Students from Montclair State, along with an alumna and staff member, attended the Nov. 14 Leading Women Entrepreneurs annual awards event, finding the gala to be an excellent venue for networking with some of the Garden State’s top women business owners.
Brittni Landers, a 2016 alumna of Montclair State with a business degree, said she was honored to be invited to the event.
“It was great to be able to network with some of the most powerful women in the greater New York area at their showcase,” said Landers, marketing coordinator at Vitamincandy. “The event itself was a true tribute to the entrepreneurial community— a community in which everyone cheers each other on and is proud of one another’s success.”
The annual LWE Top 25 Recognition Event honors 25 women entrepreneurs, as well as six intrapreneurs and two women at nonprofit organizations. See the full list of honorees. Linda Wellbrock, the CEO and founder of LWE, created the organization to recognize and showcase entrepreneurial excellence, service and leadership. The event was held at Liberty House in Jersey City.
Ashley Zahabian, a senior Economics major, said the event “allowed me to network with individuals both at the beginning phases of their business and some who have employed hundreds of people in several cities. These women had impacted both hundreds of people in and out of the U.S. in such diverse areas; it really proved that any type of business can work as long as you bring a large impact within that niche.”
Breanna Yepez, a senior Psychology major with a minor in Public Health, also found the event valuable. “I met amazing women and was so inspired by their stories.”
Montclair State attendees also included two members of Karuda, the all-women student team that won the university’s annual $10,000 pitch contest, TeleBrands Inventors Day for Aspiring Entrepreneurs. Sacha Vincent, a senior Finance major, said she and Christi Himiob made a connection at the event that could be useful for Karuda, a line of coconut-oil-based beauty products.
“It was very inspiring because I met a lot of women who were doing so much, and also willing to help us,” said Vincent.
Anne Murray, director of development at the Feliciano School of Business, said the event was a valuable experience for the students.
“Attending the Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Recognition event last night provided a great networking opportunity for students to meet successful, established entrepreneurs and business leaders who could share their experiences, provide insights into successful business practices and serve as mentors for our students and recent graduates,” Murray said.
As each entrepreneur was honored, a video created by Socialfix Media was shown highlighting the woman’s accomplishments. Landers said she was inspired by the videos, which included motivational quotes from each honoree about what makes each of them unstoppable. “The quote that stood out to me most, ‘I am unapologetically a dreamer,’ from Vonda McPherson of Vonda’s Kitchen,” Landers said.