Member’s Mingle

You’re invited to ABWA’s Member Mingle!

Learn how membership will help you grow

When: Thursday, November 8th @ 5:00 pm -7:00 pm

Where: Zea Rotisserie & Bar @ 5080 Pontchartrain Blvd

Who: Future and current members are invited!

Connect. Learn. Grow with America’s Leading Career-Building Organization for Women. Whether you are starting a new business or looking to advancing your career, the American Business Women’s Association is the place to be for working women and women business owners who want to connect, learn and grow.

This event will go into detail about what it means to be an ABWA Crescent City Connections Chapter Member as well as how you directly benefit.

Thank you to our sponsor Garrity + Accardo Architects 


NETWORK face-to-face with accomplished women and men just like you from musicians to physicians by joining a Chapter or Express Network in your community.

CONNECT with members online in ABWA’s Community Connections or members-only Facebook page.

REGISTER for courses or nationally sponsored conferences to acquire the knowledge and skills that will advance you and your career to the next level.

STAY INFORMED by reading ABWA’s exclusive WOMEN IN BUSINESS® magazine and ACHIEVE newsletter.

SAVE MONEY on business products and services with ABWA’s member-only discounts.

ABWA’S VISION: to be recognized as an outstanding league connecting Greater New Orleans career-minded women in an empowering space to develop leadership and business skills with the goal of increasing our earning potential and building meaningful networking relationships that enable members to grow into the very BEST versions of ourselves.

For more information download our Member Brochure today!


Knowledge is Power: Business, Books & Breakfast

2018 Women’s Business Alliance Seminar with New Orleans Chamber of Commerce & Fidelity P.O.W.E.R.

Date: October 26, 2018

Time: 8:30 AM10:00 AM CDT


  • $15 for Members
  • $25 for Non-members
    *Includes breakfast

Join the New Orleans Chamber in conjunction with New Orleans Chamber of Commerce & Fidelity P.O.W.E.R. for our Women’s Business Alliance seminar:

Knowledge is Power: Business, Books & Breakfast

Build Knowledge:  Join us as we listen to three women authors share their stories on writing books and their best business advice for business women.

Build Relationships:  Participate in the business book exchange! Bring your favorite business book with your name in it and a business card, meet another local business-minded woman to exchange books with and build a new business relationship!


Dima Ghawi, Leadership Speaker & Executive Coach (BIO)

Val Grubb, Owner of Val Grubb & Associates Ltd. (BIO)

Kemberley Washington, CPA & Owner of Washington CPA Services, LLC (BIO)

Hosted by:

Included in Ticket Purchase:
*Complimentary coffee & continental breakfast
*Marketing table for attendees to display marketing materials

Parking available in lots across the street from Cannery entrance

Contact Information:
Ashley Hilsman, Events Director

November Luncheon


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The next American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) luncheon on November 15th will feature four business women that will be speaking about

Overcoming Obstacles and Nurturing a “Success Mindset”

Speakers include:

  • Sheba Turk
  • Mary Jane Walsh
  • Mayra Pineda
  • Deb Elam

Sheba Turk co-anchors WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News and is the author of the book “Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk.” Shortly after graduating from college, Sheba was hired as an associate producer at WWL. She has been there ever since, working her way from behind the scenes to the anchor desk. Sheba is an alumnus of Soledad O’Brien’s PowHerful Foundation and mentors with the organization. She is passionate about helping other people, especially other young women, reach their full potential.



Mary Jane Walsh is a transformation coach who helps clients get breakthrough results.  Mary Jane uses a unique methodology which equips her audiences and clients to navigate the fears that come up in sales and teaches her clients her success process of “Getting to Yes.”

Mary Jane has spoken at several organizations and companies both in the Greater New Orleans area and nationally, helping individuals and teams meet their quarterly and yearly business and personal goals. She is excited to moderate this year’s November ABWA panel of inspiring speakers.



Mayra Pineda is a local business woman and the President & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, where over the years, she has worked tirelessly to develop strong and long-lasting business relationships between Louisiana, the Hispanic Community and Latin America. She is a former Consul General of Honduras in New Orleans, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Mrs. Pineda has been the recipient of the Leadership Award by the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the High Achievement in Compliance by Subway Corporation, and Honoree of Men and Women of Fashion/Prix de Elegance, as well as SABAA Business Woman of the Year, and the Personality of the Year by Que Pasa Festival.

Most recently, Mrs. Pineda was recognized as a 2018 Top Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine, 2018 Minority Business Champion by the US Small Business Administration, one of the CityBusiness Women of the Year Honorees, Partner of Year of Women Business South Council, and accepted the 2017 Chamber of the Year Award and the 2018 SRMSDC Leadership Award for Supporting Partner of the Year on behalf of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana.

She is a former President of the NOHHF (2008-2011) and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation since 2000.  She is also a current and active board member of the following organizations:

  • Commissioner at Jefferson Economic Development Council (JEDCO)
  • New Orleans City Park Improvement Board
  • New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Jefferson Parish Task Force for Education
  • Forward New Orleans
  • City of New Orleans Oversight Committee on Diversity
  • Mayoral Transition Team Sub-Committee (Mayor Cantrell)
  • Member of USHCC Local Chamber Ad Hoc Committee

Deb Elam After a thirty year career with the multinational conglomerate, corporate pioneer Deborah Augustine Elam has retired from her dual role at General Electric as Chief Diversity Officer, as well as President of the GE Foundation.

From graduate intern to GE’s first-ever black female corporate officer, Deb dedicated her career to diversity, philanthropy, and inclusion. She oversaw efforts to embrace diversity in order to create an environment where GE employees are able to thrive and contribute to the company’s success in the global economy. Her experience spans across multiple organizations within the corporation.

An alumnus of Louisiana State University, Deb holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Her career catapulted after graduating from Southern University, where she earned a Master in Public Administration. She was quickly recruited by GE’s Human Resources Leadership Program where she undertook assignments at GE Global Exchange Services and GE Transportation. Upon successful completion of the training program, she progressed through larger HR roles within GE Consulting Services, GE Capital Mortgage Corporation, GE Capital Insurance Services, and GE Capital Markets Services. In June of 2000, Elam became Managing Director of Human Resources at GE Capital Commercial Finance.

Colleagues have cited Deb’s commitment to diversity, philanthropy, and inclusiveness as key factors to her success. In February of 2006, Deb rose to the top with a well-deserved promotion that made history. GE’s Board of Directors appointed her Chief Diversity Officer, the conglomerate’s first-ever black female corporate officer, making Deb one of the most senior women in the company.

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VIVA NOLA Mentions ABWA in August 2018 Edition

VIVA NOLA Mentions ABWA in August 2018 Edition

ABWA is a professional national organization that specializes in honing women’s leadership skills, providing women with continuing education, and highlighting and raising awareness and recognition of the empowerment of women in business. Click here to read more!


October Luncheon

American Business Women’s Association Hosts October Luncheon “Pivoting from Failure to Power”

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The next American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) luncheon on October 18th will feature Anna Finch, cofounder of Real DFM, a product design and development company, helping clients take products from concept to reality. Anna will be speaking about “Pivoting from Failure to Power”.

Anna Finch’s Bio:

Anna Finch is the cofounder of Real DFM, a product design and development company, helping clients take products from concept to reality. After graduating from Edinburgh University, Scotland with a Masters in Chinese language, history and culture she moved to Beijing, China where she worked in the wine industry, selling and distributing wine to hotels, restaurants and bars, learning international business skills, marketing and sales. After four years in China, Anna had an opportunity to move to California where she went to work within the male dominated industry of being a Land Man, working for Vintage Power and SunPower, in utility scale Oil, Gas and Solar projects, purchasing mineral rights, determining new locations and managing multi million dollar budgets. Three years into that phase, Anna met her husband in Los Angeles, who was working as a freelancer in industrial design and she uncovered a passion that lay more in the creative, and together, with their combined skill sets, they decided to start their own company, filling a gap in the market of offering a true turnkey solution to innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses seeking help in bringing a product to life, covering everything from conceptual design, engineering, prototyping, development and ultimately mass manufacturing. Anna moved to New Orleans two and a half years ago, over which time she has been growing Real DFM, with which she was a finalist in Square’s The Brassys Awards, she won the Women In Business Challenge through the Urban League in 2017, and was a finalist in The Idea Village’s The Big Idea Challenge at NOEW also in 2017.

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