Public Info

Registration Deadline Approaching for 10th Annual Union County Women Mean Business Summit

The Union County Board of County Commissioners reminds residents that the deadline to register for the 10th annual Union County Women Mean Business Summit (UCWMB) is approaching. The event will take place on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Galloping Hill Golf Course, located at 3 Golf Drive in Kenilworth. To register, please visit The deadline to register is 12:00 p.m. noon on Monday, June 10th.

“This conference is a great opportunity to network and learn from fellow female entrepreneurs, managers, and aspiring businesswomen,” said Union County Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Our expert presenters will address current topics relevant to women’s experiences and challenges in business today. Join us to expand your network and elevate your business.”

The UCWMB Conference will include breakfast and lunch, as well as two breakout sessions where attendees can choose from two presentations during each session.

9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.  – Session One

Finding Your Superpower: Recognizing the Extraordinary Within

Presented by: Lena Cohen Hawskins, MAHS

Lena Cohen-Hawkins is the Director of DEI, Culture, and Communications at Brother Industries. She is an International Speaker, 3x Best Selling Author, and Business Consultant who has worked with companies like CBS, Prudential, RWJ/Barnabas, Atlantic Health, and the U.S. Army. Lena has also been in service to numerous community organizations and spent several years as a legislative aide to Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, 28th District State of NJ. She values her family, enjoys traveling with her husband, engaging in creative expression, and spending time with her 3-year-old French bulldog.

or Mission Possible: Unlocking the Success of Your Team

Presented by: Dr. Diane Brescher, CPTD

Dr. Diane Brescher, CPTD, is the President and Founder of GEM Leaders, a firm specializing in leadership development and coaching. With over 30 years of experience, she offers expertise in adult learning, leadership development, coaching, needs assessments, course design, competency mapping, facilitation, and leadership coaching for individuals and teams, focusing on emotional intelligence, change management, and dealing with resistance. Throughout her career, Diane has worked with leaders at all levels and across various industries, focusing on helping mid-level leaders tackle workplace challenges efficiently and effectively during workplace transitions.

10:50 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.  – Session Two

Empowering Growth: Navigating Constructive Feedback

Presented by: Marissa Ruggiero

Marissa Ruggiero is a senior Human Resources professional with a background in employment law. She currently serves as a People Business Partner Director for Ralph Lauren and has previously worked with Verizon and Bed Bath & Beyond. Marissa is active in the Springfield community and holds positions on several non-profit boards. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and Seton Hall Law School and resides in Springfield with her husband and daughter.

or Balanced Bliss: Strategies for Busy Women

Presented by: Dr. Carla J. Cooke

Dr. Carla J. Cooke, a Union County resident and CEO of Sound Psychological Assessment Center, is a renowned expert witness in legal cases involving discrimination and sexual assault. She advocates for trauma-informed psychological evaluations and has served as Assistant Commissioner for the prevention of child abuse and neglect in New Jersey. Dr. Cooke holds degrees in psychology from Bergen Community College and Rutgers University and is a licensed psychologist certified in EMDR.

Following the breakout sessions, there will be lunch, followed by this year’s keynote speaker, Adenah Bayoh, founder of Adenah Bayoh & Companies. Adenah Bayoh is a successful entrepreneur who escaped the civil war in Liberia at age 13 and immigrated to the United States. She is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the State of New Jersey, owning a total of seven restaurants, including 4 IHOP franchises. In addition to her restaurants, Adenah is a successful real estate developer, with a portfolio of several major residential and mixed-use projects across Northern New Jersey. Adenah is known for her philanthropic efforts and has received recognition for her achievements, including being appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture.

There will be several breaks throughout the event for open networking. Admission to the UCWMB Summit is $55 per person. To register, or for more information on this event,  please visit

The 2024 Union County Women Mean Business Summit is a program organized by the Union County Department of Economic Development through the Office on Women. This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including JCT Solutions, Atlantic Health, Kemper Sports, United Airlines, L’Oreal, and Union Catholic High School.

For more information about this event, please visit or contact Deana Mesaros at 908-527-4273.