Archive for the Category ◊ Events ◊

• Monday, January 13th, 2014

NEWS FLASH: We have a new blog home page!

We are still Ask The Strategist, only now, the site is autonomously run by the Publisher/Editor, Kesi Stribling.

“The decision to move Ask The Strategist from the direct affiliation with KSG Strategic Consulting enables us to reach a wider audience, many of whom are current fans and followers of our media brands outside of KSG,” says Stribling.

The newly refurbished Ask The Strategist will continue to feature posts on business, entrepreneurship, careers, and women, however, one of the additional benefits is a group of new guest bloggers, who will provide content on a number of industries and specialties, including diversity and nutrition.

Our first guest blogger, Delise, is a college student who will share her experiences navigating her internship and school during her semester-long stay in South Africa, beginning in February 2014. Her video blog will be housed under the new section on careers for college students.

What does this mean for you, our subscribers?

All subscribers on the current Ask The Strategist blog ( will be sent a link and instructions for subscribing to/following the new site for Ask The Strategist ( Support is available to answer any questions, or resolve difficulties signing up for the new blog, although a smooth transition for subscribers is anticipated.

Follow the new Ask The Strategist Blog now

Read our first post on the new site:
Ready, Set, Compete: American Express OPEN Forum Shares Tips  to Maximize 2014

NOTE: We are still in the process of migrating most content over to the new site. Until we have completed this process, archived blog posts may be retrieved from the former blog website. The site will be discontinued and inaccessible once this process is finished with, or without, advanced notice.

Thank you for your support, subscription, and reading our posts since Ask The Strategist debuted in 2011. We look forward to your continued interest and feedback.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. I am a current subscriber to Ask The Strategist. Will I be automatically added to the new site?

Because subscribers have to opt-in to receive blog posts, we ask that you visit our new home page, enter your email, and click “subscribe.” You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Once you do, you will begin receiving new blog posts from Ask The Strategist.

>>> Click here to subscribe now

2. Will I still receive blog post notifications from Ask The Strategist?

If you opt to continue your subscription on our new site, your blog notifications will not be interrupted. Once you have subscribed to the new blog, we will terminate your subscription on the old site.

You will also receive one final notification from us if you have not subscribed to the new blog by January 31, 2014.

3. How long do I have before I have to switch to the new site?

We are still migrating pertinent content over to the new Ask The Strategist blog site. You are strongly encouraged to activate your subscription to the new site as soon as possible.

The site will be shut down once we have completed migrating posts over to the new Ask The Strategist home page. So, don’t delay!

4. Will Ask The Strategist share my information with sponsors and advertisers?

No, Ask The Strategist will never share your contact information with our advertisers and sponsors.

5. I would like be a guest logger on Ask The Strategist. Whom should I contact?

While we have most of our guest bloggers for 2014, if you have demonstrated writing experience on issues that would be a good fit for the blog (i.e. entrepreneurship, careers, health, community, diversity, current events, youth, and women), please contact us. Be sure to include links to your blog or writing samples.


DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community,
and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST
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• Tuesday, June 05th, 2012

Show sponsor: Career Connect USA

The Strategy Sessions Radio Show on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 11:00 a.m. ET

Click here to LISTEN LIVE at 11:00 a.m. ET

GAINING GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS The Strategy Sessions is pleased to welcome Lourdes Martin-Rosa, American Express OPEN, on June 5, 2012 to discuss American Express OPEN Gaining Government Contracts training series for businesses, strategies for preparing for and winning government contracts, and Lourdes’ own personal success story.

American Express OPEN hosts government contracting series

American Express OPEN hosts the Gaining Government Contract series. The latest takes place in Washington, DC on June 15, 2012. Expert panelists including Ana Recio Harvey, Assistant Administrator for the Small Business Administration; Mark Oliver, Department of the Interior; and Emily Murphy, House Committee on Small Business. Workshops , business matching, and networking opportunities are additional highlights.


Lourdes Martin-Rosa of American Express OPEN

Our guest, Lourdes Martin-Rosa, is an Advisor on Government Contracting for American Express OPEN. A business lobbyist turned entrepreneur, Martin-Rosa coaches small business owners on how to navigate a seemingly tenuous process for preparing and competing for government contracts. To read Lourdes Martin-Rosa’s bio, and get government contracting resources, visit




Connect with The Strategy Sessions Radio Show

CALL-IN with questions: (347) 539-5143
EMAIL questions to
TWEET questions @KesiStribling


Click here to LISTEN LIVE TO THE SHOW ONLINE on Tuesday, 6/5/2012 at 11:00 a.m. ET

ABOUT THE STRATEGY SESSIONS Featuring industry leaders and notables who share tips and strategies on business, careers, travel, health, and more, The Strategy Sessions radio show airs live on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 11am ET. Guests have included Robin Richards, CEO of; Millicent West, Director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency; Glen MacDonnell of AAA; David Sheppard, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS; Dr. Valerie Wilson, Vice President of the National Urban League Policy Institute; and, Julie Silard Kantor, Executive Director of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in DC. Visit the site to download previous shows/podcasts on iTunes.

Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts. Subscribe now

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• Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Build It! Grow It! Sustain It! Nonprofit Leaders Gather in Silver Spring to Learn How to Get Funding, Build Partnerships, and Thrive In the Future

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (official portrait)

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) hosted the 2nd Annual Nonprofit Forum in Silver Spring, MD yesterday, drawing nonprofit executives, corporations, foundations, and community-based organizations.


Rep. Edwards opened the session, saying that she hoped the nonprofit leaders in attendance would gain guidance and prepare for the next successors within their organizations, alluding to the challenges that many nonprofits face: shutting down when a plan is not in place to deal with internal and external challenges.



The first plenary featured representatives from the federal government, who shared their perspectives on obtaining, maintaining, and sustaining grants. Moderated by Chuck Bean, Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, panelists included Michael Robbins, United States Department of Education; Acacia Salatti, United States Department of Health and Human Services; and, Marvin Turner, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Robbins’ takeaways: Spending and support of educational initiatives rests in the hands of community based organizations; partnerships are the “new normal,” and developing collaborative initiatives will help nonprofit organizations maximize services.

Salatti’s takeaways: Focus on what your nonprofit does well; ensure that your mission, capacity, resources, materials, and served constituency are in alignment.

Turner’s takeaways: Nonprofit organizations should deliver what they promise in the grant proposal; decision makers and granters are “impressed by accountability and integrity”

A snapshot of breakout sessions includes:

  • Writing a Successful Grant Proposal: Jennifer Jones (moderator), Prince George’s County Commission for Women, Eric Brenner, Maryland Grants Office, and Patricia Pasqual, Foundation Center
  • Nonprofit Advocacy: Melissa Bondi (moderator), Think Twice Before You Slice, Hope Gleicher, Nonprofit Montgomery, and Lee Mason, Human Services Coalition of Prince George’s County
  • Succession Planning: Glen Ogilvy (moderator), Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Heather Iliff, Maryland Nonprofits Consulting, and Raphael Lopez, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Youth Partnerships: Luisa Montero-Diaz, Maryland Latin American Youth Council, Nat Chioke Williams, Hill Snowden Foundation, and Pandit F. Wright, Boys & Girls Club
  • Education and Literacy Partnerships: Brenda Mitchell, Prince George’s Community College, Mary Mulcahy, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and Nancy Nuell, Montgomery College

The closing plenary session, moderated by Dennis Serrette of the National Urban League, focused on survival strategies for nonprofit organizations, including a discussion on funding priorities for 2011 and beyond. Curtis Etherly, Coca-Cola; Karen Campbell, Verizon; and, Craig Muckle, Safeway all agreed that nonprofits need to do extensive research about the companies they approach for funding.

Top takeaways from the closing panel discussion:

  • Pay attention to grant submission guidelines
  • Find out the best way to communicate with decision makers, i.e. email or phone calls
  • Requests are often reviewed by a number of people, so ensure that submissions are concise and succinct
  • Even if a company denies financial support for programs and events, reach out to appropriate company contacts to purchase a ticket to your event
  • Do not take rejection personally; more often than not, the issue is about limited resources the company has to distribute among a growing number of organizations
  • Take advantage of where your organization is geographically located – in the nation’s capital


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• Wednesday, May 04th, 2011

New York-based media conglomerate, Working Mother Media, honored twelve of the nation’s top employers for hourly workers at the Mayflower hotel in Washington, DC yesterday.

Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, addresses audience


Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, recognized the efforts of the 12 companies honored, including: Best Buy, Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems, Inc., Carlson, Inc., Capital One Financial Corporation, Cricket Communications, Marriott International, Inc., McDonald’s Corporation, Sodexo, University of New Mexico Hospitals, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, USAA, and Valassis Communications, Inc.

The keynote speaker for the event was Hilda L. Solis, United States Secretary of Labor, who saluted the companies for providing tuition assistance, health care coverage, and training opportunities for workers.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis delivers keynote address

For more details, including the honorees and and Secretary Hilda Solis’ keynote address, read my article on

Category: Business, Events, Government, Workplace  | Tags: , ,  | Comments off
• Tuesday, May 03rd, 2011

Today, I had the pleasure of being a featured presenter to a group of awesome women entrepreneurs visiting the United States for the International Visitor Leadership Program. During the session, Women & Entrepreneurship, twenty women from across the globe gathered to hear strategies and insider tips for business success. 

Sponsored by the United States Department of State and Phelps Stokes, the program was a part of a three-week visit designed to:

  • Provide examples of entrepreneurial efforts in the U.S, particularly those initiated by women;
  • Illustrate the essential role of non-governmental and grassroots organizations in supporting and empowering the development of women-owned businesses; and,
  • Highlight the social, economic, and political factors that influence and encourage the development of private enterprise in the U.S.


Participants in the US Department of State and Phelps Stokes International Visitor Leadership Program in DC

Hailing from Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Gambia, Germany, Hungary, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, and Venezuela, these women are focused and poised to become great forces in their home countries and globally. 


Because so many of our ASK THE STATEGIST readers are entrepreneurs, or company and organizational leaders, I am sharing key tips on advocacy imparted to the women during my presentation. There are three types of advocacy every smart business owner should employ on a regular basis:

1. Individual Advocacy: The reality is that no one is going to be as excited, motivated and committed to your entity as you are. So, it is important to be a vigilant advocate for your business. Whether it is taking courses to learn more about your industry, researching potential funding, articulating your messaging, or mapping out your company’s overall strategy and operations, you are ultimately responsible for being your own cheerleader and motivator.

2. Collaborative Advocacy: As the old saying does, there is power in numbers. The adage applies to building businesses, as well. Strategic partners and alliances are a great way to increase your capabilities, develop ideas, raise funding and promote your products and services. Allies are great advocates, and can become vital cheerleaders on your company’s behalf. Collaborating to position your company in a favorable way, while increasing your branding and outreach is a good thing. 

3. Legislative Advocacy: Advocating for your business or organization, and gaining strategic alliances will help you go a long way toward sustaining your entity. However, often calling upon our elected officials and legislators is a necessary action, especially if advocacy involves systemic issues, such as education, the environment, health, the economy, and community development. Know who your elected officials are in your community and where your business is located! 


A special *shout out* goes to Nicole Joseph, founder of Ms. Brafit, who won The Perfect Pitch contest during the presentation. Congratulations! 

The Perfect Pitch: Nicole Joseph-Chin, Founder of Ms. Brafit

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• Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Forum Panelists (left to right): Ana R. Harvey, L. Content McLaughlin, Raychel Schumacher, S. Lynn Cooper, and Edith Jett McCloud

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) addresses attendees at the women-owned business forum

On Tuesday, February 15, hundreds of women business owners flocked to the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC to hear from the experts during a minority women-owned business forum, The Trailblazers of Our Economy. Hosted by Maryland Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), the panel discussions featured an impressive cadre of elected leaders, government agencies, and key contract decision-makers.

Steps away from where elected officials are currently battling a contested United States budget, the forum tackled two primary themes: trends in female entrepreneurship and improving the outlook for women-owned businesses.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Small Business, noted that women account for $1 trillion spent on goods and services in 2010. According to the Congresswoman, who represents New York’s 12th Congressional district, women own 1.9 million businesses, and generated $165 billion in revenue last year.

Women are leveraging their impact on the workplace as the leading group that hires employees, outpacing traditional, nationally recognized companies. Rep. Velazquez cited the Women’s Procurement Program, which launched this month, as a vehicle to increase competition among businesses, including those in construction, technology, and agriculture.

Trends Affecting Female Entrepreneurship, moderated by Mauricio Vera, Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the U.S. Agency for International Development, highlighted statistics in female business ownership. Panelists included Michelle Ebanks, President of Essence Communications; Gregory Bell, Senior Communications Manager for Green for All; and, Anthony Caruso, Project Manager for the United States Census Bureau.

The second panel, Improving the Outlook for Minority Women-Owned Businesses, featured S. Lynn Cooper, National Association of Black Female Entrepreneurs; Ana Recio Harvey, Assistant Administrator for the United States Small Business Administration; L. Content McLaughlin, President of the National Association of Women Business Owners; Edith Jett McCloud, Associate Director of the Minority Business Development Agency; and, Raychel Schumacher, AdWords Strategist for Google, Inc.

Moderated by Essence Magazine’s Senior Editor of Personal Finance and Careers, Tanisha A. Sykes, the panel focused on the framework for successful entrepreneurship, which can positively impact revenue, an increase in employees, and a sustained business.

Ana Recio Harvey shared her personal story of entrepreneurship and the impact of limited resources had on her company and staff. She encouraged participants to “get counseling, training, and mentoring to prevent roadblocks.”

Raychel Schumacher emphasized the importance of maximizing an online strategy to stay relevant and maintain a continued presence. Schumacher opined that having a great team to support initiatives and business growth goals is a necessity, rather than a luxury.

The panelists agreed that access to opportunities, including government contracts, and access to capital creates a healthy, thriving workplace. The common denominator of success, according to Edith Jett McCloud is an entrepreneur’s “hunger and thirst for more knowledge…never be satisfied until she knows everything about her business, market, and competitors.”

Watch our interview with Samira Cook-Gaines, Director, of the DC Women’s Business Center>>>CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Category: Advice, Business, Entrepreneurship, Events, Government, Women  | Tags: , , ,  | Comments off
• Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Veteran Business Training & Outreach Conference

WHEN: Monday, March 21, 2011
Registration starts at 7a.m. Workshops start at 8:30a.m.
COST: $25.00
WHERE: Delaware County Community College, Large Auditorium, 901 S. Media Line Road, Media, PA 19063

A day-long conference for Veteran business owners. Find out how to get started with state and federal government contracting; learn to find state and federal business opportunities; network with other veteran business owners and make connnections with exhibitors, large prime contractors and government service providers; hear from other veteran entrepreneurs sharing their experiences, successes and insights in managing successful businesses.

Keynote Speaker: Rocky Bleier, Vietnam Veteran & Super Bowl Star.

Rocky Bleier’s life story – a gripping tale of courage on the football field and the battle fields of Vietnam – has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how extraordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century. Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way…lessons we all can benefit from.

To register, call 610-723-1229 or go to  

Reasonable accomodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested as soon as possible. Please call 610-723-1229 or 610-359-5020 (TDD).

Presented by: Delaware County Community College, Veteran Business Outreach Center, Small Business Development Center – Widener University.

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• Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Minority Women-Owned Businesses Forum: The Trailblazers of Our Economy, with a Special Presentation by ESSENCE Magazine
on the State of African-American Women

WHEN: February 15, 2011
WHERE: The Gold Room—2168 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
TIME: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The State of Play: Trends Affecting Female Entrepreneurship

Moving Forward: Improving the Outlook for Minority Women-Owned Businesses

• Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Ranking Member, House Committee on Small Business
• Hilda L. Solis, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
• Dana M. Lewis, executive director, National Women’s Business Council [confirmed]
• Cathy Hughes, Founder, Radio One, Inc.
• Alejandra Castillo, National Deputy Director, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce
• Ana Recio Harvey, Asst. Administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, U.S. Small Business Administration [confirmed]
• S. Lynn Cooper, National Association of Black Female Entrepreneurs [confirmed]
• L. Content McLaughlin, President of the Maryland Chapter, National Association of Women Business Owners [confirmed]

For additional information, call 202-225-8699 or register by e-mail at mailto: DonnaEdwardsRSVP/ (Subject: Women’s Business Forum).