Catch the Wave 2021

12th Annual Virtual Conference

September 13-16, 2021
83
DAY
22
HRS
46
MIN
05
SEC

Presented by:
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!

Conference Highlights:

  • Welcome Reception
  • Keynote and Awards Luncheon
  • Pitch Competition
  • Virtual WBE Showcase
  • Matchmaker
  • Trailblazer Award honoring Lorraine Vega, Retired, Senior Vice President & Senior Program Officer, KeyBank Foundation
  • Informative, Relevant Workshops Geared Towards Women Business Owners

2021 ADDRESS KEYNOTE SPEAKER

LYDIA L. MIHALIK, DIRECTOR OF THE OHIO DEVELOPMENT SERVICES AGENCY

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.

JOIN US IN CONGRATULATING THIS YEAR'S
CATCH THE WAVE AWARDEES!

2021 WBEC ORV Trailblazer

LORRAINE VEGA
RETIRED
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER 
KEYBANK FOUNDATION

ALEXANDRIA JOHNSON BOONE
PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
GAP COMMUNICATIONS GROUP

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:

  • Corporation of the Year (Regional and National)
  • Corporate Advocate of the Year
  • Corporate "Done Deals" Award
  • WBE Volunteer of the Year
  • WBE Supplier of the Year
  • Advocate(s) of the Year per state
  • WBE Business-to-Business (B2B) Award

2021 WBENC WBE STAR

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.

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