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  • WBDC Announces Additions to Board, Hiring of New Marketing Business Advisor

    STAMFORD, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) has announced several new additions to the organization. WBDC is welcoming four new members of the organization’s Board of Directors — Laura Davis, Sonia Hounsell, Monica Moore, and Sarah Watson. In addition, Johanna Bloom has been hired to serve as a Marketing Business Advisor, where she will work with clients to develop marketing strategies and tactics to drive business goals.

    Incumbent board members Elana Milianta and Lindsey Kopp have been named Board Chair and Board Treasurer, respectively.

    “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome these extraordinary women to the WBDC team to help advance our mission to support economic prosperity for women across Connecticut,” said WBDC Founder and CEO Fran Pastore. “Elana and Lindsey have been vital members of the Board and I am excited to work with them in their new leadership roles. Laura, Sonia, Monica, and Sarah bring a breadth of knowledge and expertise and will be invaluable assets to the Board. With the addition of Johanna to our team of incredibly skilled business advisors, we have the ability to connect with more of our community of women entrepreneurs and offer greater support to our state’s women-owned businesses.”

    Board Changes/Additions

    Elana Milianta — New Board Chair

    Elana Milianta is a Director at Alex Brown. a division of Raymond James, where she helps clients address their financial concerns and develops sound strategies by focusing on each individual’s specific needs. With over 20 years of expertise in the financial industry, Elana has dedicated her career to delivering personalized financial planning services to help her clients through all of life’s transitions. Leveraging extensive experience navigating major market shifts; she provides vision, guidance, and support to help her clients stay focused on their financial objectives.

    Elana is FINRA Series 7, 65, 63, and insurance licensed. She also earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary designations through intensive programs focused on developing her skills in retirement, and divorce planning, following a fiduciary standard throughout the financial planning engagement.

    Elana is also the author of “A Girlfriend’s Financial Survival Guide”. She wrote this book to empower women and give them the tools to take charge of their finances.

    Elana attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she had a double major in Finance and International Business and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She has been a member of the WBDC Board since 2020.

    Lindsey Kopp — New Board Treasurer

    Lindsey Kopp serves as Chief Financial Officer for DR Bank and has more than 16 years of accounting and finance experience in the banking industry. She initially joined DR Bank in April 2018 as VP Controller. Previously, Lindsey spent three years at Synchrony Financial where she held roles in controllership project management and technical accounting. Prior to Synchrony, Lindsey held roles of VP Accounting Policy at Banc of California, VP Accounting Project Manager at Farmington Bank, and VP Financial Reporting and Accounting Policy at Webster Bank. Before that, she was a Senior Manager at Deloitte, where she managed multiple client engagements across several industries including banking, manufacturing, and retail.

    Lindsey attended the University of Connecticut where she earned Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in Accounting. She has been a member of the WBDC Board since January 2022.

    Monica Moore

    Monica Moore has worked for Tudor Investment Corporation (Tudor) since 2010 and is currently Vice President of Client Services within the Investor Relations and Product Development team based in Stamford. Her role as Vice President involves fostering positive client relationships by ensuring the timely and accurate preparation and distribution of reporting and correspondence that is used internally across various departments and externally by investors and partners.

    Monica received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Syracuse University and holds a FINRA Series 3 license. She also serves as joint chair to Tudor’s diversity employee resource group (Tudor UNITE); one of Tudor’s affinity groups created to raise awareness of the systemic disparities faced by people of color, engage in meaningful dialogue and create measurable goals that positively impact and encourage diversity at Tudor and across communities. She is extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion for women and minorities and enjoys participating in volunteer opportunities that serve the community.  Monica lives in Stamford.

    Sonia Hounsell

    Sonia Hounsell is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO, FunkkOFF!® Inc. an innovative lifestyle brand in the personal and oral care category. In July 2021, she launched their flagship product FunkkOFF! TeethRefreshers®, the first and only all-in-one toothbrush and toothpaste that’s reusable to keep teeth white and fresh on the go. The brand has been recognized for its unique innovation by Travel & Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Real Simple and Essence, among others. In addition, Sonia and FunkkOFF!® will be featured on ABC’s Shark Tank on February 17.

    Sonia has 30 years of professional experience in brand marketing and entrepreneurship including leadership roles in consumer packaged goods, consumer healthcare, as well as at McKinsey & Co., and venture capital. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Boston College and earned her M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Sonia lives in Rye, New York.

    Sarah Watson

    Sarah Watson is a Principal at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) and has more than 15 years of experience focusing on providing tax planning, compliance and consulting services to privately held businesses and individuals. She specializes in tax services for high net-worth individuals and professional services firms including private equity groups. Her experience has also included working with clients that require multi-state filing compliance.

    Sarah has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University and earned her M.B.A. from Salve Regina University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. Watson also serves as Treasurer for CT – ALIVE, a community-based victim services non-profit organization based in West Hartford. She lives in Watertown.

    Laura Davis

    Laura Davis is a Managing Director for J.P. Morgan Private Bank based in Greenwich. She leads the Founders and Families Group offering clients thoughtful strategies for preserving and growing wealth. Davis is committed to understanding clients’ intent for their wealth and developing innovative plans to meet evolving needs. She has more than 25 years of wealth management experience and oversees more than $10 billion in client assets.

    Laura is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Business. She holds the FINRA Series 7, 9, 10 and 63 licenses. She was named to the 2020 Barron’s Top Advisor list, ranked fifth in Connecticut. In 2019, she was selected for J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s inaugural Morgan Circle, which recognizes a small group of advisors for their exceptional performance. The Financial Times included Laura in its Top 100 Financial Advisers list in 2014. Laura lives in New Canaan.

    About Johanna Bloom — Marketing Business Advisor

    With nearly 15 years of experience in strategy, operations and marketing from start-ups to established financial services, Johanna Bloom has a passion for translating data into actionable insights and plans. She served as the COO for a wellness start-up in NYC, MNDFL Meditation, growing the business into a multi-location, multi-channel company. Before entering the entrepreneurial world, she was a senior executive at UBS Financial Services for 10 years.

     As a Marketing Business Advisor, Johanna will work with clients to develop marketing strategies and tactics to drive business goals. She will draw on her years of experience to advise on topics such as developing differentiated branding and positioning, customer segmentation, competitive pricing, and reaching customers.

    Johanna has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University. She lives in Darien.

    Photos of the WBDC team members mentioned can be found here

    About the Women’s Business Development Council

    The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained more than 17,000 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns—helping women to launch, sustain and scale over 12,750 businesses, create and maintain over 26,250 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $63 million in capital. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.