Women in Entrepreneurship Panel

October 22, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Miller Hall, Room 1101

Women in Entrepreneurship Panel - April Armstrong Women in Entrepreneurship Panel - Angela Keaveny Women in Entrepreneurship Panel - Brianna Keefe

Join JMU Alumnae April Armstrong ('92), Angela Keaveny ('94) and Brianna Keefe ('16) for a panel discussion and Q&A with these formidable female entrepreneurs.

It's guaranteed to be an inspiring and empowering evening for Dukes of all genders, ages and majors!

Presented by Gilliam Center for Entpreneurship as part of

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Additional featured JMU women entrepreneurs
Tina Fox (‘94)

Tina Fox - 2019Tina Fox (‘94) is an inspirational leader with a 25-year career as a business development executive and award-winning salesperson in both Fortune 100 and successful start-up companies.

Today, Tina is the founder of Fox Paradigm Consulting and co-owner of Cobalt Settlements in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. She has a strong history of identifying opportunities which trigger multimillion-dollar growth.

Tina is a champion for women in business and mentors aspiring women leaders, and is honored to be recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Woman of Distinction award, 2017.

Fox earned her undergraduate degree, with honors, in Communications/Public Relations at James Madison University, where she is an Advisory Board Member for the College of Business - Management.

“My Madison Experience prepared me for my journey in many ways: by helping me master the importance of communication; giving me a local family of sisters and a support system that has stood the test of time; introducing me to a legend and a role model in Dr. Maya Angelou; and studying abroad in Spain taught me tolerance, understanding, resourcefulness and gratitude. I appreciate all those who leave what is known to start anew in the unknown for a hope of a better future.”

Wilma Cairns-Bowers ('83)

Wilma Cairns-Bowers - 2019Wilma Cairns-Bowers ('83) graduated from JMU with a B.S. in communications arts and a minor in business. She was recruited from JMU into the Verizon management development program eventually become the VP of Corporate Advertising and Brand Management. After a 20-year career at Verizon, she joined her husband full-time to grow their small business, Bowers Design Build in McLean Virginia. With $8M in annual revenues, Bowers Design Build is a top-ranked architecture and construction firm and has won numerous national awards.   

Wilma is the vice chair of Women for Madison and is the founder of the Dolley Madison Scholarship Fund. Wilma was featured in the Washington Post article, “In McLean, a Crusade to get People to Back off in the Parenting Arms Race” focusing on her efforts to reduce the unhealthy stress around the college admissions process. 

My JMU education prepared me with a basic business foundation to be successful, but it was my work for JMU University Relations while a student that gave me exposure to some of the Shenandoah Valley’s most prominent entrepreneurs, like Zane Showker, that taught me about the hard work, resiliency, positive attitude and risk-taking posture needed to be a successful entrepreneur.”

Jennifer Graham (’92)

Jennifer Graham - 2019Jennifer Graham (’92) is an accomplished leader with over 25 years in business development and executive management. She graduated from JMU with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in business.

Her early career in sales was launched with the help of JMU friends and alumni, who hired her for positions in Richmond and later Washington DC, where she worked with government agencies such as FEMA and the Federal Trade Commission.

In 2000, Jennifer co-founded Total Document Solutions, Inc. (TDS) to exclusively service the legal community. TDS provides resources that empower the legal workplace with consulting, project management and outsourcing services to the Am Law 100, supporting over 5,000 lawyers nationally.

As a volunteer. Jennifer was a board member of Rachael’s Women’s Center in Washington, DC, a homeless shelter providing women with opportunities to develop their independence.

“JMU to me is much more than a diploma. It was a happy community with an exceptional education and a place to build life-long friendships. Learning to balance the classroom while making the most of my campus involvement, prepared me to lead a fulfilled life.”

Kelly McLaughlan ('90)

Kelly McLaughlanKelly McLaughlan ('90) is a Digital IT industry SME, Certified IT Project Manager, Systems Engineer and Google Adwords/Analytics professional. As Co-Founder and CEO of KME.Digital for the past decade, she manages her team of digital marketing and technology professionals supporting clients across all data-driven business growth, outreach and communications initiatives. Kelly also serves the community in regional initiatives and speaking engagements as a Fairfax City Economic Development Authority Commissioner/Co-Chair, and Board Member of the GMU Women in Business Initiative. Prior to KME, Kelly held senior IT and systems engineering consulting and manager roles with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Electronic Data Systems (EDS/DXC), and holds a B.B.A. from James Madison University.

“With every new opportunity, identify a mentor and strive to improve your craft every day.”

Sandra Tran ('12)

Sandra Tran - 2019Sandra Tran's (’12) official title is "Chief Ice Cream Officer" at Nicecream, an innovative ice cream business in the Washington DC area. Shortly after graduating from JMU, she started her small ice cream business out of a push cart on the streets of DC. Along with her partner, a fellow JMU-grad, Sandra built Nicecream from a farmers market stand to four brick-and-mortar retail locations and robust catering business in a short 5 years.

“JMU taught me how to make an impact in everything I do. I strive to operate with a mission every day and ingrain that into the fabric of my company culture.”

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