09.28.17 – Annual Meeting and Board Installation

You are invited to join NAWBO South Jersey at our Annual Meeting on September 28, 2017. Learn more about the local chapter, our partners, activities and accomplishments from the past year. We are excited to have Camden Mayor Dana Redd as this year’s keynote speaker, who will be introduced by another special guest, SJ Magazine Editor, Marianne Aleardi. We will also induct our new board and award our extraordinary chapter members at this Annual Meeting.

Mayor Dana Redd is a proven and experienced leader with over 20 years’ service in the public sector. She is known as a forward-thinking professional with a demonstrated ability to lead organizational change. In fact, SJ Magazine recognized Ms. Redd as “The woman warrior who just might change Camden.”

Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017
Time: 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Location: Maggiano’s Little Italy, Cherry Hill Mall, 2000 New Jersey 38 #1180, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Cost: $39 NAWBO Members; $49 Non-Members. Price includes a three-course lunch.

EARLY BIRD PRICING! $35 NAWBO Members; $45 Non-Members. Register by August 7 to save.

Questions? Contact info@nawbosouthjersey.org.

TO REGISTER: https://nawbosjannual2017.eventbrite.com

About our keynote speaker, Dana Redd, Mayor of Camden, New Jersey

Dana Redd has worked in various positions from local government to the New Jersey State Senate. As former City Council representative, and Chair of the Housing Authority, Ms. Redd worked to secure the city’s third HOPE VI designation. The investment of $122 million helped transform an entire community with new public housing, with expanded access to healthcare, and, provided community supportive services for residents to reach self-sufficiency. As former State Senator, Ms. Redd was a member of Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Joint Committee on the Public Schools, and Urban Affairs Committee. She sponsored and negotiated the passage of legislation creating the Homeless Trust Fund, and $3.9 billion in new school construction funding for New Jersey Abbott Districts.

As Mayor, she successfully transitioned the city from state takeover to local control. Ms. Redd immediately launched a capacity building retreat for her executive staff and department heads focused on the “change model.” The initiative, not only, allowed her to set the vision, mission and goals for transforming the city, but also, fostered team building to increase service delivery and improve consumer satisfaction. While 2012 began the transition to a Camden County Police Department for public safety, in 2013, Ms. Redd lead a full state intervention for the public-school system to improve academic outcomes for urban youth. The state and local partnership is focused on creating the “cradle to college to career” pipeline in education offered through traditional, charter, and Renaissance schools. Most notably, in 2014, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) published an issuer credit rating of BBB+. S & P recognized the fiscal controls the Redd Administration instituted to improve and stabilize the finances of the city. This was a great achievement since the city had not received an investment grade rating in more than 15 years.

Dana Redd is a graduate of Rutgers: The State University – Camden Campus with a B.S. degree in Business Studies. She earned CEUs at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning/Public Policy, as well as, at the CSC/ERC Robert J. Thompson Eastern Leadership Academy. She also has received her M.A. degree in Human Services Administration from Lincoln University.

Ms. Redd is an active member of the Rutgers-Camden Board of Directors, the Joint Board of Governors for Rowan-Rutgers University, and the Co-Chairman of Cooper’s Ferry Board of Directors. In addition to her business acumen and volunteerism, Ms. Redd fosters and values the importance of civic engagement, grassroots organizing and responsible redevelopment. She is a motivational speaker for interfaith organizations, professional women’s groups and chambers of commerce.

To date, Dana Redd continues to tackle the tough issues in Camden by making difficult choices and pursuing sustainable solutions. She strongly believes that a holistic approach must be undertaken to rebuild a city and to create a more vibrant, thriving urban core. A results-driven leader, Ms. Redd has a unique ability to inspire hope, to effect change, and to transform organizations. Dana Redd clearly understands the enormous responsibility that comes with leadership.

About our guest presenter, Marianne Aleardi, SJ Magazine

Marianne Aleardi is publisher and editor-in-chief of SJ Magazine, a lifestyle publication focusing on the people and places of Southern New Jersey. Ms. Aleardi purchased the magazine in 2005. At that time, SJ Magazine published 88 pages and distributed 30,000 issues. Its full time staff was two people. Today, the publication averages 112 pages, mails to 54,000 households and has 10 employees. Most recent findings from The Media Audit name SJ Magazine the most read magazine in South Jersey. Marianne Aleardi is also a NAWBO South Jersey member.

Meet the 2017-2018 NAWBO South Jersey Board of Directors

Anne Caruso, President

Katie Walsh, Immediate Past President

Fran Davis, Executive Director

Chelsea Carter, Treasurer

Kate Dohn, Co-Director of Corporate Partnership

Sharon Dunkel, Co-Director of Corporate Partnership

Lynda Furnari, Co-Director of Professional Development

Mariel Giletto, Director of Public Policy

Lanette Keeton, Director of Public Relations

Meagan Mackerer, Director of Marketing

Dana Romano, Co-Director of Membership

Jennifer Starkey, Co-Director of Membership

Tracy Wolak, Co-Director of Professional Development

Thank you to our corporate partners and event sponsors:

Gold Partners








Silver Partners





Bronze Partners












Networks Plus




South Jersey NAWBO Heads to DC

Last month three of our South Jersey chapter members joined approximately 70 other NAWBO members from chapters across the country for NAWBO Advocacy Day in Washington DC.

In attendance were:

  • Fran Davis, Executive Director for NAWBO SJ and Owner of The Flavorful Fork
  • Jennifer Starkey, Co-Chair of Membership and Relationship Manager for TD Bank
  • Mariel Giletto, Director of Public Policy and Corporate Attorney for Parker McCay

This annual NAWBO National event orchestrated by Joy Lutes allows women business owners and corporate partners to connect with their peers as well as elected officials and public policy experts in the nation’s capital.

Following our day on the Hill, Fran Davis and Jennifer Starkey stayed on for the first annual NAWBO Academy for Public Service which allows NAWBO members access to the information and experts they need to pursue their paths into public service.

To learn more about Advocacy Day and the NAWBO Academy for Public Service, click here.

To learn more about NAWBO’s 2017 Public Policy agenda, click here.

Member Spotlight: Mariel Giletto

For July’s Member Spotlight, we are featuring Mariel Giletto, a corporate attorney of Parker McCay P.A. and chair of the corporate and business law department.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business:

I am a corporate attorney currently serving as the chair of Parker McCay P.A.’s corporate and business law department.  I was raised by a multi-generational family of women entrepreneurs. Growing up in a small business household and being raised by working mothers and grandmothers influenced my decision to become a corporate attorney.  It also gives me a more holistic understanding of my clients’ challenges. My practice includes the representation of a variety of business models, including small start-up companies, non-profits, small business, family organizations, as well as large, multinational, publicly traded corporations.

Do you have a business tip or tool that has helped you in your business to share?

Never say “No” or “I can’t.”  Clients want someone that can get the job done.  Working hard pays off in the end and your client will appreciate the effort.

Do you have a quote to share and inspire other members?

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”  Ariana Huffington

What is your go to business, mindset or productivity book that has helped you in your life and business that you’d like to share?

I see failure as part of learning therefore I am not afraid to fail. Regardless of the outcome, each decision you make moves you forward. You are making the best decision you can at the time given the information available to you.  So, you should feel confident in that decision. Even if it turns out to be the wrong decision, you took action, you can learn from it, and you can move on.  Too often, people freeze when making decisions, which limits their ability to move forward.  Failing to move forward stifles your personal and professional growth.


Q & A with Incoming President Anne Caruso

Q&A With Anne Caruso, Incoming President of NAWBO SJ

NAWBO SJ is excited to announce that Anne Caruso of Networks Plus will be the new President of our chapter beginning July of 2017. Since its inception in 2003, Anne Caruso and her husband, Jerry, have grown Networks Plus from a small IT business to one of the region’s most sought-after providers of digital services with expanded services including VoIP and website design and consulting. This past February, Networks Plus was awarded Company of the Year by NAWBO South Jersey at the annual Beyond the Glass Ceiling Awards Gala & Dinner.

Prior to becoming President, Anne served on the board as Director of Technology. Here we spoke to Anne about her new opportunity to serve NAWBO South Jersey and the women entrepreneurs in our region as well as why other women should get involved:

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a woman business owner?

Work-life balance is probably the biggest. The life of a woman can be quite the juggling act. We’re the CEOs of our home and business. We are 24/7.  This past year I cared for my newborn granddaughter full-time at my office while running my business. I knew Networks Plus could handle it because I knew the caliber of the team I had in place, but I didn’t tell anyone for fear we’d be passed over for opportunities because of how it would be perceived. Thanks to the support of the two young women on my team, I’ve had my most successful year yet. As they say, “never underestimate the power of a woman!”

What advice would you give to a woman entrepreneur launching her first business?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Make yourself visible in your business community.  You don’t always need to be the one talking – listen and learn from the leaders that surround you. Joining NAWBO offers many tools for a woman entrepreneur who’s just getting started.

Why did you decide to join NAWBO and why do you remain an active member today?

Women entrepreneurs encounter challenges that are unique and different from men. I became a member of NAWBO because I was seeking a group that served women and offered support for these unique challenges I was facing. NAWBO SJ has provided me with that support as well as the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded women who are truly a sisterhood. Because of this organization, I have been blessed with the good-fortune to learn from so many amazing women business leaders in this region. And we have a lot of fun!

What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs thinking about joining NAWBO leadership?

Jump in with both feet. Don’t worry about failing – your NAWBO sisters won’t let you. The mission of NAWBO is to help other women grow their businesses.

What do you hope to achieve during your tenure as President of NAWBO SJ?

First and foremost, I would like to change the perception of NAWBO SJ from just another “networking group” to what is really is: an elite sisterhood of women entrepreneurs who propel each other to greater success. The demographics of our chapter range from bankers to chefs to home healthcare owners, attorneys, marketing experts and even a Rita’s Water Ice woman-preneur. And there is absolutely no competition within the group. I want the women entrepreneurs of South Jersey to recognize the great value of this organization and to be lining up to join. I would also like to encourage younger women in our community to join through our partnerships with Girl Scouts of America and Alice Paul Institute.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” – Maya Angelou

People often say they’re going to do something but then don’t follow through. I feel my success stems from my actions; from participating and contributing for the greater good. It goes back to the NAWBO mission to be a servant leader. It comes back to you in abundance. I also feel that mentoring our young people is so important. We need to recognize not only that they are our future, but that they mentor us as well.

If you could change one thing to open more doors for women entrepreneurs, what would it be and why?   

If I could wave a magic wand and change one thing it would be wage equality, as well as increased funding for new businesses. Sadly, it all starts with money. I’ve known many potential women entrepreneurs who had great ideas but were unable to see them through to fruition because of lack in financial resources.