Senator Oppenheimer moderating a panel discussion of successful businesswomen and entrepreneurs, including Ellen Parlapiano, Therese Ferretti, and Leslie Allicks

Suzi Oppenheimer

October 28, 2009



Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) and the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) hosted a successful Small Business and Economic Development Forum on Thursday, October 22nd at the White Plains Public Library.

A capacity crowd filled the library auditorium to hear a distinguished panel of businesswomen and entrepreneurs.  Ellen Parlapiano, the award-winning journalist and co-author of Mompreneur®, Therese Ferretti, the President of Collins Brothers Moving Corp. and Leslie Allicks, a WEDC graduate and owner of Lola’s Tea House, recounted their experiences getting started in business and moving up the corporate ladder.  The panelists offered advice and encouragement to prospective entrepreneurs.  

Anne Janiak, WEDC’s Executive Director, thanked Lynda Reissman of Capitol One Bank for the bank’s sponsorship of the forum and introduced the panelists.  Senator Oppenheimer moderated the panel discussion.

Noting that “entrepreneurship is vital to our state’s economic recovery,” Senator Oppenheimer pointed to numerous studies demonstrating that “new and expanding small businesses play a disproportionately large role in job creation and innovation.  If New York is to maintain its competitive place in the global marketplace, government and private enterprise must work together to encourage small business opportunities.”

At the conclusion of the panel presentation, conference attendees were given the opportunity to meet individually with government representatives and non-profit organizations to learn about the many programs that are offered to encourage new businesses and help established ones grow.  

“WEDC is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this event with Senator Oppenheimer and to provide on-going assistance to small business owners in our community to help them start and grow their enterprises,” said Anne Janiak.

“This is my 18th small business conference,” observed Senator Oppenheimer, “and with each one it is exciting to help others realize their ambitions and dreams.”