Women business owners and leaders share success stories on how our small business classes and business counseling services empowered them


Carrie Wilson, Carrie Wilson Makeup

Carrie Wilson's business enjoyed a further boost two years ago when she connected with the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center.

“A friend who is heavily involved with JAX Chamber told me about the JWBC Success Circle, a mastermind group of female entrepreneurs that meets once a month in Ponte Vedra,” she said. “What a supportive group of women!”

Valerie Sprague, Blue Moon Estate Sales Jacksonville

Valerie Sprague took advantage of many JWBC programs, most notably completing its Entrepreneur Certificate Program by participating in four of its five programs, in her case: Venture Leadership, Customer Development, Financial Matters and Marketing Matters.

“I found pearls of wisdom in all of them, whether run by JWBC or outside speakers,” said Sprague, who is using that information to build her brand and manage her team of 14 employees.

Valerie // Headshot Mini
PaulineSevigny DedeSmith

Photo by Dede Smith

Pauline Sevigny, GRACE Aerospace

Pauline Sevigny sought the expertise of JAX Chamber and the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) to help her set and attain goals, and strategize growth opportunities.

She was accepted into JWBC’s then new Hyperconnected Mentoring program designed to help potential ATHENA participants get organized and set expectations for the more intense ATHENA program. Sevigny said it was a great springboard to the year-long ATHENAPowerLink program, from which she graduated in March.

Tracee Holzendorf, HP5 Consulting, LLC

Tracee Holzendorf, MSN, RN, attributes the success of her business development opportunities to the relationships, connections and mentorships she cultivated through the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center.

Across the board in all its programs, she has found JWBC to be the most supportive group of women she has ever encountered. “Everyone is interested in the success of one another, which is unusual,” she said. “I can pick up the phone and call anyone for advice or to network. I obtained two clients through my activities with JWBC.”

Holzendorf Tracee headshot
R Goodall photo

Rhonda Goodall, Rhonda Goodall Author / Frizzle Books

Rhonda Goodall credits the monthly JWBC Success Circle meetings with keeping her on task and providing peer support to keep her inspired.

“It is a wonderful group of trusting friends,” said Goodall, commending JWBC for focusing on women in business. “Every woman, no matter what career or position, can use encouragement. They really care about you.”

Tia Coleman, I Am The Prize LLC / The Sweetest Sisters

Tia Coleman said “Venture Leadership gave me confidence to delegate more, communicate more effectively with my team and strategize better with my team to come up with new ideas and implement them. They talked about innovative thinking, creating a winning work culture and sharing your stories to make an impact on others.”
Tia Coleman headshot
Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee, The Legal Department for Service Professionals

A business attorney for nearly 20 years, and owner of her own innovative law firm for seven years, Laurie Lee has had significant success in helping clients protect their businesses. When she was invited to participate in Jacksonville Women’s Business Center’s (JWBC) pilot program introducing cryptocurrency concepts early this year, she was skeptical and somewhat uninterested. JWBC persisted, she agreed, and now she’s all in. Lee is already implementing practices she learned from the course in her business.

Dionne Wellington, Icecapade Frozen Treats

Wellington started taking classes at JAX Chamber, after a friend's suggestion in 2018.
“I did not know one thing about business until I came to Jacksonville and connected with JAX Chamber and the JWBC,” Wellington said. “I did not know the terminology or what a business plan or business model were. They provided a wealth of information. I am so grateful for them.”
Dionne Wellington photo
Terry Hoffmann

Terry Hoffmann, Hoffmann Coaching

Hoffmann became involved with the JWBC when it was created in 2004 to advance the success of women entrepreneurs at every stage of business development. Four years later when she founded Hoffmann Coaching, LLC, she took advantage of JWBC’s educational and networking opportunities to help start a company that saw double-digit growth each of the first five years despite its launch during a recession.

Joani Maskell, Swimming Safari Swim School

Maskell, owner and founder of Swimming Safari Swim School, has been teaching swimming since she instructed neighbor kids in her family’s back yard pool as a preteen in her native New York. Her professional achievements have certainly prevented countless disasters by sharing skills that save lives.
Joani Maskell

Read more about how we are celebrating our local enterprising women and their successes.

I Am JWBC - Kathryn Murphy, Comfort Keepers

I Am JWBC - Pauline Sevigny, GRACE Aerospace