Our Central Valley Women’s Economic Impact Center held its fourth annual Women of Color Business Symposium on Friday, encouraging women entrepreneurs in our area to “step up, step out and step over” when it comes to growing their businesses.

Our stellar group of keynote speakers and panelists helped attendees learn how to be bold with their ideas, seize the day and build an entrepreneur’s mindset.

Our keynote speakers included:

  • Yvette Jones, Fresno Pacific University’s first lady
  • Erika Alexander, an actress most notably known as fan favorite “Maxine Shaw”in the hit series Living Single, who is now an activist and advocate for at-risk youth and women and girls
  • Jackie Christie, star of VH1’s Basketball Wives L.A. franchise
  • Aisha Curry, author, speaker, branding expert and president of Powerology Institute

Lori Wilson, the regional director of finance for a national homebuilder, emceed the program and our panels, which included:

  • Tonia Burgess, the California Department of General Service’s small business and disabled veteran business enterprise advocate
  • Tara Covington, of the Little Miss African American Scholarship program
  • Antoneya Brooks
  • Michelle Garcia
  • Jennifer Hammock
  • Lucy Vasquez
  • Doris Alkebulan
  • Doris Alkebulan, P.E.
  • Peyvand Haijan
  • Peyvand Haijan
  • Erica Noble
  • Erica Noble, CPA

Saxophonist Jeanette Harris closed out the program.