Business | Finance
Dedicated to making her customers feel comfortable, Consuelo Garcia is excelling as the owner of Ameri Tax. She opened the income tax and bookkeeping services company in 2010 after many years in her family’s businesses, and is proud of stepping out on her own. Ms. Garcia is thrilled that her company continues to grow, believing that “you grow when you give.” Notably, since its start, Ameri Tax has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Ms. Garcia loves having the opportunity to help her largely Hispanic clientele and make their lives easier; she finds it extremely rewarding. She attributes her success thus far to the support of her mother, who gave her strength and faith.
Ms. Garcia’s professional journey officially began when she turned 24. That was the year her family opened a Mexican restaurant and she became responsible for overseeing the front of the restaurant, including customer service and accounts. Her family then started a flooring business from 2000 to 2009, where she also held a leadership role. During this time, Ms. Garcia was gaining a lot of hands-on accounting experience. She began doing income tax work on the side, and the rest is history. To enhance her standing in her field, Ms. Garcia earned a certification from the IRS. She also joined prominent organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business, Latino Tax Pro, and the National Society of Accountants. Looking to the future, she hopes to leave a legacy for her family.
Determined, driven, and compassionate, Jane E.S. Wright has been essential to the growth of several businesses over the years. She is presently the owner of Pinnacle International Events Ltd., where she is responsible for developing, producing, and delivering projects from proposal to delivery. Her responsibilities also include developing and monitoring timelines, budgets, and client relationships, and managing operational and administrative functions to ensure projects were completed efficiently, as well as providing leadership and support to her teams and conducting onsite inspections and project management events.
Mrs. Wright’s other current endeavors are assistant manager of Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda through the Bermuda Hospitals Board, where she oversees the Candy Stripers, and director of RBYAC Team Bermuda. Previously, she served as an administrative assistant of Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda and as an employee of Applebee, Sperling and Kemp. The latter role incorporated litigation, trademarks, contracts and legal research.
Antiques | Business
Doris Ann Christensen’s love for the fine arts and appreciation for good craftsmanship initially began in high school, where she took music lessons, joined the choir, and enrolled in shop classes, and has only grown over the years. Her early creations include beautiful designs on leather belts and wallets and salt shakers made out of plastic. She proceeded to attend Eastern Arizona College, and when her teacher was promoted to dean of admissions, she became his secretary. Upon marrying her husband, Ms. Christensen moved to Washington and continued her secretarial duties for more than three decades. Although she and her husband both worked full time, they spent their free time selling antiques and participating in collectible shows. This eventually led her to open All That & Everything, an antiques business. She remains there to this day.
Over the years, Ms. Christensen has shared her passion through a variety of publications. She authored “Let’s Laugh” in 2008, “Road to Rhyme in the United States” in 2006, and “Violin Bottles, Banjos, Guitars and Other Novelty Glass,” in 1995, as well as “Violin Bottles,” and “Car Faces.” She has also edited the newsletter for the Violin Bottle Collector’s Association in both the U.S. and Canada.
Professional Development | Business
From the time she was a young Girl Scout patrol leader to now, the current CEO of the Askins Learning Institute, Nancy Ellen Paulsen Askins has been focused on helping people become the best they can be. She was drawn to a field of work where she could create a climate in which people could develop their own skills, and in college, she realized she was better suited to training adults than children. Dr. Askins proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Science in home economics in 1970, a Bachelor of Science in education in 1971, and a Master of Education in 1972, all from the University of Cincinnati, and to complete postgraduate work at Temple University, the National Institute of Financial Education, and Walden University. She furthered her education with a PhD in training and performance improvement from Capella University in 2012. This background set her on the path she still follows to this day.
Besides her job with her eponymous company, Dr. Askins is also the executive director of the Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center, a session retreat facilitator of ABWA Management, LLC, and a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. She previously garnered experience as an adjunct professor at Webster University, the director of quality at Hollywood Casino & Hotel Tunica, the coordinator of training services at Gulf Coast Business Services, the vice president of training and associate development at Grand Casino (now Harrrah’s Gulf Coast) through Caesars License Company, LLC, and a part-time instructor of the wellness program, the director of community and volunteer services, and the director of education services at Holy Cross Hospital. Additionally, she has worked as the director of education development, the instructor of wellness, and the training manager at Shore Memorial Hospital (now Shore Medical Center), as the assistant vice president and coordinator of training services at the Collective Federal Savings & Loan Association, and as a member of the Women’s Task Force through The Phoenix Companies, Inc., among many other positions.
BUSINESS | RELIGION
Not afraid to follow her heart and make a change, Therese A. Boisvert is proud to have had two professions that allowed her to utilize her strengths to make a difference. Her journey began at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in pre-law studies and political science with a minor in sociology in 1982 and a Master of Science in education and library sciences in 1985. She then joined St. Francis Medical Center as an assistant medical librarian and Gundersen Lutheran as an occupational health department specialist. More than 26 years later, Ms. Boisvert proudly left corporate America in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse because it felt like a good fit. She had always volunteered her time to help others, and the administrative assistant to the vicar role allowed her to use her accrued skills to do that professionally. Her responsibilities included working with permanent deacons, assisting the vicar of clergy with priests, and assisting the vicar general and vicar of clergy with their day-to-day communications.
Now, Ms. Boisvert has returned to health care as a credentialing compliance coordinator for Logistics Health Incorporated. The position entails maintaining records for physicians, physician assistants, dentists, nurses, and anyone else who provides services for military veterans. She also helps make sure that they have malpractice insurance, licensing, background checks, and training that are in order and up to date.
Business | Religion
Armed with deep faith and true grit, Emily Harkins Filer has thrived in more than six decades in business administration and religion. She started out at The John Hopkins Hospital, first as a registrar from 1955 to 1957 and then as the secretary of the Hearing and Speech Center from 1957 to 1958. She proceeded to advance to positions like president of Distaff Wives, vice president of the board of directors of The Planning Council in Tidewater, Va., president of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, founder, coordinator, and executive director of Lee’s Friends, and director of development for YWCA South Hampton Roads. In 2006, Ms. Harkins Filer decided to move into the religious end of the spectrum, becoming an associate chaplain and clinical pastoral education resident for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, a PRN chaplain for Bon Secours Maryview & DePaul Hospitals, and an associate chaplain at Sentara Bayside Hospital. She also held titles like chair of the practice council for the Sentara Chaplaincy Department and member of the clinical pastoral education professional advisory group at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. She is currently lending her services to the Lee Harkins Endowment Committee as a secretary.
Ms. Harkins Filer prepared for her career by earning a degree from Villa Julie Medical Secretary School in 1955 and certification as a volunteer administrator in 1985. She became a CPE Level I through Sentara Healthcare in 2003 and a CPE Level II through Sentara Healthcare in 2009, as well as a Sentara advanced care planning facilitator in 2014. She was granted an honorary LHD from Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary in 2010.
Able to dream fearlessly, Kari Hogan sees endless possibilities for the betterment of lives. Her understanding of the role of a leader and ability to utilize it puts her in the perfect position to achieve her goals. Ms. Hogan began working with Portable Practical Education Preparation, Inc., in 1987, and has held a number of titles throughout the years. She has shown the agency and its management that she is able to do what it takes to implement successful programs, whether it’s one she created herself or a poorly-performing one she was able to turn around, and is proud of the reputation she has built. Now having advanced to the role of chief administrative officer, Ms. Hogan is responsible for managing, directing, and implementing programs for youths and adults in the areas of employment, training, case management, and emergency services, working with communities, and developing partnerships to leverage funding for the sustainability of programs. Other duties include overseeing career development and economic development strategies within high-growth and high-demand occupations, working with regional and national coalitions on legislative issues surrounding employment and training, managing funding in excess of $4 million, monitoring the budget for optimum output, and overseeing 15 programs and grants and 47 staff members in a nine-county area in the state of Arizona.
Ms. Hogan prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management from the University of Phoenix and certifications from the Grantsmanship Center and Pima Community College. She finds the most gratifying aspect of the field to be giving people an opportunity to achieve their dreams. Looking forward, she hopes to be remembered as a loving, committed, caring and courageous individual who made a difference.
Government | Business
Always looking to help others, Roberta Gibson Pevear embarked on a long career of community service. She was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1979 to 1988, and was instrumental in the development of an evacuation plan for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in New Hampshire, which she considers a professional highlight. While in the government, Ms. Pevear served as the Clerk of the Environment and Agricultural Committee. She also has experience as the Commissioner of the Rockingham Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Planning Commission, as well as the Chairman of Rockingham County Home and a Civil Defense Director for Hampton Falls, N.H.
Outside of her government service, Ms. Pevear was also very active in business. She was the Secretary to Owner of Wilner Wood Products, Export Secretary of Whitaker Cable, District Secretary of Anheuser-Busch, and Legal Secretary with an Officer of Johnson & Johnson. She went on to join Law Firm of St. John, Ronder & Bell, Kingston as the Secretary to Mr. St. John and Sears-Roebuck and Co., in Administration. While serving in the N.H. Legislature, Ms. Pevear was a Sales Agent for Avon products. She prepared for her endeavors by earning a diploma in commercial art from Gould Academy in 1947.
Business | Food Science
Creative, passionate, and a quick learner, Ana Maria Rodriguez Figueres has become distinguished as a leader in food science and technology. She rose through the ranks of the field quickly, aided by the master’s degree in food engineering from the Universidad de Costa and the Master of Science from the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia she held. Over the years, she worked hard to build a strong rapport with peers, clients and community alike, and credits her ongoing success to her capacity for embracing change and thinking positively.
Now a professional with more than two decades of industry experience, Ms. Rodriguez Figueres has spent the last three years with Yum! Restaurants International as the food innovation director for Pizza Hut International. There, she oversees food innovation around the world for Pizza Hut and 13 different business units worldwide. Her role also includes sharing the best practices from one business to another and setting up innovation strategies for the world and new product layers for the company, as well as handling product pipeline, core product standards and execution, innovation capability training, coordination, and practice standards, among others.
Business | Emergency Services
A woman of many talents, Shana Alexandria Haughton is both a fire inspector in the City of Baltimore and the owner of a fashion boutique shop. Although the two positions are vastly different, Ms. Haughton is well-suited to the responsibilities of each; her ability to connect with people is valuable in both retail and emergency response situations.
By day, Ms. Haughton is thriving in her job as a firefighter and paramedic, which she began in 2004. Years of hands-on experiences have made her an expert in emergency management, public safety, fire safety, and emergency preparedness. In 2011, she took on an additional role as a fire inspector in the Office of the Fire Marshal in the Baltimore City Fire Department, reflecting the city’s confidence in her extensive skill set. Ms. Haughton also uses her fire knowledge to run a Juvenile Fire Center program and the Baltimore City Fire Department Youth Safety Camp.