Join us on October 29 for Woman Entrepreneur's Exchange featuring WBE-to-WBE speed mentoring sessions.  The event provides an opportunity for prospective WBEs and currently certified members to learn how to utilize certification to elevate their businesses. Each mentor will also be able to share knowledge about her specific industry and areas of expertise. 

Date: Tuesday, October 29

Location: Austin Community College- Eastview Campus 

Click to register.


Learn about each of our mentors her areas of expertise below.

Michelle Ray,  CEO, Absolute Facility Solutions
  • Michelle Ray has more than 20 years of experience in management. She has a background in architecture and facility management and is expert at working with industry specific software and implementations. In addition, she has served as a technical consultant, solutions architect, and technical lead for clients in healthcare, higher education, state and federal agencies, and various commercial industries. During her career, Ms. Ray has been a project controls manager, IT Manager for a government facilities management department, managed multiple contracts and business development. This breadth of experience allows her to offer strategic planning advice to her clients to improve their processes and increase productivity. In her role as CEO and president of AFS, she is responsible for client satisfaction, providing on-site training and support, and ensuring that projects are completed on time and on budget.

Areas of Expertise: Project/Program/Portfolio Management, Software Evaluation & Recommendation, RFPs and Bidding, Managing Diverse Teams

Joleen Goronkin,  President, People & Performance Strategies
  • Joleen is a high energy, passionate human resource consultant, speaker and facilitator engaging her clients and delivering quality sessions with actionable takeaways. She brings over 25 years of experience identifying top talent, cultivating successful teams and developing executive leaders in the hospitality and foodservice industries. Her passion for leadership and years of experience in the industry inspired her to establish a company, People & Performance Strategies, where she can lend her talent and expertise to companies looking to invest in their most valuable asset: people. Joleen's broad experience, ranging from her work as CEO of the Elliot Leadership Institute, a nonprofit organization providing leadership training solutions to foodservice industry professionals, to her role as Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Training for Famous Dave’s of America, has given her the unique perspective and background to help organizations realize and reach their full potential. With her career beginning in operations, Joleen's earliest roles in the industry gave (and continues to give) her keen insight to hourly employees and their impact on the guest experience. This experience along with deep professional insights as a human resource leader and executive coach gives her the capacity to provide real solutions to her clients.

Areas of expertise: Employee Engagement, Workplace Assessments, Employee Training and Development, Executive Leadership/Coaching, Building Successful Teams, Organizational Effectiveness

Marie McGrath,  CEO, Demand Lighting
  • Marie’s experience from multiple aspects of business allow her to set strategic vision and inspire her team leaders to drive an organization to scalable success. McGrath had experience at Fortune 500 companies working directly with Executive Management. McGrath earned her JD from the University of Houston, MBA Finance from Pace University and BS Marketing from SUNY Buffalo. She currently serves on the Women's Business Council- Southwest's Austin Committee and Board of Directors. She is also a National Forum representative for the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

Areas of Expertise: Operations Management, Strategic Planning & Partnerships, P&L Management and Budgeting

Darlene Templeton,  CEO, Templeton & Associates
  • Darlene is the CEO and founder of Templeton & Associates. She is a professional speaker, certified executive coach, business strategist consultant, trainer and author. Darlene specializes in leadership and transformation for corporations and professionals, specifically for those who want to make a greater impact personally and professionally.She held multiple management and leadership positions during her career at IBM.She brings her 36 years of experience at IBM, to her work and her clients, and provides a level of mastery that is extraordinary. Darlene’s unique combination of extensive corporate experience, her own personal career journey, and her successful coaching and speaking business have given her the ability to work with individuals, small businesses and Fortune 100 companies to help them define their goals, enhance their performance and put an action plan in place to achieve the results they desire. Darlene is the founder and Chief Leader of the AMAZING Women Alliance, a group of high achieving women who meet monthly to inspire, motivate and support each other to achieve their goals.The AMAZING Women Leaders program is asix-month results drivenleadership development and coaching program designed for professional women who are committed to accelerate, accomplish and achieve their goals bothpersonally and professionally.You can build more confidence, develop business and leadership strategies and implement your action plans to achieve your goals and get the results that you desire. Darlene is the Co-VP of Career Development and established the Mentoring Program for the Austin Human Resource Managers Association (AHRMA), Texas Women in Business (TWIB) and several other associations.She also volunteers for Dress for Success and other local charities.She has co-authored three books, The Unstoppable Women’s Guide to Emotional Well Being, “The Success Guide for The Unstoppable Entrepreneur”, and “Behind Her Brand”.

Areas of expertise: Women's Leadership/Professional Development, Executive Leadership, Public Speaking, Business Consulting

Andrea Tsakanikas,  President,
  • For over three decades Andrea has been involved in the property and facility management industry. In the group travel industry, most companies have a fiduciary duty to the owners of the hotels and facilities. Andrea’s vision was to launch an organization that would focus on the customer side of lodging, which include governmental and commercial clients from a variety of industries. Over the four years in business, has served 1000’s of client rooms per night, launched a sourcing platform called ECrewTravel, which to date has over 200,000 out of network facilities. Additionally, the organization has developed a crew travel and logistics software and mobile application which is available for licensing by travel management firms and clients with their in- house travel departments. Memberships & Community Service: Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)- National Forum Representative, WBCS– Austin Committee & Board Member, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance - Member, Florida Transportation Builder’s Association, Career Source – Start Up Now Mentor.

Areas of expertise: Strategic Planning, Team Building, Project Management, Start Ups

Patti Winstanley,  President & Chief Relationship Officer, Winstanley Consultants Group
  • Patti is a visionary leader and experienced business development professional with proven results in relationship building, public speaking, business processes, licensing, certification, leadership, sales, strategy, profitability, and growth. She is passionate about coaching people and businesses to grow. Called “The Connectanator” by those that know her, she has helped people and businesses of all sizes build relationships to grow their sales channels, community partners navigate their procurement networks to increase opportunities for their constituency, and match corporations with reliable vendors that meet their procurement needs and goals. She is a staunch supporter young people finding opportunities and education having served on the Austin ISD Early College High School Community Advisory Committee as Co-Chair for over 10 years, including the addition of the college credit program Patti has built a network that she has used to mentor and connect certified and small businesses to corporations, to the government and to each other across the US and Canada.

Areas of expertise: Relationship Building, Supplier Diversity, Business Development, Certifications