INSPIRE Speakers

Leaders who are using their wisdom and vision to empower women in business.

Panel: Government Resources for Small Businesses in Washington State

Cami Feek, Keynote Panel Introduction

Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner

Cami Feek was appointed commissioner for the Employment Security Department (ESD) by Governor Jay Inslee in June 2021. Prior to that, she served as ESD’s acting commissioner, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer.

Ajsa Suljik

Regional Labor Economist

Ajsa Suljic has been with the Employment Security Department’s Labor Market and Performance Analysis Division for the past 12 years. As the regional labor economist, Ajsa provides labor market information and analysis to local economic planners, administrators, businesses and residents.

Alice Barney

WOTC & Federal Bonding State Coordinator

Alice Barney has been with the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) for over 10 years, and has been with the WOTC/Federal Bonding unit for over 5 years.

Ayanna Colman

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director, Washington State Employment Security Department

Ayanna Colman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her Juris Doctorate degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. She has worked for state government for ten years, beginning her state service with the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Child Support. In 2017, she joined Results Washington and transitioned into the role of Senior Performance Advisor, working closely with the Governor’s Office and his policy advisors on issues affecting Washingtonians. In June 2019, she moved over to the Office of Financial Management, State Human Resources, to become the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Innovations Manager.

Donna Mack

ESD Rapid Response Manager

Donna Mack is the Rapid Response Manager with the WA State Employment Security Dept. Her career in Workforce Development spans 25+ years.

Rafael Colon


Rafael Colón is the Business Outreach Manager for the Employment Security Department. Rafael has over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur (sole-proprietor) along with his government management experience at both the Employment Security Department and the Department of Personnel (now Department of Enterprise Services).

Breakout Speakers & Sessions

Adam Wheeler, WSECU

WSECU Small Business Loan Officer

Good afternoon! I am a long term Thurston County resident with over 15 years of banking experience. I have held every position in the branch from teller to manager. I made the jump to commercial lending in 2021.

Bethany Hannah

Executive Director, American Wildfire Experience

Bethany Hannah, is the Executive Director of the American Wildfire Experience and a former program manager for a nonprofit urban sawmill in Sacramento, CA, called Urban Wood Rescue.

Elle Ballard

Certified Leadership Coach and Personal Brand Coach

Elle Ballard has built a successful career in marketing, helping companies promote their products nationally and internationally. Today, Elle is a certified Leadership and Personal Brand Coach, best-selling Author, and speaker.

Jenefeness Tucker

Certified Business Advisor & Life Coach

Award-Winning Coach, Visionary, Educator, Author, Entrepreneur and Speaker, Jenefeness was recently recognized by the Washington State University as the 2021 MLK Jr Distinguished Service Award recipient for displaying altruism and being dedicated to community.

Jennifer Dye

Certified Business Advisor

Jennifer Dye, MBA is a Certified Business Advisor in the South Puget Sound. Don't miss her session, "Should I be a Certified Woman-Owned Business?" at this year's INSPIRE conference.

LaVonne Shields

Accounting Strategist & Business ACCOUNTabiity Coach

LaVonne Shields is the CEO of Management Consultants of America. As an Accounting Strategist and Business ACCOUNTability Coach, she specializes in training and consulting business owners to help them gain peace of mind and relieve stress associated with running a company, all while improving the bottom line.

Lynn Power


Lynn Power spent much of her 30-year career running and transforming agency brands. Lynn has expertise in transforming organizations from top to bottom – including capabilities, organizational structure, talent and culture.

Melissa Lafayette

Field Director, National Development Council

Melissa LaFayette is a Field Director with the National Development Council. She provides technical assistance to communities across the Pacific Northwest in the areas of economic development finance, small business development, and affordable housing.

Michelle Pope

Women in the Makerspace

Michelle Pope is the Executive Director of the Lacey MakerSpace, a 4,000-square-foot space with a variety of industry equipment for makers and artists to utilize. Before joining the MakerSpace leadership team, Michelle served as the Visual Arts Operations Manager at the Evergreen State College for 11 years, running the arts studio programs and working closely with developing artists

Micki Peak


Susan Gates

The WMarketplace

Susan Gates is part of the powerhouse team behind WMarketplace, an economic engine for women that enables them to shop their values, by purchasing from women- owned businesses, professional services, gender-balanced national brands, and engage in community support of women and girls.

Yến Huỳnh

City of Olympia Councilmember, Equity and Social Justice Consultant for Washington State Dept. of Corrections

Olympia Councilmember and Department of Corrections Equity and Social Justice Consultant Yến Huỳnh is an accredited Certified Diversity Executive skilled at managing large-scale diversity initiatives for organizational equity and inclusivity.

Naomi Sky, Host

WCWB Program Manager

Naomi is the Program Director for the Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB.) She brings a diverse background of education, small business, management, and marketing experience to her work at WCWB, and has grown with the organization through years of service.

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