative Business Financing’ for startups, small businesses and struggling entrepreneurs. She also is the current Business Finance Director at Community Business Partnership, a non-profit organization serving startups and small businesses. When not financing businesses, Karlene instructs entrepreneurial students through Fairfax County Adult Continuing Education (ACE) and Prince George’s Community College ‘BOSS’ programs.

Karlene is a mom, motivator, speaker, instructor, business consultant and Managing Member of KSR Solutions, LLC, a business consulting and financing firm, based in Northern Virginia. She is also a top business and financing source to follow on Twitter via @KarleneSinRob. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Website:

Debijo Wheatley, Designs by Debijo



debijo-img_2163Debi Jo Wheatley was a registered nurse for almost 30 years before choosing a career path that expresses her love for art and design.  She founded Designs by Debijo in 2007.  This transition was a natural choice for her nurturing spirit who loved making people feel safe and comfortable in their environment.  She longed to see this throughout all her years of nursing and she now creates such environments through her work under Designs by Debijo for both residential and commercial clients.

In 1991, her nursing skills were put to a very personal test when her husband, Howard, began battling Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.  Their battle with leukemia lasted 20 years until he passed away on May 24, 2011.  After his passing, her renewed sense of purpose led her to the continued growth of her business and her own personal self, having been chosen by 7Company as their Worthy Woman of the Year.

After a chance encounter at a Sterling Women luncheon, she met with a 2013 nominee for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Women of the Year.  Soon after, she was nominated along with 10 women in the capital area for this honor in 2014.  Following past successful fundraising for Alternative House, Bite Me Cancer and a number of years with Relay for Life, she plans to rally family, friends, and the community to be named their Woman of the Year and reach her ultimate goal of having Howard’s name on a research grant honoring the courage of his fight.

Chris Efessiou & Persephone Efessiou Maglaya


Chris Efessiou, PhD


Chris Efessiou (pronounced F S C U ) is an Entrepreneur, Leadership Expert, Negotiation Strategist, International Speaker and Author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer® – The Business of Fatherhood, who decodes business principles for personal success.

Through his own personal experiences, Chris – founder and CEO of SRxA-Strategic Pharmaceutical Advisors – shares his discovery of how the skills critical to becoming a successful business leader can be seamlessly applied to both parenting and personal relationships with equal efficiency.

Persephone Efessiou Maglaya


Starting as an intern her Senior year of college, Persephone has climbed up the corporate ladder over the past 5 years. Now standing as  the Director of Bridal Fashion & Retail at WeddingWire located in Chevy Chase, MD.  Persephone creates media campaigns with all major bridal fashion designers and orchestrates strategic partnerships with both designers and local bridal salons. As an alumni of George Mason University, each quarter she returns to her alma mater as a guest speaker on Negotiations.

Sue Ann Gleason, Conscious Bites Nutrition

Sue Ann GleasonTHURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2013

Sue Ann Gleason is a food lover, food writer, food-based healer and heart-centered marketing strategist. Founder of Conscious Bites Nutrition, Chocolate for Breakfast and the Well-Nourished Woman, she inspires women to trust their intuition and rewrite their nourishment scripts.  She has been featured in Oprah and Runner’s World magazines and numerous online publications.

When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, Sue Ann can be found sampling exotic chocolates or building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes.

Jennifer Seven, 7Company Weight Loss & Wellness Center


Jennifer Seven, CEO & Owner of 7Company, LLC


Ms. Seven chose to combine her background in sales and event planning when she founded 7Company LLC, a 100% woman owned business, and one of the largest health event providers in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  Utilizing her vision for assisting regional companies and government agencies to provide a greater awareness of health care issues, 7Company organizes and manages on-site health fairs, wellness seminars, flu shot clinics, health screenings, and other health care related events for its clientele.

Jennifer Seven, CEO and owner of 7Company also maintains a Weight Loss and Wellness Center at its Lansdowne, VA headquarters and a second location in Chantilly, VA.  The company’s mission is to help combat obesity and help clients achieve a healthier lifestyle and improved well-being.  The difficulty in losing weight and keeping it off  leads many people to turn to the 7Company Weight Loss and Wellness Center for help.  The fundamental keys to success for its programs are through emotional and social support, as well as community education.

Ms. Seven has more than 10 years experience within the health and wellness field along with giving back to the community through her participation with non-profit  organizations.  Ms. Seven received her Bachelor’s Degree from Goucher College and her Master’s Degree from George Washington University.  Jennifer Seven earned the Smart CEO BRAVA Award in 2013 and is a founding member of the Dulles Divas.  She lives with her husband and three children in Aldie, VA.


Angela Rose, PAVE


No matter where you are at this moment, you have everything you need to live the life you’ve always dreamt about! –Angela Rose

Angela Rose is an author, speaker, coach, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and passionate about helping people triumph over tragedy. Her decade of work on self-empowerment and community building has taken her across the country and abroad to speak on continuous improvement for the mind, body, and soul.

At the age of 17, Angela was abducted at knifepoint outside a suburban shopping mall.  She was assaulted by a repeat sex-offender on parole for murder. Eventually released by her attacker, she then suffered at the hands of authorities who subjected her to scrutiny, blame and additional victimization. From this tragic story emerged one of the nation’s most passionate and impactful advocates for the prevention of sexual violence. In 2001, Angela founded a multinational not-for-profit organization, PAVE:  Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment. PAVE’s efforts boldly aspire to one day transform our nation into one free from sexual assault and domestic violence -and to ensure that until we collectively realize this transformative vision, that no victim ever feels alone or disempowered. Rooted in intervention and prevention, PAVE works to educate communities about sexual and domestic violence, empower victims, and eradicate injustice.


Donna Boone, Potomac Swim School


“It’s Not About The Gold Medal”


Donna Boone, Potomac Swim School’s Founder and President, began coaching and teaching swim lessons at 15 years old. Thirty-two years later evidence of her passion is found at Potomac Swim School. Donna combined her three loves: people, swimming and business. She brought the concept of a private swim school to the Washington DC area 12 years ago. Yes, she built a pool in a warehouse!

One aspect of owning Potomac Swim School, which is truly fulfilling for her, is being able to employ others: parents, college students and high school students. Donna enjoys mentoring high school students and college students in order that they may learn how to work in a professional, positive and energetic environment. She wants to challenge everyone to be the best they can be.

Donna has written and published articles on business, education, and swimming safety in various publications. She also mentors parents of children that attend Potomac Swim School. Her life is centered around getting to know others, helping and loving them.

She attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with degrees in English and Political Science. For Post Graduate work she attended George Washington University in Washington, DC and graduated with a Masters Degree in Education and has extensively studied child and human development and psychology. Donna’s love of people and the water has always been in the forefront of her life.

Kelly Harman, Kelly Out Loud


Kelly Harman was born in Asmara, Ethiopia in 1962 and has walked the road less traveled ever since.  Her childhood was spent overseas, living in eight countries before she came to the U.S. at the age of 16.  This experience inspired an adventurous streak and disregard for convention which has yielded a rich life, overflowing with great story material.

Kelly has been writing and telling the stories of her life for as long as she can remember, and is proud to say that she received her first official rejection letter when she was eleven years old.  Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and newspapers, including the anthology “New Departures,” released in 2012.  Her first book, “Did I Say That Out Loud?” is a collection of her stories and will be released in late June.

Kelly is also an accomplished marketing executive with over twenty years of experience working with technology companies in the U.S. and abroad.  She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, News Week, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post and Washington Business Journal.

In 2009 Kelly was the recipient of Women In Technology’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.  In 2010, CRN Magazine named Kelly one of the top 100 most powerful women in the Channel. In 2011/2012 she served as the President of Women in Technology.

Today, Kelly lives in Manassas, Virginia with her husband and true love of 23 years, Bob.  She has begun writing her next book, a memoir about the experience of growing up overseas as the daughter of a (now retired) CIA agent.

When she isn’t consulting with companies on their marketing strategy or writing about her adventures, Kelly spends as much time as she can with her three grandchildren, teaching them the value of reckless honesty and unhindered fun.  You can contact her at kellyoutloud (at) gmail (dot) com.

Drs. Pete and Lolin Hilgartner, Hilgartner Health Institute

Thursday, July 11, 2013

pete-and-lolinDrs. Pete and Lolin Hilgartner met in 1992 while attending Western States Chiropractic College, (now called University of Western States) in Portland, Oregon.  Dr. Lolin was in her last year of training when Dr. Pete started his first year after returning from the Gulf War.  He had served almost six years on active duty in the Marine Corps as an Artillery Officer and decided learn how to fix bodies…especially his own.

Dr. Lolin spent her first year after graduating working as an associate in the busiest chiropractic clinic in Portland before she opened her own practice.  She spent the next three years in practice while Pete finished his studies.  They were married in February 1995.

Dr. Pete graduated in 1996.  By that time, they had had their son Caleb and had decided to move back to the east coast where their families were.

They settled in Leesburg, Virginia and opened Hilgartner Chiropractic Clinic in 1997.
During this time, Dr. Pete continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve, finally resigning his commission at the rank of Major in 2000.

Both doctors have continued their advanced training with hundreds of hours of continuing education in functional neurology, functional medicine, rehabilitation, sports science, clinical nutrition and biomechanics.  Dr. Lolin is also a Certified Nutrition Specialist by the American College of Nutrition and a Certified Functional Endocrinologist.

In 2010, they changed the name of their practice to Hilgartner Health Institute to better reflect the scope and purpose of their practice.  There stated mission is to Teach, Lead and Empower people to achieve their peak potential for health and happiness.

Dr. Pete has developed an extremely successful, 10 week, brain-based weight-loss program that he holds three to four times a year.

Dr. Lolin has developed a unique set of protocols she calls Neurologically-Based nutrition and has had tremendous success treating children with ADD/ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Asthma, Allergies and various learning difficulties.

Both Drs. are sought after speakers and have presented at national conferences to professionals and to the lay public.