2015 Leadership Conference

D.R.I.V.E Communication Workshop: You do not want to miss this opportunity to enhance your communication skills in a high energy, impactful hands-on workshop designed specifically to ensure confidence and credibility when communicating as a WOMAN in today’s business world. This unique TEAM BUILDING experience will allow you to build relationships with other ABWA members, upgrade your leadership skills, and have an absolute BLAST!

Happy Hour Networking Social, Door Prizes, Member Bonding, & Opportunity for Adrenaline High Kart Racing!


Date: Thursday October 8th 2015
Schedule: 1pm – 4pm Leadership Training, 4pm – 6pm Networking Social
Location: NOLA Motor Sports Park, 11075 Nicolle Blvd, Avondale, LA 70094


$45 by July 9th
$55 after July 9th
$60 for non-members
*Continuing Education Credit
*Karting at your own expense


Please note: You will be redirected to the payment page upon completing this form, where you can pay online via PayPal. Your registration will not be confirmed until your payment is received in full. 


June Luncheon – Chris Burke

The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) will welcome Chris Burke, Regions Bank Wealth Manager,  as the speaker for their next networking luncheon on Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 11:00 -1:00 at Ralph Brennan’s Heritage Grill (111 Veterans Blvd) in New Orleans.

Despite the long-held stereotype that women are less capable money managers than men, new research shows that women are in fact better than their male counterparts at both saving and investing. Burke will elaborate on why women’s tendencies towards  long-term planning and caution can play in our favor in regards to money management.

Mr. Burke began his career in the investment field in 1991 and has worked in numerous capacities. After four years as an investment broker, Mr. Burke joined AG Edwards in St. Louis as one of the firm’s first mutual fund analysts. He later became Director of Research for a regional investment consulting firm where his responsibilities included all facets of asset allocation, capital markets research and manager due diligence. Mr. Burke assumed his current role as portfolio manager in the wealth management area of Regions in 2003. He is responsible for overseeing the management of over $400 million in assets for both private and institutional clients. In addition to his portfolio management responsibilities, Mr. Burke has also served on the firm’s mutual fund committee, the investment strategy committee and as the chairman of the firm’s asset allocation committee. He was instrumental in establishing the role of diversifying strategies within the investment process.

Click here for more information about attending an ABWA luncheon.

Click here to register online. Advanced registration is encouraged.


Jeanne Bergeron – May 2015

Congratulations to the May recipient of the President’s certificate of Merit, Jeanne Bergeron of Community CDC. Jeanne is an ABWA CCC charter member and has been active in the organization since before it began official meetings. She has near perfect attendance, and was one of the first members to step up when the league announce its sponsorship packages.

Jeanne is constantly offering her time and services to help our organization and mission grow.


Letter From the President Elect

ABWA Board PhotoSpring is in the air, and it’s time for flowers to bloom. I hope that your ABWA experiences thus far are helping you to blossom both professionally and personally. As our board prepares for a new board to lead in July, we’re evaluating our processes and ensuring that you’re getting the most value from your time with us. I’d like to share with you some pointers on “How to Get the Most from Your ABWA Experience.”

  • Show up– The 1st step after joining an organization such as ABWA is to show up. Be visible and active. This will not only benefit you by obtaining new knowledge, but also shows others that you’re committed and dependable.
  • Build relationships– Don’t just hand out your business cards. Make an effort to get to know your fellow members and guests outside of our monthly luncheons.
  • Ask for help– All too often, we as women, put the weight of the world on our shoulders and fear failure to the point where we restrain potential. Remember to embrace failure as an integral stage of your growth, but ask for guidance. Some of your fellow members may have been through similar experiences and can offer some support and insight.
  • Set goals– It is important to gage growth and challenge yourself by setting attainable goes to work toward.

I would encourage you to log in to our WIN at, and take advantage of the training and knowledge this is accessible to you through ABWA National.

Our current board has done an amazing job for our first year building an infrastructure to carry us through a successful future. If you have not had an opportunity to check out our local website, please do at

Also, if you’re a paid member, be sure to add your contact information and bio to our directory page. We are excited to soon share some new functions we’ve been planning- keep a look out. As always, we welcome any of your suggestions to develop and support our onward journey.

Yours Truly,

Rachel Nunez, President Elect
“Failure is stripping away of the inessential.” – J.K. Rowling

Click Here to download the Newsletter as a PDF

May Luncheon – Erica Olson of Speak Simple

The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) welcomed Erica Olson of Speak Simple as the speaker for their networking luncheon on Thursday, May 14, 2015 from 11:00 -1:00 at Ralph Brennan’s Heritage Grill (111 Veterans Blvd) in New Orleans.

Did you know that American’s fear public speaking above all else? According to multiple surveys, people are more afraid of giving a presentation than they are of death! Despite this fear, giving effective presentations is essential to being perceived as an expert in your field. Olson explained that most of this fear is a result of a misunderstanding of what public speaking means. She reminded us that we constantly give presentations – on the phone, through email, and in the conference room – and those mini-presentations are just as important as speaking in front of large groups.

“The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.” – Voltaire

Ms. Olson, who has coached hundreds of clients through successful presentations, reminded us of the importance of “Speaking Simple.” Some of her tips included: 

  • Focus on your audience. Change your presentation depending on who’s listening.
  • Incorporate as many different learning styles as possible to reach more people. 
  • Manage your time well, and be respectful of the sacrifice your audience made to listen to you speak. No one will complain if your talk take less time than allotted.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare!
  • Free yourself of crutch words.
  • Use stories to relate to your audience.
  • Employ eye contact. It will make you appear more credible.
  • Stick to 3 main points that people can easily remember.

Erica is a lifetime resident of the New Orleans area and a graduate of the University of New Orleans. She published her first book entitled, Speak Simple – The Art of Simplifying Technical Presentationsin December of 2013. Before founding Speak Simple, Olson crafted her skills working with Audubon Zoo’s Outreach Education programs and gave over a thousand presentations to audiences ranging from toddlers to retirees and everything in between. Erica is an expert when it comes to interpreting complex terminology and technical lingo. She learned the do’s and don’ts of presentations not only by doing, but by coaching youth and adult volunteers as they shared their animal knowledge to zoo visitors and audience members. olsen-slide3


Elections – The membership voted on the new ABWA Crescent City Connections Executive Board at the May luncheon. We are very excited to welcome an exciting new group of women into leadership positions for the upcoming year. Click here for information about the new executive board.

Women Can Drive – The first annual ABWA CCC Development and Networking Conference will be held on October 8, 2015 at NOLA Motorsports Park.

President’s Certificate of Merit – Jeanne Bergeron. Click here for details.

Photo Gallery


Click here for more information about attending an ABWA luncheon.