Chamber to feature South Sound leadership at 2016 Women’s Summit

The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce will explore the impacts of, and opportunities for, women in business at its Women's Summit on April 20 at Gallucci's DaVita Café (32275 32nd Ave. S.) from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rebecca Lovell

The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce will explore the impacts of, and opportunities for, women in business at its Women’s Summit on April 20 at Gallucci’s DaVita Café (32275 32nd Ave. S.) from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The community is invited to attend the summit at Chamber member rates; register at

“Women are a powerful force in the economic base of the South Sound region,” said Chamber CEO Rebecca Martin. “Women-owned businesses are not a temporary demographic trend. These are real people, energizing their communities and reaching the world at large with their ideas, projects, and commitment to supporting economic prosperity for future generations.”

The summit kicks off with a luncheon keynote, “How Empowering Women Changes Communities,” from Itzbeth Menjívar, development director for financial empowerment for VisionFund, the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision, a Fortune 500 Company headquartered in Federal Way.

Menjívar is passionate about economic justice issues, particularly around financial inclusion. Convinced that financial stability is at the foundation of a fulfilled life, Menjívar is devoted to financial education, inclusion and advocacy, and works to promote the livelihoods and financial well-being of small farmers as well as financial access for the underbanked.

The second session, “The New Girl Code: Innovation,” welcomes speakers Rebecca Lovell, director of entrepreneurship and industry for the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, and Maggi Molina, Co-Founder VetStartups.

Molina co-founded VetStartups in Tacoma. She has an eclectic background: high school dropout, radar technician in the Air Force, attorney and electrician – in that order. She formed VetStartups with two other veterans in June 2015. VetStartups helps the military community launch careers and startups in the tech sector.

Lovell leads a team that drives the city of Seattle’s sector strategy, with a goal of making Seattle the most innovative and equitable place to start and grow a business, having previously served as the city’s first Startup Advocate. She brings 20 years of operating and management experience to her leadership roles in both for- and non-profit sectors, was recognized as one of the top 100 women in tech by the Puget Sound Business Journal, and currently serves as a mentor for 9Mile Labs and Techstars.

A panel discussion follows with regional leadership on “Resources to Grow Your Business” and includes speakers Jennifer Dye of the Small Business Development Center, Melanie Norton of the Small Business Administration (Seattle District Office), Edna Bastien-Wennerlind of the King County Library System and Nataly Morales, the Greater King County Director for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

The next session, “The Power of Personal Branding,” features Ann Marie Ricard, vice president of Seattle-based Curator Public Relations.

The Summit will close with a session on Women’s Health with Dr. Jane Dunham, a practicing internist in Federal Way affiliated with Virginia Mason Medical Center.

More information is available at

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