About our NWO Business Mentoring Program
Through collaborative efforts, partnering with Northwest Ohio Hispanic (NOHCC) and Toledo African American Chamber of Commerce, together with Women of Toledo, we will introduce the first Northwest Ohio Mentoring Program.
If you'd like to become a mentor, please contact Nina Corder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our Program Partners
We value diversity in the following areas:
Business, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, ability, experience, class, size, and more to find ways to strengthen the entire community.
Reasons why we are a part of the NWO Business Mentoring Program:
As stated in the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, from geography and gender to race and ethnicity, diversity in its many forms drives innovation. Because of women’s different perspectives, skills, and experiences, they solve problems in new and innovative ways. And, as it turns out, women are often more likely than business owners in general to see a need in the market and to start a company to fill it. This should bode well for the U.S. economy, but women face more obstacles than entrepreneurs in general when starting and growing their businesses. Eliminating barriers that thwart the success of women-owned businesses is an economic imperative that can spur innovation and improve productivity, which will create jobs, build wealth, and grow the economy.
Meet our Business Mentors
Sandy Spang is a former independent at-large member of the Toledo City Council in Ohio, serving from 2013 to 2020. She resigned in January 2020 to take a role in Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz's administration. Spang's official title for the City will be Small Business Services Commissioner. She will be tasked with building and supporting collaborative relationships with the existing business community, supporting the expansion of existing businesses, and promoting the city to attract new businesses to Toledo.
Nina Corder is originally from Malaysia but resides in Northwest Ohio for the past 25 years. She is a Social Entrepreneur and Professional Business Development Advisor with over 10 years of experience in organizational leadership, project management, and administrative support services. Nina's mission is to serve and support others' passion and purpose so that together we can be part of something bigger than ourselves. As a Social Entrepreneur, Nina seeks to provide services and skills training to those who in turn provide services or products that aim to elevate the quality of lives of all humanity. Nina's primary work is managing programs and operations for a nonprofit, Women of Toledo. When she is not managing Women of Toledo, she also took clients for services under her business, Lemon and Lime Company, Inc. A company that providing various support services on-site or remotely (virtual assistant) to businesses, companies, and individuals. She has served and supported various clients with business development tasks, managing various projects, assisting with administrative and operational support, leading assignments, coordinating talents, and conducting market research for business case studies. She is well-versed in business development builder.
Paula Birney, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Arista Home Care, is a Baby Boomer who relocated to Toledo in 1987 where she earned a degree in Medical Assisting. She has since been working in healthcare for over 25 years with the Toledo Clinic, ProMedica and now independently. In 2014, along with her husband, Clayton, Paula founded Arista Home Care Solutions, providing in-home care for the elderly and disabled. Offering personalized, quality care, the growing company currently serves seniors in 5 counties with a staff of over 70 caregivers and office support. Paula is also a member of the Rotary Club of Maumee, Sylvania Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Ohio Chapter of Medical Assistants, WOT, NOGA, and Connext Nations. She is a certified Cycle, Tai Chi and SilverSneakers instructor. Paula and Clayton are empty-nesters and share their Maumee home with their two Rottweilers.
Women in Business
Lenora McIntyre, CBA®
Lenora McIntyre is an Operations Manager and Certified Business Advisor (CBA®) for the Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) Incubation program and Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) at The University of Toledo. As a Certified Business Advisor (CBA®) Lenora McIntyre is also a small business coach who helps owners of existing businesses, start-ups, certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), certified Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity (EDGE), and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses transition from early stage to successful entrepreneur by providing important services that identify emerging businesses and cultivates their growth and sustainability thus strengthening the minority business community, support job creation and further economic growth in Ohio.
The University of Toledo
Minority Business Development
Minority Business Assistance Center
Debby has always had high expectations for herself. And she thinks she can accomplish most anything she wants. Her business, Connext Nation (a division of TriNet360) is now in its 18th year. Previous to that she was a high producing sales person within the payroll service industry and then became the sales manager that could turn beginning sales people into champions. Her next challenge is to move the an online education delivery platform for her referral-based training. She is a contributing author to Masters of Sales and Masters of Networking. Additionally she has written a book, "Tell Me Exactly What to Say: 33 Conversations That Will Make a Huge Impact on Your Networking Life", which is in the editing phase currently.
Meet Jerrika Brown an entrepreneur by the age of 22, Jerrika created various brands that fulfilled her passion and the need of her community. Jerrika founded the Browns Business Consulting Agency in 2019 where she is currently a Celebrity Certified Business Consultant and has served names we know and love like Mike and Kyra Epps, Kerwin Claeborne, and Timbae just to name a few. Jerrika helps the business district of various communities grow their brands through knowledge and providing them with the tools they need to succeed. The Brown's Agency has impacted over 2k business owners since its debut in May 2019. Jerrika is passionate about growing communities, families, and brands in every way.
The Brown's Agency
Michelle Pommeranz, CFP®, is a Financial Advisor at Lehner Shope Wealth Group. The Lehner Shope Wealth Group is a boutique advising and investment firm with locations in Perrysburg, Canfield and Canton. She brings over 21 years of experience in comprehensive financial plans and investment portfolio management to work towards meeting all investment goals.
Michelle is a proud Toledo native. After graduating from the University of Toledo in 1999 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, minor in Accounting, she accepted a Financial Advisor position at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Michelle is series 7 and 66 registered and is also Life, Accident, Health and Annuity Insurance Licensed. Michelle also obtained a Certification in Financial Planning from Bowling Green State University Michelle has enjoyed a successful career as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2005.
Michelle currently resides in Monclova with her husband Martin, their son Madden and their happy lab Marx. Michelle has been involved in many charitable and social organizations and volunteers her time with the Make A Wish Foundation and St. John’s Lutheran Church. She is currently serving on the Women of Toledo Board of Directors as the CFO and the new membership committee at the Maumee Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time Michelle enjoys golf, volleyball, cooking, gardening, and traveling.
Linda Lucas Fayerweather is a business specialist at the Toledo Lucas County Library where she works with existing business owners, business professionals and prospective entrepreneurs to help them find the data and research to advance their business goals. She has firsthand experience in the world of small business having owned several businesses including, Changing Lanes in Maumee Ohio; a licensed before and after school day care center in Maryland; counseled over 300 small business owners in Delaware while Director of the Delaware Small Business Development Center; and has spent too many hours doing personal and business taxes. She has a bachelor’s in library science from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA in accounting from Augusta State University where she lettered in cross country, too. She has received the YWCA Milestones award and the Maumee Hometown Hero award. When she is not doing business development and entrepreneurial training, look for her in her Maumee, Ohio garden where she lives with Bill, her husband; one mutt; and one ghost named Aunt Phoebe. Not far from her home are her two children’s families with two grandsons, Desmond and Lucas and one granddaughter, Valerie.
Stephanie Villegas born and raised in the South Toledo area. With 20 years in business management, Stephanie has spent the last six years educating financial literacy. Inspired by the strong woman who raised her, Stephanie is passionate about diverse woman leadership within the workplace. Stephanie is an Advisor for Key4Woman within Key Bank helping woman-owned businesses accomplish their goals. Stephanie enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.
Early on in my career, I discovered that the best way to get to know a person is to ask the appropriate questions, at the appropriate time and then take additional time to actively listen to how those questions are being answered. The more time taken to get to know a person in the beginning of your relationship, the more you will be looked at as a trustworthy person when it is time to ask for the business. I am the number one referral source for my company. It is because I have an extensive knowledge of our business and its products, how they work and I understand in what way our products and or services can benefit the customer. I have spent my entire career either teaching this concept to staff members or actively using this concept myself to secure and retain business for my employer.
Kerri is the owner of Brimming Design, offering marketing support, graphic design and website services. After college, Kerri worked at a small advertising agency, and then led a corporate graphic design department for most of a decade. In 1997 she and a business partner took the plunge to start a custom invitation business, Naptime Productions, which made custom photo announcements and invitations for 17 years. With the launch of Brimming Design in 2014, she has become an active networker and greatly expanded her circle. Kerri loves the variety in her work, and is especially happy to assist organizations that are making a change, like Women of Toledo.
Megan Reichert has 20 years of experience in supporting innovative and entrepreneurial ventures. Reichert is currently the Director, Innovation for Bon Secours Mercy Health, Toledo Region serving 9 of 50 hospitals within the ministry. In addition to technology-based economic development, she supports and advocates for historically disadvantaged businesses, with a particular focus on the Cherry Legacy Neighborhood. She is a member of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s Research Foundation. Her B.A. program in English is from Indiana University and has an MBA from the University of Toledo.
Reichert previously served as the Director for the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program at the University of Michigan’s (UM) Economic Growth Institute (EGI) formerly known as the Institute of Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy (IRLEE). She was the Director of the Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator at the University of Toledo. Reichert was formally a member of the Board of Directors for the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) - now known as the International Business Innovation Association (iNBIA).
Reichert spent over 11 years with a closely-held automotive manufacturing company and has over 15 years in economic development. Reichert’s economic development projects have been involved with both the private and the academic sectors related to cluster development, business incubation, technology transfer, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and minority business development.
Kristen Shinaver is the Owner and Operator of The Digital Marketing Mom and current Marketing Manager at The University of Toledo’s startup business incubator and coworking space.
In 2012, Kristen launched her marketing and branding consultancy within weeks of graduating Magna Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University. Since its foundation, her focus has been to help regional businesses achieve their goals through her work in branding, digital marketing, search engine optimization, social media, reputation management, advertising, and public relations.
Kristen has been with The University of Toledo since 2019. In her role as the LaunchPad Incubation Marketing Manager, she oversees event promotion, outreach, and growth of the department’s brand throughout Northwest Ohio. She also serves as an advisor for Launchpad’s clients and tenants.
Kristen’s formal background in public relations and psychology lets her utilize knowledge of consumer behavior to craft compelling marketing and communications strategies dedicated to driving conversions. Her focus is to teach clients about core marketing and branding concepts so they can advocate for themselves as they scale from a startup to a sustainable business.
Kendra is the owner/designer at In Bloom Flowers & Gifts in Maumee, OH, and has been in business for 10 years. Never dreaming that she would own and run her own shop, she completed her Associate Degree in Applied Business. She began her career as a receptionist for a local accounting firm, but not finding fulfillment doing that, she began to work for a temporary staffing agency to see if she could find the right fit. Finally, landing a position working as assistant to the controller for a small manufacturing company, she was a receptionist, HR assistant and sometimes filled in the Purchasing and Engineering Departments as an Administrative Assistant. Many years later after starting her family, Kendra and her best friend dreamed of building a business together that combined a flower shop and gift shop. Fast forward 10 years and many learning experiences later, Kendra has built her business by unfailing family support, working hard and cultivating great working relationships with many local businesses.
In Bloom Flowers & Gifts
Dr. Brenda Holsey
Brenda Holsey, owner of Shear Innovations beauty and wellness clinic, serving the Toledo community for over 33 years. Main objective is to promote success as a positive role model by sharing her knowledge and skills while continually upgrading education and exposure to up-and-coming salon professionals.
Jennifer is an Associate Attorney with Anspach Meeks Ellenberger LLP in the Business and Estate Planning Department. Her practice focus includes wealth preservation, asset protection, trust and probate administration, tax planning and preparation, business transactions, and succession planning. Jennifer has provided pro bono legal services to clients with financial needs and other need-based qualifiers in the areas of estate planning, real estate transactions, tax foreclosure, and debt collection. Jennifer currently serves as a trustee for the Toledo Women’s Bar Association and the University of Toledo’s Paralegal Advisory Board, and is a member of several organizations including The Exchange Club of Toledo, Women of Toledo/HerHub, BNI Prime Online, and the Maumee Chamber of Commerce.
Anspach Meeks Ellenberger LLP