2015 WOVEN Recap

Read about our expanded program for 2016.

November 4, 2015 · Delhi Community Center · Santa Ana, CA

Wovenimage2015 WOVEN was a huge success. Everyone learned a lot; people were furiously scribbling notes, nodding their heads, laughing, connecting, and enjoying themselves.

We had a great turn out of all of the stakeholders – women veterans, Southern California’s CAMEO members, veteran serving groups, the local SBA, our amazing speakers – Debbie, Eldonna, Karen, and Kim – Jesse Torres at the governor’s office, Lindsey Sin at CalVet, and Barb Carson from the U.S. SBA. And of course thanks to our major funders – One West Bank, First Republic, Union Bank, Pacific Western, and AT&T – and our Advisory Council* for making it all happen.

Microbusiness and self-employment offer women veterans increased opportunities to maximize their strengths and skills, to achieve their financial and career goals, and to customize their employment to accommodate their needs. And as Lindsey Sin said, women veterans make good microbusiness owners because they don’t take the easy route, have a sense of adventure, are resilient, and are good at handling stress.

Debbie Cuadros told us her inspiring story of how she went from wanting to be an executive secretary when she was a kid, to doing just that and not being satisfied to founding a successful IT firm. She gave some good advice…

  • Be open to change points in your life
  • Never be afraid to ask for help
  • Feel the fear and do it anyway

And left us with this thought…

The Land of Opportunity is an attitude. It is an openness to new ideas, a willingness to listen, an eagerness to learn, a desire to grow, and the flexibility to change.

–B J Gallagher Hateley, Warren H Schmidt

Download Debbie’s Prezi – “What did you want to be when you grew up?
Woven1-300x199Eldonna had us play a negotiation game that helped illustrate the seven mistakes of negotiation and their solutions (Photo right: Carla Holland from the SD SBDC and Amy Bryer, DDS playing ‘pay to play.’ )

  1. Not having confidence
  2. Not thinking everything is not negotiable
  3. Not being prepared
  4. Not looking the part
  5. Not building relationships first
  6. Not asking the right questions and
  7. Talking too much
    Bonus: not using the right strategy

For the solutions, you’ll have to take her Think Like A Negotiator training, but you can download Eldonna’s WOVEN presentation.

Karen Bates encouraged everyone to discover their UNIQUENESS instead of competing

    • U are Unique in Your
    • Nature
    • Ingenuity
    • Qualifications
    • Understanding
    • Experiences

KimK-300x217In other words, combine your personality, inherent talent, skills, passion and experiences to learn who your ideal client, build your database and invite them to play with you.

Download Karen’s Juggling With Fire – UNIQUE presentation.

Karen’s workshop was the perfect lead in to Kim’s (photo right)  presentation about understanding if you have a viable business idea by using that ideal client, figuring what problem you will solve for them, determining if they will pay for your product/service and developing a feasible plan for letting them know that you exist.

We ended the day with loads of ideas filling our heads and new friends.

The WOVEN 2014 and 2015 events were just the beginning. CAMEO wants to expose and encourage as many female veterans and/or their spouses to business ownership. In addition to our annual event, we are developing an ongoing community of women veteran entrepreneurs through community-based programs with the Jonas Project. To start, we’ll hold three trainings in 2016 at the following locations: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center, Rise Financial Pathways, and South San Diego Small Business Development Center. And from there we’ll build. Women veterans want to continue to serve their country by starting businesses and contributing to the economy. In turn, we want to serve them.



8:30a Networking Continental Breakfast

9:15a Welcome

Pledge of Allegiance, Joseph Otting, President and CEO, One West Bank

Special Guests

Lindsey Sin (bio), Deputy Secretary, Women Veterans Affairs, California Department of Veterans Affairs

Debbie Cuadros (bio), Partner and co-founder of Simeio Solutions. Debbie went from receptionist to company founder. Learn how and what her lessons are to apply to your business.

10:15 Morning Super Session I

Think Like a Negotiator

DSC_0264Negotiation is simply discussions to agree on a deal and is crucial to success in business. Whether you are negotiating a multi-million dollar deal or simply where to meet for dinner, improving your negotiation skills will give you more confidence and better results. Learn how to find more power, negotiate better deals and create win-win results. You will be energized, empowered and educated to be a better negotiator and understand the art and language of negotiation.

Presenter: Eldonna Lewis Fernandez (bio), Professional Speaker, Author, MSgt USAF Retired, www.ThinkLikeANegotiator.com

Introduced by: Union Bank

11:45 Morning Super Session II

Karen-Bates-Headshot-300x200Transform your business when you use your uniqueness to find and serve your perfect customer!

This will keep you from the overwhelming fear and anxiety so often felt by women when we run our businesses focused on the traditional success model of crushing the competition with the best service, lowest price or latest technology fad!

All of which lead to a never ending cycle of working incredibly long and gruesome hours, working for free, or spending thousands of dollars on the latest technology gadgets and marketing ploys.

All of that changes when you discover your UNIQUENESS.

      • U are Unique in Your
      • Nature
      • Ingenuity
      • Qualifications
      • Understanding
      • Experiences

“You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Presenter:  Karen Bates (bio)
Founder of Military Loans
President, Juggling With Fire

Introduced by: Elsa Monte, Senior Vice President, CRA and Community Development, Pacific Western Bank

12:45p Networking Lunch 

1:15p Lunch Special Guest and Listening Session

Welcome from the Governor – Jesse Torres, Deputy Director for Small Business and Small Business Advocate, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Barb Carson (bio), Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Veterans Business Development; Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve

Introduced by Rachel Baranick, Deputy District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration

Santa Ana District Office

What are the opportunities and challenges for women veteran business owners? Barb Carson, who heads the US SBA’s veterans programs, will discuss what they see around the country and listen to your specific opportunities and challenges.

2:00-3:00p Afternoon Super Session 

Is My Business (Idea) Viable?  Is There a Market For My Business?  Or How to Become a Junior Expert in Your Market 

Because you have something to sell, doesn’t mean customers will knock down your door to buy it. Launching a business without understanding your competition and market is a fool’s mission and a primary reason that businesses fail. Does the world need your stuff? Or are you selling to an audience of one? Learn how to identify your market and understand your customer, so that you’re on the winning side.

Presenter: Kim Kelsall (bio), Storyteller, The Jonas Project

Concurrent with the afternoon super session is Reaching and Serving Veterans for Jonas Project and CAMEO members and is by invitation only.

3:00 -4:00 Wrap Up, Networking and Book Signing

*Advisory Council
California Department of Veteran Affairs
CDC Small Business Finance
Disabled Veteran Business Alliance
GC Green
The Jonas Project
Military Home Loans
The Sanberg Group
Think Like A Negotiator
Women Veterans Unity Group



Read about our expanded program for 2016.

Download a 2015 Woven Flyer!

Read about 2014’s WOVEN program.

CAMEO thanks our following supporters:


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