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Women Entrepreneurship Week

Women Entrepreneurship Week

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Ohio University proudly participates in Women Entrepreneurship Week, October 18 - 22, 2021, along with more than 242 universities and colleges in 32 countries, in this global movement to celebrate and inspire female founders.

Join us for a week of events featuring women entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators, co-hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship and TechGROWTH Ohio, supported by Ohio University's Women's Center.

Schedule of Events


Young Athens Professionals Happy Hour


Thursday, October 14
5:00 p.m.
Networking event

Join fellow young professionals in the Athens area for a casual networking event at The Union to connect with other career minded young adults and local business leaders and entrepreneurs. Hosted by the Athens County Economic Development Council, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce and Career Connections, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and TechGROWTH Ohio.


More information

Cierra Boyd

Women in Leadership: Cierra Boyd

Tuesday, October 19
1:00 p.m.
Virtual event

The Women in Leadership series, hosted by the Ohio University Alumni Association, highlights women from different industries who have demonstrated success in their fields. Learn from these professionals how they got where they are, the strengths they leveraged, the challenges they overcame, and the vision they have for the future of the industry.

This session focuses on entrepreneur Cierra Boyd, BSHCS '17, the founder of Friskmegood, a sustainable luxury streetwear clothing line. She is a fashion engineer, and her mission is to create more sustainable, but fashionable, clothing. Cierra's innovative and avant-garde work has been featured in Vogue Mexico, Nylon, Hypebae, and on RuPaul's Drag Race. 


Geneva Murray

Stay Out of Your Own Way: How Gendered Language Threatens Your Success

Tuesday, October 19
4:00 p.m.
Virtual event via Teams

This workshop hosted by the Women's Center's Dr. M. Geneva Murray will help participants examine the language which they use to communicate their confidence level. The session will highlight the ways in which women have traditionally undersold their skills and develop new ways of speaking about ourselves. While the focus of the workshop is on empowering women, the skills discussed are applicable to everyone regardless of gender identity. Email womenscenter@ohio.edu to register for this workshop!


Women's Summit

Athens Area Women's Summit

Friday, October 22
8:00 a.m.
Hybrid event

This interactive all-day conference is designed to inspire and empower attendees from all career fields and levels. Inspirational speakers and community exemplars will take attendees through a journey of personal and professional development through both academic approaches and real-life experiences. Can't attend the event in-person at Stuart's Opera House? Join us at CoLab in Alden Library throughout the day for our watch party! Refreshments will be provided.

Stuart's Opera House Registration

Co-Lab Watch Party Registration 

Conference Agenda

8:15am – 8:45 – Registration and Breakfast
8:45am – 9:00am – Welcome
9:15am – 10:15am – Session 1
10:15am – 10:30am – Break
10:30am – 11:30pm – Session 2
11:45am – 1:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Session 3
2:00pm – 2:30pm – Networking
2:30pm – 3:30pm – Keynote

Session Options

Session 1:
From Negative Net Worth to My First 100k, presented by Dr. Kay-Anne Darlington
Generating Energy, presented by Layla Sweet
The Deaf Community, presented by Cheryl Prusinski

Session 2:
A Unicorn’s Journey: Navigating Professional Choices in Search of the Perfect Job, presented by LeeAnn Helber
Align Your Money With Your Values, presented by Michelle Wilson
Recalculating: Course Correcting Allyship to Realign Intent and Impact, presented by Cat Russell

Session 3:
The Power of ‘ISMS’, presented by Janice M. Wright
I Am Worth Defending!, presented by Rebekah Mendez
Healthcare Panel

Grounded and Centered Leadership, presented by Michelle Greenfield

Career Exploration Opportunities

Apply to job shadow a local female entrepreneur for a day! This is your chance to spend time with a professional working in your field of interest and dive into the day-to-day activities in this industry. 

Apply today



Jen L'Heureux 

Job shadow New Leaf Marketplace Operations Manager, Jen! 

Jen L'Heureux, owner of Nelsonville Emporium, is turning over a new leaf! Jennifer started the Emporium in 2004 and as many small business owners, one of the biggest challenges she faced was finding a workforce capable of meeting the needs of a growing business as she expanded and added a full kitchen. When the pandemic hit, forcing the Emporium to reduce operations, lay off its staff of 12 and rely on Jennifer and her family to keep things running, she continued mulling over that workforce problem. 

That's when she began discussions with Jen Seifert, Director of the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program (SAOP). The two then started planning the next iteration of the Nelsonville Emporium, titled New Leaf Marketplace, a social enterprise which combines their entrepreneurial zeal and advocacy work into a business that will provide employment for survivors of trauma with the understanding that it takes much more than a job to succeed. 

New Leaf Justice Enterprises is a social enterprise division of the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program (SAOP) - a nonprofit organization that's dedicated to the prevention of and response to sexual violence, domestic violence, human trafficking, and stalking in Southeast Ohio. New Leaf provides residents/colleagues free housing for two years, living-wage employment in the New Leaf Marketplaces, and supportive and workforce development services.

Becky Clark

Becky Clark

Job shadow Pork & Pickles Owner, Chef Becky! 

Becky spent her childhood collecting ramps, gardening, hunting, and homesteading with her family in central West Virginia. She moved to Athens for high school, graduated from Ohio University, then made her way to the Pacific Northwest to attend culinary school at the Art Institute of Portland. From there, she sought out internship opportunities to refine her butchery and culinary skills. These experiences took her to Cure, where she was taken under the wing of award-winning chef and salumist, Justin Severino. Later she ran the protein program at Bar Marco under Chef Jamilka Borges. After several years, she felt the pull to return home to Athens County and her family. Becky knew that she wanted to bring her abilities and passion for food home, and began working on a concept that she hoped her community would enjoy. Before settling in to Athens, Becky did some travelling and took a cross-country bike ride - which gave her a lot of time to think - and the idea of Pork & Pickles was born.

Becky is also the Head Chef at Little Fish Brewing Company and sits on the Executive committee of the Athens Farmers Market. 

Shelley Leiberman

Shelley Lieberman

Job shadow Friendly Paws Owner, Shelley! 

Shelley (she/her) grew up in Athens, graduated from Athens High School, and received undergraduate and master’s degrees from Ohio University. Leaving Athens to work for the Atlanta Braves, The Olympics and other sports teams, her career took her into alumni development of colleges such as Georgia Tech and the College of William & Mary. After ten years away, she returned to Athens to work at Ohio University. She found herself thrown into pet rescue due to stray and feral cats who were living in her mother’s yard; the rest is history.

Shelley became involved with Trap-Neuter-Return, began rescuing dogs off chains with Dogs Deserve Better and using her PR skills to get the word out about puppy mills with people she met along the way. Eventually, she joined the board of the Athens County Humane Society, serving eight years as vice president and streamlining their spay/neuter and adoption programs.

“Purchasing Friendly Paws and creating a positive atmosphere to support local rescue animals is very important to me. I love talking to people about their pets and helping them solve any issues they may be having. Meeting the dogs and cats makes it a joy to go to work each day.”

Jolene Quirke

Jolene Quirke

Job shadow CrossFit SEO Owner and Head Coach, Jolene! 

Jolene started her gymnastics career at age three and this early introduction to the gym provided the core foundation she set for herself as an athlete and as a coach. Fitness has always been a part of her life, but once she was introduced to CrossFit, her mental and physical well-being positively changed. Jolene wants to share the knowledge and empowering experience CrossFit has to offer while teaching her classes. Her true passion is to help people reach above and beyond their dreams in all aspects of their lives. Jolene started CrossFit in May 2010, and participated in her first CrossFit competition in January, 2011. While she loves competing, coaching is where Jolene feels the most gratification on a daily basis. She encourages people of all ages and of ALL fitness levels each and every day. Jolene is also a  mother of three, hoping to set a good example of the importance fitness has on our mind and body! 


Center for Entrepreneurship

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