How the women in charge of programming at CNN are changing the news we see

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CNN Digital has more women in leadership and on staff than ever, and their perspective is changing video storytelling.

“The best ideas come from people who don’t think like everybody else,” says Wendy Brundige, vice president of global video for CNN Digital. “So, it’s been really important to me to build a team of people who represent different kinds of backgrounds, who’ve had different kinds of experiences.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by four other women in leadership at the network when they talked to Fast Company in the run-up to covering the midterm elections, which had an unprecedented number of female candidates at the federal, state, and local levels.

Election coverage itself is just a flash in the news pan for these women who are collectively responsible for the creation and promotion of a massive amount of video reporting. CNN is just behind YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, and ESPN, yet still reaches over 2.2 billion people across the globe every month. The network asserts that they experience over 500 million starts a day, which they claim is more than any other news brand. Doing this work is a global staff of 660. Although they weren’t able to disclose actual specifics of the breakdown, CNN Digital currently has more women than men on staff.

This is significant. The news business has long suffered from a lack of female representation. Women make up just 32% of U.S. newsrooms (and women of color represent just 7.95% of U.S. print newsroom staff, 6.2% of local radio staff, and 12.6% of local TV news staff), while men get 62% of bylines and other credits in print, online, TV, and wire news, according to the most recent Status of Women in the U.S. Media study. The media industry has also faced criticism for a lack of racial diversity. Data from a 2016 survey by the American Society of News Editors found that underrepresented minorities represent less than 16.94% of newsroom personnel at traditional print and online news publications overall. CNN declined to disclose the racial and ethnic breakdown of its news staff.

In an industry that reaches people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and is supposed to prize objectivity, lack of diversity is a potentially huge stumbling block.

Cullen Daly, executive producer for CNN Digital Productions, says there are a lot of different factors that determine what gets covered. Some of it is based on the calendar, other times it’s news that’s bubbling at the moment, but deserves a more comprehensive look. “I’d say a lot of it has to do with innovation,” Daly says, “stories that we think could be told in new and different ways.” Chris James, who did the story on the trade war, told it through a different lens, she says. “He told it through what’s going to happen to people in the middle of the country.”

From left: Cullen Daly, S. Mitra Kalita, Courtney Coupe, Ashley Codianni, Wendy Brundige

Brundige takes a somewhat controversial stance when she says she believes that for too long, people have thought about diversity as mostly about race. While experts like Scott Page, the author of The Diversity Bonus, argues in favor of cognitive diversity (which occurs naturally among people of different backgrounds, regardless of race, gender, or other factors), it wasn’t that long ago that Apple’s former vice president of diversity and inclusion Denise Young Smith came under fire for stating that a room of “12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men” could be diverse.

“We have a lot of racial diversity in particular in my team in New York,” Brundige asserts, “but it’s most important to me to have geographic diversity and not just have a bunch of people who grew up in the Northeast and went to Ivy League schools.” Still, she’s quick to add that there’s room for improvement.

Taking another tack, S. Mitra Kalita, the senior vice president for news, opinion, and programming for CNN Digital, observes that sometimes differences can illuminate common ground, too. She grew up in northeast India. “It’s a very rural region, but Wendy’s family and my family both had cows,” Kalita says. “We look nothing alike, and you would never put the girl from Kentucky next to the girl from Assam, and yet our families are actually very surprisingly similar.”

The mission of CNN Digital, according to Kalita, is to find some common factor with your audience. “So, I don’t think your background can be divorced from that process of storytelling,” she says. As the mother of two, Kalita recalls how she felt when Brundige brought a story idea about a woman in Chicago who was on a quest to find out how her son died because he was left with marks all over his body. It was called “Beneath the Skin,” says Kalita, and remembers Brundige talking about the period between the death and the funeral and what that’s like for a mother. “That just haunted me for days,” she confesses. “I would argue that she probably had a similar reaction,” says Kalita, noting that the creators of the piece were also women. “So on projects like that, it’s wonderful to be able to bring yourself to the work, and have it enhance the work,” she says.

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

New Biz Owner Adds Family Into Fold; Becomes Franchisee With #1-Rated Mobile Flooring Franchise

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Sheri Landry poses in front of her mobile floor coverings showcase van

Sheri Landry needed a change from her 20-year corporate career in the automotive industry. But she’s certainly not going it alone in her new venture since launching operations as a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Landry is the owner and handles outside sales while her husband, Greg, is her business partner and sales manager.

Her sister, Vanessa Koger, is the business manager. And as if she hasn’t had enough going on, the 44-year-old Landry – whose past business experience includes sales, service and marketing – recently earned her master’s in Communications from the University of Michigan-Flint. “I just wanted more in life,” said Landry, a Lapeer, MI resident and mother of two. “I decided I wanted to work for myself for the next half of my career

Landry’s objective was to find a business that helped solve other people’s problems, especially since in the past she had encountered issues of her own in finding reliable contractors. Landry also has a passion for design and making an old space feel new again. “My motto is ‘helping people fall in love, one floor at a time,’” she said.

In Floor Coverings International, Landry found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations. Those steps include educating and consulting with customers to get a clear understanding of how they use their floors to best be able to make a personalized recommendation, a solution unique to each and every homeowner- NOT whatever is in stock in the warehouse, product that has been sitting there for who knows how long, product that is being pushed to everyone. “We want to make the experience fun and as unique as each person and space,” adds Landry.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2020. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.

How Black Girls Code transformed from basement experiment to international movement

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Kimberly Bryant stands behind a podium wearing a shirt that read Phenomenal Woman

By Halley Bondy

Throughout her biotech engineering career, Kimberly Bryant was the only black female in the room most of the time. And as Bryant rose the ranks to become manager at companies like DuPont, Phillip Morris and Genentech, she yearned for a more inclusive world for her daughter Kai.

Kai had developed a knack for gaming and coding, which is a very male, white and Asian-dominated business.

“It happened that I stumbled into this issue of diversity of inclusion and tech,” said Bryant in an interview with Know Your Value. “My daughter was about to go to middle school and was interested in tech and video gaming and gaming in general…I found that there wasn’t a strong program that would focus on girls of color and getting them prepared in the skills they’d need to move into this career field.”

Women of color earn less than 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computing, according to the Kapor Center. And black women make up less than 0.5 percent of leadership roles in tech. Even in women-led small tech businesses, women of color only comprise 4 percent of the workforce.

With Kai’s help, Bryant called upon colleagues at Genentech to put together a six-week coding curriculum for girls of color in 2011. She conducted the first educational series in a basement of a college prep institution in San Francisco, which was loaned to Bryant for free. Bryant expected about six students, but the class attracted about a dozen girls, including of course, Kai.

Bryant’s small community effort attracted the attention of ThoughtWorks, a global tech consultancy company. ThoughtWorks invested in Bryant in January 2012 and gave her access to space and resources across the country, as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa. In a few years, the operation transformed from a basement experiment into a global non-profit with 15 chapters. They called themselves Black Girls Code.

The more mature chapters might boast up to 1,000 students a year, according to Bryant, who runs the organization full-time.

“I didn’t know it would be a nonprofit,” said Bryant. “This was us just trying to test the waters and make something locally where I could bring my daughter, so she could find a tribe of girls interested in the same thing, but it took off from humble beginnings.”

The Black Girls Code curriculum teaches everything from web development to robotics to Artificial Intelligence. Many of the first-year students are now in college, including Kai, who is in her sophomore year studying computer science.

Bryant wants to expand Black Girls Code into a life-long support network to help retention rates in tech.

“One of the things that I’m really excited about is building out this alumni network that we’ve grown over the last eight years,” said Bryant. “Many of the girls…are about to go to college, and they have a need for support as they continue their career and collegiate journeys.”

Bryant said she was never interested in coding — that was all her daughter. Instead, Bryant studied engineering at Vanderbilt University. She said she met only one other African American female engineering student in her four years there, and that none of her professors were even female, let alone black.

“I didn’t have any role models,” said Bryant.

Still, she excelled. Bryant was only 25 when she became a manager at DuPont in Tennessee. She said her manager there—whom she otherwise adored—jokingly introduced her to the team as a “twofer,” because she was black and a woman.

The Black Girls Code curriculum teaches everything from web development to robotics to Artificial IntelligenceCourtesy of Black Girls Code.

“I’m positive those men had never worked for a black woman as their manager,” she said. “It was a learning experience. I spent most of my career in these types of positions. There were always these implicit and explicit biases that I had to deal with as I tried to establish authority as a black woman.”

Continue on to NBC News read the complete article.

Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde and Nancy Pelosi Top Forbes’ 16th Annual List of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women

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Forbes most powerful women collage pictured for 2019

The World’s Most Powerful Women List Highlights the Female Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Investors, Philanthropists and CEOs Who Are Wielding Their Influence to Drive Change

NEW YORK– Forbes recently announced the 16th annual ranking of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. The women on Forbes’ 2019 ranking represent women in six categories: business, technology, finance, media & entertainment, politics & policy, and philanthropy. They’re  women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, and using their enormous platforms to broker agreements, provide aid and drive change.

For the ninth consecutive year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes the No. 1 spot, also marking her 14th total appearance on the list. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank rose one spot to No. 2. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, returns to the list in the No. 3 spot this year as the highest-ranking and most powerful female elected official in American political history. Rounding out the top five is newcomer Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission (No. 4) and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (No. 5).

“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” said Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes and President, ForbesWomen. “As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead.”

“We are seeing more women at the heads of the world’s most influential institutions—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the U.S. House of Representatives—and more women taking power in c-suites and board rooms across America,” said Maggie McGrath, Editor, ForbesWomen. “Systemic change takes time, but the women on this year’s Power list are wielding their influence across the world to help make that change.”

The 100 women on the 2019 list are builders, disruptors, and innovators in every sector from business to creative worlds, taking a modern, forward-looking view on power. Members of the 2019 Most Powerful Women list represent women in six categories: business (31 honorees), technology (17), finance (12), media & entertainment (14), politics & policy (22), and philanthropy (4). In total, the Power Women control or influence more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.

The 2019 list spans more than seven generations of influential women, with environmental activist Greta Thunberg becoming the youngest honoree in the list’s history at age 16. With individuals from 32 countries/territories represented, North America maintained the most women on the list at 50, followed by Asia Pacific with 21, Europe (inclusive of Russia and Turkey) with 18, the United Kingdom with 5, the Middle East with 3, Latin America with 2, and one in Africa.

Twenty-three women made their debut on the 2019 World’s Most Powerful Women list, with notable newcomers including Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF; Greta Thunberg, environmental activist, Jessica Tan, Co-CEO, COO, CIO of Ping An Group in China, Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture; Judith Mckenna, President and CEO of Walmart International; Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister for the Government of India; Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios; Rihanna, entrepreneur and singer/songwriter; and Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General for the United Nations.

Notably, Theresa May, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was not included on the 2019 list after maintaining the second spot in 2018 due to her resignation from the position this year. Queen Elizabeth, fell 15 spots to No. 38 and Ivanka Trump, First Daughter and Advisor to the President, fell 18 spots to No. 42.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Women Knocking it Out of the Park in STEM

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Miranda Cosgrove pictured from series Mission Unstoppable

New CBS Series Mission Unstoppable Showcases Leading Women in STEM

A new series called Mission Unstoppable has joined the seventh season of CBS’s three-hour Saturday morning block, CBS Dream Team….It’s Epic!

In Mission Unstoppable, celebrity host and co-executive producer Miranda Cosgrove highlights the fascinating female innovators who are on the cutting edge of science–including zoologists, engineers, astronauts, codebreakers and oceanographers. Each week, viewers will be inspired by female STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) superstars in the fields of social media, entertainment, animals, design and the internet–all categories key to the teen experience.

Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis serves as executive producer, bringing her passion for creating change in the portrayal of strong female characters in entertainment and media that positively influence young viewers.

“Strong female role models are essential to breaking down barriers and educating the next generation of leaders about gender equality,” said Geena Davis, executive producer, Mission Unstoppable. “Girls need to see themselves on and off the screen as STEM professionals, and as I always say, ‘If they can see it, they can be it.’ This new series strives to empower young women and showcase the many ways they can impact the world through careers in STEM.”

Source: Litton Entertainment, IF/THEN, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Purdue’s Computer Science Department Graduates First African-Purdue’s Computer Science Department Graduates First African-American Woman PhD Amber Johnson pictured leaning on a tre outside smilingAmerican Woman PhD

Amber Johnson made history as the first African-American woman PhD graduate from Purdue University’s Department of Computer Science this past summer. Johnson sees Purdue’s Computer Science Department having an African-American woman PhD graduate as definite progress and would love to see more. It’s the same kind of progress she sees in her mentorship of African-American students in Black Girls Rock Tech, a computational and leadership program for adolescent girls where she serves as an instructor. “I have mentors like Dr. Raquel Hill and Dr. Jamika Burge, who are pioneers in the CS community, and I want to pay it forward,” Johnson said. The graduate, who will be joining Northrup Grumman in Maryland, remains active with the Future Technical Leader program, where she will have an opportunity to work in various locations around the country.

Source: cs.purdue.edu

World Class Skier Lindsey Vonn Inspires Girls in STEM

The greatest female snow skier of all time, Lindsey Vonn is on a mission to help young girls become more involved in STEM education through the Lindsey Vonn Foundation (LVF). This past summer, Vonn surprised 38 scholarship applicants with a personalized congratulations video:

“I want to be the first person to tell you that you have officially received a Lindsey Vonn Scholarship. So proud to have you on the team and I’m US former alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn attends the world premiere of "Fast & Furious presents Hobbs & Shawreally looking forward to see what you are going to accomplish in the future. We’re very impressed by you so keep it up, keep making an impact and a difference, and most importantly keep having fun.”

The kids’ parents recorded “reaction videos,” of their kids watching the video from Vonn.

Reactions ranged from disbelief to jumping on beds.

Scholarships were awarded for enrichment programs that included dance camps, travel abroad, U.S. Space & Rocket center camp, youth theatre, The School of the New York Times, cycling, The New Charter University Congress of Future Medical Leaders, Rustic Pathways, University of Wyoming Summer Music Camp, Aerospace Engineering Camp at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Blue Print Summer Program for college prep.

This year marks the inaugural partnership between the LVF and iD Tech Camps—the world leader in STEM education. LVF’s goal for the summer was to award scholarships to 20 girls to attend iD Tech’s renowned summer STEM programs, and iD Tech pledged to match this philanthropic commitment.

In the end, LVF exceeded this goal with 22 girls receiving full scholarships to iD Tech. Recipients have the option of attending either iD Tech’s co-ed camps or its highly successful and innovative all-girls program, called Alexa Cafe.

Recipients can enroll in iD Tech courses such as Game Design and Development, Al Lab: Robotics and Coding, Film Studio Video Production for YouTube, Make Games with Java, 3D Character Design Modeling program, Create Apps with Java, Photo Booth: Pro Photography for Instagram, Roblox Entrepreneur: Imaginative Game Design, 3D Studio: Modeling and Animation, and Python Coding.

Source: Lindsey Vonn Foundation, snewsnet.com

Shake Those Pom-Poms for Science!

Let’s Go STEM!! More than 200 current and former professional cheerleaders for the NBA, NFL and UFL who are also pursuing careers in science and technology have banded together to form the Science Cheerleaders. The organization’s mission is to challenge science and cheerleading stereotypes and inspire the nation’s 3-4 million cheerleaders to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). SciStarter.com, Science Cheerleader’s sister site, connects millions of “regular” people to hundreds of opportunities to do real research as Citizen Scientists.

Science Cheerleaders holding up a "Science" banner on a football field“One of our goals at Science Cheerleader is to show kids that they can have fun cheering and dancing and still pursue fulfilling careers in science and technology at the same time,” said Darlene Cavalier, founder of the Science Cheerleaders.

Carvalier says the cheer squad does this by recasting the image of scientists and engineers while giving people the opportunity to explore their personal interests as a gateway to science. They communicate in ways that inspire people using their very real, very personal stories at schools, festivals, malls, on tv, online, at cheer events, games…wherever the people are. The point: science is accessible to ALL!

Source: sciencecheerleader.com

Miss America Is Now a Scientist! Camille Schrier of Virginia Wins Crown After On-Stage Experiment

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Camille Schrier conducts science experiment on stage during the Miss America pageant

There she is, Miss America!

Miss Virginia Camille Schrier earned the title of Miss America 2020 on Thursday night, beating out 50 other contestants for the prestigious crown after performing the show’s first-ever science demonstration in the talent portion.

Schrier, 24, showed the audience the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, and earned high praise from the judges — Kelly Rowland, Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown and Superstore actress Lauren Ash — when she told them, “Miss America is someone who needs to educate.”

Prior to her win, Schrier — a PharmD student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy — thanked the pageant for “taking the focus off our bodies” and giving her a chance to be recognized for her smarts, personality and mission.

Schrier said her goal as Miss America was to promote drug safety and abuse prevention while also championing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

She was presented with the crown, which comes with more than $300,000 scholarships and a year of representing the organization, by her predecessor, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, 26.

Continue on to People to read the complete article.

Teen Makes ‘Armor’ That Blocks Radiation During Cancer Treatments, Reducing Exposure By Whopping 75%

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teen makes armor for radiation treatment

Macinley Butson was just 16 years old when she first felt spurred to try and protect women from excess radiation during breast cancer treatments—and now, her invention could be a game-changer in the medical field.

Butson, whose brother and father also work in medical physics, has always been fascinated by science, but she only began researching the harmful side effects of radiation therapy after her father discussed his experience with ineffective cancer treatments in his own line of medical work.

Since Butson had also recently lost a family relative to breast cancer, she felt inspired to conduct her own investigation on the subject.

She tried to begin her medical research by reading scientific journals, but she found their academic jargon almost impossible to understand.

She then turned to YouTube to find videos that taught how to read scientific journals. As she became more and more entrenched in her research, she stumbled upon a key bit of information: copper has been shown to be dramatically more effective at protecting skin from radiation compared to lead.

The Australian teen from Wollongong, New South Wales then experienced her “eureka” moment as she was viewing a film on medieval wars in her 10th grade history class. When she saw the scaled patterns of the armor, she was inspired to create a wearable protective shield out of copper.

She then headed back to YouTube and watched videos on how to weave together tiny scales. Using high-density copper plating, she made her own flexible scale-mail which she now calls the SMART Armor: Scale Mail for Radiation Therapy.

When her armor was tested in a laboratory setting, Butson’s invention reduced surface exposure to excess radiation by a whopping 75%.

In 2016, she won first place at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair—becoming the first Australian to do so in its 68-year history.

Butson is working on getting her SMART Armor into clinical settings for use within a year.

Continue on to the Good News Network to read the complete article.

MBEs: Get Certified Today

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professional women

Why certify? Businesses that are certified as minority owned are subject to different laws and regulations than other businesses and as such are very different entities from typical enterprises. Unlike a standard business license or registration, a minority-owned business enterprise certification is not required to run a minority-owned business, although certification can provide many benefits for a company—especially in regards to government contracting.

Below are some of the certification processes your company can expect to navigate when seeking minority-owned business enterprise certification. Also listed are the requirements that must be met by businesses that are seeking certification.

  • Manufacturers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 500 or 1500, depending on the product being manufactured.
  • Wholesalers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 100 or 500, depending on the product being provided.
  • Service providers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $2.5 or $21.5 million, depending on the service being provided.
  • Retailers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $5.0 or $21.0 million, depending on the product being provided.
  • General and Heavy Construction businesses – Annual sales receipts must not exceed $13.5 or $17 million, depending on the type of construction the company is engaged in.
  • Special Trade Construction businesses – Annual receipts must not be higher than $7 million.
  • Agricultural businesses – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product being produced.

Business Requirements

1) The company applying for certification must have a racial minority owner who owns at least 51 percent of the company.

2) The same owner must hold the highest position in the company.

3) The company must pay a fee based on company annual gross sales and also file an application that details basic company information, such as what year the business was founded.

4) The company’s primary business locations must be available for site visits.

Getting Bids

Build Relationships. When it comes to winning bids in the government contracting marketplace, contacts are everything. Business owners are advised to take the time to make connections, build relationships and network extensively. The contacts a business develops are often the key to furthering their success in government contracting. Proactively networking with larger companies, agencies and even competitors can lead to subcontracting opportunities while also showing agencies that you are a trustworthy and reliable business partner.

Subcontract. Building a reputation as a professional enterprise is crucial to the success of any business. Winning a government bid isn’t only about the monetary aspects involved with a contract; other factors are evaluated, too. An agency will often look at company financials, work history and reputation before selecting a winning organization. It helps to have contacts who can vouch for your company and the work that you do. By subcontracting, you build your reputation and gain valuable experience.

You never know when the contacts you develop will come in handy. Therefore, you should make each and every relationship meaningful because in the long run, these are the relationships that will further your company’s success.

Government RFPs are a great way for minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) to win spot and term contracts. Every year, the U.S. federal government spends more than $200 billion on goods and services, all of which are provided by private companies and many of which are minority-owned businesses. From federal to state, local and special districts, all levels of government have programs in place to increase their involvement with certified minority-owned business enterprises. Only companies who have gone through the MBE certification process are eligible for the money that is made available through such programs.

Source: BidNet

The 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America

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Powerful Latinas

The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) announced its list of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas of 2019, announced during its Women of ALPFA luncheon at its annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

This is the third iteration of the Most Powerful Latinas list.

ALPFA’s Most Powerful Latinas list highlights the achievements of senior Latina executives running Fortune 500 companies, departments, and large private firms, and also includes a few entrepreneurs leading global companies.

They were chosen according to ALPFA’s strict selection criteria.

The full list and rankings are available on ALPFA’s website

Powerful Latinas
Powerful Latinas
Powerful LatinasPowerful Latinas

About Women of ALPFA:Launched in 2002, the Women of ALPFA(WOA)initiative provides unique development and networking opportunities for ALPFA’s Latina members and the companies that want to reach them.WOA is dedicated to the professional success of Latina women, offering targeted programs and training through a professional development curriculum. WOA aims to provide professional Latinas with the tools to strengthen their leadership and management skills, fostering both their professional and personal growth.

About ALPFA:Founded in 1972, ALPFA (The Association of Latino Professionals forAmerica) was the first national Latino professional association in the United States. ALPFA’s purpose is connecting Latino leaders for impactand is committed to developing Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy. Today, ALPFA serves over 92,000 members in 160 student chapters and 45 professional chapters across the country.

How To Make Yourself Attractive To Small Business Investors

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African american businesswoman sitting in office

You’ve finally found your passion and launched that dream business only to find it challenging to get funding. You’re scratching your head because you have a solid business plan, yet the dollars aren’t rolling in. The truth is that potential investors look at you, the entrepreneur, as the investment. Not the business idea. In other words, potential investors tend to bet on the jockey, not the horse.

An interesting study conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Shai Bernstein focused on identifying the specific startup characteristics that are important to investors in early-stage firms. The results indicated that investors were most influenced by information about the founders. In fact, the most experienced and successful investors chose to respond only to information about the founding team. That’s why it’s essential to understand what small business investors are looking for so you can make yourself as attractive as possible.

Develop a robust network

The first thing potential investors will do is investigate you, the founder. One way they will do this is to research whom you know and what they say about you. Investors understand that it’s impossible to build a successful business in a vacuum. By having an extensive, well-connected network, you will give them the confidence they need to invest in your business.

Understand your audience

Conduct thorough research on potential investors. What are they like as individuals? Have they invested in ideas like yours in the past? Get to know them well enough that you can interact with them on a personal level. Good sources to learn about angel investors are AngelList, Flashfunders and SeedInvest. Find investors with interests and values that mirror yours, and your chances of success will increase significantly.

Build a strong social media presence

A strong, positive social media presence can entice investors. Connect with them through LinkedIn and Twitter and let your personality shine through. Social media is also an excellent way to get to know your potential investors. Make a note of topics they post about frequently, then use them during your pitch to show that your values and ideas mesh with theirs.

Prove you can be fiscally responsible

Investors are looking for someone that can not only manage their money but grow it significantly. Show them that you have proven success in this area. What past wins demonstrate that you have what it takes to make your business profitable? Small business investors may also look at your personal finances, such as your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, personal assets and the amount of money that you have invested in the business. A good financial record will help make you a more attractive investment.

Show you can execute flawlessly

Ideas are abundant, but people who can execute them are not. Steve Jobs once said, “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” What experience do you have taking a great idea and bringing it to fruition? Does the founding team have a track record of executing flawlessly?

Create a great pitch and practice, practice, practice

A written business plan is essential when pitching to small business investors and venture capital firms. Early-stage investors might see thousands of business plans a year that they must somehow narrow down to 100 meetings and then to maybe four companies in which they invest. That’s why your plan needs to be very succinct—about 15-20 pages long.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

She Left the World of Wireless Communications Behind To Enter a Traditionally Male Endeavor-Flooring!

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Krista Farley pictured standing in front of her Floor Coverings work vehicle

Krista Farney left a job she had for almost two decades, but she loves her newest gig, even though she has had to enter some previously uncharted territory.

“I am navigating in a traditionally man’s world, dealing with installers and contractors,” the 39-year-old  said of her new life as a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers.

Farney, whose background is in sales, previously spent 18 years as a district manager for a wireless communications company. Farney was asked to relocate to Phoenix, but she didn’t want to uproot her family that included her husband and two children ages 17 and 10. So she officially retired from the corporate world at age 38 and fulfilled a lifelong desire to be her own boss. “I worked with a franchise coach and found that Floor Coverings International was the perfect match,” Farney said. “It allows me to use my sales skills and drive to customers’ homes and meet with them. I’m not confined to an office.”

In Floor Coverings International, Farney found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations. By performing her due diligence and finding the right brand to fit her needs and wants as a franchisee, Farney couldn’t be happier. “I reached out to the Small Business Development Center at my local college and they provided a wealth of resources and support with starting a business,” Farney said. “I also spoke with many small business owners and bounced many questions off them. I’m having so much fun helping homeowners redecorate their homes.”

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.