Influential Business woman awards 2022 www.acquisition-international.com • Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 Most Innovative Virtual Learning Businesswoman 2022: Christine Janssen, PhD Acquisition International’s Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 celebrates the brightest and best that organisations around the world have to offer. Few fit the bill more successfully than Christine Janssen. She has built a business that is perfectly suited to the challenges of the 21st Century, pushing forward into bold new territory. We caught up with Christine to uncover some of the secrets that have driven her to such inimitable success.
2 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 About the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 Currently in its seventh year and having coordinated Acquisition Internationals’ first ever Influential Businesswoman Awards back in 2016, I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to coordinate the awards once again for 2022! As women continue to shatter glass ceilings and become a significant part of the economy, we at Acquisition International recognise the call to shine a light on those extraordinary individuals at the forefront of successful businesses. Sif Brookes - Senior Editor Contents 4 Edstutia: Most Innovative Virtual Learning Businesswoman 2022: Christine Janssen, PhD 8 Celonis: Most Influential Businesswoman in Software Sales 2022: Teresa Baglietto 10 Magickal Mystic: Most Influential Spiritual Empowerment Business Leader 2022: Emme Rain 12 Luxury Locations Antigua: Best Real Estate Sales Agency Founder (Antigua and Barbuda): Nadia Dyson 13 MONDAY Haircare: Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 (New Zealand): Jaimee Lupton 14 Oaklin: Most Inclusive Management Consultant (London): Katie Kelly 15 Weller Smith Design: Best Boutique Design Agency Director (New York): LeAnna Smith 16 SACFruits: Best Health Foods Processing & Distribution Businesswoman (USA): Afishetu Braimoh No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editorial Team Sif Brookes, Senior Editor Sofi Bajor, Editor Daniel Long, Senior Writer Gabriel Muers, Writer Rebecca Scotland, Senior Writer Dontae Jones, Writer Amelia Walker, Writer Design Team Daniela Levinte, Graphic Designer Lauren Baldwin, Junior Graphic Designer 17 Branding 4 Success, LLC: Brand Analyst of the Year (USA): Yolanda Smith 18 The Conscious Leadership Company: Most Innovative Leadership Development CEO (UK): Natasha Wallace 19 NRPR Group Inc: Most Innovative PR Entrepreneur (USA): Nicole Rodrigues 20 So Am I-Worthy: Most Empowering Female-Owned Christian Record Label 2022 21 MachineMax: Most Customer-Focused Product Design Leader (UK): Kate Stephen 22 Mount Vernon Creates: Best Art Gallery Business Owner (Midwest USA): Denise Murphy 23 littlehipstar GmbH: Online Retail CEO of the Year (DACH Region): Ceyda Avunduk 24 The Granite Place Inc: Best Family-Owned Construction Company President (Massachusetts): Carol Gomes
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 3 25 LXCouncil: Best Peer Advisory Founder 2022: Tina Corner Stolz 26 The Leadership Companion: Most Empowering Women’s Executive & Leadership Coach (Illinois): Rachel Bouman 27 Infused Banking: Best Cannabis Education Business Leader (USA): Erin O’Donnell 28 Hidden Path Creative: Emerging Design Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 (Midwest USA): Kelley Kempel 29 Majdas Touch Insurance, Inc: Best Insurance Business Leader: Majda Baltic 30 Opsis: Most Trusted CRM Expert 2022 (Australia): Gill Walker 32 Fusion Salon Avalon: Cosmetology Business Owner of the Year (New Jersey): Crystal Praul 33 Word Rock Drills: Most Innovative Rock Drilling & Construction Co-Founder (USA): Paige Durham 34 Engaging New Media, LLC: Most Innovative Woman-Run Video Production Company - USA 35 Sarah Boudoir Photography Studios: Boudoir Photographer of the Year (Michigan): Sarah Stephan-Brown 36 Direct Lending Deals: Best Private Credit Analytics Business Leader (USA): Kelly Thompson 36 24 19 15
4 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 Most Innovative Virtual Learning Businesswoman 2022: Christine Janssen, PhD he future is coming fast, and it’s coming at a speed which will only increase over the next few years. To stay ahead of these changes will require organisations and their employees to adapt at a similar pace, which is yet another disruption to the status quo of the workplace today. To overcome these challenges will require an approach to learning and training which is entirely different, one which is disruptive and one which is thoroughly innovative. The work of Christine Janssen fits the bill perfectly. When Christine founded Edstutia in 2020, she knew there was a massive opportunity on the horizon merging education and immersive technology, and it was enticing enough to up and leave her career in academia. Whilst her instincts and abilities were truly second to none, she has had to contend with everything from COVID and the Great Resignation to hybrid workplaces and advancements in immersive technology. The world of two years ago has gone forever, but the world that has emerged is one which is perfectly suited to Edstutia. Put simply, Edstutia is a virtual learning platform positioned at the intersection of business and technology and was designed to both address the skills gap and help organisations get up to speed with digital transformation. “When it comes to learning and education, we need to think big, embrace technology, and be visionary,” says Janssen. Through the wonders of Extended Reality (XR), the team at Edstutia have taken revolutionary steps when it comes to reinventing how people acquire new skills and mindsets. Christine and the Edstutia team have committed themselves to preparing the workforce of the future for the workplace that tomorrow will bring. Such impressive success did not come quickly. For many years, Christine was a business school professor and the Director of Entrepreneurship in the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University in New York City. Her expertise and love of learning was largely built on two graduate degrees: an MBA from Fordham University and a PhD in a Business Education program from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University where her dissertation focused on ‘how entrepreneurs learn’. In many ways, it’s amazing that Christine stayed in academia for so long, given her T Acquisition International’s Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 celebrates the brightest and best that organisations around the world have to offer. Few fit the bill more successfully than Christine Janssen. She has built a business that is perfectly suited to the challenges of the 21st Century, pushing forward into bold new territory. We caught up with Christine to uncover some of the secrets that have driven her to such inimitable success. May22502
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 5 Most Innovative Virtual Learning Businesswoman 2022: Christine Janssen, PhD unrelenting energy and vision for what education can and should be. What is clear is that Edstutia has allowed her to really stretch her wings. In addition to spending over a decade in higher education, Christine has garnered a wealth of business experience in many different sectors. She began her career as a marketer in different industries such as consumer goods, financial services and technology, but her love of learning kept bringing her back to university. Her passion for learning and education are evident. Such a breadth of knowledge has put her in good stead for fulfilling her vision through Edstutia. The growth of the company to date reflects the immense ambition at the heart of Christine’s approach to business. This has accelerated significantly since the company first opened its doors. “I started working on Edstutia in the summer of 2020 and officially registered in December 2020,” Christine explains. “Since that time, the company and the VR industry have both evolved at warp speed, and we’ve been doing a lot of building over the last year and a half. It is super exciting!” When we asked Christine to narrow down what Edstutia is offering and why, the breadth of her reply truly surprised us: “Our initial focus was on consumer programs, and the goal is to offer an affordable, accessible and relevant educational experience in lieu of a traditional college degree program,” she tells us. “We have done our homework and asked hiring managers from various industries what they are looking for in new hires - from soft skills to tech skills - so we are laser focused on helping people prepare for jobs in fast-growing industries and fields such as Cybersecurity, XR, Data Science, and Analytics. At the end of the day, we are focused on addressing the enormous skills gap to serve both learners and employers.” The skills gap is one which affects every industry so Edstutia has also been consulting others from industries such as automotive and transportation, management consulting, and financial services, in roles such as DEI Managers, Heads of Onboarding, L&D Managers, as well as instructional designers and coaches. The opportunity here is to integrate immersive technologies to existing training programs for a more engaging, participatory experience for a globally-dispersed workforce. Why is this such a big deal? Dr. Janssen was delighted to tell us: “Combining custom learning simulations and environments in VR and immersing learners in situations to ‘learn by doing’ is nothing short of magical. There is a true sense of presence and engagement because the metaverse allows for people from every corner of the world to meet in a new dimension where they can collaborate and learn together.” Learners are able to brainstorm on white boards, escape to far away places in 360 videos enhanced with just-in-time knowledge assessments, build and deliver team projects, practise challenging scenarios in AI-powered simulations, and so much more. For those still sceptical of the value of immersive learning, it’s worth pointing out that individuals and managers have access to a high powered dashboard that presents a myriad of learning metrics to prove progress, levels of engagement, and learner retention. “What we’re building on the Edstutia platform leapfrogs what most companies and educational institutions are delivering today,” Christine explains. “We design everything with the learner in mind to ensure the experiences and output are fun, engaging and have long-term impact.” A big opportunity that resulted in a major pivot for Edstutia was the public introduction of the metaverse in the fall of 2021. Along with that announcement came the list of early-adopter organisations that were already investing in the technology and related resources to be ‘meta ready.’ Companies like Accenture subsequently announced that they had purchased 60,000 Oculus Quest headsets to onboard new employees since a significant portion of their global workforce works remotely. Dr. Janssen instantly knew there was huge potential to deliver enterprise solutions using this new technology. Through corporate relationships, she intends to strengthen her forthcoming consumer offerings with apprenticeship programs and an open conversation to ensure Edstutia is teaching the skills that employers are seeking. “As the metaverse becomes a household term and leading organisations want to be in the game, there’s a bit of a race in the XR world to offer more services to larger audiences, but it also requires service providers to educate their audiences,” she tells us. Alongside the rapid rise of her new venture, she notes that she has spent an enormous amount of time listening to client concerns as they try to understand this new virtual space, web3, and VR headsets. “We’ve had to do a lot with respect to educating our target markets on the value of and opportunities with the metaverse, particularly through a learning lens. There’s definitely a big buzz on the street and those in the know are very well aware that the metaverse is creating opportunities even greater than we experienced with the explosion of the Internet. One of my favourite phrases these days is ‘Ready or not, here it comes!’” This keen eye for future opportunities has always pushed Christine forward, and she has seen immense potential in VR technology since her first experience in a VR headset. She was one of the first faculty members to experiment with this technology at Fordham. “During my time in academia, I’ve received several awards for my efforts in challenging the status quo,” she tells us, “but honestly, my greatest achievement was making the decision to launch Edstutia. I ‘The Edstutia Team’
6 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 am so bullish on XR and am frankly leading the way with respect to merging learning and the metaverse.” Working in these new digital spaces has opened the door to many in the industry, with women being one of the biggest beneficiaries. “I am definitely seeing more women jumping in - and it’s great!” she enthuses. “Given how nascent the concept of the metaverse is, I don’t see it as more difficult for women to enter. It’s a level playing field. The people who are getting on board are early adopters, educators frustrated with antiquated education systems, and those who frankly see a massive opportunity in front of us.” This massive opportunity is one which has already seen many women flourish. “My experience so far has been that women understand the need to support one another vs. compete with one another. And this is true in entrepreneurial circles as well. Another observation I have in the world on learning and education in the metaverse is that more women than men are interested in teaching, coaching, and building immersive learning experiences. Interestingly, the vast majority of the Edstutia team is female.” The ability for Christine to uplift the voices and talents of the women around her has been a blessing. “I think one of the obvious challenges of being a woman in a corporate - or even academic - environment is that often your voice and abilities are suppressed,” she tells us. “Your ideas, your contributions, and your potential just aren’t taken seriously. It’s ridiculous. When I look back at my career, I’ve left organisations because the culture was toxic and not supportive. In other instances, I simply disregarded the conformity and existing circumstances and made up my own rules. Not everyone appreciates that - and I’ve ruffled plenty of feathers along the way! - but over the years I have definitely increased my confidence in forging my own path.” This ability to forge forward into bold new territory is one which has served Christine well. Her career is one which has been built on knowing the value of what she has to offer and not accepting situations where she is not able to apply it. “I don’t do well in environments where someone else or outdated systems determine my personal success or my ability to evolve,” Christine explains. “I will be in charge of that, thank you very much. And I strongly suggest that women make their voice heard, that they follow their personal dreams and goals, that they shouldn’t be afraid to carve out their own path, that they shouldn’t be afraid of change. And if you find yourself in an unsupportive culture, move on.” This continual drive towards solutions which empower people and allow them to flourish is a vital part of how Edstutia operates. “The past two years have been simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating,” she tells us. “Obviously as the sole founder, I wear a lot of different hats - and I love it. But my saving grace is the small army of committed people who are on the Edstutia team. We are small, but mighty. I cannot - and never will - fully take credit for Edstutia’s successes. I am surrounded and supported by some rock star quality
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 7 Most Innovative Virtual Learning Businesswoman 2022: Christine Janssen, PhD people, including our strategic partner, The Glimpse Group, which is a cutting edge XR development company in NYC.” In a little over two years, Edstutia has grown into a force to be reckoned with, and the evolution of the metaverse and immersive tech are only going to drive these developments even further. This technology is constantly changing, shifting to incorporate increased functionality and improved capabilities. The impact on the platform as a whole will be incredible, with new features and venues added regularly and the opportunity to educate more people through instructors who understand how to integrate and leverage immersive technology for meaningful and impactful learning experiences. What’s next for Dr. Janssen and her team? For one, they are officially launching their Instructor Certification program in Immersive Technologies (the first of its kind) in September 2022. They are on track to launch their first full-time B2C program in January 2023, and they continue to forge partnerships with new corporate clients eager to embrace the metaverse. In addition, Christine has begun exploring the possibilities offered by NFTs and utility wallets. Her team is developing ways of enabling learners on the Edstutia campus to earn and spend virtual currency at interactive venues such as the campus store, Ed’s Café (the platform’s virtual café), and other exclusive experiences and venues that can only be unlocked with NFTs. Adopting cutting edge technologies and incorporating them on the Edstutia platform to optimise an immersive learning experience clearly demonstrates how the Edstutia team operates as true innovators. Many of the tools and functionality on the Edstutia platform are proprietary and therefore not available with competitor solutions. This will come as no surprise to those with an interest in the business - Dr. Janssen is hungry to knock out a lot of “firsts” in the worlds of education, learning and the metaverse. For Christine, it’s clear that Edstutia is the culmination of all of the aspects of her career. Her passion for entrepreneurship, her background in education, her desire to push the boundaries of what technology can do – all of these play a crucial role in the success of the business. “I feel like everything I’ve done in my professional life so far has prepared me for this new venture,” she admits. “I know that education is the golden door to opportunity and upward mobility no matter where someone is in their career or life stage. My goal is to provide the resources and pathway to connect skilled talent with employers or help current employees increase their skills, contributions and value. Honestly, I love what I’m doing and anticipate spending at least the next 10 years building this business until we’ve made a real difference!” Edstutia is a testament to Dr. Janssen’s ambition and determination to succeed, addressing real issues in education. She has created a business that is disruptive, a culture which is highly inclusive, and an approach to education that is squarely focused on improving the skills gap. Her success with Edstutia to date is clearly just the beginning, however. Technology is evolving at warp speed, and Christine is well positioned to evolve with it! Name: Christine Janssen, PhD Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: https://edstutia.com
8 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 May22402 Most Influential Businesswoman in Software Sales 2022: Teresa Baglietto Teresa Baglietto has worked in the tech industry for three decades. During these years, Teresa has seen the industry change greatly – especially when it comes to equality between genders. Now working at Celonis, a leading process mining company, Teresa is on a mission to inspire young women that hope to enter or establish their career within the tech industry. t’s not uncommon to hear stories about discrimination against women in the tech industry – these testimonies can be found in every corner of the internet. Thankfully, as more women enter the tech world, the tides are beginning to change. Women are finally starting to be heard, allowing for the achievements of women – past and present – to come to the surface and be appreciated. The attitudes of the past are no longer welcome. From the original pioneers of programming, such as Ada Lovelace, to those disrupting the industry today, women in tech deserve to be celebrated, respected, and recognised for their contributions to the field. ‘I started working in the tech industry in the early 90s when the industry was underrepresented by women. It was dominated by males,’ recalls Teresa Baglietto, Senior Account Executive on the Financial Services team at Celonis. ‘Throughout most of my career, I’ve been the only female on the sales team and in many cases, the only female in a client meeting.’ Celonis is a globally renowned company providing an end-toend execution management system that drives better business performance by revealing and fixing hidden inefficiencies across underperforming business processes, in real-time. The innovative platform provides users with a ground-breaking way to optimize their business processes entirely on data and intelligence. Celonis boasts over 2,800 employees across 17 offices around the globe, including locations in Munich, New York and Madrid. The company has more than 2,500 customer deployments across some of the largest companies in the world. Celonis raised $1 billion in funding, valuing the company at $11 billion, making it New York and Germany’s most valuable startup. Teresa has been with the company for two and a half years working as a Senior Account Executive. However, her entry into the industry came many years ago thanks to an unexpected encounter. Taking on the position of a beta coordinator in the engineering department of a business, she was enlisted to help a small start-up, ExperVision, I build out their beta program. In this role, Teresa was required to cold call a list of targeted contacts and ask if they would be interested in participating in the program. Teresa explains, ‘I was surrounded by software engineers, developers, and tech writers. The atmosphere was relatively quiet except for my voice carrying across all the cubicles. I never expected that anyone was paying attention to my calls because they were all focused on their own tasks. One of the engineers and tech writers said, “you should be in sales.” It was after that, that I pursued an Inside Sales role at ExperVision.’ When Teresa entered the industry, women were in HR or marketing roles. Women rarely ventured into sales or technical positions. As a result, Teresa was often the only woman taking part in important meetings, working in sales, and getting involved in the technology side of the business. Many things have changed since the 90s, both in Teresa’s career and the industry as a whole. ‘The software industry is still underrepresented by women, but it is nice to see more attention being placed on STEM education specifically focused on increasing female participation at younger ages. While many tech companies still have a lot of work ahead of them to diversify their ranks, women in tech leadership are making the fastest advances as well as in technical roles. Celonis recently held its annual World Tour event where we bring together experts in process mining and execution management, around the globe. I was amazed at the number of women I met at the event, who came from different industries, holding positions in Operations, Product, Technology, Risk and many other roles. One of our sessions was Women in Process Mining. WIPM is a community for the most powerful women in process mining, to strengthen their leadership, magnify their influence, and pave the way for future women in process mining together. While most of the attendees were women, there were a handful of men in attendance. It was incredible
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 9 Most Influential Businesswoman in Software Sales 2022: Teresa Baglietto to see. This is the first global initiative for women in process mining. The community has grown overnight with 100’s of women joining. As for myself, I’ve been mentoring younger female professionals, to join the tech industry. In her current position, Teresa takes on a great amount of responsibility, working in a role that has evolved greatly since the foundation years of her career. Furthermore, Teresa is incredibly passionate about her work – comparing her approach to that of a doctor. Doctors actively listen, locate sources of pain, and create a plan to resolve the issue. Translating this method into sales, Teresa has become an expert in truly understanding clients and providing solutions that fit the brief. Whilst Teresa has had an exceptional career, she has also faced an abundance of challenges, not only in her professional life, but also in her personal life. ‘Achievements don’t happen without having to overcome hurdles,’ Teresa testifies, ‘it’s what makes us stronger and more resilient. I’ve had my share of hurdles during my career, most being the result of life-threatening diseases. Over a 5-year span, I was diagnosed and treated for cancer four times and learned I had a brain aneurysm, all while trying to maintain my career and raise three boys. I had a choice; I could curl up in a ball and cry in a corner or I could take charge of this.’ Teresa chose to tackle her diagnosis. Fortunately, she overcame these battles and came out the other side. She attributes her recent success to the way she fought through these turbulent times and is in the process of bestowing this process unto others. ‘I did a lot of journaling and blogging during my life-threatening diseases. It was extremely therapeutic for me,’ Teresa clarifies. ‘I’ve brought together my story and have written a book. It’s a slow growing project that requires further editing and revisions. The book is about what it takes to adapt and overcome life’s curve balls. It’s a real-life example of the importance of being your own advocate, why you should listen to your gut and more importantly, how persistence pays off.’ This is one of many projects and plans that Teresa has for the future. Much of her ambition is anchored in the development of Celonis, whom she is deeply committed to transforming the financial services segment with a game-changing platform for process improvement. She concludes, ‘if you want to succeed at anything, intentionally find and work with good people. Ask for help and seek experienced insights early and often. Seek a role model. observe and listen to what the top performers and leaders are doing. Adopt some of their best practices and make them your own; look at the materials they create, the messaging they use, what strategies they’ve employed and how they articulate the value. Contact: Teresa Baglietto Company: Celonis Web Address: https://www.celonis.com/
10 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 May22071 Most Influential Spiritual Empowerment Business Leader 2022: Emme Rain agickal Mystic, run by Emme Rain as the founder and President of both the aforementioned company and its Divinity Academy, covers a number of different products and services under its umbrella, all of which further the metaphysical field. Fundamentally, before Magickal Mystic got started, Emme found that the esoteric and mystical was still a largely taboo subject for many, seen as something ‘witchy and forbidden’ that couldn’t be approached unless under very specific circumstances. Whilst it should be noted that respecting closed practices is still very much an important element of mysticism – for example, not picking and choosing elements of Native American worship to take advantage of whilst ignoring the wider context of struggle behind it – Emme wished to bring the concept of natural invocation to a wider audience. Having been busy teaching, educating, and raising awareness of the true nature of mysticism since 2016, she has embraced this as a full time calling. Nominally, she has been delivering courses on the arts, alchemy, and business sense, having helped to launch over 200 metaphysical businesses and empower thousands more to reach the true heights of potential they are capable of. She does this by showing the professionals behind them that they’re not alone, that they do in fact have an available support system and that – thanks to a huge rush into a small market – there is more than enough demand to go around. Thanks to social media, networking, and the prevalence of business moving to e-commerce and remote working over the course of the last couple of years, Magickal Mystic has found more people have welcomed the idea of dabbling in the metaphysical, reaching into homes all around the world and expanding greatly. This is only helping it in its quest to ‘help people reclaim their personal power’. With this being Emme Rain’s core goal, she focuses on developing ‘proof of power’ both within herself and for others, with every client review and word of mouth referral being a ‘proof of power’ for her, as well as for the person themselves, who can go on to use her teaching in their business and personal life. This personal empowerment for everyone involved is her greatest driving force – something she values far more than the money made or the reputation gained – and is the concept she is proud to have M Having found its start in 2016, Magickal Mystic has made a name for itself with several different products from fragrances to oils, butters, and skincare. Moreover, its educational offerings and work through its second branch, the Divinity Academy – started in 2018 – have been paramount in emboldening a new movement of people interested in the furtherment of the metaphysical as a field. Having seen a recent rush of new blood into the market, it hopes to be one of the foremost companies to welcome the fresh faces into the community. seen her clients develop alongside her over the years. Critically, it is for this that she extends her gratitude to her customers for, and to friends of the business both old and new. Indeed, some such friends of the business are people who have been by her side since her 18 years as an ordained and licensed minister, as well as throughout her time as a program developer, grant writer, publisher, and author. Each of these previous experiences have emboldened her ability to conduct her business in the present day, with the customerfacing knowledge, logistical knowledge, and operational prowess to make Magickal Mystic into the best possible cornerstone of the metaphysical industry that it can possibly be. Having adopted the name Emme Rain as a nom de plume for her mysticism work a long time ago, she has found that her efforts have indeed made the name somewhat of a household one in the sector. This, as a woman in the field, is certainly something she holds great pride in, as even to this day she experiences the difficulties that women in fields all over the world must face on a regular basis.
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 11 From gatekeeping to a lack of trust in her professional abilities, as well as a cavalcade of judgemental voices constantly pushing back against her, she has had to learn the importance of being on one’s own side, as it is a harsh truth that if you are not fighting your own corner, very few other people will. To Emme, no money, friendship, or fame is worth ‘self-betrayal’, and she seeks to cultivate this attitude in her clients, too. Defending your right to take up space involves the grace to understand that success doesn’t have to involve losing yourself, and so each of her courses is infused with an undertone of staunchly standing by the values and principles that make each practitioner unique. Therefore, as a direct result of her own self belief and dedication to marching to the beat of her own drum, she has developed a client base of independent free thinkers, each of whom she is incredibly proud of. In the process of opening a membership operated establishment called the Dimensions Lounge, she is excited to soon be expanding her mindfulness and mysticism offerings even further in the future, with 30 new Magickal Mystic products launching in the coming months. In line with standard Magickal Mystic practice, each of these will be organic and all-natural, having undergone thorough testing. With so many new innovations in the future and a trajectory to further success that shows no signs of slowing, Emme Rain looks forward to inviting yet more people to join her on her journey, excited to see where such progress will take the industry in the macro scale in the coming years. Company: Magickal Mystic Contact: Emme Rain Website: magickalmystic.com Most Influential Spiritual Empowerment Business Leader 2022: Emme Rain
12 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 May22242 Best Real Estate Sales Agency Founder (Antigua and Barbuda): Nadia Dyson adia Dyson is the powerhouse behind Luxury Locations Real Estate, the largest real estate agency in Antigua by both sales volume and value. She first visited Antigua in 2005, and from there, she became involved in the real estate business which just so happened to be booming at the time. Indeed, Antigua was a real estate hotspot and the weak USD against the GBP meant that there was money pouring into Antigua from the UK. However, it wouldn’t be until 2009 that Nadia would establish the ground-breaking brand. In essence, Luxury Locations Real Estate is the culmination of many of Nadia’s ventures, including Villa Management Ltd, which she founded in 2007. The brand serves as the face for these businesses, moving everything into one, streamlined place. By 2012, the business had survived Antigua’s economic crisis in 2010, and had grown into the island’s largest agency. That same year, Nadia’s husband, Sam, joined the business, and since then, the company has grown from strength to strength. The industry in Antigua, as it is in many other places, has historically been male-centric. Most of the established vendors and purchasers were male and over 50, leaving little room for women to participate, or even thrive, in the real estate market. Henceforth, Nadia’s arrival on the scene was met with resistance. She broke the age-old tradition, becoming the only female real estate agent and the only owner broker under 30. However, it was a man’s world – as a result, there was little regard for Nadia’s business. In 2022, the industry has, thankfully, changed for the better. There is more room for women’s voices in the market, which is due to a larger focus on knowledge, and Nadia’s contributions to real estate. ‘These changes have been largely driven by the fact that the market is knowledge and experience based, with a very well experienced team we put a very significant focus on training and information about the market. […] ‘Now that I have been doing this for the last fifteen years, I am unmatched in our field for knowledge which keeps our business on top,’ Nadia confirms. Luxury Locations Real Estate has enjoyed a great amount of success during its lifetime; however, the business has similarly faced multiple challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic threatened numerous businesses, impacting lives across the globe. For the business, this was a test of its resilience, determination, and infrastructure. Unsurprisingly, Luxury Locations Real Estate blossomed in the face of adversity, transforming into an organisation where its team members know that Nadia will always ensure that they have a place to work. N In 2007, Nadia Dyson first stepped foot into the male-dominated Antiguan real estate industry. It was Nadia’s experience and abundance of knowledge that subsequently pushed her to the forefront of the market, enabling her to become the Island’s only female real estate agent and lead the way for women hoping to join the industry. An inspiration to many, Nadia refuses to view her gender as an obstacle or reason for failure. In order to mirror this success, Nadia suggests, ‘there will be roadblocks, just as there would be for anyone, so do not make excuses for yourself or blame any failures on being female or any other aspects. It is a cutthroat world out there but if you stay honest, professional and maintain your integrity you will succeed. In business you always need to be striving for more, you can’t just sit and remain the same. Create and innovate to make what you have better than the competition.’ She does, however, attribute a great amount of her success to the support of her team and husband, as they are the fundamental elements that makes it all work. ‘Our team is our family, and they are a unique, fabulously committed group of amazing individuals,’ she confirms. Consequently, throughout the upcoming year, Luxury Locations Real Estate will be enacting numerous plans. Including an expansion into over ten new islands, the development of a new TV show, and continued evolution. Aside from the core business, Nadia hopes to co-create a Caribbean online/in person training academy with her husband. The academy will cater to underprivileged youths and will educate them in business, finance, and real estate. Contact: Nadia Dyson Company: Luxury Locations Antigua Web Address: https://www.luxurylocations.com/ LUXURY L O C A T I O N S R E A L • E S T A T E
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 13 Jun22004 Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 (New Zealand): Jaimee Lupton ince its launch in 2020, MONDAY Haircare has evolved into a leading, cruelty-free brand that is stocked in some of the world’s biggest retailers, including Tesco, Walmart, CVS, and Amazon. Indeed, MONDAY makes quality, modern products accessible to the wider public – no longer is luxury haircare limited to those with large budgets. MONDAY Haircare has been designed to provide salonquality results at home, but who is the woman behind the brand? ‘Having worked with luxury brands—and being someone who devoured beauty products of all kinds—I noticed a huge gap between ‘mass’ haircare stocked in supermarkets and drug stores, and the brands that were stocked in salons and perceived to be more ‘premium,’’ comments Jaimee Lupton. ‘There was a lack of quality haircare with modern qualities (like being fully recyclable and made without animal testing) in a mass setting that people would also be proud enough to have in their shower.’ Henceforth, in 2019, Jaimee and her partner, Nick, began conceptualising. A year later, the product launched to meteoric success, selling over six months’ worth of stock in just four weeks. ‘It’s amazing what you can achieve when you put one foot in front of the other,’ she continues. ‘The past few years have flown by and somehow now we’re in 35 major retailers in 14 countries, have sold 10 million of our pink (recyclable) bottles and won several major beauty awards.’ International prestige has, of course, brought numerous challenges. For many women, striking a balance between taking care of their family and maintaining a career is an area of conflict, and for Jaimee this has been no different. However, she notes that industries are generally becoming more accepting of these priorities, and that perhaps women should grow more comfortable with the imbalance – ‘I don’t know if there is really a ‘balance’ to be had. Perhaps that’s my advice: be comfortable with there being an imbalance, especially if you are starting your own business or brand. They say you’ll never work harder than when you work for yourself, and I’ve certainly found that to be true.’ ‘I think it’s important to pass on knowledge where you can— anyone who knows me will tell you I actually have a hard time keeping things to myself, for better or worse—so I do some informal mentoring in my personal and extended networks or try to lend marketing expertise like I’ve done with Auckland’s Children’s Hospital, Starship,’ Jaimee writes. In essence, Jaimee’s position within the industry and her success are something that women around the world can aspire to. She is S In collaboration with her partner, Nick, Jaimee Lupton has created an internationally esteemed haircare brand. Competing with The Ordinary and Glossier, MONDAY Haircare has ventured into new territory, bridging the gap between luxury and affordability. As a result, the brand can be found throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the UAE, North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom. constantly striving to do more – driving the brand into a position in which it is a household name. As such, her goals for 2022 are centric to MONDAY’S success. Jaimee concludes, ‘I want our beauty vertical to be the L’Oreal of the 21st century, essentially by taking on established names in the ‘big beauty’ space, and re-thinking what it means to be a beauty brand available at a mass scale. A big beauty company with a niche mindset. In the long term my goals involve continuing to grow and scale our brands by constantly innovating. In the short term, I’d like to be able to go to turn my phone off before midnight. But who knows!’ Contact: Jaimee Lupton Company: MONDAY Haircare Web Address: www.mondayhaircare.com
14 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 May22358 Most Inclusive Management Consultant (London): Katie Kelly aklin is a full-service management consultancy. Oaklin helps clients across varied industries take advantage of the opportunity presented by modern technologies and new ways of working to shape and accelerate their businesses. Oaklin creates bold ideas and delivers effective solutions that bring about lasting and successful change. They do this by connecting strategic intent with business outcomes. For over a decade Oaklin has delivered solutions across many industries - from global multinationals to startups - across the private and public sectors. ‘As one of Oaklin’s most senior consultants, I primarily lead on the human elements of change, or as some might describe it, change management,’ Katie Kelly begins. ‘I have a particularly keen interest in how behavioural and cultural change support ongoing transformation.’ Beginning her career, a little over 14 years ago, Katie acquired her role as a Project Manager with the Metropolitan Police Service as part of its IT Graduate Development Programme. Three years later, and with a wealth of experience, she moved on to a small consultancy that specialised in the transport industry. ‘My first experiences of post-university employment were both quite heavily male-dominated and accompanied by the obvious challenges as a result,’ she explains. ‘When it comes to consultancy, I feel that it is mainly the industries you work in that define your experience as a woman.’ Currently, Katie operates within the project leadership team for an Energy client based in the Caribbean, for which she leads the change of an organisation-wide ERP system implementation alongside dependent functionalities and tools. In addition, she leads numerous initiatives at Oaklin. For example, Katie is the figurehead of Oaklin’s marketing strategy, leading a highly talented team of eight consultants and analysts. ‘Engagement of clients and prospective recruits have increased significantly since I began leading the Marketing function,’ she adds. ‘I also lead several of our Inclusion and Diversity initiatives, with a particular focus on awareness of the importance of gender equity in our industry and within our firm.’ Her engagement with the Inclusion and Diversity initiatives has led Katie to organise many of Oaklin’s International Women’s Day celebrations. Moreover, she has offered multiple valuable contributions to the company’s public I&D viewpoint and has headed Oaklin’s ‘Ways We Are Inclusive Charter.’ Perhaps most crucially, Katie played a fundamental role in the company’s development of its commitments O Since Katie Kelly, a highly successful management consultant, joined the business, Oaklin’s team has expanded by over a third. Many of these new recruits are women. Katie’s role in this development has been paramount – but her devotion to female empowerment doesn’t end when she clocks out. Join us as we speak to Katie about her devotion to bolstering equality both in and out of the workplace. to support women who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Outside of the business, Katie devotes an even greater amount of time to supporting women. She is a volunteer at The Chartered Management Institute, where she operates as a regional board member and heads their Women’s network. In addition, Katie got involved with Women’s Aid in the aftermath of the pandemic after being shocked by the extreme rise in domestic violence. She has also created her own vibrant community via social media platforms and her podcast. ‘Through my community “@HER.oes.of” and “HER.oes – The Podcast”, I celebrate and support women heroes in fields such as business, art, charity, health, and more. I recently celebrated the 1-year anniversary of my podcast. In that year I have had thousands of listeners to 30 episodes with exceptional guests like Nikki Henderson, the youngest ever skipper to lead a team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Emma Macan Roberts, the Director of ‘Lean In’ Circles at the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, and Pinky Lilani OBE, the founder of the Women of the Future Awards and the Asian Women of Achievement Awards,’ she says, her enthusiasm radiating through each word. Unsurprisingly, alongside leadership ambitions, her future goals are centred around female empowerment, both in and outside of Oaklin. Katie concludes, ‘my ambition to continue to raise awareness of the importance of gender equity across the consulting industry and in business generally remains a clear part of my professional ambition. […] Who knows, in the future I may be able to influence global leaders to lead by example in supporting women globally in business and beyond’ Contact: Katie Kelly Company: Oaklin Web Address: https://www.oaklin.com/
Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 15 May22421 Best Boutique Design Agency Director (New York): LeAnna Smith ecently celebrating 20 years in the industry, Weller Smith Design has survived global issues, economic misfortunes, natural disasters, and personal events, with each acting as a display of the company and its founder’s resilience. This is, however, to be expected from a business that arose in the aftermath of September 11th. Working as a designer in the bustling New York City publishing industry at the time, those events served as the catalyst for the reassessment of her position and her subsequent career shift. With no concrete business plan in place, LeAnna leveraged her design experience, entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and grit to leave her coveted position and enter the world of business ownership. This was a life changing decision, and thankfully, it has paid off. She began collaborating with other creatives and tech experts, gaining the opportunity to work with high-profile clients, including Food & Wine Magazine, Travel + Leisure Magazine, Artisan Books, Rizzoli, Abrams, and Weight Watchers, to name a few. Since then, Weller Smith Design has bloomed, bolstered by LeAnna’s continuing drive to see the business succeed. As a 100% female- and minority-owned and operated business, it has circumvented the ideas and expectations of women in the industry, as the design world is – for the most part – male dominated. Its diverse team of highly-talented women have brought forward a unique and often unheard perspective and is changing the face of the design industry for the better. ‘In all of my positions, I was fortunate to be surrounded by strong female leaders who not only supported other females but never R Weller Smith Design is a female- and minority-owned business that represents creativity, integrity, community, and passion. Led by LeAnna Weller Smith, a seasoned multi-disciplinary graphic designer, the company has made a name for itself in an industry that has been historically dominated by men. In essence, Weller Smith Design’s success marks the tidal wave of change that is currently flooding the design world. held me back because I was Hispanic,’ LeAnna comments. ‘Now, I think the female perspective is more welcome in industries that were formerly dominated by men. More women of color are making waves in the design community, and many are joining forces to help guide and mentor females in the creative and tech industries.’ Such change, complimented by LeAnna’s talent and dedication, has placed her at the forefront of the design industry. In 2020, LeAnna was recognized by the IAOTP (International Association of Top Professionals) as Top Graphic Designer of the Year. Putting her in the company of top executives, creatives, and business owners across the world. In addition to that, accomplishment, LeAnna was recognized by Graphic Design USA in its People to Watch 2021 edition. This highly-regarded accolade truly represents that change is taking place and that the design industry is beginning to embrace the ideas coming from women and people of color. For LeAnna, it was an honor to be showcased among many other amazing talents, including other women and people of color, in an industry magazine that she had been reading since her college days. She adds, ‘It means that people in the industry are seeing us and the work we put out into the world. To see myself and my business featured in print was a humbling and surreal experience overall.’ Currently, LeAnna is serving on the Board of Spark Design Professionals, a non-profit for design agency owners. She, and the other board members, coordinate engaging events to teach and inspire the members. She also taps into her expansive network of professional women, inviting them to present different business topics. This is something that she hopes to continue going forward. Weller Smith Design is looking forward to continue working with mission and community-driven founders to further define their brand through End-to-end brand design, publishing, and print products to amplify their impact.Furthermore, WSD is in the process of relaunching its vlog, Creatively Speaking, and turning it into a vlog/ podcast. The platform will be used to showcase how other business owners creatively approach the challenges they have faced when trying to build a sustainable business. By the end of the year, the company also hopes to have launched its new give-back model, which will be integrated into its current offerings. Contact: LeAnna Weller Smith Company: Weller Smith Design Web Address: www.wellersmithdesign.comwww.acquisition-international.com