Member Spotlight: Catherine Hover, Founder of Palette Cafe

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Catherine Hover, Founder of Palette Cafe. Palette Cafe is “more than a cafe. It’s a place that celebrates culture, shared ideas, and connections. Palette Cafe is a space where everyone in the community is welcome. It’s a hospitable place to grab a great cup of coffee, a quick lunch, or a cocktail. We aim to inspire everyone who joins us through our well-designed space and local artist gallery wall. It’s a comfortable place to get work done, escape from the challenges of home, or connect and meet with a group of friends.”

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

“When I have 30 minutes of free time, I love to call my girlfriends or mom back home in New Orleans and catch up on life, it’s so therapeutic. I also like to catch up on my reading. I’m currently reading The Upside of Being Down by Jen Gotch and I am getting some really good stuff from it!”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I love meeting new people who have different experiences under their belt. Hearing stories and helping business owners get out of their own way to ultimately reach their business and life goals and become the best version of themselves is what I love to see. That’s what Palette is about, after all, leveling up in life and in career!”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“I would tell myself that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. Stay the course and keep doing what you feel is right and fun to do!”

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

“I have learned so much about other women in business in the area. At Palette, we’re all about coming together and building a community of strong women leaders. The Women’s Business Council has opened my eyes to so many other kickass women in the region who I would love to get to know more.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“The best advice I have ever received, and something I often tell others, is to invest in yourself before you ever pour your time and energy into someone or something else. You are always your best work and should be valued and held as the highest priority in your life. Only then can you be of service to anyone else.”

10 best business books written by women

From the desk of Hannah Stenzel of Godfrey Financial Associates, Inc.

At the time of writing, only three of the top 20 on Amazon’s business books bestseller list were authored by females

It’s no secret that the people we spend time with affect how we perceive the world around us. A piece of advice I hear frequently is to take a look at the 5 people you spend the most time with, and it will show you a lot about yourself. This idea is exciting to me because it means that we have the power to change our lives by getting to know people who inspire us. In everyday life, we don’t have access to highly successful people (I’ve tried to find Oprah’s phone number, but it’s unlisted). But what we can do is read about their lives and how they got to live their dreams.

I found this article to be a fresh list of successful women business owners, and I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. Read it here.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Just Made Two Big Steps That Prove Its Women’s Business Is a Top Priority

Dick's Sporting Goods in Danvers, Massachusetts, USA, 28 February 2018. The company announced on 28 February 2018, two weeks after the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that they would no longer sell assault rifles and will raise the minimum age requirement to 21 for all gun purchases.Dick's Sporting Goods no longer sell assault rifles, Danvers, USA - 28 Feb 2018

For decades, there has been a struggle in the sporting industry that women’s sports do not get the same recognition, funding and respect that men’s sports do, even though they achieve the same if not more, success on the field.

Dick’s Sporting Good, one of the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, recently made an announcement that pledges their support in promoting women’s sports that can change the industry.

Read about their recent commitment here.

WBC Member Spotlight: Rita Cox, Cox Marketing Solutions, LLC

Meet Rita Cox, Founder of Cox Marketing Solutions, LLC! Founded in 2017, Cox Marketing Solutions helps businesses make sense of today’s complicated marketing options with strategic plans, detailed execution, and most importantly – measurable results.

Read about what inspires her, how she spends her free time and what she has gained from being a member of the Capital Region Chamber’s Women Business Council.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Walking our two rescued pit bulls. They never get enough attention and it’s a great break for all of us!

What do you love most about what you do? 

I absolutely love working with a wide range of clients and finding new ways to grow their businesses.  The greatest reward is a client who says that their business is up!

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13? 

I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t doing a lot of listening at 13, but I wish I had understood that doing homework was important.  

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

My dad always said two things “If you’re going to do it, do it 100%” and “Things don’t get done by themselves.”  He’s still one of the smartest guys I know.

Women in Business Wednesdays: A world run by women…

From the desk of Hannah Stenzel of Godfrey Financial Associates, Inc.

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Reading this recent article was like receiving an early holiday present. 

Two days ago, former President Barak Obama said that women are better leaders than men. “I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on Earth was run by women, you would see significant improvement across the board on just about everything … living standards and outcomes,” he said.

Every nation on Earth run by women? Now that’s a goal to work towards in 2020. What would that look like for you?

Women In Business Wednesdays: Work-Life Balance

From the desk of Hannah Stenzel of Godfrey Financial Associates, Inc.


It never fails- At every event with a businesswoman in the spotlight, the question is always asked, “How do you maintain a work-life balance?” I find this question so interesting because it acknowledges that careers are the opposite of our personal lives. It acknowledges that women are still frustrated, trying to find an illusory balance between two competing commitments- their lives, and their jobs.

Moving forward, I think employers and businesswomen should rethink the way we frame this problem. Instead of striving for unattainable balance, we can explore what it would look like to have work-life integration.

Brianne Garret, of ForbesWomen, touched on this subject in her article, here. “Professionals in what’s been called the “always-on” work culture—especially women—often find it difficult to achieve work-life equilibrium…Now the idea of “work-life integration” is gaining currency, as more and more people concede the idea of “balance” may just be an unattainable goal,” Garret explains.

As many studies have shown, more women in leadership roles make a company more profitable and sustainable. Companies need to value their women and demonstrate that value to them by creating more inclusive and responsive cultures.

This isn’t something that anyone woman (or person) can do on their own. We do it as a community. We do it by having more women in leadership positions. We do it by listening to each other and lifting each other up. Be a part of this change, join the Women’s Business Council today.

Do you dream of opening your own business? We have some advice…

From the desk of Hannah Stenzel of Godfrey Financial Associates, Inc.

In this article by Kerry Hannon of The New Yorker, five dynamic and successful women entrepreneurs give the gift of their advice about starting your own business.

Most of these women relied upon the support of a close-knit group of peers and colleagues to help their vision come to life. They also share many valuable secrets to leadership, such as taking risks, being active, building a strong team, and having complete dedication to your vision.

These values of community and leadership are core foundations of the Women’s Business Council. Come gather with local, successful, engaging women who champion each other.

See you at the WBC Holiday Luncheon next week, on December 10th!

When women gather, the world changes

From the desk of Lauren Axford, Executive Director, Pine Hollow Arboretum

Well, I could not have found a better article to endorse all the opportunities that the Women’s Business Council of the Capital Region Chamber provides for its members! According to Pat Mitchell (a self-professed “dangerous woman, advocate and activist”) and growing body of research data, there is measurable value in women gathering to share stories and experiences, to network both professionally and personally and to exchange ideas. 

In fact, a recent Harvard Business School study has indicated that women who participate in women’s conferences and similar activities are “twice as likely to get a promotion within a year and three times as likely to get a 10 percent salary bump!” On that note, see you at the next Women’s Business Council function!!

Read the article here.

How Women Entrepreneurs Are Breaking Free of the Pay Gap (And The Best Cities To Be In)

From the desk of Lauren Axford, Executive Director, Pine Hollow Arboretum

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Did you know that yesterday, November 19th, was “Women’s Entrepreneurship Day”?  Established in 2014 and recognized by 144 nations, this is a day to acknowledge and appreciate the work of women entrepreneurs.  A 2018 study showed that 40% of United States businesses are women-owned, with about half of those businesses being owned by women of color.

There is still a lot of work to be done for full “executive power and representation”, especially worldwide.   However, groups like the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network are helping to boost the success of women-owned businesses by commissioning research aimed at exploring how success relates to “access to capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets”.  These findings will then help inform policy that will continue to encourage the growing momentum for support of women-owned businesses around the world. 

Read the article here.