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Cocktails & Conversations (2/13/2024) !Postponed!

!! Event postponed due to snow !!

Women United RI, BeaconPoint Wealth Advisors and The Adventurebroad present this quarter’s segment of “Cocktails and Conversations”, sponsored by Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins and UpRiseHer Co-working!

We start the evening with some connecting and conversation at Social Enterprise Greenhouse (beverages and snacks provided) with a panel discussion about the power of bringing your dream to life as a business owner and then wrap things up with a pay-you-own-way cocktail at Xaco Taco (located across the street at 370 Richmond St. Providence, RI 02903 – no host bar).


There is metered parking on the street and it is also on a bus line. UPDATE: Parking is available in the lot at 10 Davol Square and across the street from the lot (see image below) – first come, first served. The nearest parking garage is located at South Street Landing Garage at 330 Eddy St, Providence, RI 02903.

The entrance to the building is located on the parking lot side of the building. Once you enter the building, turn right and you will see signage / door for SEG.

Our stellar panelists for the evening (see below for bios):

Von Marie Moniz

Charise Wilson

Michelle Girasole

Ruth DiGiovanni

Discussion moderated by:

Dennise Kowalczyk and Sandra Mazo


Von Marie Moniz:

Von Marie Moniz is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the region’s inaugural Hispanic Chamber. Concurrently, she holds the role of Program Experience Manager at Entrepreneurship for All’ EforAll’, a nonprofit organization dedicated to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through business classes and mentorship, fostering business initiation, growth, and transformation. Recognized for her contributions within the Hispanic Community and empowering women, Von Marie was nominated by State Rep. Tony Cabral and honored with the prestigious 2023 Latino Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a book, or catching up on her favorite shows.

Michelle Girasole:

Michelle is an award-winning author, innovator and entrepreneur. After a career providing marketing strategies and services to clients, she is now creating a series of mobile-app guided scavenger hunts and self-guided tours, called “Fresh Maps”. Her podcast, “Get F.R.E.S.H.” promotes food and recreational experiences, highlighting special guests with joyful conversations. Michelle is the co-author of the award-winning book, “The Sassy Ladies Toolkit for Startup Businesses” and a graduate of the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island, where she received her BS in Marketing and her MBA. She resides in Wickford, RI with her husband, Rich, empty-nesting with two college-aged children. She loves to cook, walk in the woods, travel, and sink into a good book! Connect with Michelle online:

Web: FreshMaps.US | FreshRebellion.com

Podcast: Spotify | Apple

IG: @SassyMichelleG | @Fresh.Maps

LI: MichelleGirasole

Ruth DiGiovanni:

Ruth DiGiovanni is a technology communications professional with over 20 years of experience. Her passion for educating the public about the latest advances in technology and the sciences drives what she does every day. Ruth is currently running two companies with her husband Zo. She’s head of marketing for Remi IT Solutions, a local IT services company supporting businesses throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And in 2021, Ruth and Zo founded RemiPBX, a cloud telephone company dedicated to helping local businesses provide a better customer experience using their reliable and affordable business voice service. Some of Ruth’s prior work endeavors included serving as the director of public relations at Roger Williams University and providing strategic consultation and communications support for countless early stage technology startups.

Charise Wilson:

Charise is the CEO and Founder of Workforce Ready Solutions, LLC, located in Northern RI. After nearly two decades of experience in higher education, she recognized the need to launch an employment solutions firm that could assist mid-career and executive professionals who were struggling to advance. Charise takes pride in helping individuals land jobs that were previously beyond their reach and her ability to coach businesses on effective employment and retention solutions.

Workforce Ready Solutions is a certified minority-owned, woman-owned small business that offers a variety of services including professional résumé writing, executive coaching, HR consulting, recruitment, and training solutions.

If you ask Charise, she would tell you that career services is not just a job for her, without a doubt, it is her “career calling.” Her enthusiasm for seeing people succeed is contagious and her relentless work ethic is second to none. She holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Her professional story also includes experience as an experiential learning subject matter expert, Adjunct Instructor, and work as a certified DISC practitioner.

Dennise Kowalczyk:

Dennise M. Kowalczyk is a 2nd Act Business Broad who is a business relationship consultant, a content creator, an actor, an aspiring filmmaker, and a world traveler. She lives a BIG LIFE and loves to inspire other women to live their biggest lives one small adventure at a time. She supports women entrepreneurs with making real connections by first setting up a powerful online presence and then by building out a referral process to connect with more clients. Because by creating a consistent online presence, you connect with clients who are looking for your services and when you create real connections, you are not investing in a transaction, but a relationship that will yield long term opportunities.

Learn more about Dennise at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmkowalczyk/

Sandra Mazo:

Sandra Mazo, is a seasoned professional with over 30 years of lending experience, whom recently transitioned to the City of Pawtucket. In her new role as the Economic Development Specialist, she focuses on driving commercial success, supporting businesses of all types, and spearheading city-wide economic development initiatives. Sandra’s bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, coupled with her cultural understanding, sets her apart in assisting the community. As a Mortgage Loan Officer in previous roles at The Washington Trust Company, Rhode Island Housing, and Bank of America, she played a pivotal role in guiding families through the home buying process. Sandra is an active member of various real estate associations and demonstrates her commitment to community involvement and giving back. She was recently appointed to the Women United Global Leadership Council. Born in Medellin, Colombia, Sandramoved to the US at the age of three, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College. Married and dedicated to her community, Sandra’s passion for helping others shines through her work and affiliations.

Carrie A. McPherson:

Carrie A. McPherson, Financial Advisor and Associate Vice President, joins us from BeaconPoint Wealth Advisors, a financial planning practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, located in Providence, RI. Carrie brings over 15 years of experience helping families and business owners build and grow wealth in order to better help them bring their dreams to reality. She specializes in working with women undergoing divorce, business owners and their employees, intergenerational planning, investment management, philanthropic giving strategies and special needs financial planning.

Learn more about Carrie at https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrieamcphersoncrpscdfa/

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