The NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College will be holding our sixth annual Women Entrepreneurs Rock on October 21st from 6pm – 10pm at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.  Given the success of our previous WER events, this is a can’t-miss experience for current or aspiring women business owners.

Scheduled during international Women Entrepreneurship Week, the goal of “Women Entrepreneurs Rock” (also known as WeRock) is to facilitate a real dialog about topics relevant to women in business. Last year over 500 women business owners from our area came to share knowledge and inspiration.

According to the March 2019 edition of Success magazine, “the new arena for business is being built from recycled shards of the glass ceiling.” Today, four out of every 10 businesses (40%) in the United States are women-owned.  In fact, women are starting businesses in droves! Women started 1,821 net new businesses every day last year.

This rise in female entrepreneurship is attributed to both opportunity and necessity according to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express.  Women surveyed mention four major motivations: having the experience to start a successful enterprise, financial readiness, following a passion and desiring flexibility in their lives.

“This growing reality propels Women Entrepreneurs Rock to be better every year,” says Jackeline Mejias-Fuertes, Director of the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College. “The venue alone immediately signals this is, by far, not your standard business function. No formalities and no canned responses…just real information from those who have successfully navigated the process of launching and growing a business.”

The focus this year will be on women entrepreneurs leading the way in philanthropy and their commitment to giving back.  Women have always been integral volunteers, but as female philanthropists gain in wealth and influence, they are reinventing philanthropy prioritizing business solutions to social problems.  As Melinda Gates said, “They know their community.  They know what needs to get done.” Even better news is that according to Forbes, “most of the wealth that will change hands in the coming decades is likely to go to women!”

The panelists will discuss their backgrounds, successes and challenges along the way, and offer advice to fellow business owners. There will also be a live Q&A exchange followed by an opportunity for networking.

The amazing women participating this year include:

Our keynote speaker Tracy Abby-White, Sr. Director of Sales Enablement at IronNet Cybersecurity

As a curious and creative leader, she encourages different perspectives and active engagement. She has learned that a safe environment and the opportunity to “fail safely” will deliver fresh ideas making us collectively better. As much as education is her foundation, so is public service. For seven years she served on the Henry Hudson Regional Board of Education holding all offices including President. Tracey is a former Councilwoman for Atlantic Highlands where she served on multiple committees and founded the AH Youth Commission. Appointed in 2013, she is the current Chair of the Brookdale Board of Trustees.

She began her career as a middle school teacher in Middletown, NJ. Making the ambitious shift into the corporate arena, she became a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch Private Client Group and later Charles Schwab. A twist of life events led her to the software industry, where she earned leadership roles in Silicon Valley cybersecurity start-ups. Enterprise sales leader, Director of Federal Account Development, Director of North America Channel Sales and Director of North America Field Marketing titles dot her resume. An acquisition landed her at IBM, where she became the Worldwide Mobility and Endpoint Management Enablement Leader. Here she trained sales professionals on how to help their customers solve business challenges with technology solutions.

True to her nature of curious learning, when a former colleague recruited her with the opportunity to “build a program from nothing,” she jumped to Tenable. Recently she was lured from Tenable to IronNet, the cybersecurity organization founded by former NSA GEN. Keith Alexander, where she is the Sr. Director of Sales Enablement.

Tracey and her husband Richard A. White Sr., retired Chief of Police of Monmouth Beach, enjoy a blended family of nine children, seven grandchildren and a grandson on the way. http://www.linkedin.com/in/traceyabby

DonnaLyn Giegerich, President of DLG Consulting will be honored with the 2019 Woman Who Rocks Award.

DonnaLyn Giegerich is an integrated leader,  motivational speaker and skills coach, passionate about helping intentional leaders succeed. As president of DLG Consulting, she travels the globe as a business conference keynoter, corporate trainer/business development consultant and impact/speech coach for those interested in developing influence and talent agility. The intersection of her sales career at IBM, then analyst job on Wall St, led her to entrepreneurship for decades locally. She has addressed thousands at conferences from California to Cornell in business forums for over a decade. Corporate speaking roster includes client names like Campbells, Daiichi-Sankyo, Novo-Nordisk, Balfour Beatty and Verisk, to name a few. She has also worked as an international brand ambassador, resilient cover model search winner for the renowned Kripalu Yoga and Health brand and has taught yoga as a registered teacher to stressed executive leaders around the Caribbean for over a decade.

She maintains business interests in two insurance agencies, has taught college economics and business courses at Brookdale Community College, Kean and Monmouth University and is currently an entrepreneurial consultant for America’s Small Business Development Center in Lincroft. She is the co-founder of KickCancerOverboard, creator of YogaOnTheLakeSummerSeries, and emcee/creator of sold out Power Panelist networking events for women. Her work has been featured in five books, awarded by over twenty organizations including the Rothman Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, NJ Assoc of Women Businessowners, several local chambers of commerce and The Fresh Air Fund in NYC. Locally, DonnaLyn has quietly funded scholarships for non traditional business students and emerging talent at Brookdale Community College.

Her family has hosted over ten foreign exchange college students from Beijing to Brazil while managing a decade of life threatening cancer complications including a complex 8 hour abdominal surgery, two stem cell transplants, years of chemotherapy, too many hospital stays and multiple radiation protocols. She and her husband of 28 years have been beating back aggressive cancers together since age 42. She won numerous awards at the 2009 Mrs New Jersey Pageant for rare  cancer awareness at age 45 in a red bikini with an 18 inch torso scar(and a badass spray tan!) as Mrs Red Bank to showcase what’s possible thru adversity. Learn more about resilience, reinvention and how she helps leaders succeed at DonnaLynSpeaks.com.