ABWA Powerful Financial Panel

Join ABWA on Friday, April 12th for a panel of female financial specialists sharing their expertise “Build a Better Relationship with Your Money -Start Up Businesses- Growth Stages- Sustained- Transitioning Out”

When: Friday, April 12th
Time: 9:00am networking
9:30am – 11:00 am panel

Where: Fidelity Bank
1811 Metairie Avenue
2nd floor
*Please park in the bank parking lot behind the building.  Do not park in Mejoria Drugs or Sal’s Snoballs Parking, you will be towed

Cost: $0 breakfast will be provided

Moderator:  Tina Meilleur

Panelists:  Mildred Dillon, Becky Gustafson & Theresa Barnard

Mildred Dillon

Mildred Dillon is a CPA, speaker, and business and money management coach.   After working in corporate America for 7 years, she decided to strike out on her own in 1997 serving small businesses. After noticing the need for financial education, she systemized and trademarked her company, The Money Doctor®, which helps people hold onto their money, and use their savings to get credit and pay less taxes.  The company now holds several city and government certifications, including DBE and Certified Woman-Owned.  

After rebuilding her own finances following back-to-back disasters, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 Recession and BP oil spill, she packaged and began marketing her proven “Money Rx” method that works for anyone – even if credit is not accessible. She has now authored 9 books on the topic, including a children’s series on money management, and made numerous media appearances over the years including hosting her own radio talk show. 

After over 20+ years of overcoming adversity and successfully running a business, her personal mission is to provide the path for anyone who wants to grow their money, grow a business and build wealth. Her philosophy is “Your money is enough to get started”

Tina Meilleur

Tina Meilleur, CPA , MBA, is a an Executive Coach, Business Advisor, and Women’s Business, Leadership and Communication specialist. She also published the best-selling book, Your Next Chapter: Five Steps to Creating Your Ideal Life. She is a featured public speaker and panelist on several topics.

Tina is the founder and CEO of Design Your Success and the online Academy for Business Success. She helps her clients get in touch with what they truly want through her personalized, focused approach. She can then provide compassionate accountability to help them achieve the success they desire. She serves her clients by providing both live and virtual consulting and leads Mastermind groups by combining live coaching with her online business academy courses.

Her extensive business and coaching experience includes senior leadership roles in several small businesses and a Fortune 500 company. She is a Board Member for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. She is the Chapter Chair for the New Orleans Chapter of the Women Presidents Organization (a female CEO Roundtable for higher-revenue businesses) and the second-term president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) New Orleans Chapter. 

Becky Gustafson

Becky Gustafson is the founder of Gustafson Wealth Management, a part of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. She and her team provide top-quality financial plans, strategies and advice to successful business owners, professionals, and families to help them achieve their financial dreams.

Becky helps her clients understand what is needed to grow, protect, and successfully pass on their businesses in manners that best fit each one’s specific needs. Her practice is based on the foundation of Living Your Legacy, an advanced strategy designed to create balance between planning with foresight and living for today.

Becky is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Her drive to be a thought leader in her field is demonstrated by her constant pursuit of knowledge. She holds designations as a Chartered Life Underwriter®(CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant ®(ChFC), Retirement Income Certified Professional ®(RICP) , Chartered Advisor for Senior Living(CASL), Lead Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) and Certified Long-Term Care professional (CLTC).

In addition to helping her own clients thrive, Becky is passionate about fostering relationships with businesses and professionals throughout the greater New Orleans community to increase economic development and growth. She has served as an ambassador for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and is the president elect for the New Orleans chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. In 2014, Becky founded and is the president of Power of Women, an organization for female business owners and executives. She is a proud member of American Business Women Association, Likeminded Ladies, and the Fidelity P.O.W.E.R program. Becky graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program in 2018.

In 2017, Becky was honored to be chosen as one of the City Business Women of the Year, and in 2012 she was nominated for Sophisticated Woman’s Enterprising Woman of the Year. She is humbled to have been recognized as a March of Dimes 2015 honoree, and as one of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Northshore’s Finest in 2013. 

Becky is happily married to her husband Will. The couple lives in New Orleans and love to travel in their spare time.

Theresa Barnard

Theresa Barnard is an 18-year veteran of the financial services industry. Before beginning her career with American Express Financial Advisors, Theresa spent several years as a behavioral health counselor. Her experiences working in behavioral health has provided invaluable insight and understanding of investor behaviors.

In 2010 Theresa relocated to New Orleans to partner with Rufus Cressend. Together they have developed Waterfront Wealth Management, an innovative financial advisory practice that focuses on meeting client needs with a collaborative approach utilizing the unique talents of the entire advisory team. 

As a female in the financial services industry, Theresa recognizes firsthand the unique challenges that women may face in building financial security. Too many times she has worked with women that are uprooted due to divorce or an unexpected death. Theresa wants to ensure women have a trusted advisor that can help navigate difficult financial transitions and hopefully avoid such challenges by proactively building financial security.

Please RSVP Today!

March Luncheon

The next American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 13th. Listen to a panel of powerful women in the HR World sharing experiences and offering their expertise in a world ever changing “Let’s Talk People: Growing and Protecting Your Company, Your People and Yourself!

Panel Questions:

  1. I have employees, now what? Or, I only have independent contractors – no biggie right?
  2. What should really be in a handbook?
  3. What are cost effective ways to source and secure talent?
  4. Out of the box benefits – what can I do?
  5. Is there really such a thing as work/life balance?

Speakers include:

  • Julie Graham 
  • Monique Doucette
  • Amy Bakay
  • Amy Landry
  • Patti Pannell
Julie Graham

Julie Graham joined Ursuline Academy in the Business Office in April, 2018.  Julie has a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of California and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  Before joining Ursuline, Julie spent the last decade in Human Resources professional roles in training & development, compensation, performance management, succession planning, and HR generalist roles with Fortune 500 companies. While living overseas in Saudi Arabia for four years, Julie started her own HR / Career Consulting business.  She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt Project Leader.  

Monique Doucette

Monique Doucette joined Ogletree Deakins in 2009 and is a shareholder in New Orleans, Louisiana. She practices primarily in the area of employment litigation and represents management in claims arising under various federal and state employment laws. Ms. Doucette has significant experience litigating employment matters in a variety of business sectors such as construction, energy, banking and hospitality. She also has expertise in workplace misconduct and sexual harassment issues. Ms. Doucette regularly conducts customized workplace respect and anti-harassment training for employers.

Ms. Doucette is a frequent speaker on various employment law topics and contributing author to publications such as the Louisiana Bar Journal, New Orleans CityBusiness and HR Magazine. She is also an avid supporter of the local arts and education in New Orleans by serving on the executive board of directors for the New Orleans Ballet Association and the Arts Council of New Orleans, as well as the board of directors for Urban League of Louisiana and the advisory board for the New Orleans Opera Association. She is a member of the A.P. Tureaud Chapter of the American Inns of Court and serves as a co-chair on the ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee’s Diversity Initiative Task Force. In 2018, Ms. Doucette was appointed to the board of directors of the New Orleans chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) as the board attorney.

Amy Bakay

Amy Bakay, SHRM-SCP, is a self-proclaimed “HR-Geek” and founder of HR NOLA, a New Orleans-based HR Consulting and Outsourcing firm. She started HR NOLA after identifying a necessity for tailored Human Resources solutions for small businesses. 

6 Significant Things You Should Know About Amy:

  1. She’s an Adjunct Professor for Labor and Employment Law at Tulane.
  2. She serves as President-Elect for NOLA SHRM, a 500+ nonprofit for HR professionals.
  3. She is a Senior Certified Professional from the Society of Human Resources Management.
  4. She holds a Business Degree from Mississippi College School of Business.
  5. She was nominated in the 2018 class of New Orleans Woman of the Year.
  6. She loves hanging with her favorite people, enjoying a fine whiskey and dreaming about her toes in the sand.
Amy Landry

Amy Landry has 15+ years’ experience in human resources. She is a Certified Human Resources Professional through the Society of Human Resources and a Meyers Briggs (MBTI) Certified Practitioner. 

Landry is Founder and CEO of corporate training company, Fuel Success Academy, LLC, and creator of Diapers to Desk, maternity reintegration training for women and companies. She is also part-time Instructor for Loyola’s inaugural Women Leadership Academy launching on April 16th.

Landry is a charter member of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Crescent City Connections Express Network, and has served in multiple leadership roles and currently running for National Office as a District Vice President. Amy created two events annual Women Driving Business and Equal Pay Day event. In 2018 Amy was awarded the prestigious honor of the league’s Woman of The Year and in 2019  was awarded nationally as a Top Ten Business Women of the year. 

Landry serves on the board for the New Orleans Society of Human Resources Management as the Director of Professional Development. She is a 2016 YLC Leadership Development Series graduate, 2017 alumni of Emerging Philanthropist of New Orleans, a 2017 inaugural Economic Ambassador through NOLA Business Alliance, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Member, POW of Women Business member, Fidelity P.O.W.E.R. member. 

Locally, Amy is a 2018 City Business Woman of the Year, 2018 GNO Inc. Millennial Award Winner in Business, and was honored by the Baby Cakes as an All Star Women in Business in 2018. 

Patti Pannell

Patti Pannell is a Human Resources consultant, attorney, and mediator. In 2013, Patti and her long-time colleague Stefanie Allweiss founded Gotcha Covered HR to provide human resources support and outsourcing to small and mid-sized businesses.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Patti has been actively engaged in the practice of labor and employment law in the Greater New Orleans area for more than 25 years. She has represented clients before regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Patti has lectured at seminars both for individual businesses and for fellow attorneys on topics such as sexual harassment, family and medical leave, and wage and hour law. She works extensively with HR professionals and business owners in proactive problem solving, including developing and implementing drug testing protocols; working with managers in dealing with employees in difficult situations, providing advice, guidance and coaching as needed; negotiating severance agreements; formulating general workplace policies and strategies; and conducting independent investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of workplace discrimination.

American Business Women’s Association Offers Scholarships for Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund

New Orleans, LA – The New Orleans Crescent City Connections Express Network of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) is offering four scholarships worth a total of $8,000 funded through the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund to four deserving area students.

Each year, local chapters of ABWA provide Stephen Bufton Memorial Scholarships (SBMEF) to female students who will be attending accredited U.S. colleges, universities and community/vocational schools. Applicants must be citizens of the United States; residents of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles, LaFourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, or St. Tammany parishes; entering college freshman/sophomore, college junior/senior, advanced degree, vocational/trade/career in August 2019 with a GPA of 3.2 or higher. Criteria for each scholarship differs depending on type of scholarship. Eligible women interested in applying for the scholarship should contact:

Theresa M. Barnard, 504.889.1704

Applications must be completed by April 15, 2019. A minimum of three (3) eligible completed applications are required in order for the scholarship to be awarded.

The scholarship recipients will be notified in July 2019.

SBMEF, ABWA’s national educational fund, is one of the most highly respected grant and scholarship funds in the country. For over 60 years, ABWA has helped women achieve their business and professional success through educational scholarships.  Since its inception, more than 17,000 women nationwide have been awarded more than 17 million dollars in scholarships.

The Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund is a 501 (c) 3 charitable trust and public foundation. It has the same tax status as public schools, churches and community funds. The fund is listed in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service “Cumulative List of Organizations” described in Section 170(c) of the IRS code of 1954 – revised Oct. 31, 1974.

Top Ten Business Women of ABWA – Call for Nominations!

CCCEN would like to hear from you! We are seeking a representative as our league’s Top Ten National Woman of the Year nominee. Since its inception in 1953, ABWA has recognized hundreds of women for the coveted award, the Top Ten Business Women of ABWA. This award is intended to underscore a member’s professional accomplishments (career advancement and academic achievement), contributions to her community and engagement in ABWA.  

This is an incredible national honor, as we were thrilled that our very own Amy Landry was chosen as one of last year’s Forever Top Ten Women of the Year recipients! Once the CCCEN board approves the candidate, she will be assigned a seasoned mentor to help with the application process. Completed and signed applications are due to National by May 15. From there, National will select 10 honorees to be recognized at the October National Women’s Leadership Conference, October 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri, where the Top Ten Honoree will be chosen.

If you are interested in applying, please contact Carol Newman no later than February 28th at  

To be considered for this award, the member must:

  • Be a female and currently employed (part or full-time). 
  • Have been a member in good standing for at least two consecutive years as of May 15, 2019.
  • Have a primary affiliation with the sponsoring league for at least one year as of May 15, 2019.
  • Have served on the National Board of Directors and/or on the national/regional conference team and/or served as an officer, committee chair, league advisor for her primary league since 2016.
  • Have sponsored at least three members since 2016. 
  • Have earned at least one Apex Certificate since January 1, 2018 by completing one on-line course in the Apex Campus.
  • Have attended at least one nationally sponsored ABWA event (Regional Conference and/or the National Women’s Leadership Conference) since 2016.

Breakfast with Microsoft Technology Workshop

Come spend breakfast with Microsoft as we partner with ABWA during National Women’s Month! You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the latest technology to help you grow your business, while networking with powerful business women throughout the greater New Orleans area!

We will have certified trainers providing workshops and demonstrations on cloud and business productivity tools such as Office 365, SharePoint, and Windows 10. Learn how to leverage LinkedIn to boost your professional brand and connect you with other influential leaders.

We’ll provide door prizes, breakfast, and a photo booth where you can have your professional photo taken for your LinkedIn Profile. 

March 27th @ 8:30am-10:00am

Microsoft store in Lakeside Mall – Next to Café du Monde
3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70002

-FREE for ABWA Members
-$10 for non-members

Limited space available! Register today!