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Ann W. Madsen is Executive Director at the Centre for Women. Ann is the driving force behind this unique multimillion dollar organization whose core mission is to help women in the Tampa Bay Region to succeed both personally and professionally. Ann has more than 30 years experience in leadership capacities across corporate, academic and nonprofit sectors. She began her career as a journalist and later was one of the first women editors for the Gannett Newspaper Group. As an entrepreneur, Ann grew two businesses through effective business planning, creative sales techniques and innovative marketing. A seasoned advancement professional and national award-winning marketing expert, Ann has held senior-level positions at Mutual of New York, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting of Central New York, Cazenovia College, Cornell University and Catholic Charities.
Ann holds a BA in History from Trinity College; civic and community activities include: The Athena Society; Women of Influence Committee, Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce; WEL (Women’s Executive Leadership Group), Tiger Bay; and Working Women of Tampa Bay.
A native of Massena, New York, she resides in Apollo Beach, Fl.
Stacey Banks-Houston is the Program Director for the Women’s Business Centre, the only designated Small Business Administration (SBA) Women’s Business Centre on Florida’s west coast. Stacey is an accomplished entrepreneur, business coach, author, and leader with a strong track record for Small Business Development.
Since 2014, Stacey has counseled and trained over 2,000 women and assisted in creating over 30 new businesses. Stacey’s leadership and advocacy for small businesses has been recognized by the Small Business Administration and the United States White House. In 2010, Stacey was the winner of the SBA Minority Small Business Champion Award and in 2015 her creation of the Mentor and Protégé Program for minority students at Kent State University’s Blackstone Launchpad was recognized at the first ever White House Entrepreneurship Demo Day.
Stacey’s enthusiasm for business ownership has been shared with women, youth, college students and those formerly incarcerated. Stacey believes in exposing entrepreneurship to youth at an early age. She has developed a youth entrepreneurship curriculum which she has presented to elementary, middle and high school students. Stacey has also shared her expertise at colleges and universities including Yale University, Kent State University and Hiram College.
Stacey holds a BA in Fashion Merchandising from Ursuline College, a Masters in Business Administration from Cleveland State University, a CBA (Certified Business Advisor) from State of Ohio SBDC, and Certified NxLevel® Business Course Facilitator.
Martha Ocasio is the Administrative Program Coordinator for the Women’s Business Centre. She has been working in administrative office settings since 1996. Martha attended the University of Phoenix online, achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and is currently attending Florida Institute of Technology to complete her Master’s Degree. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida.
Summer 1975. Gerald Ford was the president and Muhammad Ali was set to take on Joe Frazier in The famous Thrilla in Manila. But in a small Arkansas town an 11-year-old girl was trading in summer break trips to the corner store for a job selling burial insurance door to door with her funeral home owner father. It was the first job “in business” for Stephanie McNeal-Brown. It was one that taught her the importance of service, structure and leadership. Now after two decades in the world of business and marketing, she continues to employ those same values.
If you ask Stephanie about her family, healthy relationships or entrepreneurship, you’ll get a mile-wide grin and a lively discussion about either of them. These three have been her passion for as long as she can remember. Self-proclaimed “Florida girl,” she's been in the Tampa Bay area for 25 years pursuing those very passions. She is thrilled to join the team as a Business Counselor at The Women's Business Centre at The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women. Her background, experience and passion lies in helping women to succeed in life and business. Before joining the Women's Business Centre, she was working as a Life & Business Coach with her own company, Grow Women that she founded in 2012. Grow Women's mission aligns perfectly with The Centre for Women.
Stephanie holds both a BS in Business Administration and an MBA in Marketing. She is also very active with volunteering with Safe Harbor in St. Petersburg, caregiving for her Mom living with Alzheimers and cheering her athletic children in their various sports.