SterlingWomen.org

Past Speakers

Firoozeh Azarbaidjani-Do, Phoenix TS

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014

Firoozeh Azarbaidjani-DoFiroozeh Azarbaidjani-Do is the owner, co-founder and CEO of Phoenix TS. As such, she is instrumental in defining the values and mission of our organization. She is also highly focused on day-to-day operations, sales and customer relations.

Firoozeh completed her undergraduate studies in French Literature and Interpretation. She taught at the University level for several years, while at the same time learning about and then consulting as a computer programmer. She entered the technical training arena in 1997 and co-founded Phoenix TS with her husband, Ben Tchoubineh, in 1998. Mrs. Azarbaidjani-Do has years of technical training and project management experience. She has managed numerous projects for DISA, the US Army, the US Air Force and various commercial entities. She has experience in teaching Microsoft Office, SQL Server, Visual Basic.NET, ASP.NET, XML and Project Management. In addition, she is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, and Microsoft Certified Database Administrator.

When Phoenix TS was still operating out of Rockville, MD, Firoozeh was active in the Rockville Economic Development Inc. (REDI) as a board member from 2007 -2010. She is also active in the Moms Against Poverty charity.

Pilar Lorca: President and CEO of Fitness4EveryBody

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2014

Pilar Lorca: President and CEO of Fitness4EveryBody

Pilar-2014-aBorn and raised in Colombia, Pilar Lorca came to the United States 22 years ago and has established herself, along with her two daughters, in the Washington Metropolitan area.

“As an owner of a small women-owned-minority business, I take pride in working with my clients and helping them achieve their individual fitness health goals. Our workouts are customized to each client’s personal goals and unique health challenges. We incorporate a combination of cardiovascular and strength training exercises depending on each client’s vision for health. We at Fitness4EveryBody believe the clients’ ability to achieve their fitness goals is a direct function of their enthusiasm and consistency in maintaining a regular work out and adhering to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. We motivate our clients to maintain their specific workout regime while concurrently improving their nutrition. Pilar has over 18 years of experience providing successful fitness services ranging from individuals to large companies. As the owner of Fitness4EveryBody since 2003, we are dedicated in helping people become fit and healthy. “

Alison Whitmire, Principal, C-lever Biz


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

Alison Whitmire

Inspirational Speaker, Mindful Blogger, CEO Coach

Alison speaks to, writes for and coaches business leaders to connect with their sense of purpose and to express that purpose to make an impact in the world.  Alison’s work is based upon the belief that we all have a purpose and our deepest desire is to fully express that purpose.  Alison has spoken to thousands of business leaders and has coached more than 100 CEOs/business owners, helping them to connect with their purpose, clarify their focus, and forward their action.

Alison works at the intersection of purpose and strategy in life and business.  She started out as a CPA, got her MBA from University of Chicago, practiced strategic planning and ran P&Ls for Fortune 500 companies.  She holds two coaching certifications, with ~ 4,000 hours of coaching experience.  She holds a 200 hr RYT yoga certificate and is a three time organizers and curator of TEDx conferences.

Cory Laws, Details Home Services

THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2014

Details CEO Cory Laws has lived in Herndon since 1988, after moving to the area in 1978.  After a successful Information Technology career, Cory decided to turn a lifelong passion into his livelihood.  Cory has been involved in carpentry, woodworking, and related skills since childhood. Starting with summers spent at the Boys’ Club, he has had a love of craftsmanship from a young age. From early projects involving wood, metal, plastics, and laminates, he moved to repairs, custom fencing and decks, flooring, and full build-outs.  Recent projects have included new and remodeled baths, gourmet kitchens, custom basements and in-law suites, home theaters, additions, and renovations of everything from Victorian porches to the entire house.

Cory also enjoys a number of other activities.  He excelled at classical piano, clarinet and alto sax, and was a founding member of two bands. Outdoor activities include cycling, golf, tennis, swimming and such adrenaline creating activities as skiing and car racing.  He’s even jumped from a perfectly good airplane.  His love of cars led to the formation of the Austin Healey Sports and Touring Club, still viable after more than 35 years.  A member of the BMW Car Club of America since 1979, Cory has held various positions including newsletter editor and president, and won the national newsletter competition in the early 1980s.  As an avid cook, he knows his way around a kitchen, and is happy to show off his talents. Remodeling kitchens gives him particular satisfaction, as he’s bought two houses primarily for their kitchens.

Julie Hoffmann and Lori DuVal, J&L Interiors

THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2014

lori-and-julie-sittingIn May of 1997, twin sisters Julie Hoffmann and Lori DuVal combined their talents to create J&L Interiors, LLC a full-scale interior design firm. Continued success and love for furnishings and accessories prompted them in the fall of 2002 to open a retail showroom with an in-house design resource center. Today, J&L Interiors continues to be successful in the residential and commercial design industries.

J&L Interiors, LLC has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens New Decorating Book, HGTV Decorator Showcase Houses and in numerous local magazines and newspapers. Julie and Lori enjoy providing design seminars for various organizations throughout the local area and donated their time and energies to participate in Loudoun’s first ever designer showcase house.

J&L Interiors, LLC is a Loudoun Chamber of Commerce small business award winner and recognized amongst the best interior decorators in the Readers Choice Awards for Virginia Living Magazine, Leesburg Today and the Loudoun Times.

Lori is a board member of the Loudoun Free Clinic and resides in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband Tom and her three boys – Ryan, Eric and Ethan.  Lori enjoys spending time in the Florida Keys where she has a second home and collecting wine.

Julie is a board member of Loudoun Habitat for Humanity and resides in Purcellville, Virginia with her husband Mike, daughter Jackie and son Collin.  In her free time, Julie enjoys reading, gardening and traveling.

Souny West, The W Salon

THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2014

Souny West leads the W Salon in Burke, Va with her team of 20 and has created an award-winning, modern, boutique salon, which has received much attention not only for their artistry in hair and makeup, but also for the continued approach to engage with their audience through creating a social awareness of their beliefs within the community. As an active member in the entrepreneurial community, We encourage everyone, to Dream and Think Big, To Collaborate and Share Ideas, To Inspire and Motivate others and to surround oneself with those that inspire us to be better versions of ourselves…. We just happen to also do hair and makeup!”. We recognize the benefits of connecting with our clients on a personal and business level, and have made Beauty & Style a Social Business.

In addition to being happily married for ten years, she is also a busy mother who enjoys figure skating with her two young boys, ages 7 and 10 and a newly acquired family dogs named Sasha & Sprite. Her passion in business and mentoring along with philanthropic involvements with the community have led to various media mentions and award recognitions. Her salon business has been recognized by the following –

  • Asian Chamber of Commerce – 2013 Emerging Business of the Year
  • Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce 2012 Robert J. McDonough Business Owner Of The Year
  • Vienna/Tysons Chamber of Commerce – Finalist in 2012 Business Executive of the Year
  • Patch.com – Voted 2012 Burke’s Best Salon & Spa
  • DC Luxury Magazine- 2012 Dynamic Women of Greater Washington DC
  • Fashion Group International – Finalist Beauty & Business

She has also had the opportunity to speak on topics of entrepreneurship, social branding and leadership at the 2012 Presidential Campaign while introducing Governor Mitt Romney, Vienna Tysons Chamber of Commerce Opportunity 2012 on “Businesses and Social Media”, Bridging Beauty to Business 2012 Conference on “Branding your Business”, Hugh O’Brian State Youth Leadership Seminar (HOBY.org) on  “Innovation in Business”, Asian Chamber of Commerce – “Entrepreneur and Leadership Skills”,  Inspirational Speaker at Sacramento University for The Lao American Advancement Organization.

She is a member of The Tower Club VA – Young Executive Society, The Asian Chamber of Commerce, Member of The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Member of The Creative Coalition, Member of The Fashion Group International Greater Washington DC, Member of IvyConnect, Board Advisor for Miss Vietnam DC Organization.

“Along with being a serial entrepreneur,I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. All these roles make my life meaningful and with significant purpose.” – Souny

Brigid D. Herrick and Margie Brandquist, Co-Founders, The SAVVY Woman, Inc.

THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014

Brigid Herrick is a business owner, author, and mother of five energetic children under the age of 14.  She has been a professional consultant and coach for over 20 years, most recently in the real estate industry.  Brigid has led seminars for hundreds of professionals in a wide range of industries on topics such as Communication Skills, Time Management, and Stress Management. She is an owner/investor in three Keller Williams franchises, and is also part of the investor group opening offices in the United Kingdom.  Out of her passion for empowering other moms, Brigid co-authored the book, Birth Happy, the SAVVY Woman’s Approach to a Satisfying Birth (c.2012), and is a level one certified lactation consultant.  Brigid enjoys inspiring others and motivating them to achieve their goals.

Margie Brandquist, CNM, MSN is a business owner, author, and mother of three amazing sons.  Margie has been a practicing midwife since 1997 and runs Loudoun Community Midwives with her business partner, Wendy Dotson.  They recently opened an additional location called The Midwives at Berryville.  Margie received her Bachelors Degree in Nursing from The University of Phoenix, and her Masters in Nursing and Midwifery at UCLA.  She loves working with women throughout their lifespan, with a special interest in adolescents.  Since the loss of her sister Mary Pettys on Flight 3407 in Buffalo in February 2009, Margie has been instrumental in lobbying Congress for airline safety legislation.  She designs and sews clothing, and co-authored the book, Birth Happy: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to a Satisfying Birth (c.2012).

 

Bonnie A. Sewell, American Capital Planning

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014

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.

www.americancapitalplanning.com

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson, KsR Solutions, LLC

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014

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: www.SpankTheBankNow.com.

Debijo Wheatley, Designs by Debijo

RESCHEDULED FROM THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13 DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER TO

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2014

Debi 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.

http://www.designsbydebijo.com/Default.asp