August Luncheon – Erin McQuade-Wright


The ABWA August  luncheon will feature Erin McQuade-Wright, Vice President of Donor Relations for the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Erin will be delivering a presentation entitled, “Benefits of Philanthropy for Your Business,” which will touch on the long-term benefits and the social impact we can all personally have on our community through giving and how a coordinated a well-executed corporate giving campaign, can have a tremendous and lasting impact for the community.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) Serves the Southeast Louisiana Region. For over 30 years, GNOF has been connecting donors to community needs. Their goal is to help create a resilient, sustainable, vibrant community in which individuals and families flourish and the special character of the region is preserved, celebrated, and supported.

Erin McQuade-Wright serves as Vice President for Donor Relations for the Greater New Orleans Foundation. In this role, she helps donors make significant, meaningful donations during and/or after their lifetime.

Erin moved to New Orleans in 2008, after completing her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s in Communication at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Her early fundraising work supported first-time homeownership and affordable housing in New Orleans.

Later, she raised money to support long-term independence for people with disabilities across Southeast Louisiana. Since her arrival in New Orleans, Erin has raised a total of $8 million for Louisiana organizations from local and national supporters.

Before joining the Greater New Orleans Foundation team, Erin served as the Vice President of Development & Communications at Lighthouse Louisiana. Erin is a member of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) class of 2016, and serves on the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Greater New Orleans chapter. In her free time, Erin sings with the New Orleans Vocal Arts Chorale and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.



EMPOWER EACH OTHER – 3rd Annual ABWA Women CAN Drive Conference

Join us for our 3rd Annual Women CAN Drive Conference~ held at NOLA Motorsports Park on September 14th.

Click here to Register!

The inspiration for the creation for our annual conference came from our current President, who was told by a former boss, ‘You CAN’T be a successful career woman and a good mother at the same time,’ and the conscious decision to select our location at NOLA Motorsports was because visionary Owner of NOLA Motorsports Park was told ‘You CAN’T build a racetrack on a swamp!’ Both of these ‘CAN’T’ examples have been proven completely false and we could not be prouder. Turning ‘CAN’T’ into a ‘CAN’ isn’t a slogan, it is a mission.

ABWA Crescent City Connections spreads this mission of our leadership conference that Women CAN Drive. We believe that CAN stands for Collaborate, Advocate, and Network.

We continue full throttle encouraging others who are told they ‘can’t’ and must fight every day to make their dreams come true. We believe that “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right.”-Henry Ford.

And, we support the Women who think THEY CAN!

Our 2017 Conference theme is EMPOWER EACH OTHER!

We could not be more excited to have an Executive from Microsoft as our 2017 Leadership Speaker, as Melinda Gates, wife to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is well known advocate for supporting women as leaders in the workplace.

“When I started working at Microsoft in the late 80s, it was my dream job. But it was also a high-pressure, male-dominated environment, and there were definitely some tough days. I was lucky, though, because I had incredible support from a group of female colleagues. We got each other through challenging times, celebrated each other’s successes, and took lots of jogs to relieve the stress. They helped me realize that I belonged there and could thrive there. And they are one of the reasons I believe that women can be each other’s best allies.” –Melinda Gates

We are proud to have our Leadership speakers presented by Microsoft Executive, Diane Boettcher.

Diane Boettcher is an expert in military operations, IT, change management and leadership. As an executive at Microsoft, Diane focuses on supporting US Intelligence and Federal agencies, leading a team of over 220 services professionals who assist with Secure Infrastructure technologies.

She’s a recognized and sought-after author, presenter, and mentor and will present on ‘Everyone Leads.’

We have also put together a powerful panel on ‘Empower Each Other.’ Our panel will feature four very powerful women who lead by example and raise the bar on empowering other women.

Join an interactive panel and be part of the discussion on how to support and empower EACH OTHER!

The panel will give tips on how to build relationships and how to better support other women. It will also educate us on the reasons why women sometimes compete and not collaborate. We will learn best practice tips on how to build other women up.

Our Empower Panel will feature Sandra Lindquist, VP New Orleans Chamber, Becky Gustafson, Northwestern Advisor and Founder of POW (Power of Women Business Networking Group), Mary Matthews, Executive Director 504oward, and Christine McNabb, Owner & Founder of ‘This Mama Wines’ Blog.

And, lastly, we are thrilled to be present our first ever, Empower Each Other Awards.

ABWA is looking for nominations to honor 5 outstanding women in business who actively demonstrate mentorship and development of other women. If you have been inspired or mentored by an incredible women leader, please nominate today. ABWA board use the nomination forms and independent research to deliberate and vote on final selections.

Nominations can be submitted HERE.

Selected winners will receive free admission to the conference as well as a special gift by event sponsor Mignon Faget. It is with great pride that we welcome the ABWA Member and VP of Public Affairs Port of New Orleans, Michelle Gannon, to present those awards. Michelle is the CEO’s right hand and worked closely with CEO Brandy Christian at the Port of San Diego for years. Brandy recruited Michelle to move to New Orleans and we will hear about their relationship, and what it can teach all of us to build more powerful, supportive relationships.

After our leadership conference, we will head over to grab our helmets and compete on the racetrack awards will be sponsored by Ronnie Osmer Racing followed by networking and a happy hour sponsored by Ralph Brennan’s with women-owned local shopping vendors.

We have limited tables for local vendors. ABWA members get discounted table for $150. Non ABWA members are $200 and limited table spots. For sponsor information, please contact conference chair, Melissa Willis.

Click here to view more information on sponsorship opportunities.


July Luncheon – Lynnette White-Colin

The July 13th ABWA luncheon will feature Lynnette White-Colin, Director of Small Business Initiatives at the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA). She will be delivering a presentation entitled, “The Small Business Ecosystem in New Orleans,” which will touch on what’s working and what’s not as well as new ideas the Business Alliance will be looking to implement to create opportunities for growth for local small business owners. She will also talk about the upcoming small business symposium NOLABA is presenting on “Urban Innovations for Equity.”  This conference will address investment strategies being implemented in other urban cities to facilitate growth in minority and women-owned businesses, especially those operating in disinvested neighborhoods. Register using the form below.

The NOLABA is a public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans and its business community; Ms. White-Colin directs diverse activities promoting economic inclusion, to facilitate enhanced opportunities, sustainability and growth for small businesses, with significant emphasis on minority- and women-owned ventures. Lynnette forges relationships within the community of local anchor institutions, corporations, public entities, and public construction projects, fostering the creation and identification of procurement and contracting opportunities for target small businesses. She regularly convenes small business stakeholders to discuss strategies that lead to alleviation of barriers to growth for minority business owners; she provide custom connections between business owners and diverse technical and financial assistance providers to ensure local small businesses have both the resources and capital necessary to sustain and grow their organizations. Ms. White-Colin is involved in strategic efforts toward revitalization strategies for commercial corridors in disinvested communities throughout the city of New Orleans.

Prior to joining the New Orleans Business Alliance, Lynnette directed economic development programming at the Urban League of Louisiana, which involved directing the Women’s Business Resource and Contractors Resource Centers. The two entities provided technical assistance, diverse business training and one-on-one business consulting and coaching services for emerging business owners and contractors.

Ms. Colin serves on the boards of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, the New Orleans Redevelopment Unlimited (an auxiliary of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority); the East New Orleans Business Development District; and the New Orleans Regional Business Park.

This luncheon is sold out!


Member Spotlight – Lisa Winningkoff

Lisa Winningkoff is a Certified Photo Organizer and the owner of iCross+Dot Photo and Digital Organizing. Her passion is solving problems and delighting clients. By combining her extensive organizational skills with creativity and attention to detail, she gets to do just that.

Lisa creates organized photo collections and designs luxury photo albums for busy VIP clients, working with them to capture their family’s stories so they can preserve, share, and enjoy them for generations. She specializes in managing lifetime photo collections by providing custom organizing solutions for print and digital photos. That means gathering photos from boxes, bins, drawers, and all manner of electronic devices and transforming them into an organized, properly named, searchable, and backed up curated collection.

Additionally, Lisa offers a platinum photo scanning service, and she converts videotapes and film to digital formats. She also creates digital photo books that showcase milestone and everyday events, and slideshows that bring photos to life. In short, Lisa establishes long-term relationships with a limited number of clients and becomes their trusted advisor for all things photo related.

For more than 20 years, Lisa managed a busy career, ran a household, and raised a family. During that time, she honed her organizational skills and sharpened her attention to detail. As a CPA with experience in senior-level financial and human resources roles, she firmly believes in “crossing the t’s” and “dotting the i’s” to ensure no detail is overlooked. Those characteristics are the foundation of iCross+Dot, and they allow Lisa to deliver exceptional client service while alleviating stress and anxiety. Lisa is a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) and the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). For more information, please visit or email

June Luncheon featuring Julie Burch

The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) June 8th luncheon will be held on Thursday June 8th, 2017 from 11:00- 1:00pm at Ralph Brennan’s Heritage Grill (111 Veterans Blvd.)

The vent will feature Julie Burch, President of Julie Burch Speaks!, where she presents motivational keynotes and educational training workshops. And in her over 19 years of speaking professionally, Julie has had the privilege of speaking to audiences in all 50 states, Washington DC, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Canada, England and Wales. She has designed programs for industry leaders such as Texas Tech University, Mercedes Benz, Fidelity Investments, Wingstop, BP Oil and Gas, Husky Oil, the Social Security Administration, the EEOC, Taco Bell, Texas Women’s University, The American Payroll Association, The United States Army, The United States Air Force and The Society for Human Resource Management. She has also been named as their 2017 Speaker Hall of Fame Inductee.

Julie was honored with a guest appearance on “Good Morning America” where she was interviewed by Diane Sawyer. Julie is an active second-generation member of ABWA, she is a charter member of the North Dallas Business Women and served on the executive board for three years. She has served on many committees, was the campaign manager for a district 2 vice presidential candidate, and co-chaired the DACA woman of the year luncheon in 2015. Birch was the North Dallas Business Women’s Woman of the year for 2016 and is currently District II Vice President, which also allows her to serve on the 2016-2017 SBMEF Board of Trustees.

She is the coauthor of two books including a motivational book for women titled “The Princess Principle: Women Helping Women Discover Their Royal Spirit” and “Success Simplified: Simple Solutions Measurable Results.”

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