Women On Business is proud to welcome Dr. Marsha Firestone, Amy Blais and Liz Cullen of Women Presidents’ Educational Organization to our writing team! These women have varied business backgrounds and bring unique ideas and experiences to Women On Business.
About Women Presidents’ Educational Organization
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO) is a regional affiliate of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses and third party certification organization. Dr. Marsha Firestone is President and founder of WPEO. Amy Blais is program director for WPEO, and Liz Cullen is the executive director of WPEO-DC.
About Marsha Firestone, Amy Blais and Liz Cullen
Dr. Marsha Firestone is Founder and President of Women Presidents’ Educational Organization, which is dedicated to increasing access to business opportunities for women’s business enterprises (WBEs). She has been honored for several special achievements, such as the Applause Award for breaking down barriers for women in business from Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and The Hall of Fame Award from Enterprising Women. Marsha continues to share her professional knowledge by serving on numerous boards and advisory councils including: the Board of Advisors of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School, the Board of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the International Women’s Forum. She also serves the worldwide community as a frequent guest speaker, with recent speaking engagements at several universities and other organizations.
Dr. Firestone is the author of The Busy Woman’s Guide to Successful Self-Employment and has published research in business and educational journals on adult learning theory, nonverbal communication, and managerial competency. Dr. Firestone earned a Master’s degree in Communication from Teacher’s College of New York and a Ph.D. in Communication from Columbia University, where Margaret Mead sat on her dissertation committee.
Amy Blais is Program Director for the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO). Miss Blais has been with the WPEO for two years. The WPEO, a regional affiliate of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), creates increased access to business opportunities for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs). Ms. Blais oversees the WBENC certification process for women-owned business in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. She guides firms through the process of certification and helps provide links between women entrepreneurs and business opportunities in the private sector. Ms. Blais and her team develop effective programming and opportunities for WBEs for the overall mission of increasing access for WBEs. Ms. Blais also serves on the Supplier Diversity Development Council of New Jersey.
Ms. Blais has always been dedicated to increasing resources and opportunities for women. Prior to her work with the WPEO, Ms. Blais worked as Program Coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center where she developed programs dedicated to advancing women’s personal, educational and professional goals as well as providing support and counseling services to women in need. She also served as a Research Fellow at the Boston College Department of Psychology participating in research regarding gender differences, intergroup relations and non verbal communication.
Liz Cullen is the Executive Director of WPEO-DC. She manages the programs, outreach, and staff in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Liz served as the Regional Director of Certification, overseeing all certification services as well as outreach and fundraising in the New York Region for four years before leaving to earn her master’s degree from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Under Liz’s direction, WPEO’s certified women’s business enterprises more than doubled and corporate support increased by over 20% annually from 2002-2006.
At SIPA, Liz focused on economic development for women and learned Mandarin Chinese. She received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in comparative literature after writing her thesis on the gendered dynamics of revolutionary literature. She is dedicated to working for women’s economic independence and is thrilled to put her skills and experience to work at WPEO.
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