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Women in the Arena
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Women in the Arena

Author: Audra Agen

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Women in the Arena is the celebration of everyday women living extraordinary lives in plain sight. We seek to inspire, encourage and challenge you to reach for the great heights you're made for.
54 Episodes
Audrey Hinds has always wanted to be a writer, but life and responsibility got in the way.   Life stopped her from pursuing her passion until the ache in her soul could no longer be ignored.  She wrote and published her first book "Hair with Flair", which became a best seller.  What Audrey discovered along the way was a deep desire to help other individuals achieve their dream of becoming authors as well.  Her brave step into the unknown became Parker & Co, a boutique publishing firm that specializes and prides themselves on  bringing diverse stories from talented authors that are hiding on plain sight.  Listen to our conversation about her journey of chasing her dream and encouraging everyone to do it afraid.
In 2020 when the pandemic changed all of our lives, Michelle DeFeo was faced with a huge challenge.  As CEO of Laurent- Perrier US, Inc, it was her job to figure out how to keep the doors open and her employees on staff in the middle of a global crisis.  With most of the restaurants closed and celebrations canceled, the market for champagne was in distress.  In order to save their US business, Michelle did something radical...she put the people first.  She considered the lives of her employees, partners and customers before all else.  Michelle decided that as an organization, they needed to do things that made them feel good- and taking care of others is what filed their tanks.  Hear the remarkable story of how doing the right thing made a strong team even stronger, changed lives and strengthened the business along the way.  
GLO was developed because we must grow from fear and standing still. GLO believes that Faith without works is dead. Standing on faith is what has bought me through so much bad that has been in my life and to be able to grow and learn so that we can develop new ways for all women to WIN. We are Queens and no one should be able to tip our crowns, instead straighten the crown and keep pushing to win to the finish line
Sarah Bohdanova is a cheerleader of women, croissant addict, and Italian by heart and stomach. She is a World Professional Semi-Finalist in Latin style dancing, an Award-Winning Coach, and an Entrepreneur. For almost 2 decades she's worked with hundreds of women between the ages of 16-65, and helped them find what feminine elements can be amplified in them, and given them skills and roadmap to get them there in record time. Sarah is the founder of The Femininity Project, and the creator of the online course "How to Walk in Heels without Pain."
Diahnna Nicole Baxter is a certified Transformational Life Coach, Kundalini Yoga Instructor and Emmy Winning Storyteller (actress/writer/director.) Diahnna has been a student of mastering spiritual laws and a leader in transformation for over a decade.  A ruthless storyteller with a compassionate heart, she addresses trauma as an opportunity for transformation through all of these mediums. “I help overachieving women of color shed sexual shame and trauma, so that they can embody their divine sensual power and unleash their authentic voice.  My clients embrace their power and live a life of purpose without self-sabotaging habits and crippling self-doubt. Ultimately, they come back home to themselves,so that they can live an abundant life of pleasure, ease and joy. When one truly claims their power, in radical acceptance of themselves, providence aligns.”  - Diahnna Nicole Baxter
Heather Cox is a tireless advocate for diversity. She is a business executive, seminar director, public speaker and marketer whose business venture is helping to make the business world more closely resemble the real world. Heather co-founded Certify My Company after her own frustrating exposure to the certification process opened her eyes to the challenges facing small and diverse businesses. As president of CMC, Heather works with both diverse businesses and corporations. She assists diverse businesses with all aspects of certification, helps to increase their visibility in supplier markets, and connects certified businesses with the corporations eager to do business with them. Heather educates corporations about diversity practices and collaborates with managers of supplier diversity programs to help them reach their diversity goals, including a coveted seat at the Billion Dollar Roundtable. She sits on the board of the national and regional forums for Women’s Business Enterprise Council – West , and has held past posts with the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO-NY), WBENC National Council, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the Advisory Board for Super Bowl XLVIII. Away from her many professional pursuits, Heather enjoys not relaxing with her husband and five small children.
Stephanie Diaz is a Partner at Atlanta-based Zane Venture Fund where she raises capital for early-stage tech startups. She’s also host of the podcast, She Conquers Capital, where she amplifies the voices of female CEO’s, venture partners, and angel investors. Let’s listen as Stefanie shares with us her journey to claiming the many facets of her voice as a Latina, a Mom, a financial whiz, and a dancer. She also talks about creating WOE, The Women Only Experience, a dynamic and diverse organization for female founders.
Host Adela Yelton welcomes Audra Agen. An award-winning sales professional, Audra created 'Women in the Arena' podcast which celebrates women doing extraordinary things in plain sight. Audra is Latina and she lives in the South(west). Let’s listen as she shares with us how the entrepreneurial spirit of her Sonoran grandmother, and being the descendant of a Spanish explorer, both influenced her to create her podcast.
Delilah Buitrón Arrebola “Delilah Muse” is a native Texan from Laredo and received her BA in Theatre and Television Communications from the illustrious Hofstra University in New York. Upon graduation, Delilah moved to Spain where she studied Spanish Classical and Flamenco at the Isabel Quintero Conservatory as well as at the internationally acclaimed Amor de Dios school of Flamenco. Delilah has since performed in Mexico City’s production and tour of Carmen,The Dallas Opera’s production of La Vida Breve under the direction of Maria Benitez, as well as portrayed the Cuban Salsa Legend “La Lupe” in Martice Enterprise’s musical production of La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny. Other Dallas theater credits include her portrayal of Gerarda in SMU’s production of La Discreta Enamorada, Shakespeare Dallas' musical production of A Midsummers Night’s Dream and As you Like It. She has been seen in Ochre House productions Ex Voto: The Immaculate Conceptions of Frida Kahlo, MEAN, and Cicerone and was featured in the Dallas Flamenco Festival and Ochre House Theater’s productions of Perro y Sangre, El Conde Drácula, Buñuel Descending and Picasso: Matador de Målaga. Delilah was a recipient of a 2013 “Dallas Observer Mastermind Award” for excellence in artistic endeavors.
Camille Martin is a woman like many of us.  She has been on some sort of a diet since she was 12 and developed an eating disorder all in the attempts to fit in the mold that society pressures women to fit into.  At 30, she decided that she no  longer wanted to be controlled by  the obsession with food and weight.  She gave herself permission to stop the madness and as a result found herself again.  Camille became a registered dietitian and made it her mission to help other women free themselves from those pressures and to stand proud as who they are. 
Amanda is both a professional and a mom, but discovered that hard way that her expectations of herself were unrealistic.  You cannot be all things to all people, and trying to achieve "life balance" is impossible.  After being diagnosed with postpartum depression, she realized that life harmony was a much more realistic expectation and started to make herself a priority.  Amanda learned early on that the recipe for success is making sure she filled her cup before she tried to fill others.
Dawn Payne earned her BA in Sociology from Winston Salem State University in 2007. She went further and received her master’s degree from UNCG and the NC A&T Joint Master of Social Worker program in 2009. While enrolled at WSSU as a freshman she was called to active duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dawn is highly decorated and has received numerous Marine Corps Awards. She served from 2001-2009. After serving the remainder of her time in the reserves, she pursued a career in mental health and became a licensed psychotherapist for the US Department of Veterans Affairs where she is currently employed. It was Dawn’s military connections that placed her in the world of beauty and on the set of movies as a makeup artist. Dawn believes in the power of entrepreneurship and owns a vegan cosmetic line Dusk to Dawn Cosmetics. Her studio is located in the heart of downtown Greensboro where she passionately gives back to the breast cancer community and provides mentorship to young women. She is a celebrated New York Fashion Week makeup artist with many features and publications.  In addition to her community work with the Marine Corps League Dawn stays active in professional organizations and provides free psychotherapy groups to underserved communities of color. Dawn is active with many Veterans service organizations most notably the National Veterans Justice network. Her passion for beautifying people both inside and out always shines through. Dawn is the embodiment of WSSU’s Enter to Learn Depart to Serve motto.
Kris Nurse is a Learning and Development professional with over 20 years of experience in performance consulting, developing high-performing teams and leaders and inspiring company cultures that create a differentiating employee and customer experience. She designs personal and professional development programs that are unique to the organization, support the culture objectives and impact the entire employee lifecycle.
Samantha is Phoenix based Sommelier, influencer, TV personality and online wine and social media consultant. She found her passion in wine very early and launched her in home wine tasting business, SAMANTHA SOMMELIER at age 23.    Her  sommelier-led virtual wine tastings  are fun, laidback, and approachable! Any level of wine enthusiast can benefit from a sommelier guided tasting with Samantha.  The fantastic thing about wine is there is always something new we can learn! She have been doing in-home private wine tastings since 2015 and took them virtually in 2018 to cater to more clients across the globe.
Farah Foustok is the Chief Executive Officer of Lazard Gulf Ltd. based in Dubai. She began working in the investment field in 1994. Prior to joining Lazard in 2014, she was Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of ING Investment Management Middle East from 2008. Previously, she was the Head of Asset Management at NBD Investment Bank. Farah was a senior fund manager at EFG-Hermes prior to NBD IB, responsible for managing GCC and MENA funds and portfolios. Farah spent five years at Deutsche Bank in London, in Equity Strategy. She has also worked at Morgan Stanley within Equity Sales, followed by three years in commercial real estate advisory in Europe. Farah also has Private Equity exposure through a private venture in Argentina and an internet start-up in the UK. In 2012 Farah was elected as the chairperson of the board for the UAE Financial Services Association. In 2013, Farah co-founded the first non-profit female mentoring program in the DIFC, Dubai; Reach. In 2015 Farah co-founded and chaired the Steering Committee for the MENA chapter of the 30% club to develop & promote female leadership in the region. In 2019, Farah was awarded International Investment Woman of the Year by Women in Investment Awards, London. Farah is a finance leaders fellow of the Aspen Institute. In January 2020, Farah launched TARA, speed mentoring NGO platform to connect the Education sector to the Corporate world and develop future female leaders. Farah holds an MBA from Imperial College London and a BSc Hons in Mathematics from King’s College, London.
Mrs. Cynthia Williams-Bey is a wife, mother of 5 beautiful children, prophetess, best-selling, award-winning author, international speaker, philanthropist, and business mogul. Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, she is one of 19 children. Mrs. Williams-Bey is the CEO and founder of Heaven-Sent Child Care, which is a childcare facility based out of Richmond, Virginia, that provides services from 6 am until 12 midnight.  Heaven Sent is just one of several businesses that she owns. As a seasoned CEO and daycare owner of over 15 years, she consults and coaches inspiring and current business owners in the childcare industry and marketplace. Mrs. Williams-Bey just recently launched her new project "Mrs. Williams-Bey Radio Show" on 101.3 Rejoice FM and has been featured on NBC, PBS, Entrepreneur Magazines "Problem Solver" Podcast and in CEO Magazine. Mrs. Williams-Bey also served as a panelist along side VA First Lady Pam Northam for Childcare Decisions 2020.To learn more, visit her website at
Liz Whitehead is an award-winning business development consultant that specializes in guiding diverse businesses to leverage their certification and benefit from corporate supplier diversity initiatives. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as certified business enterprises who are invested in making the most of their certification.  She supports her clients in reaching their goals through facilitation, consulting, and one-on-one coaching.The recipient of awards including WPEO’s 2018 and 2019 WBE Connection award for completing the most Done Deals™ with other certified WBEs and 2019 Outstanding Women’s Business Advocate Award, Liz is also an angel investor, who mentors start-up companies. Liz earned her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and her master’s in International Affairs from Columbia’s School of Public and International Affairs. She is married to Jason Whitehead and is the mother of two young sons, Hank and Ted.
Ikimi Dubose, Executive Director of The Roots Fund Inc“Find what you love and let it kill you.” is the famous quote wrapped around a global knife tattooed on Ikimi’s back. Destined to be a lawyer to help her Brooklyn community, Ikimi ended up in Culinary school by accident. Securing her first job at the World Trade Center Marriott as a silver polisher, was a humbling and knowledgeable experience. Ikimi attended Johnson & Wales University, and after graduation utilized her time traveling the world studying culture through food. Upon her return to the states, she was the youngest & first woman to complete the Marriott & Ritz Carlton management training program. Her career led her to lead culinary and management teams at sports organizations, restaurant groups, and prestigious educational institutions. After leading the culinary team on Capitol Hill, through the largest sustainable food initiative, Ikimi rediscovered her passion to mentor the next generation. In August 2017, in conjunction with Lifeworks Restaurant Group she designed, and opened LEO MKT, a food hall in Washington, DC, focusing on cuisines around the world. Known for her ability to create managers, lead large teams, encourage growth of women, and the BIPOC community in the business, she hasn’t stopped yet. Chef, Restaurateur, Writer, and Inspiration. Ikimi is currently pursuing a Nonprofit Executive Leadership degree at Georgetown University.  “When there is no room for me at the table, I usually stand on the table.” In the midst of a pandemic, Ikimi co-founded The Roots Fund, a nonprofit for BIPOC to secure education & careers in the wine industry. As the Executive Director of The Roots Fund, she has already built strong relationships, and created a strong impact in the wine industry.  
Pam is a woman that embraces her unique place in this world.  She thrives on being her authentic self  and believes everyone, no matter who you are, brings value to this world in their own way.  Listen to our conversation about life, the lessons you learn and how to always keep sight of your value.
You know how it goes, life happens when we are busy making plans.  For guest Laura Sheehan, she knows this better than anybody and has made adapting to new surroundings an art form.  When she graduated from law school, Laura thought her path was laid out in front of her.  Boy was she wrong.  Her life has taken an unexpected turn.  Laura has found herself living in 8 different countries in 15 years as an "accompanying spouse" to her husband's career. Laura is now using her experience to educate and mentor other women who may have found themselves on a path they didn't plan for.
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