PeopleSpring is a one-day networking, leadership, and women’s luncheon event, designed to help you meet fellow female entrepreneurs.
Our PeopleSpring program is an interactive lunch and learn opportunity to meet, mingle, and marry business ideas with fellow women entrepreneurs. With fun, food, and the opportunity to learn from women leaders in our community, you’ll be sure to walk away with contacts and a new confidence.
Date: Thursday, June 6th
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: 1312 Houston St, Laredo TX 78040
Featured Speaker: Cindy Liendo
Commissioner Liendo previously served on the Laredo I.S.D. Board of Trustees from November 2016 to August 2018 and served as a City of Laredo Council Member from 2008 to 2014.
Commissioner Liendo is a graduate of J.W. Nixon High School. She was named a Mustang Legend and Tejano Achiever among other recognitions.
Commissioner Liendo has one daughter, Ms. Ana Victoria.
Andrea Garza-Vazquez, El Quinto Sol
Andrea Garza-Vazquez graduated from Texas A&M International University with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a Concentration in Management and a Masters in Public Administration. Prior to becoming VP of Finance and Administration at El Quinto Sol, Andrea worked providing business advising and program development in the private and business sector.
At El Quinto Sol, she is in charge of developing the administrative department as well as overseeing some of the day to day operations of the restaurant. Andrea believes in the impact of community service and involvement; she is a member of Scouts de Mexico, participates in activities with various nonprofits and promotes the vision of El Quinto Sol; which is not the only ovo-lacto vegetarian restaurant in Laredo, but it is a Lifestyle.
Amber Avis, Ambitious Management
Born and raised in Laredo, Amber Avis is the granddaughter to the owners of Michael’s Lock & Key Shoppe whom had a successful business in Laredo for over 35 years. They taught her the value of working hard and instilled in her a passion for helping others. Losing her mother at the young age 15, taught her independence and strength. It also taught her the importance of having life insurance, a will, a trust and financial game plan for life.
Amber took the first opportunity to “get out of Laredo” when she was offered the most scholarship money to the University of Missouri for being a minority and graduating at the top of her class. She graduated with a degree in Accounting and Political Science in 2013. Two days after graduating, she moved back to Laredo to help run her family CPA firm where her other grandmother, Margie Kraus, was the first female CPA in Laredo and also one of the first females licensed in Texas.
Today, Amber is an Accountant and hopes to be Laredo’s First Female Certified Financial Planner by this summer when she passes her national boards. Amber has been the President of the Webb County Young Democrats since August 2018. She hopes to bring financial education and awareness to Laredo as well as make an impact in the community by fighting for affordable access to health and mental health care, immigration reform, and by creating equitable economic opportunities through business development.
Date: Friday, June 14th
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Ascension| 1345 Philomena Street, Austin TX 78723
Kim Overton, SPIbelt
Growing up in Austin, Texas, SPIbelt Founder Kim Overton was always active. As a child she was a competitive gymnast and dancer with aspirations of being a professional dancer. Following her dream, she moved to New York City and became one of the main dancers for MTV’s The Grind. After years of starring in music videos and performing for MTV, Kim decided it was time to return home to Texas and spread her passion for fitness to others. Kim became a personal trainer and even released her own fitness DVD, “Love Your Legs.”
One day while on a run, Kim became frustrated as she had nowhere to comfortably hold her keys. With her keys uncomfortably secured in her sports bra she thought, “There has to be a better way than this.”
That day when she returned home she drew up the plans for the first ever SPIbelt. She went to the fabric store, bought supplies, and the SPIbelt was officially born. The belt was so convenient and comfortable Kim began wearing it all the time. Eventually, all of her clients were wanting one. That’s when SPIbelt really began to take off.
Kim was offered the opportunity to attend her first Austin Marathon in 2007 as a vendor. She sold 150 of her original belts on site; the following Monday Overton quit her personal training job and jumped feet first into running SPIbelt full-time.
In time, her business morphed into the international success it is today. SPIbelt has been featured on TV shows like CNCB’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Rachael Ray, and countless news broadcasts praising the product. In 2011, SPIbelt earned a spot on Inc 5000 2011 list.
Although her product may be internationally recognized Kim has stayed true to her roots, ensuring that SPIbelt offers products handmade in Austin, Texas. She continues to be a driving force in the fitness industry pushing herself and company to be on the cutting edge of innovative products and ideas for fitness accessories.
Mia Parton, Aeparmia Engineering
Ms. Mia Parton is a licensed professional civil engineer and certified project management professional with over a decade of direct experience in the engineering design and construction industry where she has worked for both the private and public sectors. She has successfully managed multi-million-dollar public and private infrastructure projects in Texas including site development, water and wastewater distribution systems, lift stations, elevated storage tanks, utility coordination, property condition assessment engineering reports, as well as telecommunication small cell and outside plant fiber projects.
Ms. Parton founded Aeparmia Engineering, PLLC in 2017 where she provides outstanding client services bringing to teams a unique expertise in wet and dry utilities engineering. She is very familiar with local, state and federal standards and regulation as she had obtained various permits from the City of Austin, TxDOT, TCEQ, other various cities and counties.
In addition to her technical expertise, Ms. Parton served on non-profit organizations boards, National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Austin Chapter Committee Vice Chair, American Water Works Association National Health, Safety and Environment Committee chair as well as currently serving as the City of Austin Water and Wastewater Commissioner.
Tara Chapman, Two Hives Honey
Tara Chapman is the founder and owner of Two Hives Honey. After almost 10 years working for the U.S. government in intelligence and oversight in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she took a chance beekeeping class and fell in love with the bees. Six months later she quit her job to work for a beekeeper for the spring season, and shortly thereafter started Two Hives Honey, a full service beekeeping and honey business.
One of Two Hive’s core values is supporting locally women-owned businesses, and her commitment to this value can be found in sourcing of products for the Two Hives retail shop, partnering to bring unique infused honeys to Austin, and promoting other women-owned businesses through partnerships and an annual women’s holiday bazaar.
Kelly Jedele, Let Kelly
Kelly Jedele is a sharp, organized single mom who knows exactly how her busy clients feel. The former manager of a large, successful team of Mary Kay entrepreneurs she’s also an experienced office manager and medical sales executive.
With a warm heart and a dedication to helping others, Kelly’s biggest passion is helping busy women grow their businesses and improve their lifestyles by taking the heat off of them to handle an endless list of responsibilities. She knows that as women focus on what really matters to them their quality of life skyrockets.
Alas, this dedication to helping isn’t limited only to women. She has more than a couple of men in her list of dedicated clients.
These days Kelly’s likely to be found holding the hands of busy mothers, over-burdened daughters, and on-the-move mid-career executives. Over time as she gets to know her clients’ lives and needs she’s really able to effortlessly tap into undiscovered opportunities for stepping in and taking the pressure off when it matters most.
An avid scrapbooking enthusiast and salsa dancer, Kelly received her B.S. in Communications from the University of Texas. She is also an accomplished cyclist and triathlete who recently rode her bike from Houston to Austin in the MS150 charity ride to benefit the National Muscular Sclerosis Society.
Special thanks to Capital One for making this event possible!
Date: Thursday, April 11th
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Locavore | 715 Hawthorne Ave, Fort Worth TX 76110
Featured Speaker: Cortney Gumbleton, Founder & Co-owner of Locavore
Cortney Gumbleton is the Founder and Co-Owner of the innovative commercial kitchen incubator and premier event venue, Locavore, located in the Near Southside of Fort Worth, Texas. She currently works with over 100 food trucks and 60 food entrepreneurs, and manages the event venue. In 2018, Locavore took the top prize, beating 48 other businesses, for the Fort Worth Business Plan Competition. That same year, Locavore was selected as Finalist in the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Forte Award in the Emerging New Business category.
Although Cortney originally hails from Wisconsin (and is an avid cheese lover), she landed in Fort Worth back in 2003 when she was stationed at NAS Fort Worth as a Naval Plane Captain. As a 2012 graduate of Texas Christian University, Cortney received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and in 2013 a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Over the last 10 years Cortney’s passion for working with vulnerable populations provided opportunities working with the unsheltered homeless, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and in the field of mental health, particularly suicide prevention.
Cortney is a transformational leader with an impressive history of building innovative programs that communities’ value, strategizing high-impact, low-cost approaches that work, developing authentic messaging that inspires, and delivering metrics that show meaningful change.
A few years ago, Cortney sold her Fort Worth home and purchased a farm in Azle, where she resides with her family and menagerie of animals. She serves on the Board of Directors for Amphibian Stage Productions, the Tarrant County Women’s Policy Forum, and The Welman Project. Cortney is also an active Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Fort Worth, and member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and Near Southside Inc.
Special thanks to Frost Bank for making this event possible!
Date: Thursday, April 25th
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: 2801 Swiss Ave, Dallas TX 75204
Upon graduating from Texas A&M University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Jamita Barnett-Machen, MBA, continues to shatter through glass ceilings. Jamita has held many leadership roles during her career spanning the defense, mobile, e-commerce and travel industries with a focus on Information Technology. Some career key highlights include being selected for the Executive Mentorship Program at IBM and becoming the first African-American female Principal Application Architect at American Airlines. In addition, Jamita was the first female Information Technology Architect at Southwest Airlines. Jamita was also recognized as one of the top 25 North Texas Women in Technology by the Dallas Business Journal and TeXchange DFW.
Simultaneously, Jamita has continued to broaden her skillset by acquiring various degrees such as a Master of Science in Computer Science from DePaul University and an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Outside of work, Jamita volunteers her time with multiple organizations.
Jamita served as president of the Arlington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. from 2014 through 2018. Under her leadership, membership organically grew by 30%. In addition, she fostered community partnerships for various community outreach programs and implemented the annual S.T.E.A.M. youth conference. Jamita also sits on the External Advisory Council for the Texas A&M Computer Science Department where she along with other council members provide input for the growth of the department and the engagement of department alumni. In addition, Jamita volunteers with the Northeast Tarrant County Chamber Dynamic Women’s Alliance Group to provide ongoing leadership workshops for the women business owners. In 2018, Jamita launched her own foundation, The STEM-ulation Foundation which focuses on exposing minority youth to careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields. In the recent past, Jamita has served as Board Member for the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce where her responsibilities were fostering the Chamber’s membership. She helped to implement various lunch & learn entrepreneurship events and the annual luncheon fundraiser. Lastly, Jamita sat as the Vice President for the Black Student Network of Texas A&M University with a focus on increasing African-American enrollment and retention at Texas A&M University thru mentorship programs and awarding of scholarships.
Suzanne Smith (@snstexas) has a deep belief that everyone is a changemaker. As a serial social entrepreneur, she strives to harness the powerful force of organizations, including nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses, and individuals, especially students and young entrepreneurs, to maximize the potential of the social sector to create real, scalable impact. In 2009, Suzanne founded Social Impact Architects, a registered Benefit Corporation, to reshape the business of social change. She combines her MBA know-how with two decades of experience as a nonprofit innovator to serve as a consultant, advisor and thought partner. She is also a highly sought-after public speaker at conferences nationwide, including being selected as a featured speaker at TEDxTurtleCreekWomen, and teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas. In this work, she has pioneered opensource frameworks for the creation of better social solutions, including layered logic models, ecosystem mapping and social alchemy. For her outstanding work as a leading thinker, she was recognized with the Next Generation Social Entrepreneur Award by the Social Enterprise Alliance. In 2015 and 2016, Social Impact Architects was recognized as one of the “Best for the World” small businesses by B Corp.
Suzanne also authors Social TrendSpotter (@socialtrendspot), one of the sector’s top blogs according to the Huffington Post. Known for its relatable way of blending important concepts and new ways of working with storytelling, Social TrendSpotter has been hailed by readers as “the only blog I read each week.” She is frequently interviewed by regional and national media on social entrepreneurship and has published articles in Forbes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, See Change, Nonprofit Business Advisor, Upstart and Grantmakers in Health. Suzanne has been at the epicenter of game-changing social solutions for more than two decades as a social intrapreneur. Her first jobs at the City of Garland and Texas Municipal League taught her the power and potential of local government to impact change.
Later, she worked for Phoenix House to scale evidence-based prevention and treatment programs to Texas and for the American Heart Association to build a national state advocacy strategy. One of her greatest achievements was co-founding the Alliance for a Healthier Generation – one of the country’s first movements focused on combating childhood obesity – with a team from the William J. Clinton Foundation. She also co-founded Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub in Cincinnati, Ohio, to help nonprofits build
meaningful and sustainable social enterprises.
Suzanne holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she was selected as the CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) Scholar. Nationally, she was selected as a member of Peter Senge’s Society of Organizational Learning and Young Entrepreneurs Council. She also served on the national board of the Social Enterprise Alliance. A third-generation Texan, her roots run deep through her work to improve her community with Entrepreneurs for North Texas,
Dallas Business Club, Leadership Dallas, Leadership North Texas and the Junior League of Dallas. She has served a number of appointed posts for the City of Dallas and currently serves in leadership roles on the Dallas Commission on Homelessness and the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty. She was honored to receive the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award in 2012 and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young ATHENA Leadership Award in 2014.
Special thanks to Frost Bank for making this event possible!
Date: Wednesday, May 8th
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: 2101 South Street, Houston TX 77009
Featured Speaker: Ghazal Qureshi, IDEA Lab Kids
Computer engineer Ghazal Qureshi, a mother of three, is Founder and Chief Visionary of IDEA Lab Kids. She decided to leave her corporate position, and started IDEA Lab Kids in 2011. IDEA Lab Kids (IDEA stands for Innovate, Discover, Explore, Achieve) offers summer camps, after-school programs and birthday parties to excite kids about science, technology, engineering and math – blended with art. The force that drove her to make IDEA Lab Kids a reality was when she encountered difficulty finding ways of enriching her children’s education that fits her schedule. Ghazal started IDEA Lab with 18 on-site camps in Houston. Now IDEA Lab Kids has grown into an international franchise company with campuses across the U.S. and Canada, and other locations worldwide.
Starting a small business is hard, especially as a woman. PeopleSpring, a one-day networking, leadership, and women’s luncheon event, is designed to help you meet fellow female entrepreneurs. Together we can forge new relationships, learn about financing opportunities, and learn from successful women small business owners in our community.
Meetups will take place in Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Laredo, and Houston. With new connections and new skills you can plant the seed, grow your network, and blossom your business.
Register for PeopleSpring in your town today!