Registration for this year's conference is now open.
Get your tickets here.
Early bird tickets are available through February 15th.
Meet the Speakers of this Year's Conference
Award winning interior designer and inspiration strategist , Carnela Renée Hill, is the CEO and Principal Designer of CR Hill Design Group (CRHDG), LLC. CRHDG provides professional interior design services (residential and commercial), staging and special event design and planning for almost 20 years. She was recognized in 2018 as one of the Top 10 Designers in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area. Her firm’s work can be found in many places including the movie “There’s My Angel.” In 2015, Carnela was selected to decorate at the White House for Christmas, which included a surprise interview and spotlight appearance on HGTV’s Christmas at the White House and other media outlets.
Carnela has been identified in The Wall Street Journal as "One of the 111 Most Promising Business Leaders. She has two satellite radio programs, serving as cohost on “Faith, Motivation & Leadership” and the host of “Not Your Typical Design Show.” She is the author of “Walking Afraid,” which chronicles Carnela’s journey from corporate America to full time entrepreneurship. She also is an interior design instructor at Living Arts College.
Carnela is an action-oriented thinker and speaker. While in the corporate world, she was in charge of several million dollar projects. She has served in the political arena as an operations manager, campaign and fundraiser manager for Congressman GK Butterfield and advised other elected officials. She is often lending her time to mentoring and coaching others, especially potential business owners, youth and college students. To add to all she does, Carnela is currently in the Master’s Program at Duke University’s Divinity School. She definitely walks by faith. She has an electric way of attracting people to her. In 2018, Carnela was recognized by Launch Raleigh and Action 4 Success for her outstanding servant leadership and sharing her savvy business knowledge. Her mission is to help others WIN. She is a community leader and agent of change often volunteering with various organizations in the community.
Keynote Speaker: Carnela Renee Hill
Elyshia Brooks is President of BrandNiquely™ You! Inc., a Personal and B2B Brand Strategy Boutique Offering Consultancy and Education that works with High-Achieving Leaders, either as a Corporate Professional, Business CEO or Ministry Leader to Define, Develop, and Design a Unique Leadership, Lifestyle or Transformational Brand that Speaks to The Core Of Who They Are. Her sincere Intentions are to Increase Brand Equity, Enhance Engagement and Build Authentic Relationships; All While Growing in Profit or Promotability!
She works with High-Achieving Purposed Individuals to EMPOWER, ENGAGE and EDUCATE you to BE & LIVE Your BRAND™ through her Personal Brand Intelligence™ Programs, which speaks to your centered core through her Elite 1-on-1 Coaching, VIP Days, BrandNiquely™ You! 2-Day Advancement and her BrandNiquely™ You! Academy, a 5 and 10-Month Program!
Elyshia is a mentor to hundreds of women locally and abroad on personal mastery, self-love and speciﬁcally topics on Abuse through Domestic Violence and Mental Wealth.
Elyshia received her Bachelors of Science from Albany State University (1996) in Albany, Georgia and her MBA from Strayer University in 2005. She is a Doctoral Candidate for D.B.A. from Walden University, all of which are in Marketing. She has one adult son who plays professional basketball overseas.
Payal Nanjiani is a globally acclaimed motivational leadership speaker, executive and business coach and CEO of Success Is Within Leadership, Inc whose global platform has reached and served numerous people. Her speaking and coaching ignite and strengthen a leader's inner-self which enables them to become game changing leaders and entrepreneurs. As a result companies and business owners are seeing a massive shift in their actions and results.
Her techniques inspire people worldwide and has impacted countless leaders and entrepreneurs globally to break through, and discover their infinite potential. She also works with organizations and CEO ’s to develop world-class leaders and create a culture that improves both productivity and profits. Her work can be seen in Fortune 500 companies as well as in small medium business houses.
She has been featured on CW, Women's business cover page, newspapers, magazines, radio talk shows, podcast and more. She is a regular guest speaker on America’s WKNC 88.1FM.
Payal lives with her motto- 'Success Is Within' and believes that success can be achieved with speed and serenity in any economy.
Sue Malone, President of Strategies for Small Business
Sue has funded businesses all a cross the country, under,SBA Export Express and SBA SLA v.2 and Veterans Advantage beginning in 2001. Since then, Sue has helped fund over 41,000 SBA loans, which include Patriot Express loans, Export Express, Community Express, private loans and Small Lender Advantage v.2 and became the largest SBA lender by volume. Her goal is to fund 100,000 small businesses.
She travels the nation meeting, promoting and funding small business owners especially minority, women and veteran owned businesses. She is fueled by her passion to help small business owners pursue their dreams. Sue has received numerous awards for her contribution to the success of small businesses around the nation. She has been the number one lender to minority owned business by volume under SBA. In addition, Sue is involved with private equity and investment funding Sue continues to develop new financing and funding programs since “Not every business owner wears the same size shoe.”
Sue sits on several national boards focused on veterans and entrepreneurship. Including, the President of the nonprofit, American Economic Empowerment. And co-founder of Women’s Military Exchange: Operation Next Step. In addition, Sue is one of the founders of VetPower.org and Vet-Power.org., both focusing on giving veterans an opportunity for entrepreneurship and job seeking. Plus, a board member of National Forum on Diversity in Construction and The Institute, economic development.
Sue is the President and CEO of the on-line company www.nationallienlaw.com which helps contractors across the nation with easy and cost-efficient lien forms. NLL arose from the contractors who were funded and needed extra services to continue their success. Along with a risk management program so they can make sure they are paid for their services.
For over ten years, Sue served as the CFO and Vice President of a commercial and industrial real estate firm in Northern California. In addition, Sue was the first woman-parking operator in the United States. Sue is a serial entrepreneur and has started over seven businesses. She holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College. In addition, she makes sure small businesses voices are not forgotten in Washington DC, after all, America is great because of small businesses!
George Edward Timberlake, Jr. is Vice President, Small Business Community Lender at Fifth Third Bank. He creates economic growth opportunities for diverse businesses throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Edward also conducts educational outreach programs and events with strategic partners to expand financial awareness in commercial lending, capital, and credit management among small business owners.
Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank in 2017, Edward worked as Lending Director at Carolina Small Business Development Fund (formerly The Support Center) in Raleigh, North Carolina. He supervised the loan division, as well as prepared and executed strategic growth initiatives in key target markets across the Carolinas.
Edward earned a B.A. in political science and finance from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro. He has more than fifteen years of experience in commercial lending, retail banking management, new business development, and community educational outreach.
George Edward Timberlake, Jr.
Tammie Hall was recently selected to the position of Division Director and Assistant to the Secretary for HUB Outreach for the State of North Carolina. She began service on June 1, 2017. Tammie will be responsible for developing policy and guidelines for the State’s HUB program. She will serve as the authority in the field of minority business development and public sector M/WBE and HUB Programs. Responsibility also includes working with inter-agencies.
Most recently, she comes back to state government as an entrepreneur and having worked in corporate America as the Senior Regional Supplier Diversity Manager for Lend Lease Construction. In this role, she had HUB/MWBE program and compliance oversight for North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. She spent over eight (8) years as a Congressional Staffer.
Tammie is a proud graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Finance. She serves on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors where she is the Immediate Past President. Tammie has been a long time member of the NC MWBE Coordinators Network where she serves on the Board of Directors and is the Immediate Past President. She serves on the NC State HUB Advisory Committee and as a Board Member at Global Scholars Academy in Durham, NC. She is an active member of Union Baptist Church.
Tammie has two adult children Brittanye and Brandon and one lovely granddaughter, Alaina Marie. Tammie has one pet, a Yorkshire Terrier, TeeTee.
Patrice Gilmore has over sixteen years of experience in the construction industry. As Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for Holt Brothers Construction (a certified minority owned business), Patrice manages the firm’s diversity program and assists in business development efforts. Patrice’s work in diversity has been recognized by various state and local agencies. In 2015, Patrice was selected as one of Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Patrice is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management.
Dannie Frey, Associate Director, Western Women’s Business Center. Dannie has enjoyed being an entrepreneur since she was in middle school with her babysitting business. She sold Avon in high school and throughout her adult life she has had entrepreneurial and traditional employment depending on what else was happening in her life. After working on her own business, Ready Set Go – Leveraging Your Time as a business development coach and a certified Best Year Yet Partner, she decided to turn her consulting with Western Women’s Business Center to a more serious commitment as the Associate Director. It is a perfect combination for a recovering social worker who is also a speaker, trainer, and writer to assist women entrepreneurs and small business owners through training, events, conferences, technical assistance and access to capital.
Vicki Lee Parker currently serves as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Business Council (NCBC), a statewide non-profit business association with a mission to connect, empower and influence business leaders to build a vibrant economy that protects our natural resources, sustains local communities and benefits all North Carolinians.
Prior to joining NCBC, Vicki served as the Development & Communications Director at the Carolina Small Business Development Fund that provides small business loans to companies in underutilized markets. She managed its marketing, communications and funding initiatives for five years. Through her fundraising activities, Vicki helped to secure more than $11 million in funding that was used to provide loans to hundreds of small businesses in underserved communities across North Carolina.
Vicki was also a business writer for the News & Observer in Raleigh for nine years covering small business, the mortgage crisis, manufacturing industry, technology, and consumer finance issues. Vicki has also written for the Wall Street Journal covering commercial developments in major cities, and the Black Enterprise Magazine covering personal finance issues. She specializes in strategic business planning and program funding development.
Sponsorship opportunities for this year's conference are still available.
Download this year's sponsorship package here.
For more information on sponsoring this year's event,
contact WBCNC Executive Director Roberta McCullough.