Women’s Speed Mentoring Night – October 16, 2019

Get expert advice for your business from professional coaches and business consultants from your community at Women’s Speed Mentoring Night on Wednesday, October 16th.  This event is hosted by Mercy Corps Northwest’s Women’s Business Center with partner organization MicroMentor

Meet with business professionals while mingling with other women entrepreneurs in your community.  Learn about the resources available to women business owners and aspiring female entrepreneurs in the Portland metro region. Enjoy complimentary beverages and a light dinner during an inspiring and knowledge-packed evening!

What is Speed Mentoring?

Speed mentoring is like speed dating, but better! You’ll have an opportunity to participate in a series of 25-minute one-on-one sessions over the course of the night with multiple women business mentors and coaches who have expertise in a variety of areas important to entrepreneurs.  Between sessions, you will have time to meet other women in your community and grow your network.

Mentor topics include:

  • General Business Strategy
  • Financing Your Business/ Business Grants
  • Accounting/ Bookkeeping
  • Business Legal Strategy
  • Marketing/ Branding Strategy
  • Social Media/Email Marketing
  • And more!

Should I attend?

YES!  This event is for women who own or are developing or growing concept, start up, or established businesses. Trans and queer women are welcome.  Don’t miss the opportunity to get professional insight from the inspiring peers in your community on the challenges and opportunities your business is facing. 


About Your Hosts:

Mercy Corps Northwest Women’s Business Center

Mercy Corps Northwest is a community development financial institution, operating Oregon’s only SBA Women’s Business Center, and is the largest provider of microenterprise Matched Savings Grants in Oregon. Each year, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs walk through our doors to take the first step of launching a small business. The Women’s Business Center at Mercy Corps Northwest works to elevate women entrepreneurs by educating, financing and counseling them through the process of starting and growing a business.  We believe in the power of women to create a vibrant and equitable regional economy in which everyone can participate to their greatest potential.


MicroMentor is an online service that connects small business owners around the world with business mentors. MicroMentor puts experience to work by offering business professionals meaningful volunteer opportunities and by offering entrepreneurs one-on-one advice to help build successful businesses.

Meet Your Mentors


Passionate, energetic and a strong mind for detail, you can count on Beth Carter to get the root of a problem and immediately forge a strong working relationship with her team.  Beth has a diverse background that includes several years in the aerospace and energy industries with roles in business development, marketing, manufacturing management, strategic planning, program management, and business process improvement.  Her enthusiasm for challenges is evident in and outside of the office.  Beth runs marathons, coaches other runners, and also uses this boundless energy to do great work for clients. Beth has an MBA from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
Business Plan Workshop


Wendy Kotila is an experienced business coach, mentor and educator.  She works with early-stage entrepreneurs, most often women, to create a strong business foundation and profitable growth. 

After earning her MBA, she spent 12+ years in business development and marketing for companies like Adobe, Apple and Google.  She teaches entrepreneurship and marketing at Portland State University and Mercy Corps Northwest and serves as a mentor for the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) and Five One Labs, an incubator that helps refugees and conflict-affected entrepreneurs grow and launch their businesses in the Middle East.  

Wendy is also a former board member for the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and an angel investor.


Erica Ellingsen is an experienced finance professional who grew up on the southern Oregon coast. In her youth, she watched her father start and grow a small business. This experience fostered a deep appreciation and respect for entrepreneurship in her. After attending the University of Portland, earning her B.B.A. in Global Business, she set out to develop the skills necessary to become a business leader. In the last 5 years, Erica has worked for creative service agencies in Denver and Portland. She most recently held the position of Finance Director at an experiential marketing agency with offices in Portland, New York, and London. In her free time, you can catch Erica at a Portland Thorns game in the summer or snowboarding at Mt. Hood in the winter


Heather McFarland has built her career by using technology to make businesses work better. Her ability to think critically allows her to manage projects that cross traditional boundaries, whether disciplines, geographies or functions. Heather has more than 25 years of experience leading complex technical and strategic projects at companies that include her own business as well as large companies such as Nike and WestFarm Foods. In her recent experiences, she has structured frameworks to lead governance, communication, and execution with a hybrid of different modes and methodologies for successful delivery.


Celese Williams  is a single Momprenuer and owner of Mystique’s Fancy Faces. She manages a team of 8 artists, and together they service over 100 events per year, making them the #1 face painting service provider in their area. Celese specializes in marketing and SEO, which has landed her with amazing opportunities including face painting for a Tmobile commercial, Netflix show, and even an upcoming Disney movie.


Kate Cockrill brings bold new ideas to every project she touches. Creative, warm, and funny, she inspires teams to question convention, push boundaries, and identify the habits getting in the way of their success.Kate has the growth mindset of a coach and the analytical skills of a social scientist. In her 20 years of experience in the public health consulting arena, she has driven complex social and cultural change initiatives and improved organizational effectiveness for a variety of forward-thinking organizations, including the University of California, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and The Sea Change Program, a nonprofit she founded in 2013. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in history and women’s studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Mason Atkin has a background working in higher education, and now manages operations projects at the state of Oregon. Her specialties include managing projects that require coordinating among many stakeholders, motivating status-quo thinkers to embrace change and new ideas, and finding ways to ensure purpose is baked into our work lives.


Landra Glover has been working in financial empowerment since 2011, when she began serving as a financial education trainer and coach at Innovative Changes, a local non-profit community development financial institution. A lead facilitator of their four-part financial education series for three years, she has taught classes on everything from understanding one’s first paycheck to teaching kids about money. Landra holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from Warner Pacific College, and has a deep well of skills, knowledge, and experience in financial capabilities. She understands the power of helping someone learn to change their financial behavior, make decisions to implement those changes, and have access to the right products and services to act upon those decisions. A native of Illinois, she was raised in Oregon. In 2013, she beat out hundreds of applicants to be crowned Parent of the Year by the National Head Start Association. She loves cookies, fashion, music, dancing, books, and traveling.


Amy Jermain, Woman Led’s Inaugural Executive Director


Amy Jermain is an experienced strategic planner and business advisor. She is currently the Social Business Project Manager for the LIFE Outside program at Mercy Corps. She is passionate about building the capacity and self-efficacy of underserved populations, nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to carry out their mission and vision in a profitable, effective and sustainable way.


Jenni Jayne is currently the Senior Marketing & Brand Manager at Propeller. Her  background includes 15+ years’ experience designing integrated multichannel marketing programs for brands such as Marriott, Xbox, Intel and Nike. Jenni also have experience building teams and foundational marketing tools for small organizations and startup


Marguerite Svendsen is a management consultant with more than 15 years of experience scaling business operations, systems, and teams worldwide. She has worked around the world with start-ups, non-profits and Fortune 500 companies to align big-picture visions with the realities of day-to-day business operations. She specializes in managing periods of strategic transition and change for organizations of all sizes.


With extensive experience in international development and humanitarian aid, Emily Sinn understands what it takes to implement complex projects across a global portfolio. Her background includes 13 years at Mercy Corps, where she led global change initiatives, facilitated strategic planning processes, developed systems for accountability and performance measurement, and managed software application development. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Pacific Lutheran University and a MBA certificate from Portland State University.


Jess Brown is the Director of People Strategy for Propeller, a fast growing management consulting firm founded in Portland, Oregon. She brings a decade of experience in business development, project and change management, communications, and strategic planning. In her most recent role, she oversees Propeller’s people operations function, including talent acquisition and management, performance and leadership development, and culture stewardship.



Malee Ojua, CEO & Digital Marketing Strategist of Sacred Fire Creative, helps change makers, service based professionals, and experts who want to grow an authentic brand that captures hearts and converts more customers. Through Sacred Fire Creative, she guides visionary women leaders as they leave their legacy and connect with their tribe through branding, web design, and marketing.

Malee earned her degree in Web Development and Design—as well as Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her corporate experience involved Top Secret government clearance to create future generations of satellite systems. Malee has also served on the faculty of Portland Community College’s Web Design & Development Department, teaching Search Engine Optimization and WordPress.

Her web design and marketing clients take comfort in knowing that they have a rocket scientist on their team—ready to solve their most pressing design and marketing problems. Malee works with socially conscious entrepreneurs who are ready to make a greater positive impact on their community and the world.



Sunita Thaker took a 5 year break from her human resources career at Nike to stay home with her kids.  When it was time to go back to work, she switched careers (at the age of 40) and became a Real Estate Broker in order to have some flexibility with her schedule.  In her first year, Sunita was Rookie of the Year and the following year, she doubled her sales and continued to increase her sales each year.  Five years later, she is one of the top Brokers at her company and currently mentors 3 new Brokers.   Being a Broker gives her the flexibility to be home with her kids after school and volunteer – she’s the current Board Chair for the school’s parent leadership team. Sunita is proof that you can have a lucrative career while being a full time mom.


Jasmine Agnor | Senior Marketing & Events Manager – OMEP

Jasmine has more than eight years of experience in strategic marketing initiatives for both large and small businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her background includes strategic communications, market research, corporate branding, event planning and execution, campaign management, and print and web design. She enjoys enhancing messaging and marketing programs for service-based organizations who add value for clients and stakeholders


*Scholarship Option 1 – Income Based: Partial scholarships are available from Mercy Corps Northwest to low-income individuals with proper documentation. Applications must be received one week before the start of class to be considered. Link to Online Application.

*Scholarship Option 2 – Designated for People of Color: In partnership with the City of Portland , we are thrilled to be able to offer people of color scholarships to any  training activity. Eligible clients need to have a home or business address within the city of Portland. Our goal is to make business education accessible to everyone in our community. Link to Online Application.

PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR A TRAINING ACTIVITY IF YOU PLAN ON APPLYING FOR A SCHOLARSHIP – wait until your scholarship application has been approved or denied and then proceed with registration. You will be contacted via phone or email by Mercy Corps Northwest  after we receive your application. Questions? Email training.mcnw@mercycorps.org

REFUND POLICY: Refunds are available up to one week prior to the start of the class. If you are unable to continue attending class we do our best to accommodate your situation. Registration is not complete without payment.


Event Details

Date & Time:


Mercy Corps Northwest | 43 Southwest Naito Parkway, Portland, OR, USA
43 Southwest Naito Parkway, Portland, OR, USA

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