Women in Business panelists to share insights

The BizTimes 2013 Women in Business Conference will feature a panel discussion by four accomplished female executives.

The panelists at the breakfast program, which will take place at the BizExpo on Thursday, May 16, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino, will include:

• Deborah Allen, owner of Mac Allen Partnership.

• Tonit Calaway, vice president of Harley-Davidson Inc. and president of The Harley-Davidson Foundation.

• Jennifer Eastman, controller at Merchants Moving & Storage.

• Cathy Jacobson, president and CEO of Froedtert Health.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Kimberly Kane, president and founder of Kane Communication Group.

The panelists will discuss an array of subjects relative to success, including innovation, team-building, marketing, leadership, mentorship and strategic vision.

Statistics have shown that companies with a strong presence of women in their leadership ranks are more successful than those without women.

There are now 121,800 women-owned businesses in Wisconsin, an increase of 8.3 percent since 2007, according to the most recent State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, which analyzes U.S. Census Bureau data.

The panel discussion will be followed by the presentation of the BizTimes 2013 Woman Executive of the Year Award to Maria Monreal-Cameron, president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW).

Monreal-Cameron was one of thirteen children born to Mexican immigrants on Milwaukee’s south side.

She has led the HCCW since 1989, building the chamber into one of the most decorated and impactful Latino organizations in the country.
She is active in several capacities in the community, serving on the boards of the Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation, Milwaukee Women Inc. and the Smart Government/Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC).

Monreal-Cameron serves as advisor for several organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Minority Pre-Qualification Loan Program, the Governor’s Council on Small, Veteran & Minority Business Opportunities (CSVMBO), the Visit Milwaukee Multi-Cultural Committee and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

She is a past recipient of the TEMPO Milwaukee Mentor Award, as she has served as a tireless mentor for countless women in business over the years. She also received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latina Style Magazine.

“Not only has she made a lasting and significant contribution in helping Latinos achieve middle class status, but the impact of her work is widely recognized in the community at large,” said Walter Sava former executive director of the United Community Center in Milwaukee and now executive director of the Latino Historical Society of Wisconsin. “Maria is not only a great talker-a wonderful speaker whose passion about making Milwaukee a better place for everyone, including Latinos, is unmatched, but she is first and foremost a doer. She’s one of those rare individuals whose rhetoric and results run on parallel tracks.”

This year will mark the third year for the presentation of the BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award. Past recipients were former Harley-Davidson Inc. executive Gail Lione and Dohmen chief executive officer Cynthia LaConte.

Monreal-Cameron will receive the 2013 award at the BizTimes Women in Business Conference on Thursday, May 16, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino. To register to attend, visit www.biztimes.com/women.

The BizExpo is the Wisconsin’s largest business-to-business convention in the state. Register to attend or reserve a booth, visit www.biztimes.com/bizexpo.

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