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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

Deborah Augustine Elam

President and CEO, Corporate Playbook™

As a corporate pioneer, Deborah Augustine Elam rose to the C-suite at GE as President of the GE Foundation and Chief Diversity Officer. Her thirty-year career has enabled her to launch Corporate Playbook, an Executive Coaching and Strategic Solutions consulting firm, where she serves as President and CEO.

A trailblazer in her own right, Elam made history when GE’s board of directors appointed her as the first-ever black female corporate officer, making her one of the most senior executive leaders in the company. Today she is one of the foremost experts and champions of leadership development, diversity, inclusion, and philanthropy. Corporate Playbook’s offerings of specialized executive coaching and the strategic development of leaders to advance their professional endeavors form the bedrock and culmination of Deb Elam’s life work.

She continues to disrupt the status quo, with the unprecedented launch of Dining with Deb™, an innovative dining experience that brings together professional women crossing racial, religious and political lines and driving meaningful connections and conversations. Deb’s ingenuity with Corporate Playbook™ and Dining with Deb™, have brought her before audiences across the country, speaking on the main stage, as well as into intimate conversations on leadership.

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. For her steadfast contributions in diversity and philanthropy, she was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Clarkson University in 2016.

Elam has earned a lifetime of accolades, including but not limited to: one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Business; and one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy. She is also a recipient of the Women of Excellence Legacy Award by the National Association for Female Executives, and a recipient of the Women of Power Award by the National Urban League.

Deb holds membership in a number of critical organizations. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) – an organization of the top African Americans in Corporate America; The National Black MBA Association; Delta Sigma Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Inc. Additionally, Deb is on the Board of Directors at the LSU Foundation and The New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute. She has two adult daughters and resides in her hometown, New Orleans, LA.

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