Discover Our Story

Meet the founders

Amy & Melissa

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Amy Pocsik

Born and raised on the Massachusetts Northshore, driven to help women build their businesses and fulfill their dreams.

I love our little corner of the planet north of Boston. It’s where my husband and I are raising our family.  Family. Friendships. Community. That’s what it’s all about for me.  My credentials are all business and my passion is all people. An engaging conversation is my favorite pastime, and I love nothing more than to hear about other people’s goals, dreams, and what makes them tick. And honestly, the crazier, the better. I’m fascinated by so many things: faith, entrepreneurship, writing, business, speaking, creativity, health, philanthropy and psychology, just to name a few. Please, please come say hello at our next event, it would be an honor to meet you in person. 

Melissa Gilbo

MOM. WIFE. DAUGHTER. SISTER. AUNT. FRIEND. GIVER. BELIEVER. SUPPORTER. CHEERLEADER. CHANGE MAKER.

I never dreamed I’d be an entrepreneur, building a national brand and helping businesswomen reach their full potential in the process, but here we are! Once I started my entrepreneurial journey, there was no stopping me and that’s how I’ve always been. When I’m passionate about something—I put my whole heart and soul in. That mentality has led me to where I am now—CEO and Co-Founder of Women’s Business League (WBL). In just a few short years, I helped grow WBL from a local, networking group to an elite network attracting extraordinary businesswomen from across the country. I went from an employee working a job to a heart-centered CEO, building communities, and changing the game for women entrepreneurs everywhere. The crazy thing is I started WBL to generate clients for my insurance job, but instead it nudged me onto my entrepreneurial journey. As an insurance agent, I was boots-on-the ground community-building. I was hustling to build my network and create genuine partnerships. When I met my business partner, Amy Pocsik, we discovered a shared aversion to the impersonal coffee hour networking strategies. We both felt they ignored the most crucial part of building a business—authentic relationships. From that one conversation, WBL was born and so was our mission to create a strong supportive network for women in business through connection, opportunity, and community. As I was growing the WBL community, I found my passion for helping other women succeed in their business. WBL has brought out the marketer, the advocate, and the thought leader in me. On any day, you can find me sharing my journey or the journeys of those around me. These days, you may see my name out there more, but one thing hasn’t changed--I am still hustling to build partnerships. I’m just doing it on my terms and helping powerful women in the process. To those women entrepreneurs and dream chasers, I want you to know—it is possible. Everything that you’re doing--I’ve done it, too! Keep showing up. Keep investing in yourself so you can do what you love AND make a living.

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Meet the team

Nicole, Michelle, Sydney, & Jessica

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Nicole Luedke

Executive Assistant

Nicole is a born and bred New Englander and is proud to call the Northshore of Massachusetts home. After some time in the marketing and hospitality worlds, Nicole was happy to be able to be home to raise her three kids. Once they became of school age, Nicole was eager to pave her own path and start a virtual assistant business. It was at this time that she connected with Amy and Melissa and began to work with WBL. Nicole is known in and out of work for being organized, dependable, and flexible. She loves baking, trips to the New England seacoast, watching her kids play soccer, playing basketball in the driveway, and traveling near and far!

Michelle Houlihan

Michelle Houlihan

National Director of Development

Michelle is a former New Yorker, learning and loving all things Boston, especially when it comes to singing Sweet Caroline at Fenway…sorry, Dad! She is a passionate educator in the world of alternative education, lover of all cheeses, obsessed with adventuring new places with her fiancé and dog Jackson, and can be soothed by the sounds of the ocean. Over the last decade and a half, Michelle has had the chance to open and launch many private schools in new towns and states, which led her to the wonderful world of WBL, where she instantly fell in love with their magic and mission. Always up for a new and exciting challenge, she jumped at the opportunity to join the team. Above all, Michelle enjoys traveling: she taught English to students in Greece and Italy, rode camels through the deserts of Morocco, and learned how to surf off the beaches of Costa Rica. Her favorite place in the world is right here in the US though—Long Beach Island, NJ—her happy little corner of the universe. Michelle believes everyone has a story; she’s determined to help you tell it and plan your next few chapters through the connections in WBL, she’s all ears.

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Sydney O’Neil

Community builder

Sydney is an East Coast transplant, non-profit fundraising professional, and creator of @Sage & Oak Creative, LLC. On a normal day outside of work, you might find her out on a run with her husband, forcing snuggles on her dog Alice, discussing the enneagram test, turning her home into an indoor plant jungle, and indulging in an always-favorite Great British Bake Off TV marathon.

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Jessica Sanon

Diversity and Inclusion Champion

As an entrepreneur, Jessica is passionate about supporting and building economic mobility and capacity for marginalized communities. In 2017, Jessica founded sySTEMic flow, a socially driven organization aiming to advance STEM learning for women who identify as Black, Indigenous, and Person of color (BIPOC). She has developed and implemented inclusive programming that really tackles the retention rate of BIPOC women in STEM holistically by bridging the educational and workforce gap within the industry. Jessica also has previous experience in workforce development. Jessica currently works as the Associate for Peer Exchange, Policy, and Innovation at Housing Partnership Network, where she is responsible for working with HPN staff to advance new business and program concepts that strategically address gaps in the affordable housing marketplace and increase the company's efforts to help their members address racial equity in their organizations, the network, and the sector.

Our Advisory Board

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Sharna Favuzza

I have built a heart-centered practice and work with many families who are raising children, building businesses and caring for their parents. I focus on guardianship appointments for minor children, tax planning, family business succession planning, and long-term care planning. My practice is built on deep relationships with my clients. I have become a trusted advisor because I understand the need to balance the emotional components with the legal ones. I work closely with professional partners such as financial, insurance and tax advisors as the client benefits most from an integrated team approach. My experience in real estate and probate litigation have proven to be an invaluable resource in developing customized plans that meet clients’ current goals and provide solutions for the future considering diverse assets, evolving family dynamics or family crisis. What I offer is one of the most important, difficult and emotionally charged tasks on anyone’s To Do list. My goal is to educate my clients and give them peace of mind. By bringing competence and compassion, I have been successful in providing an experience that makes clients feeling fully supported and less anxious about the planning process.

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Nicole Roberts Jones

Nicole Roberts Jones is uniquely gifted at one thing – drawing out what’s best in YOU and helping you take your Brilliance to The Bank. A veteran of the entertainment industry, Nicole worked in Talent Management and Casting before shifting her talents to help others Bankroll Their Brilliance. She now works with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of income from what they already know in order to build an empire from their expertise. Additionally, Nicole works with corporations to assure their executives and middle managers push their internal edge, and step into the true power of their gifts and talents at work. Her clients have included the Steve Harvey World Group, Dell EMC, McDonalds, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lisa Nichols and Motivating the Masses, Coach Diversity Institute, the BOSS Network and Working Mother Magazine to name a few. Nicole is also a nationally recognized transformational speaker, purpose to paycheck expert and best-selling author of four books, the most recent being Find Your Fierce.

Nina Charnley

Nina Charnley brings a unique and diverse set of executive leadership, digital transformation, financial, risk and regulated industries, customer experience and consulting expertise to the board room. She has successfully grown, restored and built businesses in every division of Fortune 100 financial services companies serving millions of customers. Charnley served as Head of Enterprise Customer Experience for TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services company with over $1 trillion in assets under management and 5 million customers. As a Senior Managing Director, she was a member of the Executive Leadership Group, was selected as a leader for the Digital Transformation Team and Chaired the Customer Experience Board which she created as a governance entity. Over her career in financial services she has run multi- billion dollar businesses, reported to the Board of a large, public regional bank as head of Risk, developed and launched an online bank, digital products and capabilities and created the strategy, infrastructure, template and accountabilities matrix for Bank of America’s Diversity and Inclusion program. Ms. Charnley has deep financial acumen and broad experience across diverse and regulated industries. Charnley has been a speaker at conferences for customer experience, technology, Diversity and Inclusion, women’s financial literacy and diversified financial services. She has served as a board member and committee chair for Strong Women Strong Girls, RI Children’s Museum and RI Hospital (Lifespan) and a mentor for Babson College and Everwise.

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Barbara-Ann Yates

Barbara-Ann is a thought-provoking, motivating and energetic women’s conference speaker, consultant and author. Barbara-Ann created WomaneuversTM system after transforming her career as an educator into leadership roles in nationally known engineering and financial companies to starting Yates Associates, LLC consulting in the area of information security. Prior to starting Yates Associates, LLC, Barbara-Ann created a successful career as an information security consultant, advising multi-million-dollar companies and government agencies on the design, management and implementation of high-level, enterprise-wide, information security systems. An expert in strategic management and team leadership, Barbara-Ann built top performing network engineering teams. As their leader, Barbara-Ann mentored each member to achieve some of the corporation’s highest recognition leading to increased compensation and promotions. WomaneuversTM addresses common career-advancing challenges encountered by women in government and private sectors; and gives women the practical and tactical tools to tackle the common challenge women face in advancing their careers into leadership positions and influence. Barbara-Ann specializes in helping women unleash their inner leader, reach their true potential in a male dominated world and achieve empowerment, confidence, career transformation and advancement. Barbara-Ann delivers the tools she personally used to successfully womaneuver through the male dominated engineering world without an engineering degree.

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Diane Mulcahy

Before it was even a thing, Diane created an MBA course on the Gig Economy at Babson College. The course gained immediate traction and was named by Forbes as one of the Top Ten Most Innovate Business School Courses in the country. Out of that course grew a book. Diane is the author of The Gig Economy (Harper Collins), a bestselling book on Amazon that has been translated into five languages and featured widely in national media including CNN, Forbes, the Huffington Post, National Public Radio, NECN, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Oprah.com, PBS, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Worth. Diane is also a Forbes contributor and writes frequently fr Harvard Business Review. In addition to her work in the Gig Economy, Diane has been a professional investor for the past 15 years. She manages the private equity and venture capital portfolio at the Kauffman Foundation and before that was a venture capital (VC) investor for over a decade, investing in startup healthcare, technology, and fintech companies. Diane writes and speaks regularly about venture capital investing. She is the author We Have Met the Enemy …and He Is Us, a widely read report on the VC industry. She is also the author of two books and numerous articles on venture capital. Her work on the VC industry is featured widely in the financial and general press, and is part of the MBA curriculum at Babson, Boston College, Case Western, Darden, Kellogg, NYU, and Stanford, as well as Harvard Law School. Diane holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Harvard University and was a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. She is a dual US and EU (Irish) citizen and can often found working in locations both here and abroad. Learn more about Diane’s work at www.dianemulcahy.com.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Sharing Resources, Connections, and A Good Laugh.

Years ago, we found ourselves in a predicament. Our businesses were in full swing, but still needing to reach the next level. To meet new people and grow, we looked into several networking groups. We even joined a few. But we quickly found that they just didn’t work for us. They had too many rules, too many restrictions, and the scheduling just didn’t fit with our working-mom lives.

But here’s the thing, even though most of our networking experiences had been lackluster, we did get something truly wonderful from them: 

Over the years, we've met some incredible women. Women with passion and energy. Insight and empathy. Women who wanted to share their resources with others.  To encourage and be encouraged. To inspire and be inspired. 

Love + Gratitude
= Passion

Everyday we’re overwhelmed with joy as hundreds of women come together, generate business, create opportunities for each other, sharing resources, and above all, becoming great friends!

Our formula is pretty simple: Love + Gratitude = Passion. Through this, we are committed to bringing women together so that they can reach their highest potential, and build the careers they envision.

But don’t just take our word for it! Visit your local chapter and meet your amazing neighbors and soon to be friends!

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