How Rebecca Minkoff’s ‘Female Founder’ seal of approval will help women business owners

Image result for rebecca minkoff person

Rebecca Minkoff wants to work in a business world where one can easily distinguish a women-owned business. The designer/entrepreneur is currently in the works in creating the ” Female Founder Collective,” a directory that will have a symbol next to women-owned businesses so prospective consumers and potential employers can look out for.

Let us hear your thoughts on this idea? Do you think we should have something along these lines in the Capital Region? Sound off in the comment section below!

Read the article here.

Women Volunteers Rock!

April 7th marks the start of National Volunteer Week, and here at the WBC, we simply want to shout out all the incredible women in business who are also making a difference by volunteering in our community!

Global estimates put the count of volunteers worldwide at over 970 million, and considering the hours that they contribute, we are talking about the equivalent of over 125 million full-time workers!! According to numerous reports, around the world and in the U.S., more volunteering is undertaken by women than by men. In fact, a survey conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) found that American volunteers tend to be female and married. The largest age group for volunteers was 35-44 and the volunteers surveyed were most likely to be parents with children under 18.

Think about that for a second — women with spouses and children to take care of are still volunteering more than most other groups of Americans. When you factor in the demands of jobs, kids, and other commitments, knowing that so many women still find time to give back to their communities is pretty awe-inspiring!

If you’re one of those female volunteers making a difference in the Capital Region, we’d love to hear more about how you’re involved and why you love it! If you’re looking for new ways to give back, consider one of these opportunities from our 2019 Adopted Nonprofit – The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York.

Here are some Epilepsy Foundation NENY opportunities:

Looking for a Few Good Men and Women to Join Our Walk to End Epilepsy Committee

  1. The Epilepsy Foundation will soon begin planning our 11th Annual Walk at Saratoga Spa State Park which will be held on Sunday, September 8th.  The “Walk to End Epilepsy” attracts over 500 participants annually.  Our volunteer committee meets once a month from April-September to plan for this event.  Volunteers are needed to secure raffle prizes, corporate sponsors and assist with day of logistics.  Our volunteers also help us spread the word to friends, colleagues and businesses to introduce new participants to the Walk.  The day includes lunch, children’s activities and much more!!  We are pleased to welcome our Event Partner, Fingerpaint, to our 2019 Walk to End Epilepsy.

To join the committee, or learn more, please contact Jeannine Garab, Executive Director, at (518)456-7501 or

2. Looking for a Few Good Men and Women to Join the Epilepsy Golf Tournament Committee

The Epilepsy Foundation will soon begin planning our Annual Epilepsy Golf Tournament which will be held on Monday, September 23rd at Wolferts Roost Country Club.  The Golf Tournament attracts over 150 participants annually.  Our unique format features fivesomes and nine Par 3 holes, each offering significant prizes including $10,000 cash.  Our volunteer committee meets once a month from April-September to plan for this event.  Volunteers recruit new fivesomes, secure raffle prizes, corporate sponsors and assist with day of logistics.  The event includes a premium giveaway, food and wine tastings on the course, silent and live auction, in addition to lunch, dinner and an awards reception.

To join the committee, or learn more, please contact Jeannine Garab, Executive Director, at (518)456-7501 or

Why Volunteer for a Committee with the WBC?

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, President of Put Another Way


Being a woman in business is challenging. Your tool bag should be stocked with desire, strength, stamina, vision, and guts. Yet you may also need resources and help so where can you go to get the help you need?

When I started my business last year I thought I was prepared. My tool bag was full, and I was ready to take on the world, yet I still needed that help and support. I was looking for women like me, and I found them in the Women’s Business Council (WBC) of the Capital Region Chamber. After getting my feet wet with some of the great networking events and luncheons, I looked to dig a little deeper and found there were committees available to support the infrastructure of the WBC.

So, I would like to share with you my top 5 reasons to volunteer on a committee with the Women’s Business Council:

Great minds think alike. The Communications Committee seemed like a perfect fit for me. I am a content writer and where best to use what I know that the Communications Committee? Are you a ‘woman about town’? Try the membership committee and gather new members while you’re out and about.

You will find resources and be a resource all at the same time. Are you a non-profit and need some help finding benefits for your team? Or you just found an office supply company that discounts non-profit companies. Join the Adopted Nonprofit Committee and be a part of some great resource sharing.

Build your resume. Have you ever written an event announcement or helped plan a party for say, 200 of your closed Chamber friends? Learn to do this by joining a committee that performs one of these functions and you have added a new skill to your list of talents!

You meet great people. Period. Nothing more to say!

It’s where you live. Joining the Women’s Business Council and subsequently joining a committee has expanded my footprint into the community where I work, live, raise my family, and spend my leisure time. I wanted to be a part of telling the greater Capital Region about this wonderful place with all the hidden gems, resources, and events that are here for the taking.

If you feel like this too, c’mon and join us! Bring a cup of coffee and come to a meeting to find out what we’re all about. You can also check out the Women’s Business Council’s page here.

For more information on joining a WBC Committee, please contact Marna Redding, Vice President of Member Services at the Capital Region Chamber, at or reach out to us via the blog or Facebook.

Women of Excellence Unplugged- What advice did you take away from these women?

At the event on Tuesday, Benita Zahn, the phenomenal moderator, asked the women several insightful questions that provided great advice to the audience made up of both women and men.

One of the two-part questions she asked the women was, “Do you ever think about reinventing yourself and how do you stay relevant?”

It was a question that I asked the lovely woman that I  sat next to, Dorcey Applyrs.  I believe you will see Dorcey on the dais in the future.  To me, she is a woman of excellence.  Briefly, she is currently the 2017 Ambassador for Girls, Inc.  She is the councilwoman for Albany’s First Ward and is the Faculty Program Director for the Public Health School of Health Sciences for Excelsior College.  Her answer below is likely the reason she is so accomplished.


Do you think about reinventing yourself?

“Yes, ALL of the time! I am innately introspective. I constantly think about ways to satisfy those inner thoughts and feelings that challenge me to live my best life and simply be happy. This requires me to think about who and where I am in the context of the present and future. My life experiences have taught me that evolution is a necessary part of living life to its fullest.  Failing to be intentional about change and reinventing myself can only result in stunted growth, complacency and not being fulfilled.”


For me, honoree, Dr. Suzie Mookherjee’s “live your truth” and Dorcey’s advice about failing to be intentional about change can only result in stunted growth are two of the many pieces of inspirational advice I took away from the event.

What struck you as being an eye-opener or made you nod your head in agreement?





Women of Excellence 2017: Kathleen Pingelski Recipient of Excellence in Business Award Shares her Wisdom About Resilience in the Workplace

I had an opportunity to gain some valuable insight from Kathleen Pingelski, this year’s recipient of the Excellence in Business Award, Women of Excellence. I am pleased to share it with our readers. kathleeen.jpg

“I think to achieve resiliency it’s important to stay positive in all situations, even when facing challenges. I encourage others to build healthy habits into their lifestyle, such as  meditation and exercise, to practice being present and to disconnect from technology on a regular basis.  Have laser focus on the goal or outcome you want to achieve and keep making forward progress.”

Kathleen Pingelski, President
MicroKnowledge, Inc. Computer Training and Consulting
ProKnowledge, LLC – Professional Development Training and Consulting


Awards for Women in the Capital Region

In the Capital Region, there are many opportunities for women to be recognized for their achievements in business, for their passionate advocacy, and for the leadership and resourcefulness.  Women are leading the way today.

Here are some of the awards that recognize women’s accomplishments.

Women of Excellence

The Women of Excellence Award is an annual event that the Women’s Business Council of the Capital Region Chamber. The selection committee is comprised of former award recipients.  There are six women chosen each year and they are honored for the following areas, Excellence in Business, Excellence in Business Development, Excellence in Management, Excellence in the Professions (for profit or non-profit sector), Distinguished Career and Emerging Professional.  The deadline to nominate a woman for one of these honored awards is usually January 31. Award recipients are recognized at a luncheon in June an participate in the Women of Excellence Unplugged event in September.  Sign up here.

Fuel Her Fire

Girls, Inc. will recognize their outstanding women at an evening reception on September 27 with their third annual Fuel Her Fire Awards Celebration.  The distinguished individuals are recognized because they are powerful role models and mentors for others.

Resourceful Women

The YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, Inc. nominates a resourceful woman or a girl on a mission who embodies the mission of YWCA-GCR by advancing the empowerment of women.  They have a luncheon on October 11th honoring this year’s winner whose community and professional pursuits support the YWCA-GCR’s goals.

Women Who Mean Business

The Albany Business Review honors five accomplished business owners.  The competition is in its ninth year and the women come from a number of different industries.  This year the five women chosen for doing outstanding work in leadership roles will be honored at a luncheon on October 7th.

The Albany Business Review also hosts a 40 under 40 awards program that turned 18 this year.  Both young men and women under the age of 40 are recognized for their unique talents in their industry.

Capital Region Women@Work

The Times Union Women@work member organization consistently supports and highlights women’s accomplishments and achievements throughout the year with feature articles in their bi-monthly magazine and at their monthly events.

Trailblazers Award

The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region is a component fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.  The CFGCR and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region honor outstanding women of achievement with their Trailblazers Award.  The proceeds from the spring luncheon are used to help struggling women achieve their goals of a college degree.

Women Making a Difference

Best Buddies of New York honors a female who balances work, family and community service and have made Best Buddies their mission.  Their event is on November 4.

Lastly, WERC (Capital District Women’s Employee Resource Center) is an organization that celebrates their inspirational graduates.  Their program helps women successfully find or improve their employment.  Their awards luncheon is on October 3.

Readers, if you know of other awards for women in the Capital Region please let us know!



2017 Women of Excellence in Business Development Honoree Retires.

Just before she moved to Florida, I spoke with Suzann Smart, Executive Director, The Foundation for Ellis Medicine and the honoree for Excellence in Business Development for the Women of Excellence Awards 2017.
I asked her to give our members a few words of parting wisdom.
“If you want to remain excited and engaged with your work, try to learn something new every day.  Whether it’s about your field, a new way to be more effective using technology, something from a colleague or an article you read.  The changes happening around us are amazing. It can be energizing, but you have to remain engaged every day in learning and welcoming new ways of doing the profession you have chosen.
And it’s important to remember, if you don’t like your work, your boss, your employer, find another job. There are lots of exciting opportunities out there.
As for work habits:
Show Up.
Don’t keep people waiting.
Keep smiling.
Make your boss look good.
Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Answer emails and return phone calls.
Laugh and share the joy.
I want to thank the Chamber and my wonderful colleagues for this recognition. It has been a tremendous honor and I am grateful for the privilege of being named a Woman of Excellence.”
To see the five other honorees discuss what inspires them, come to the Women of Excellence Unplugged, hosted by Benita Zahn of NewsChannel 13, on September 19, sign up here.

7 Laws That Helped Women Make History in the Workforce

WBC event
Women’s Business Council- We are a force. 

As Women’s History month came to a close in March, I found this article on LinkedIn.  What caught my attention were the dates.  Take a quick look at the long history and recent history of the laws that have helped women in their fight for equality in the workplace.

  • Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938
  • The Equal Pay Act if 1963
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Action of 1978
  • The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994
  • The Affordable Care Act of 2010

om Spiggle, Principal at The Spiggle Law Firm
Published on March 31, 2017

Tracking the trends in ‘blue’ vs. ‘pink’-collar jobs

As the Women’s Business Council celebrates 30 years of empowering women in business at every level, we’ve been taking a look back at how far we’ve come and thinking about what’s in store for the future.

When it comes to trends in jobs, it looks like things have changed quite a bit in the last 30 years. According to a recent article in the New York Times, lots of jobs predominantly done by men (like machine operator or welder, for example) have been disappearing, while occupations that employ mostly women are quickly growing.

If you take a look at the graphic in that NYT article, you’ll see a depiction of how the fastest-growing jobs, as predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are predominantly done by women, with only a few exceptions. Jobs in the healthcare industry in particular, from home health aides to nurse practitioners, are more than 80% female and are projected to grow significantly in the years ahead.

What seems crazy to me as a casual observer is that when men who enter these fields, which the story refers to as “pink-collar” occupations, they are paid more and promoted faster than women. Sociologically speaking, this trend is referred to as the “glass escalator.”

Perhaps that’s why this chart reflecting data from the Census Bureau for Albany, NY shows higher average salaries for men in common jobs including those most likely dominated by women:


On the bright side, I suppose, the NYT article notes that women enter into male-dominated fields more than men enter female-dominated fields. And those male-dominated fields tend to be well-paid. Yet on the flip side, other studies point to drops in pay, negative perceptions, and more health problems as women take over male-dominated roles.

So where does that leave us? I’d say we still have room to grow when it comes to promoting women in the workplace. But don’t take my word for it…

Join us for our next WBC program, The Evolution of Women in Business, on February 14 at The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center. Hear from a panel of past Women of Excellence Award recipients on how they predict women in the workplace will be propelled toward advancement in the future.