Steps to Success

October 13, 2022

Steps to Success is the annual signature event of the Frederick Women’s Business Network! From its earliest beginnings, the vision and purpose of this event is to connect professional women and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The WBN seeks out the best facilitators who lead group discussions in a wide variety of topics that include business growth initiatives, women’s health, and personal development. In these sessions, you will find yourself with like-minded women who support your desire for self-improvement. The breakout sessions are designed to INFORM each woman with tangible tools to accelerate the growth they desire.

For our 15th annual Steps to Success event, our Keynote Speaker is Monica Pearce, a trailblazer and the owner of Tenth Ward Distilling Company

As an integral part of Steps to Success, you will have the opportunity to ENCOURAGE your peers by sharing your insight around the experience you bring to the group’s focus. You will receive the SUPPORT you need to move forward as you take your next STEPS TO SUCCESS!

Event Details

Thursday, October 13, 2022

8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Ceresville Mansion  | 8529 Liberty Road, Frederick

Keynote Speaker

Monica Pearce, Founder and Boss Lady of Tenth Ward Distilling Company


Monica started her career spending 8 years working in the conservation biology field. She received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an Executive Master’s in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. Additionally, Monica has over 20 years of experience in the service and hospitality industry and 10 plus years of experience with marketing, branding, and strategic planning.


Monica eventually moved back to her hometown of Frederick, MD where she founded Tenth Ward Distilling Company in July of 2016. She has grown the business from a tasting room and distillery at 1,600 square feet and virtually no employees to an expanded cocktail bar and tasting room, private event venue and production facility with a combined square footage of 20,000. Since having started the business, Monica now sits as VP on the board of the Maryland Distillers Guild, is a member of the Frederick Tourism Council Board of Directors, completed the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Program and was recognized as Frederick County’s top 50 under 40 entrepreneurs.

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Reserve your space today!

Members $110
Non members $165


Michelle Nusum-Smith

"The Role of a Board in Nonprofit Success"

Michelle Nusum-Smith is owner and principal consultant at The Word Woman LLC. A licensed nonprofit consultant, coach and trainer, Michelle helps nonprofits, governmental agencies, and individuals develop the skills, knowledge and resources to achieve their missions. With over 20 years of nonprofit experience, she has expertise in organizational development and leadership, board development, program development, financial management, fundraising, and community relations. Michelle has extensive speaking, training, and facilitation experience, including public and private events as well as regional and national conferences. She has successfully helped nonprofits and governmental agencies to secure over $100M in combined public and private


Michelle is licensed to offer consulting services for the Maryland Nonprofit’s Standards for Excellence® program and has the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to work with nonprofits across the country interested in learning about and implementing the Standards for Excellence code. She is a member of the Grant Professionals Association and an Associate Consultant at Maryland Nonprofits. Michelle graduated from the Honors Program at Coppin State University where she earned a BS in Management Science with a minor in Marketing. She is actively involved in numerous charities and community activities.

Nonprofit boards steer their organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies while also ensuring the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission. Board members have specific responsibilities and legal duties that must be carried out. Join this session to learn the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit boards and the possible negative consequences of even "well-meaning" actions.

Peggy Magnanelli

"Sales 101: Enjoy Selling"

Peggy is a mom, Grandma, and full-time Realtor for 19+ years.  In doing so. she has helped hundreds of families sell their current home and find just the right home for them.  To do so she has taken many hours of extra training that most Realtors do not.  She has a CRS designation (Council of Residential Specialists) in which fewer than 4% of all Realtors in the US have that designation.  She also has the Seller Representative Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, Real Estate Negotiating Expert designations. My Military Relocation Professional, & Pricing Strategies Advisor Certifications. She takes all these extra classes to make sure that she is as educated as possible to be able to serve her clients.

Peggy has done extensive volunteer work including Girl scout leader, Consulate Ladies Club board, Red Cross Board, President of the Women’s Council of Realtors (twice), and lastly, being on the WBN Board,

She also recently bought a horse farm and now own 2 fabulous horses and a mini donkey named Rooster. 

Being successful in sales takes time. But with proven systems to keep in touch with past clients and adding new people to your database, you can create a robust referral system. Peggy will show you how to grow your business by making small tweaks to what you do every day.

Casey Clark, MBA, M.A.

"15 Social Media Marketing Tips From Beginner to Advanced"

A serial entrepreneur, Casey Clark, MBA, M.A., is the Founder and Chief Growth Office of C Clark Consulting (C3), a growth agency in Frederick, MD that serves clients across the nation with a focus on inbound marketing. C3 has helped dozens of companies increase revenue by leading with a helping first mentality.

Casey is a big advocate for personal growth and considers herself a life-long learner as she is constantly taking classes and completing certifications even after earning two master’s degrees. Casey has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s of Business Administration, both from Argosy University, as well as a Master’s of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching from Maryland University of Integrative Health. When not improving herself or others, you can find her near the water or enjoying the beauty of nature while hiking or spending time with family.
Influenced by Steve Harvey and Tyler Perry, like them, she measures success not by the money that is made but by the lives that are changed.

Whether you're just starting out in social media or you're looking for a few tips to get more inspiration, Casey will share some useful tips that you can apply right away, no matter your skillset or your role within the company. 

Michelle Bell, Esq.

"Succession Planning"

Michelle is a wife, mother of three, and a business owner of 10 years. She's also a product of a deficient estate plan because when she was 15 years old when her mother passed away and the attorney only drafted a basic plan. That is what started her passion for educating as many people as she can about proper estate
planning. Her goal is to be your trusted advisor who helps you make the very best personal, financial, and legal decisions for your family and business throughout your lifetime.

Basically, her sole focus is to help families and businesses avoid collapse after the death or disability of a loved one. She thrives on educating people about the benefits of estate planning so that they can keep their family out of court and out of conflict.

Rather than putting it off until you’re near retirement, succession planning should be a fundamental part of your business strategy from the start. Indeed, a comprehensive succession plan shouldn’t be considered an end at all—it’s simply the beginning of your company’s next phase.

It takes an average of five years from start to finish to execute a succession plan, so you’ll need to get a jump on the process in order to ensure a transition of leadership goes smoothly, and your business, clients, and team have enough time to adjust.

Not to mention, things don’t always unfold in the way we imagined, and your untimely death, incapacity, or decision to pursue another opportunity could jeopardize the company’s survival. Effective succession planning, like estate planning, creates stability and security, ensuring your business will continue to grow and serve, no matter what.

During this presentation, Michelle will discuss the importance of:

  1. Starting early
  2. Putting it in writing
  3. Including key stakeholders in the process

Rachel Collins

"Resetting Your Business for 2023"

Rachel Collins is a on a mission to help busy women who feel cash-strapped to be confident with
money. Leveraging the experience of her own amazing financial life transformation, serving groups and
individuals and her extensive financial coach training, Rachel is helping women be intentional with their
financial blessings, grow their confidence, and restore their hope for the future.
When she’s not coaching, Rachel is either volunteering at church, out for a run, playing in the dirt in her
garden, or being silly with her three young children.

Time is the most lucrative commodity and building and growing a business can take a lot of time. No matter if you’ve been in business 1 year or 10 years, assessing your business on an annual basis will help you build the best business you can for yourself and your community. In this session Financial Coach Rachel Collins will guide you in aligning your priorities and goals with the business you want to build and own. Join this session if you're ready to get a jumpstart on your business in the New Year to minimize the rabbit trails and be strategic with your time, energy and money. The framework that is shared is something you can revisit anytime and adjust as needed.

Takeaways: In this session you will…
• Go through an exercise that will help you refocus, eliminate squirrels and be more efficient
• Take a quiz that will provide a holistic diagnosis of your overall business
• Get clarity on boundaries to set so you can live your best life
• Refocus your attention on the future of your business to help you make better decisions today

Christina Brockett, MS, CNS, LDN

"Making Health Happen"

This presentation will help participants understand how food and lifestyle elements (sleep, exercise, & stress) impact health both positively and negatively. They will learn actionable ways to help optimize nutrient absorption and everyday hacks to help them eat better as well as aways to ways to optimize their lifestyles for more sustainable health.

This presentation helps participants understand how food and lifestyle elements (sleep, exercise, & stress) impact health both positively and negatively. They will learn actionable ways to help optimize nutrient absorption and everyday hacks to help them eat better as well as aways to ways to optimize their lifestyles for more sustainable health.

Judy Buchanan, MBA

"Exploring Holistic Healing Modalities"

Judy Buchanan is an entrepreneur whose mission is to empower others via energy medicine and resiliency education to be all they can be and thrive. She is an Unbeatable Mind Coach, energy medicine practitioner in the form of Reiki, Beyond Quantum Healing Hypnosis practitioner, Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions Instructor, speaker, retired solider, wife and mother of 2.  Judy spent more than 20 years as an active-duty U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Officer retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. As a retired soldier who is married to a former soldier, she understands first-hand the stressors experienced by first responders/service members and their families. While serving in uniform and raising a family Judy experienced multiple surgeries and began to experience chronic stress, anxiety and pain. From these health challenges came the strength and passion to spark a change that led her to explore many holistic healing practices. Over the years she has focused much of her training on the subtle energy systems of the body. Judy used this knowledge and the skill set of Reiki to support her own healing and to facilitate clients’ improving their health and wellbeing. As an Unbeatable Mind Coach Judy’s passion is to inspire and empower others to live their unique life to its’ fullest potential and to facilitate breaking down barriers that might hinder them from doing so. Wanting to share all that she had learned with those who serve by running toward danger Judy developed a resiliency training program in 2018 for her local police academy. She has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW).

During this session, Judy will provide a basic understanding of the energy of the body and how energy medicines like Reiki, Acupuncture, Yoga, and Breathwork can be supportive in assisting you in jumpstarting your own innate healing ability. We will learn a simple yet powerful breath practice that can be done at any time to assist you in calming your nervous system. 

LaTisha Boyd-Potts, MSW, AMHFA, YMHFA

What makes good decision-making?

LaTisha obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Human Service Family Practice, a Master’s degree in Social work, certified Mental Health First Aid USA National Council for Behavior Health, certified Parenting Coach of MAPP, educated in Trauma-informed care, and a facilitator of Boston College & Universities collaborator’s Work Intervention Network (WIN) program.

To make healthy decisions we must develop the skills to identify the problem and/or situation from a clear perspective.

In this group you will walk away with:

• The best solution in decision- making for everyday living
• Recognize the signs in making feel good decisions vs goal orientated decisions
• Recognize the role of self- esteem in the decision-making process
• The important questions you must ask yourself before making important decisions
• Tips you can apply immediately

Become a Sponsor!

We are excited to unveil sponsorship opportunities that are designed to be cost effective while maximizing each company’s exposure! We are offering five levels of sponsorships which include valuable promotional benefits. Being a Steps To Success sponsor is a wonderful opportunity for your organization or business to have high visibility for an entire year! We would be honored to partner with your company for this event. We encourage you to review the sponsorship options and to take advantage of our member pricing.

2022 Sponsors

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