• WBDC Announces Two New Hires in April

    STAMFORD, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is announcing a pair of recent new hires, bolstering a strong team of professionals available to support Connecticut’s women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Janet Johnson will add to WBDC’s talented roster of Business Advisors, and Katherine Torres has been hired to fulfill the role of Spanish Language Program Manager. Janet will be based in the organization’s soon to be opened Waterbury office, and Katherine will be in the New Haven office. 

    “We are so pleased to add these talented and experienced professionals to the WBDC team,” said CEO Fran Pastore. “Katherine and Janet have the backgrounds and aptitudes to provide invaluable support to our community of women entrepreneurs.. As we grow, we will continue to enhance our ability to deliver services that will help our state’s women-owned businesses succeed.”

    Since 2020, WBDC has grown its team from less than 15 to more than 30. 

    Janet Johnson — Business Advisor

    Janet Johnson joins the WBDC team to help Waterbury businesses develop and grow. She teaches workshops and provides one-on-one advising sessions to aspiring, emerging, and established business owners. She brings nearly 20 years of manufacturing experience to her role as a Business Advisor via her family business, a factory in Waterbury, which later relocated to Naugatuck.

    Johnson has ten years of experience as a Business Advisor, serving Greater Hartford’s woman-owned and minority-owned companies. She has a passion for helping clients see past challenges and create actionable steps towards starting or revamping their businesses for success. She loves teaching clients how to strategize using their financials and to create efficient systems that save time and money.

    Johnson earned her Lean Tools Certificate and became a certified Money Mindset and Business Coach. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Quinnipiac University.

    Katerine Torres — Spanish Language Program Manager

    Katherine Torres is an accomplished business professional with 18 years of experience in procurement, business banking, and management. Throughout her career, she has excelled in various roles and built a reputation for excellence in entrepreneurship and client relationship management.

    Torres has an innate ability to connect with people, understand their needs, and provide customized solutions that meet their goals. As a fluent speaker of both English and Spanish, she has leveraged her language skills to build and maintain relationships with a diverse range of clients from different cultural backgrounds. 

    In previous roles, Torres provided technical assistance to small, minority, and women-owned businesses —helping them increase their contracts with government and large corporations. She also offered guidance and consulted with business clients on procurement methods, strategies, and schedules.

    Torres holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration as well as a number of professional licenses and certifications.


    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 for more information.