12th Annual Virtual Conference
Women's Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley
The Catch the Wave Regional Conference brings female entrepreneurs together to network, learn, and gain inspiration from each other. The Catch the Wave Regional Conference provides networking, training, and access to both women business owners and corporate members from across our region of Ohio, Kentucky & West Virginia. This year's conference will be a virtual experience drawing 500 WBEs from across the region. In addition, 50+ corporate buyers and supplier diversity teams.
Join the Women's Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) for the 12th Annual Catch the Wave Virtual Conference. You will leave this conference with inspiration and new tools that will make a difference in your personal and business growth. We look forward to seeing you virtually for an exciting 2021 Catch the Wave Virtual Conference!
Lydia L. Mihalik is the Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, which is responsible for investing more than $1 billion annually in communities, businesses, and individuals to contribute to a better life for all Ohioans.
Prior to her appointment by Governor DeWine, Director Mihalik served as the 55th Mayor of the City of Findlay in northwest Ohio. The first woman to hold the city’s top post, she led the revitalization of the city’s downtown, attracting new job-creators from around the world. Findlay has been recognized as a top micropolitan in the nation by Site Selection Magazine for economic development and job creation since 2013, winning the national award every year during Mihalik’s tenure.
Director Mihalik has a proven track record as an inclusive leader who brings people together to address large, complex issues. She served on the advisory board for the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, and she co-founded the Ohio Mayors Alliance, a coalition of the mayors of Ohio’s 30 largest cities.
Director Lydia L. Mihalik and her husband Drew live in Findlay with their three children: Joseph, Elizabeth, and Delaney.
For nearly fifty years, Lorraine has served in a variety of capacities to help create environments where individuals and families can flourish. In her most recent position as Senior Vice President and Senior Program Officer for KeyBank Foundation, she provided leadership and guidance for Key's senior leaders' board placements, employee giving programs, governance activities, and select community relationship profiles in Hispanic communities across the franchise. She oversaw philanthropic investments for Key's Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions and managed $59 million in grants leveraging the funds to support a myriad of education, civic, health, and human services programs.
Lorraine was recognized as the 2015 Woman of the Year by the Woman of Color of Foundation, 2015 MBE Urban Professional Award by the North Coast Minority Media and Diversity Chamber, a 2016 Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan by the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/ Latino Affairs, 2018 National Urban Fellows Distinguished Alumni Award, and a 2019 SMART Business Progressive Woman Award Winner. Currently, she is the Board Chair of Cleveland Clinic's Lutheran Hospital, Secretary of the Board of Directors of National Urban Fellows. She serves as a member of the Sullivan Scholars Foundation at the Cleveland Foundation and the American Jewish Committee Cleveland Isaiah Award Committee. Deeply committed to civic engagement in the community and the creation of opportunity for underserved communities, Lorraine encourages others to contribute their time, talent, and treasure to non-profit organizations dedicated to helping others reach their human potential.
Lorraine Vega will be recognized as this year's Trailblazer Award Luncheon during the Trailblazer Award Luncheon on Tuesday, September 14, from 12:15 pm to 2:00 pm. This segment will moderated by Alexandria Johnson Boone, President & Chief Executive Officer, Gap Communications Group.
WBEC ORV will also announce the following 2021 award winners during the Keynote and Award Luncheon on Wednesday, September 15, which includes:
GABRIELLE CHRISTMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, HUNTER INTERNATIONAL RECRUITING
WBEC ORV has selected Gabrielle Christman, President & CEO of Hunter International Recruiting, as our 2021 WBENC WBE Star, representing our region of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Gabrielle will be honored by WBENC and 13 other exemplary women business leaders at this year's Summit & Salute event in March. We'll also recognize Gabrielle during the Catch the Wave Conference.
A certified WBE since 2008, Gabrielle represents WBEC ORV on WBENC Forum and is currently Cleveland Forum Luncheon Co-Chair. Gabrielle has been recognized by WBEC ORV for her continued commitment to women's access to opportunities within Hunter's supply chain and community. Gabrielle is passionate about increasing access to STEM role models for the co-founder of SPARK Cleveland. A non-profit focused on providing role models to girls in STEM.
What people have to say about Catch the Wave
"I've been attending Catch the Wave since the first conference. The session topics are always relevant and the networking opportunities have been great; even after transitioning to an online environment. In fact, in 2020 I was able to generate business opportunities much like a face-to-face conference. The best part though is the sisterhood; it is the main reason I continue to support and attend Catch the Wave; we are truly family."
Rea N Waldon, PhD
President, KDDK Legacy Group LLC
"The education, the networking, the speakers, the opportunity for business, the camaraderie, great fun and more are all reasons to join us in September at the 2021 Catch the Wave."
Owner, Shellee Fisher Photography & Design
"I highly recommended Catch the Wave to anyone in the region who owns a WBE or is involved with supplier diversity. Since I began attending in 2015, the speakers have been excellent. You will leave with ideas and tools that you can immediately apply to your company. Even during last year’s virtual conference, I was able network with other WBEs and corporate members, and I gained new clients."
Marisa Midkiff Neal
President, MMN Consulting, LLC
"Catch the Wave has been a wonderful experience each year that I have attended whether in person or virtually. I gain so much knowledge from the speakers and the discussions. The opportunity to engage with other WBEs has been invaluable. There is such great comradery and a genuine drive to help each other succeed. The access to our corporate partners has also been key to our growth and development. Thank you WBEC ORV for your dedication and excellence in providing such a stellar event!"
K. Zulene Adams
CEO, Z Promotions
"The best part of Catch the Wave 2020 was the last networking meeting! So good to see new WBE's and seasoned WBE's help one another!"
President and Co-Founder, Allied Shipping and Packaging Supplies, Inc. and Tempagenix, Inc
"Catch the Wave is the perfect size and place to meet and network with WBE's and Corporate reps, hone your pitch, learn things to grow your business, explore how to get more out of your certification and much more. I have such fond memories and relationships going all the way back to my first CTW. Nurturing those relationships has led to clients and suppliers to grow my business. Though I would love for us to be in person this year, it is a privilege to participate and support this network from the comfort of our homes!"
Janet Kendall White
Founder & CEO, Berkshire Group, Inc.
"The Annual Catch the Wave Conference is a significant opportunity to network with corporates, your fellow WBE’s and potential new WBE’s. The networking, camaraderie, and lead generation for new business makes CTW a must-attend event."
Principal Founder and President, CENTRACOMM
"I attend Catch the Wave to better myself by being around empowered people, great content, business opportunities and self-stretching activities. CTW has brought me personal growth, business growth and friendships that are better than any others."
President, Evolution creative solutions
"ORV’s Catch the Wave is one of my favorite conferences… from the Pitch Breakfast to the WBE Showcase to the Matchmakers, there are so many opportunities to highlight your business!"
CEO & Co-founder of MEDIASCRIPT
"As a business owner, The Catch The Wave Conference is one of the best events I have attended. It offers professional development, business networking opportunities, time for corporate engagement, education on supplier diversity topics, and a time to truly connect across our RPO. As a member of WBECORV, I am proud to be part of such a professional, informative, and action oriented organization that daily displays its commitment to the development, education and growth of women business owners! I look forward to this year’s CTW September 13-16, 2021."
President/Sr. Consultant, AllMac & Associates, LLC
"Catch the Wave provides an amazing opportunity for WBEs and Corporates in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia to connect at each component of the event, to learn at educational workshops and to engage with other WBEs, Corporates and community members throughout the program. Being able to do all three at one event allows for WBEs to be inspired and educated to set up their business for growth and success! I enjoy connecting at Catch the Wave to further grow my own network as well as to support women owned businesses."
Stephanie M Burton
Supplier Diversity Manager, Toyota