We could not be more excited to announce the new Fairfax Chapter of AWE, and to welcome the AWEsome Ashley Bernardi, founder of Nardi Media, as chief inspiration officer!
AWE Fairfax welcomes women business owners from Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Springfield, Burke and Clifton.
And this is just the beginning: We have awesome leaders ready to start new chapters in DC, Bethesda and Tysons/Vienna this fall too — look for announcements about those first meetings in October coming soon!
The first AWE Fairfax meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 20th, 6 – 8 pm at Ashley’s beautiful Fairfax home. AWE founders Karen Bate and Evelyn Powers will speak briefly about what membership in this growing organization entails, but as at our Arlington meetings, mostly everyone will enjoy some snacks and drinks, connect with one another and have some laughs. Because busy women entrepreneurs sometimes just need a little fun!
If you have an awesome friend in Fairfax and its environs, please spread the word! They can get on the evite list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also learn more about Ashley and the new chapter by visiting the AWE Fairfax page here. Thank you — and keep being awesome!
Welcome! My name is Ashley Bernardi, and I am the Fairfax Chapter Leader for Awesome Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). I am thrilled and honored to be launching AWE’s Fairfax Chapter, and cannot wait to meet and connect with all of the trailblazing women business owners in this area.
I am also Founder & Publicity Director for Nardi Media LLC, a full-service media relations firm that specializes in television, radio, print, and online placements for a variety of clients. I launched my business in 2015, from my basement that I shared with my kids as their playroom. For months, I remained isolated (and very lonely!) in my tiny windowless corner of my home. Little did I know or realize there was an entire world of women entrepreneurs like myself out there waiting to meet me…some of them literally just right down the street.
My business (and my happiness) didn’t start thriving until I literally put myself out there in the world and started connecting with other women entrepreneurs. That was a game-changer and turning point for me. My first step towards networking and collaboration began at Play, Work or Dash in Tysons Corner, a work-while-your-kids-play business, where I connected with many working mompreneurs in the DC region. That’s when I realized that I needed more of this. My mind – and my business – were hungry for community, collaboration, and friendships with like-minded women business owners. I wanted and needed more!
Enter Awesome Women Entrepreneurs. I have been blown away by the enthusiasm, support, collaboration, creativity, and passion behind this AWESOME organization. I am surrounded by sisters who are rocking their own businesses and thriving off collaboration and creativity from other awesome women business owners. Together, we make the world better, all while fulfilling our own passions and building meaningful relationships.
I’m passionate about helping all women realize their potential once they take a step to connect with other like-minded women. I’ve seen the results and growth in both my personal and professional life, and I am so excited for you to embark on this journey with me. Get ready for both your life and business to change in ways you never imagined. There is power in awesome women gathering together, and I invite you to join us and experience the AWEsome transformation that happens when we get together.
Please contact me at email@example.com if you would like to be added to the list so I can personally invite you to our inaugural AWE Fairfax Chapter meeting! I would love to hear from you!
Click around the website to learn more about AWE Radio, Accountability Groups and other ways we’ll help your business grow and thrive, and join us at our first (and then later, next) meeting!
As so much recent news confirms (Kamala Harris rocks!), gender bias is alive and well in the workplace. At our June AWE meeting, Senior Loan Officer Jaime Young recounted some of the blatant sexism and inappropriate behavior she has encountered in her 20 years in the male dominated mortgage broker industry — and how she overcame those challenges to rise up, succeed and thrive on her own terms.
“I could get people fired, arrested, sued and divorced for the all stories I’ve had to hear throughout my career as a mortgage banker,” Jaime shared — while at the same time often carrying a double workload and ably handling the most challenging problems for their many clients, but making less money than her male peers.
Jaime inspired us with her journey, which culminated in her own personal growth and empowerment, leading to her non-negotiable demand for equal pay and recognition for her superior contributions to the team. Awesome! Jaime, we so appreciate you sharing this very personal and inspiring story.
Big thanks to Crystal City Sports Pub for hosting our delicious lunch event (if you need a terrific private meeting space, this one can’t be beat!), and to blogger/AWE Board of Advisor member Angelica Talan for the live Instastory. And as always, to AWE Co-Founder and official photographer Evelyn Powers for these lovely images.
Fearless was the theme of our May meeting, when we we heard such an inspirational talk from Maimah Karmo, fearless founder of the Tigerlily Foundation. Maimah shared her incredible story of fleeing war-torn Liberia three times, the last time alone at the age of 15, her education and rise to success, her battle with breast cancer and her founding of the Tigerlily Foundation. She shared the ups (appearing on the Oprah show and receiving lots of major national media coverage, publishing her memoir “Fearless”) and the downs (going through chemotherapy as a single mom, the exhausting, hard work but never quitting), and now being an example to her 14-year-old daughter who works by her side raising awareness for women and their daughters. Maimah talked of living with soul purpose, driven by love and faith — so awesome!
Big thanks to Eileen McGervey of One More Page Books & More for hosting us in your wonderful shop, and for all the delicious snacks generously provided by Yayla Bistro, Bistro 360 Wine Bar, Market & Restaurant, Lebanese Taverna Restaurant Group and Ginny Bishop Wright. Thanks also to Lisa Damico Portraits for taking these beautiful photos, and to all of our awesome members who attended and lit up the room with your good humor and entrepreneurial energy and passion!
Thanks to all who attended our April AWE meeting, and to Make Offices in Clarendon for the beautiful venue! Speaker and business development expert Gerry Sequeira provided terrific tips – and a couple of cautionary tales – based on his own experiences building and scaling businesses.
Rule No. 1: Be sure to agree in writing about who pays for what when the business fails and you lose/owe money, before thinking about how to divvy up all the big profits you expect to make.
Rule No. 2: Build a moat around your business that sets it apart and differentiates it from the competition so investors can easily gauge its value. Collect good data and create systems so that others can smoothly and easily replicate your model.
Thanks also to Owner Doug Rosen and Manager Michelle Petree of Arrowine for the delicious wine, cheese and meats, and to Rosie Gordon of Sushi-Zen for the awesome sushi, and for all of your support of AWE! Thanks BBG Fitness for the gorgeous veggie/edible art platter, and HB Fiori for the floral arrangement raffle gift. This community rocks!
Save the Date for Wednesday, May 17th when AWE meets again at One More Page Books. Our speaker will be successful entrepreneur, author and business coach Marissa Levin of Successful Culture. Prepared to be inspired!
Photos by Evelyn Powers.
Big thanks to Joe’s Place Pizza & Pasta for hosting the March AWE meeting, our first ever lunch meeting! Speaker was Ellen Grealish of Flex Professionals, who gave a terrific presentation on the Do’s and Don’ts of hiring part-time employees. Ellen and her partners have built Flex Professionals into a hugely successful part-time staffing company, recognized as one of the best by both Forbes and Inc. Magazines.
As always, AWE members connected, networked and socialized, enjoying this dynamic tribe of fellow entrepreneurs. Below are the results of our recent survey on what our members like most about AWE. Thank you to all who contributed.