WEDC Staff

Anne M. Janiak
Executive Director

Anne M. Janiak is a founder and Executive Director of the Women's Enterprise Development Center Inc., a nonprofit microbusiness development organization in White Plains, NY that helps women achieve economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship in Westchester County and the Lower Hudson Valley. Ms. Janiak has been involved with the organization since its formation in 1997 and has been instrumental in its growth and development, including its designation as a Women's Business Center by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2003. She has been active in women's issues, local government, and public policy matters in Westchester County for more than 25 years and serves as part-time Executive Director of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association. She is a former Mayor of the Village of Scarsdale, a former chair of the Westchester County Women's Advisory Board, and a former president of the Scarsdale chapter of the League of Women Voters. Ms. Janiak has many community and professional affiliations and is actively involved with both the state and national microenterprise development program associations. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC). Ms. Janiak has a BA in Secondary Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a MA in Women's History from Sarah Lawrence College. She can be contacted at 914-948-6098 ext. 12 or ajaniak@westchester.org.

 

Barbara Venturi
Chief Operating Officer

Barbara Venturi, WEDC's Chief Operating Officer, has come to WEDC’s staff having served five years on the Board of Directors; the last three as the President of the Board. Ms. Venturi has extensive  knowledge of entrepreneurship, business finance and banking, management, and operations. Prior to joining WEDC, Ms. Venturi  was a principal in Ambar Realty Group, a commercial real estate firm in White Plains and a Manager in the Treasury Department of The Rockefeller Group in Manhattan. Ms. Venturi has a BA from Bucknell University and a Masters of Business Administration from Hofstra University. She can be contacted at 914-948-6098 ext. 11 or at bventuri@westchester.org.

 

Kenya Ajose
Director and Program Manager 

Kenya Ajose, Director and Program Manager, joined WEDC with a strong background in corporate management, client relations, project management and communications. Prior to joining WEDC, she was a client relations manager at Paramount Brands and a project manager at Caligor Medical Supply. In addition, Ms. Ajose serves on the Board of Directors for the IMANI Cultural Academy. She has a BA in Communications and an MBA in Human Resource Management from Iona College. She can be reached at 914-948-6098 ext 10 or kajose@westchester.org.

 

Persephone Zill
Senior Program Specialist & Business Counselor

Persephone Zill, WEDC's Business Counselor and Program Specialist, consulted for WEDC part-time from 2003-2006 and has now become a member of our staff. Prior to joining WEDC, Ms. Zill served as the Director of Training at the former American Woman's Economic Development Corporation (AWED) in New York City. She devoted more than ten years to coaching women entrepreneurs through her own coaching business in Westchester. In addition, she served as the Co-leader of the Westchester/Rockland International Coaching Federation (ICF) Chapter from 2003-2005. Ms. Zill earned a BA degree from Barnard College in American Studies and has an MBA in Management/Entrepreneurship from Baruch College of the City University of New York. Ms. Zill has an excellent background in program development and business counseling. Her skills and experience in entrepreneurship are a tremendous asset to our organization. Ms. Zill can be contacted at 914-948-6098 ext. 13 or pzill@westchester.org.

 

Veronica Bazan
Program Specialist & Business Counselor-English/Spanish

Veronica Bazan, WEDC's Program Specialist and Business Counselor, joined WEDC in 2013. She has a background in small business, teaching, and micro lending. Prior to joining WEDC, Ms. Bazan worked as a bilingual analyst at Accion East and Online, a microfinance organization, where she helped small business owners prepare and procure loans. Ms. Bazan earned her BA in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University. She also has a degree in education from the Instituto Superior de Formacion Docente in her home country of Argentina. Ms. Bazan can be contacted at 914-948-6098 ext.14 or vbazan@westchester.org.

 

Adie Shore
Grants Manager

Adie Shore, WEDC's Grants Manager, joined WEDC in 2011.  Ms. Shore is the owner of Shore Grant Services, a grant writing company she started while attending WEDC's 15-Week Entrepreneurial Training Program. She has a strong background in project management and expertise in business, finance, and marketing. Prior to joining WEDC, Ms. Shore worked as a grant writer for the YWCA in White Plains, Secretary/Treasurer  for the League of Women Voters of New York, and President of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale. She has a BS in Mathematics/Spanish from C.W. Post University, an MS in Operations Research at Polytechnic Institute of New York, and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Ms. Shore can be contacted at 914-948-6098 ext.17 or ashore@westchester.org.

Lucille Geraci-Miranda
Director of Development

Lucille Geraci-Miranda, WEDC's Director of Development, joined WEDC in 2014. Ms. Geraci-Miranda brings with her the expertise she developed during her extensive career in corporate public affairs, nonprofit management, academia, volunteer leadership, and consulting.  She is the founder of Geranda Projects, an initiative that offers guidance to community and nonprofit organizations. 

Ms. Geraci-Miranca holds a Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management degree from Pace University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Concordia College. She has served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Program for Media and Communication Arts at Pace University and was co-president of the Association of Development Officers. Ms. Geraci-Miranda can be reached at 914-948-6098 ext. 20 or LGeraci-Miranda@westchester.org.

 

Maria Guardado
Office & Program Assistant

Maria Guardado, WEDC’s Office and Program Assistant, came to our organization as an intern from the College of Westchester.  She joined WEDC’s staff in December 2009 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Project Management. Ms. Guardado’s computer expertise, bilingual skills, initiative, and warmth have made her a welcome addition to the WEDC family. She can be reached at 914-948-6098 ext 15 or mguardado@westchester.org.


Mid-Hudson Satellite Office (WEDC-MHV)

Lea Bishop
Director, WEDC-MHV

Lea Bishop worked diligently for more than 3 years to bring a WEDC satellite to the Mid-Hudson Valley. Prior to this, she was Director of Small Business Membership and Program Development at the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce where she was responsible for member recruitment and retention, development, and successful execution of small business programs. Ms. Bishop was also the Project Manager for the Institute for Business Innovation in Poughkeepsie, NY and worked at IBM as both a project manager and computer programmer. Ms. Bishop is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the House of Hope Domestic Violence Shelter and was also a member of the Access Capital Workgroup, NYS Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. She received the “New York State Assembly award for volunteer service to Not-for-Profit organizations”. Ms. Bishop received an MS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from the University of Virginia and a BS in Mathematics from Wilkes University. She can be reached at 845-575-3438 or lbishop@wedcbiz.org.   
 

Laurie A. Rich, Esq.
Program Manager, WEDC-MHV

Laurie A. Rich, Program Manager, joined WEDC in August 2013.  She is a highly experienced and dynamic marketing, communications and business professional with a history of success in bringing about growth and increased sustainability for established companies and start-ups. She brings to WEDC a unique combination of a law degree and former practice in New York, with over 20 years of experience as a sustainability, communications, marketing, and business specialist. Most recently, she served as the Director of Spectrum Services Foundation raising money for children with autism spectrum disorders.  Her volunteer activities include 13 years as a Board of Education Trustee for the Rhinebeck Central School District, and 5 years on the Board of Trustees of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Dutchess County. Ms. Rich graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University and earned a law degree at Northeastern University School of Law. She can be contacted at 845-575-3438 or lrich@wedcbiz.org.

Kathy Dyer
Assistant Program Manager, WEDC-MHV

Kathy Dyer, Assistant Program Manager, joined WEDC in January 2014.  She is the owner of a franchise, AdviCoach, a business advising and coach firm. Prior to this, she worked for ten years at Pfizer/Wyeth as a validation scientist IV/project manager.

Ms. Dyer earned her master's degree from Marist College, a bachelor's in chemistry from Western New England University, and an associate's degree in chemical technology from Holyoke Community College. She can be reached at WEDC-MHV@wedcbiz.org.


WEDC-MHV

To learn about the programs and services offered at WEDC-MHV in Poughkeepsie, please email us or check out our WEDC-MHV Facebook page.  


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