Kimiko Avilez (NAWBO)
Kim Avilez is a native New Yorker, wife, and mom. As a former Vice President for JPMorgan Chase Bank in their Commercial Bank & Small Business Banking Division, she led national achieving teams and managed portfolios for companies with revenues from $3 to $45 million.
After a successful career in banking, she now follows her passion as the owner and CEO of Glow Event Management & Glow Travel Group. Her company provides professional planning services for social and corporate events. With a particular emphasis on clients who desire to create group events from Destination Weddings, Conferences or Retreats domestically or internationally.
Kim is extremely passionate about seeing other women pursue entrepreneurship. She currently serves as President of the Minority Women in Business Association of Staten Island. A nonprofit organization of diverse minority women business owners who seek to educate and advocate for the pursuit of their M/WBE Certification. As VP of Alliances & Events for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), NYC, she actively supports the alliance between NAWBO & New York Women in Business. To provide women-owned businesses with the capacity-building tools, they need for success.
Diana Franco (Women.NYC)
A serial entrepreneur by nature, she started her career at a young age during the internet boom. Joining the founding team of three successful startups: Latinred,CycleLogic, and Kactoos. She also is the founder of Grenoutwhich helps foreign entrepreneurs launch their products and services in the U.S., and co-founder of CoreWoman, a foundation aiming to empower women professionally and economically. After 15 years in entrepreneurship, she is now leveraging her experience to lead women’s economic development initiatives in the government sector.
Currently, at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), she is the Vice President of women.nyc, an ambitious City-led initiative to make NYC the best place in the world for women of all backgrounds to thrive in their careers and businesses.
Prior to that, Ms. Franco served as the inaugural Executive Director of WE NYC, and Launch Initiatives at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), where she led Women Entrepreneurs of New York City (WE NYC); an initiative that empowers and supports women as they start and operate their businesses. Under her leadership, WE NYC developed four portfolios with eleven programs, providing over 30,000 services to nearly 20,000 women, 60% women of color.
The City of New York has publicly recognized Ms. Franco’s work with two awards, in 2019 for Excellence in Public Service and 2020 for advancing Diversity and Inclusion.
Like many New Yorkers, Diana is an immigrant, originally from Medellín – Colombia; when she’s not working on advancing women, she enjoys horseback riding, spending time with her family, and walking her dog.
Cristina Givelechian (FWA)
As a Sr. Relationship Manager in Commercial Banking at City National Bank, Cristina is assisting mid-size companies in obtaining the financing needed to run operations, to expand to new markets, develop new product lines, make acquisitions and acquire real estate and other fixed assets. She also provides guidance to business owners as it relates to various other commercial banking services such as cash management, trade financing, FX and swap products.
Cristina has been in the banking industry for the past 25 years and held various roles including Sr. Corporate Banking Manager in the Middle Market group and District Credit Officer in Commercial Banking at HSBC Bank USA, NA as well as various client facing roles in Commercial Banking at Chase.
Cristina holds a MBA in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University and a B.B.A. from the Academy of Economic Studies in Romania. Cristina also completed the Analyst Credit Training program at Chase and Advance Credit Skills at HSBC.
Cristina is the Chair of the Entrepreneurs Committee of the Financial Women Association of New York (FWA), a not for profit organization supporting the advancement of women in finance; a member of the Exit Planning Exchange – LI chapter, an organization that advises owners of small to mid-size company on how to prepare for a liquidity event; as well as and a member of Pipeline Angel, an angel group with 400 female members committed to supporting women & femmes entrepreneurs in US and Puerto Rico. Cristina is also the Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Women’s Network at City National Bank.
Cristina is also involved in various Long Island not for profit organizations to help support their mission of improving the lives of people affected by various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer and dementia, as well as leukemia & lymphoma.
Cristina lives in Roslyn, Long Island and enjoys playing tennis, golf, yoga, piano and travelling.
Betty Newman (TTN)
Betty Newman is a experience maker + connector + humanistic brander. A native New York entrepreneur and business owner of The Holding Company, which designs products, brands, and experiences revolutionizing how we care for our kids and elders and manage family life. For 30 years, she has influenced influencers with herone-of-a-kind consumer brand experiential packages for over thirty years. She has partneredwithorganizations that are working to give families the time, space, and joy they deserve, from fast growing start-ups to multinationals and government agencies to nonprofits.She foundedTHE WIDTH for 50+ women and the brands who want to empower them both benefit through imaginative expansive experiential partnership opportunities.
Maria Paulino (Accompany Capital)
Maria is a Senior Loan Office at Accompany Capital with over 16 years of experience. Working primarily with women and underserved entrepreneurs providing business guidance and access to capital, Maria works closely with her clients to assess their financial needs and connect them to appropriate resources that support their business growth. As an immigrant, her passion is helping immigrant entrepreneurs manage and grow their businesses with all the new tools and resources available.
Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics from Binghamton University.
Mary Tan (SCORE NYC)
Mary spent more than 30 years at Colgate-Palmolive working in a wide range of marketing and strategic planning roles. She managed and helped build major brands such as Palmolive, Colgate, and Ajax both in the US and in global markets. Mary has in-depth knowledge of branding, innovation, business development, business management and strategic planning. She is an expert on inbound and outbound marketing for profit and non-profit companies. She previously worked in retailing as well as nonprofit and publishing sectors.
Mary joined SCORE, a partner resource of the Small Business Association, in 2012 and led its marketing function for two years. Since joining SCORE, she has conducted more than 2000 mentoring sessions. In 2016, she co-founded New York Women in Business, a virtual organization dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs succeed. A coalition of professional women’s organizations, it has a combined reach of 100,000 women across the tristate area. She believes that forming relationships with other dynamic women, learning from one another, and sharing resources are critical to achieving our goals.
Mary has a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA in Finance/Marketing from Columbia Business School.
Kina Thomas (WE NYC)
Kina N Thomas is the Director of Launch Services at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). She has worked with the New York City Department of Small Business Services for 11 years in various departments helping small businesses in New York City. She manages the Women Entrepreneur (WE nyc) Initiative and the FastTrac Program. WE nyc is an initiative that is designed to help women start, operate, and grow their businesses. FastTrac is a 10-session boot camp that helps entrepreneurs create a dynamic business plan that provides them with resources to open and grow their businesses. Kina is a native new yorker, “brooklyn-nite” with a master’s degree in Public Administration and Urban Studies. In her spare time, she runs a small business, SipNPaint with Creativity LLC, where she and her team facilitate paint parties. It brings her gratitude and joy to help small business owners achieve their goals.
Betty Wong (Stage2Startups)
Betty Wong is a serial entrepreneur, new products marketer, educator, consultant, mentor and coach. Her clients, employers and board assignments have included startups (including her own), and Fortune 500 level companies (Colgate-Palmolive, Mars, Johnson&Johnson, Honeywell, NYTimes) and others.
Betty founded Stage2Startups in 2017 when she realized there were no organizations helping founders over 40. Betty has taught entrepreneurship at CUNY-Baruch College and marketing at UPhoenix Online and has been on the boards of Care for the Homeless, Graham-Windham and the New York Chinese Cultural Center.
She is a graduate of NYU-Stern School of Business and Columbia Business School.