Womens Entrepreneurship Symposium - Speakers

Womens Entrepreneurship Symposium

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Senator Mary L. Landrieu

U.S. Senator
Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee

Mary L. Landrieu has been fighting and winning for Louisiana since she was first elected to the Louisiana state legislature at the age of 23. After serving eight years as a state representative and two terms as State Treasurer, in 1996 she became the first woman from Louisiana elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate. Senator Landrieu is currently the Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committees. The nonpartisan Congress.org has ranked Senator Landrieu as the tenth most effective legislator in the Senate.

Senator Landrieu has been the leading voice in Washington for the Gulf Coast recovery effort. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failures of the federal levee system, she secured billions in recovery dollars and has worked extensively to jumpstart recovery projects. She is committed to reforming the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure the nation's disaster response arm is speedy and effective the next time a disaster strikes the United States, be it natural or manmade.

As chair of the Small Business Committee, she is leading efforts to ensure all small businesses have access to capital and contracts, superior health insurance at a low cost and the resources needed to help boost our economy and guarantee America's competiveness in the global marketplace.

As one of the chairs on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Landrieu is a strong and effective voice for Louisiana. The Senate appointed Sen. Landrieu chair of the Appropriations Committee's important Subcommittee on Homeland Security. This subcommittee is responsible for drafting legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security's 20 offices and seven sub-agencies. The Appropriations Committee is considered the most powerful panel on Capitol Hill. From this seat, she fights for Louisiana's jobs and economic interests and the funding the state needs to rebuild from the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes.

Senator Landrieu, a member of the Energy Committee, coauthored the landmark Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which was signed into law in 2006. The bill expanded oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico by more than 8 million acres and shares the revenues with Louisiana to restore and protect the eroding wetlands along the Gulf Coast

Born and raised in New Orleans, Senator Landrieu is married to Frank Snellings of Monroe, La., and has two children.

Ms. Teresa Stanek Rea

Ms. Teresa Stanek Rea

Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Teresa Stanek Rea is Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Rea oversees an office that encourages innovation and technological advancement, and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and safeguard against deception in the marketplace.

Ms. Rea joined the USPTO in 2011 as Deputy Director. She is a leading attorney in the field of intellectual property with more than 25 years of legal experience and a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Rea was a partner in Crowell & Moring LLP's Washington, D.C., office where she focused on intellectual property and dispute resolution related to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life science issues. Rea has experience in drafting infringement and validity opinions, as well as experience in interference and licensing matters.

Ms. Rea also worked for Ethyl Corporation from 1980 through 1984 and for patent boutique firm Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis in Alexandria, Va.

Ms. Rea is a member of many technical and legal associations and has been a frequent lecturer and publisher on patent topics including biotechnology, nanotechnology, licensing, technology transfer, patent practice, export control and interferences.

Ms. Rea received a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan.

Ms. Margaret Focarino

Commissioner for Patents
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino is Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), she was appointed to this position in January 2012. She previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Patents, providing administrative oversight to nine Patent Technology Centers and coordinating the activities of patent application examination and reissues of patents.

In her new role as Commissioner, Ms. Focarino will manage and lead the Patent organization as the chief operating officer. She is responsible for the management and direction of all aspects of this organization which affect the administration of patent operations which includes patent operations, examination policy, resources and planning; and administration.

Ms. Focarino began her career at the USPTO in 1977 as a Patent Examiner. She became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 1989 and was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 1997. She received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in 1993 for her work as a Supervisory Patent Examiner and the Department of Commerce Silver Medal for leadership in 2010 for leading a joint union and management task force that developed and implemented the first significant changes to the patent examiner work credit system in more than 30 years.

Ms. Focarino was the 2010 recipient of American University's School of Public Affairs Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership. The annual award recognizes two public servants in the federal government whose careers are marked by extraordinary effectiveness in organizational performance and strong commitment to training and development of employees.

Ms. Focarino received her undergraduate degree in Physics from the State University of New York, and a Certificate in Advanced Public Management from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Ms. Valencia Martin Wallace

Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Valencia Martin Wallace is a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and The George Washington University, where she earned a Juris Doctorate. She has also received a certificate from the Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Public Administration. Valencia is also a member of the Pauline Newman IP American Inn of Court.

Valencia began her career as an engineer with the Martin Marietta Corporation. She later joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1992 as a patent examiner reviewing applications in solid state technologies. In 1999, Valencia went on to become a Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) where she was responsible for supervising the examination of applications related to electronic gaming devices and electronic educational devices in Technology Center (TC) 3700. She then transferred to TC 2100 to serve as an SPE in the networking technologies. Valencia has also served on details at the Office of Human Resources (OHR) as the Deputy Director and Acting Director of OHR and the Office of Patent Training as a Class Manager. She was promoted to the position of Technology Center Director in 2008. She also serves as the Executive Lead over the Patents Ombudsman Program. In 2011, Valencia was promoted to the position of Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations, overseeing operations in TCs 2100 and 2400.

Ms. Mindy Bickel

Administrator, Patents Ombudsman Program
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Beginning in 2010, Mindy B. Bickel began managing the Ombudsman Pilot Program that serves as a resource for patent applicants, agents and attorneys. This Program is now a permanent program and Ms. Bickel serves as the Program Administrator. Since June 2007, Ms. Bickel also coordinated university outreach and partnership efforts for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Bickel served as Chief of Staff to the Commissioner for Patents beginning in March 2006. As Chief of Staff, she was responsible for oversight of the Office of the Commissioner for Patents, the independent inventor programs and coordination of speaking requests and tours received by the patents organization. She also assisted the Commissioner with his daily schedule and business area operations.

Prior to being named the Chief of Staff, Ms. Bickel was part of a team responsible for developing and implementing the USPTO Patent Training Academy, a program designed to train 1200 new patent examiners each year in an eight-month training program.

Ms. Bickel began her career at the USPTO in 1989 as a Patent Examiner in the biotechnology area. She became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 1995. She has held numerous assignments, including a detail to the Office of the Commissioner for Patents in 1997 and a work assignment beginning in 1998 in the Search and Information Resources Administration (SIRA). Within SIRA, Ms. Bickel was responsible for the training programs for examiners and technical support staff on the software tools available to employees, customer outreach on electronic filing initiatives and the electronic business center which provides support to filers who are filing electronically.

Throughout her career, Ms. Bickel has received numerous awards including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for examination and supervisory accomplishments; a Silver Medal for improvements in customer service and the Vice Presidential Hammer Award for work in establishing a new customer outreach program in the biotechnology group.

Ms. Bickel received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Bryn Mawr College. She also received an MA, M.Phil., and Ph.D. in biophysical inorganic chemistry from Columbia University.

Ms. Elizabeth Dougherty

Acting Deputy Director, Office of Patent Legal Administration
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is an Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity she is responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and legal staff who serve as the legal policy advisors for the U.S. Patent Corps. Ms. Dougherty and her team devise and implement training for the Patent Corps and the public, draft and disseminate legal policy memorandum and guidance documents for use by the Patent Corps and the public, and assist in the development and handling of special application issues and USPTO patent initiatives.

Previously at the USPTO, Ms. Dougherty served as the Special Assistant to the Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, as a petitions attorney in the Office of Petitions, as an Executive Advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, and as a patent examiner. During her tenure as a patent examiner, Ms. Dougherty was responsible for the examination of patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing. This included a wide variety of devices ranging, for example, from transducers for measuring torque, pressure, impact, and flow to meteorological devices and inventions measuring physical strength.

Ms. Dougherty is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, on the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Ms. Dougherty received a Bachelors Degree in Physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996.

She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George's County Historical Society.

Ms. Dougherty enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.

Mr. Cedric B. Glover

Mayor of Shreveport, LA

The youngest son of Elizabeth Bradford Glover and the late Clarence Ernest Glover Sr., Cedric Bradford Glover, is a lifelong resident of Shreveport, LA, and was educated in the public and private schools of Caddo Parish. Early on, Cedric's parents instilled in him and his siblings a sense of community and civic commitment.

These traits manifested themselves early in Cedric's life. He started, what, at that time was the only black Boy Scout Troop in the entire NORWELA Council area. He later served with the Volunteers of America Lighthouse program as a Program Coordinator. During this time, he was elected Treasurer of the Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP, and President of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Club.

As President of the MLK Civic Club, Cedric had an opportunity to lead and advance an entire neighborhood. At that time, the MLK area was beset by the twin scourges of crack cocaine and gang violence and void of any constructive activities for the community's young people. Cedric was active in efforts that culminated with the deployment of Operation THOR in the MLK area. Operation THOR, an acronym for Take, Hold, Organize, and Return, represents the largest mobilization of law enforcement in Northwest Louisiana history.

Prompted by the urging of many, Cedric offered himself as a candidate for the Shreveport City Council District A seat. In November of 1990, Cedric became the youngest individual ever elected to the Shreveport City Council. While on the City Council, he served terms as Council Chairman, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, and was selected as Public Official of the Year by the Shreveport Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He also received the Louisiana Municipal Association's Community Achievement Award three times, as well as the Shreveport Negro Chamber of Commerce Political Achievement Award.

As Councilman, Cedric also secured more than thirty million dollars in capital construction dollars for his district, and increased the Parks and Recreation budget by 30 percent and declared war on liquor stores selling to minors, resulting in the first liquor license revocations in the City's history. He also championed and advanced the concept of Community Oriented Policing, at a time when most in law enforcement saw little value in it. During his tenure on the Council, he was a board member of the Greater Shreveport Economic Development Committee, Goodwill Industries, the Metropolitan YMCA, and became the youngest graduate of the Leadership Louisiana Program.

In October of 1995, Cedric was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. During that time, as a member of the House, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. He was also selected as Legislator of the Year by the Rural Caucus, and selected as Legislator of the Month by the Louisiana Municipal Association, Citizens Against Crime Inc. for instituting the first computer automated crime victim notification system in the entire state of Louisiana.

On November 7, 2006, Cedric B. Glover, made history as the first African American Mayor of his hometown, Shreveport, LA. He considers it an honor to serve as Mayor and strives daily to make Shreveport, 'the next great city of the South'!'

Dr. Jenna Carpenter

Associate Dean for Administration and Strategic Initiatives
College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University

Dr. Jenna Carpenter is Associate Dean for Administration and Strategic Initiatives and Wayne and Juanita Spinks Professor in the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University. She served as department head of engineering and science programs for ten years.

Dr. Carpenter served on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Engineering Education as Vice President of Professional Interest Councils and is currently on the Executive Committee for the Women in Engineering Division. She is Director of Professional Development on the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) Board of Directors. She is Chair of the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenge Scholars Steering Committee. Dr. Carpenter serves on the Diversity Advisory Council for the Louisiana Alliance for Simulation‐ Guided Materials Applications (LA‐SiGMA) Project and on the Leadership Team for the Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project. She is active in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), where she serves on as the Louisiana-Mississippi Governor.

Dr. Carpenter earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Louisiana Tech University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Louisiana State University where she was an LSU Alumni Federation Fellow.

Ms. Amy Guidry Oakes

Program Director
Enterprise Consortium of the Gulf Coast Women's Business Center

Amy Guidry Oakes, Program Director for the ECGC Women's Business Center, was born and raised in Opelousas, Louisiana. She graduated high school from the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau. She attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she double-majored in Management and Marketing for undergraduate studies. Amy then pursued and obtained her Masters of Business Administration through ULL.

Throughout Amy's life, she was surrounded by a family of local entrepreneurs. Growing up, she assisted in the daily activities of running the businesses. Her work background consists of business, procurement, sales, marketing and management.

Amy is customer focused in her role with the Women's Business Center. She looks forward to promoting economic development through the assistance of entrepreneurs in the 8 parishes that the WBC serves. Please join us in spreading the word that the Women's Business Center is ready and eager to help any of you to achieve your dreams of business ownership and self-sufficiency.

Ms. Montia Givens-Pressey

Staff Attorney, Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Montia Givens-Pressey is a staff attorney in the Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks. Montia's duties include providing expert information and guidance on law and policy matters pertaining to the federal trademark registration process, maintenance requirements for registrations, and the petition process to both internal and external customers. Montia also drafts petition decisions on a wide range of issues in petitions to the Commissioner for Trademarks, including the review of decisions by Examining Attorneys and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In addition, Montia provides expert legal support to the Post Registration Unit of the Trademark Office, including developing relevant training materials, reviewing relevant proposed legislation, and responding to day-to-day inquiries about legal issues.

Previously, Montia worked as a Trademark Examining Attorney with the Office from 1995 to 1999, where in addition to examining applications, Montia also trained newly hired attorneys and assisted in various other management activities. Montia also worked for five years as a trademark associate with a large intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C. where her practice focused on trademark prosecution, client counseling, and advice in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Montia received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

Ms. Julia Kurnik

Director of Research and Policy

Julia Kurnik is the Director of Research and Policy. In this role, Ms. Kurnik is responsible for creating and overseeing the research agenda of the Council and reporting on all research findings. In addition, Ms. Kurnik keeps in close contact with Hill, government, SBA, and other policy staff representatives on behalf of the NWBC and monitors congressional small business news and policy debates.

Before coming to the National Women's Business Council, Ms. Kurnik served as an assistant analyst at Hart Research Associates, a strategic research company in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she spent over a year and a half on the Obama for America campaign, serving on the political staff throughout the primary campaigns around the country and then as a Regional Field Director in central Florida during the general election campaign. Before the campaign began, Ms. Kurnik worked as a project manager at Xplana Learning, Inc., an educational software company in Boston, MA.

Ms. Kurnik graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA and is originally from Moorestown, NJ.

Ms. Lisa Price

Carol's Daughter, Inc.

From humble beginnings in her Brooklyn kitchen, Founder of Carol's Daughter, Inc., Lisa Price transformed her beloved hobby of mixing up fragrances and creams at home into a multi-million dollar beauty empire.

In the early 1990's, Price began experimenting with making her own fragrances and perfume sprays when she wasn't busy working on the legendary sitcom The Cosby Show. She added oils to unscented lotions, and began learning the aromatherapeutic and healing properties of the oils.

When the show finished its remarkable TV run in 1992, Price used the end of one chapter of her life to embark on another. With $100 in cash, her own kitchen, and the simple notion that people should follow their hearts, Lisa started building the collection that would become a beauty revolution. She began by selling her homespun beauty products at flea markets, but then had to set up shop in her living room as demand increased. Favorable word-of-mouth spread like wildfire as her customers enjoyed such unique products as Love Butter, Hair Milk, Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie and Lemon Mint Manicure. Her business continued to grow, aided by the encouragement and assistance of family members and friends.

In August of 1994, Price officially established Carol's Daughter (the company lovingly named after her mother). Initially starting out with a handful of steady customers, those numbers grew in leaps and bounds as women outside her neighborhood and circle of friends began to take notice. Almost overnight, celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Erykah Badu, Rosie Perez and Halle Berry became loyal customers.

Price is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the National Black MBA Association's Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2000), the FFAWN I'm Power - I'm Beauty Award (2010) and a Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever Award (2010).

She is also the author of Success Never Smelled So Sweet, a remarkable memoir that chronicles her transformation from a young Black woman deep in debt and burdened by low self-esteem to the president of a multi-million dollar business. Looking back on her years growing up in Brooklyn, Price vividly recalls her recurring connection with nature: a profound love and appreciation of the natural fragrances of the world. Price continues to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of other women through her book, speaking engagements and business seminars.

Price is an active philanthropist and currently sits on the board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), a charity that is dedicated to empowering women and instilling confidence so that they may achieve their dreams through education, empowerment and encouragement. The foundation was founded by Steve Stoute and Mary J. Blige.

Today, Carol's Daughter sells millions of dollars worth of products, employs more than 80 staff members and boasts nine stores across the
country, with a flagship store in Harlem. Price hopes to continue expanding Carol's Daughter to other cities.

Price is dedicated to giving back to the community through both her business and her personal life. She has taken a hands-on approach to involvement in community fundraising walks and gala events for the Lupus Foundation of America. Additionally, Price generously and frequently offers product donations to community organizations both large and small in an effort to help Carol's Daughter's extended friends and family with their own outreach and fundraising efforts.

Most recently, Price has been appointed as a council member of the National Women's Business Council, an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues that face female business owners.

Ms. Renee Quinn

The Social Media Diva™
Chief Operating Officer & Marketing Director,
IPWatchdog, Inc.

Renée C. Quinn is the Chief Operating Officer, and Marketing Director for IPWatchdog, Inc. I acquired my Masters of Business Administration in 2003. My MBA course work focused on e-Commerce and e-Business, with an emphasis on marketing via the World Wide Web. My particular career focus to date has been on business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing development and implementation, project management and corporate training. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and have more than 20 experience in direct customer service.

I am known in some circles as The Social Media Diva™ due to my experience with, knowledge of and passion for social media. I have written many business related articles on social media, brand building and marketing over the years as a contributing author for the IPWatchdog.com Blog. I am a social media and online marketing strategist offering consulting services in social media, brand development, brand building and marketing initiatives to individuals and businesses of all sizes. As a consultant I assist in setting up marketing campaigns coordinated with aggressive use of social media and social networking tools. I also travel throughout the United States to speak at law firms, law schools, and other events on these topics. In addition, I offer corporate education and executive training as well.

In my role at IPWatchdog, Inc., my primary responsibilities include interfacing with inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses. I am also in charge of all day to day operations including accounts receivable, accounts payable, developing marketing campaigns and coordinating outside vendors in a project managing capacity. Before joining IPWatchdog I was employed by Citadel Broadcasting, where I designed and implemented radio-advertising campaigns for corporate clients. Previous to that, through my employment with the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, I assisted small and medium sized businesses in obtaining their marketing and business development objectives.

Prior to the Chamber I worked for Vertex, Inc. as a software support analyst, a software-training specialist and an Oracle customer database manager. In this capacity, I conducted customer information management and data validation of customer data including sales orders and contact information. I served on several implementation teams where processes were tested and verified to ensure that the process development for the Oracle Financial System implementation met the needs of Customer Relationship Management. In this role I also assisted in corporate development and training through the preparation of documentation necessary for the implementation of a new Oracle Financial System within the Vertex Corporate Structure. Finally, I assisted in developing customer data management process training documentation for corporate training.

Ms. Karen Waksman

Founder and CEO of Retail MBA

Karen Waksman, Founder and CEO of Retail MBA (www.retailmba.com), is a Manufacturer's Rep turned Author, Speaker and Consultant. She has sold millions of units to the world's largest retailers now dedicates her time to teaching Entrepreneurs how to market and sell their products to Major Retailers, Online Retailers, Catalogs and Small Retailers, too!

Karen Waksman has taught 1000's of product entrepreneurs and companies across the country on the subject of selling to retailers. Her goal is to empower and inspire companies to transform their businesses by providing them all of the necessary information they need in order to become chain store vendors.

Karen Waksman is the Wholesale Product Expert for About.com! About.com reaches nearly 40MM unique visitors a month and is a top 30 site in the US.

She has been commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association to train members on how to get products into retailers. Karen is also a speaker at CES. CES is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow that boosts more than 150,000 attendees at their annual event!

Was asked by Stanford University to teach the Product For Profit class (How to Sell Products to Major Retailers...No Sales Experience or Existing Buyer Relationships Required) and is also a student mentor for their Product Realization Network group.

Karen teaches her popular course 'Getting Your Products Sold at Retail' for the National Hardware Show, International Home and Housewares Show, Alibaba.com, Small Business Administration, SBDC, University of Chicago, Inventor Associations throughout the country and much more!

United Inventors Association Blogger: Proud member of UIA and writes a 'Just Ask Karen' blog monthly for them. UIA is one of the world's largest inventors associations!

InventorSpot.com Writer: Blogger for the #1 inventor site on the web (most popular inventor site in the world)!