Women of Color Business Summit Speakers & Session Leaders

The 2023 CWE Women of Color Business Summit Team is proud to present this year’s speakers. Industry leaders and experts have volunteered their time to share content on subjects that matter to today’s entrepreneurs and business professionals.

Meghan Cunningham

Meghan CunninghamCertification Manager, Center for Women & Enterprise

Meghan Cunningham joined the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) in November 2020. She is the Certification Manager on CWE’s Supplier Diversity Team and oversees all applicants going through the WBENC certification process. She is a former employee of a woman-owned business and is passionate about helping women explore what certification can do for their business.

Jerry Epps

Jerry EppsDirector of Vendor Diversity, Babson College

Jerry Epps is currently the Director of Vendor Diversity at Babson College and has been there since August 2021. Jerry has over 35+ years of Supply Chain Management experience with direct involvement in Capital equipment purchases and program management. His work has been focused on successfully transforming organizational culture toward integrating the review of corporate values of diversity and multiculturalism, analyzing, coordinating, and communicating the development of mutually beneficial contracts and arrangements with suppliers. In his prior role as the Supplier Diversity Program Manager/Capital Equipment Buyer at Boston Children’s Hospital, Jerry created the A.C.E. Supplier Diversity Program; A. Actively seeks to attract qualified diverse businesses, C. Commit to increasing opportunities for diverse suppliers, E. Educate and support supplier diversity within our community. In this role, he was able to achieve doubled investments in Tier 1 spending from 6 million to 12 million in one year.

In his current role at Babson College, he is responsible for overseeing the strategy, implementation, and management of supplier diversity activities. By cultivating strong relationships with key stakeholders to expand and diversify supplier networks, Jerry employs a leadership approach that is intentional toward guiding and mentoring teams to ensure optimal efficiency and productivity at the college. Thus far, he has developed databases, prepared periodical reports for senior management, designed protocols, policies, and governed diverse administration apropos to compliance and proactive oversight.

Jerry Epps is a Certified Supplier Diversity Professional through ASDP (Alliance of Supplier Diversity Professionals). Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors for GNEMSDC (Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council) and is CO-Chairperson for the Education Industry Group for NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council). He is an active member of the TBC (The Boston Consortium) Procurement and Supplier Diversity Committee and has been recently asked to serve on the Northeastern University Supplier Diversity Advisory Council, which has recently received a three-year grant from the Kaufman Foundation on how to promote supplier diversity in higher education.

Betty Francisco

Betty FranciscoCEO, Boston Impact Initiative

Betty joined as CEO of Boston Impact Initiative (BII) in 2021. She is a business executive, impact investor, and community leader with more than 25 years of experience. She is known as a powerful convener and changemaker. In 2022, Boston Magazine named Betty as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Boston and the Boston Business Journal named her as a 2020 Power 50 – Extraordinary Year Extraordinary People honoree. She is the co-founder of Amplify Latinx, a social venture that’s building Latino economic and political power in Massachusetts. Before joining BII, Betty was the General Counsel at Compass Working Capital where she oversaw its legal affairs, compliance, and risk management. She serves on the Boards of Directors of The Boston Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Beth Israel Lahey Health, and Roxbury Community College. Betty obtained her JD and MBA from Northeastern University, and BA in History from Bard College.


Vicki Gray

Vicki GrayCEO and Founder, New Chapter Home Improvement, LLC

Vicki Gray is a natural business leader, team builder, community enthusiast, and motivational speaker with over 10 years of experience in the construction industry. Since launching New Chapter HI Services (NCHI), in 2013, Vicki has spent most of her time nurturing NCHI’s vision and mission; to be the “go to” paint remodeling & maintenance company for homeowners, building owners, and facility managers that treasure quality workmanship and peace of mind. Very few contractors can get the work done in a way that does not make the customer hate the journey. NCHI has invested in building and implementing systems to ensure operational excellence and complete customer satisfaction. Under Vicki’s leadership, NCHI, the company has achieved numerous awards, including the 2023 WBE Stars award in consecutive years. Vicki is a mother of 2 wonderful children, an avid humanitarian who contributes her time and skill as a motivational speaker, shaping the way young women see themselves as leaders and inspiring teens to reach heights they never thought possible.

Gita Iyer

Gita IyerExecutive Coach, Majira Project

Gita Iyer is a seasoned Leadership Transformation and Business Coach, known for her collaborative approach in guiding entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and non-profit leaders to reach new heights of effectiveness and fulfillment in their professional and personal spheres.

With a deep-seated passion for empowering women, Gita partners with women to uncover aspirations, overcome obstacles, and nurture unique strengths for success both in their careers and personal lives. She firmly believes in the innate potential within each individual to elevate their lives to unprecedented levels of achievement and significance. With certifications in leadership and business coaching, as well as mental fitness coaching, Gita helps shape leaders who are resilient, collaborative and excel in performance. 

Gita serves on numerous nonprofit boards.  For 12 years she served as the founding Board Chair of Horizons at Dedham Country Day, an academic enrichment program addressing achievement gaps for students in Dedham and Boston.  She stays involved with that board and is also the Founding Board President of Horizons Greater Boston, a regional chapter aimed at broadening the organization's impact by serving more students in the Greater Boston area.  She is also on the New England Advisory Board for the American India Foundation.

Prior to coaching, Gita had a consulting career spanning over 25 years at Accenture, spearheading extensive projects and leading substantial teams in Fortune 500 companies across diverse industries. Gita has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and an MS from Boston University. In her spare time, Gita enjoys dancing!


Juliette C. Mayers

Juliette C. MayersFounder and CEO, Inspiration Zone LLC

Juliette C. Mayers (May-erz) is the founder and CEO of Inspiration Zone LLC. She is a highly respected diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategist, executive coach, networking expert, and host of Entering the Inspiration Zone Podcast

She has worked with some of the most respected brands, including TJX, Johnson & Johnson, State Street, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Juliette is known for her holistic approach to DEI and leverages her strategic networking expertise to help her clients achieve tangible results. She is the author of three books: The Guide to Strategic Networking, A Black Woman's Guide to Networking, and her latest book, Strategic Networking 2.0: Harness the Power of Connection and Inclusion for Business Success. 

Special Note: All conference participants will receive a copy of Juliette’s latest book, Strategic Networking 2.0: Harness the Power of Connection and Inclusion for Business Success, thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA.  Juliette will also be doing a book signing at the conference.

Aliana Piñeiro

Aliana PinieroImpact Director, Boston Impact Initiative

As impact director, Aliana works with BII’s portfolio companies to effectively measure and manage their impact. She is interested in how impact investing can evolve to become more just, equitable, and inclusive. Before joining BII, she worked as a researcher at the Global Impact Investing Network publishing practitioner-oriented research for impact investors around the world. Previously, she was an impact evaluator for organizations operating in Latin America, including  RUNA, a social enterprise in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Originally from Boston, she began her career in asset management, spending several years at ClearBridge Investments in New York. She received an MA in International Affairs from The New School and a BA in International Relations from Boston University.

Liseth Velez

Liseth VelezFounder & CEO, LJV Development

Liseth's journey to becoming a distinguished US Veteran of the Air National Guard and the visionary founder of LJV, is a true embodiment of the American dream. As an immigrant, she learned at an early age to transform challenges into opportunities.

Through deployments spanning the globe and her role in projects for the 102nd Civil Engineering Squadron, Liseth fostered invaluable connections with esteemed general contractors and honed her prowess in risk management, compliance, budgets, and scheduling. It was her unwavering commitment to excellence and her mastery of risk management and compliance that paved the way for her to establish LJV.

Liseth is a living testament to the force of determination, skill, and visionary leadership. In an industry defined by the trifecta of relationships, budgets, and compliance, her journey serves as an inspiration, underscoring the heights that can be reached through unwavering dedication and strategic acumen.

Kimberly E. Zouzoua

VP Strategic Partnerships, Center for Women & Enterprise

Kimberly Zouzoua is an accomplished non-profit executive with 20+ years of experience leading high-level operations, planning, and development functions for a diverse range of businesses and philanthropic organizations. Throughout her career, she has been recognized for her ability to launch innovative programs that have consistently helped organizations construct and implement strategic plans, expand their reach, achieve financial stability, and create a strong and sustainable company culture.

She is a highly sought-after speaker and consultant in the areas of youth leadership development, strategic business planning, and organizational development. She has presented to a diverse range of institutions including: Youthbuild Providence, Beijing +15 Massachusetts Women’s Summit, Northeast Computing Program Conference (NERCOMP), Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, Massasoit Community College, and Wellesley University.

Kimberly has a Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University, a Bachelor of Science in Management and an Associate of Science in Finance and Investments both from Johnson and Wales University. Additionally, she is Chair of the Brockton Commission on Women’s Issues, President of the Psi Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; sits on the leadership committee for the Women of the Harvard Club and is a member of over a dozen professional organizations and sits on numerous boards. 

Kimberly enjoys Intercultural Learning and dialogue. She has traveled across the world visiting Africa, Central America, China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Europe.