contentmentIssue 26

Women in Business


By Noel Daniel

The premier event for women in business—featuring insights, inspiration, and motivational ideas from successful business leaders—was held on Nov. 3 at Greens on Tenth.

That event was the Business Women’s Symposium: Overcoming Obstacles, Celebrating Success and it featured powerful women from the community with equally powerful advice. Women like Jessica Chang-Irish, owner of Jessica Chang Consulting; Amy Vickery, Public Information Officer for the City of Modesto; Patty Amador, President of Ambeck Mortgage Associates; Martha Connor, President & CEO of DirectLine Technologies; and Victoria Popoff, Owner of Studio V Pilates & Fitness.

“These types of events create a safe environment for women,” said Amador. “In this case, a ‘safe environment’ refers to a place where women feel the freedom to openly discuss the obstacles and challenges they face in business with those they feel can best relate to their experiences.”

Events such as the Business Women’s Symposium are important because the more voices there are to dedicate to a cause, the more likely it is that a familiar challenge can get numerous resolutions.

“The opportunity for a room full of powerful, strong, supportive women to share ideas and network is irreplaceable in our daily lives and the attendees reported feeling empowered and inspired,” said Connor.

As the attendees collaborate and inspire each other, they form integral connections. Popoff, as a female business owner, loves to meet her fellow business women in the community. She believes it creates strong community relationships and sparks the inspiration for projects together.

“I think we are so much more powerful in creating a difference when we work together toward the same goal,” said Popoff. “My goal is to improve our community and fill it with positivity.”

And Popoff isn’t the only one who thinks so—Connor agrees that there is a considerable link between positivity and productivity. She asserts that not many realize there is a difference between happiness and positive thinking. Whereas happiness is an element that can’t be controlled, positivity is.

“Best of all, positive thinking can be learned,” assured Connor. “And of course, hand-in-hand with positive thinking and productivity: surround yourself with positive and productive people.”

Connor advises taking time to think about challenges, figuring out the root cause, and dealing with it to move forward. This dedication to proactive positivity is ideal for leading a business, learning new ideas, and even networking with other women—which is why the Alliance Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was inspired to hold the Business Women’s Symposium.

Since 2003, the Alliance SBDC has helped thousands of businesses, from pre-ventures and small business start-ups to companies with hundreds of employees, in Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced, and Mariposa Counties.

Visit for more resources and information about the Alliance Small Business Development Center.

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