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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Inspires Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners at Second Annual Roundtable

May 5, 2014
Press Release

At the Hawthorne Memorial Center, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, welcomed approximately 250 women entrepreneurs and business owners to her "Women in Business Roundtable" on Friday, April 25.  Experts from Federal, state and local agencies and the private sector were present to provide attendees with valuable information to help their entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. This was the second roundtable held by Congresswoman Waters following a successful gathering in another 43rd district city.

"I truly appreciate all of the participants and chambers of commerce that came out to give women a helping hand in starting up, or expanding their businesses," said Congresswoman Waters. "Today, women business owners play an important role in our economy and that's why supporting them is so important here in California and across our country. We must continue to seize opportunities to break new ground for women in both the public and private sector."

There were representatives from eight different government agencies and organizations which made presentations to assist small business owners. Also present were women from successful private sector businesses such as Nancy Mercolino, President and Owner of Ceilings Plus. Nancy founded Ceilings Plus twenty-one years ago by merging two small companies with revenues of less than $1 million. She has grown Ceilings Plus into a company currently worth over $30 million. Another successful owner was Frances Jones who opened her first McDonald's restaurant in Ojai, California in 1984. Today, she has a total of four other restaurants spread throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Both Jones and Mercolino shared their stories for overcoming hurdles as a business owner.

Representatives from the following agencies were also in attendance: the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), Small Business Development Center at El Camino College, The Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), local chambers of commerce, and more.

Attached photograph: Lisa Fimiani, Executive Director, Friends of Ballona Wetlands; Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43); and Day Scott, Nature Education Coordinator, Wonders of Wetlands Program.

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