MEET THE TEAM
LENA COHEN-HAWKINS | PRESIDENT, FOUNDER, & BOARD MEMBER
Powerhouse business consultant, two-time author, and corporate trainer, Lena Cohen-Hawkins, has grown to be an internationally known success. From working with top companies like CBS, Prudential Financial, United Way, RWJ Barnabas and The United States Army, to gracing the TED stage and touching lives abroad with her inspiring story of triumph; Lena’s impact is felt in a mighty way. Lena holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Kean University and a Master’s in Human Services Counseling from Liberty University. Her ability to lead, multitask, and get things done well at such a high level is remarkable. In addition to speaking and training, Lena keeps busy by remaining connected to the community through servant leadership as a board member for National Sales Network, New Jersey/New York Chapter. While on the NSN executive team and as a board Lena helped the organization achieve “Chapter of the Year,” twice within 4 years, among 27 other chapters across the country. Although Lena brings a highly professional and no-nonsense work ethic to the table, she does so with a vibrant personality that’s warm in nature and welcoming at heart.
SAMIAYAH CROWDER | VICE PRESIDENT
Samiayah, Vice President of Sales in the Diamond Jewelry industry, is on a mission to help women build and grow profitable businesses. Samiayah has 20 years of experience in Sales, Management, and Business Development both in the US and Overseas. Making her the perfect person to help lead this organization. Her no nonsense approach to business, as a results driven individual, has led her to success with leading companies like Zales, Macys, Jessica Simpson, Bed Bath & Beyond, QVC and many more. For the past 12 years, she’s also dedicated her time to teaching women; leading them to earn recognition, awards, prizes, jewelry and free luxury automobiles.
VP OF FINANCE
April is a lending analyst at Bank of New York Mellon, ranked number one among US Private Banks. From the San Francisco’s Financial District to Wall Street April has helped many clients reach their financial goals. Excitingly, April’s had experience working with The Women’s Initiative, a non profit that helps early stage women business owners get access to micro loans and business consulting resources. With that said, we are happy to have her.
VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
La’Tesha is a licensed psychotherapist, author, professor and the President and Founder of Great Joy Counseling and Consulting Services where she and her team provide therapeutic psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families and groups. La’Tesha is an innovative corporate trainer and provides various services to nonprofit and for profit businesses. For the past seven years, La’Tesha has served thousands of students as a professor at Rutgers University and Hunter College. La’Tesha holds a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling, and Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Administration.
VP OF ENGAGEMENT
Andrea is a business executive with 17 years of experience, known for her energetic and vibrant personality. Andrea’s entrepreneurial instincts and vision have allowed her to be extremely successful. As a Mary Kay Sales Director she developed and led many women to financial freedom. She loves speaking and volunteering at various organizations. As an All American athlete and a Hall of Fame inductee from Boston College, she uses her athletic background as a foundation to push herself and others to be their best self.
Connie’s strong network throughout NJ and 30 years’ experience in state & local public affairs, ensures that she knows someone in almost every room she walks into. As CEO of a statewide network of local non-profit affiliates with operations in almost all of NJ’s urban centers and on behalf of the country’s largest health philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Connie has forged strong relationships with state and local elected officials, community and business leaders and residents across the state. She is an insightful strategic thinker with excellent interpersonal skills and a keen ability to bring together diverse perspectives towards a common goal.
BERGUSON LENEUS “BERG”
Mr. Leneus began his life of public service as a board member for the East Orange YMCA from 2010 – 2012. After his time with the YMCA ended, Berg was appointed as a member of the East Orange Board of Education. He proudly served on the BOE from February 2012 to December 2017, with the last three years as Board President. The district achieved tremendous gains in academic achievement, safety, cleanliness, use of technology, and budget solvency during his leadership. January 2018, Mr. Leneus made history being sworn in as the first Haitian American elected to office in East Orange’s rich history. He hit the ground running with several community-based initiatives that garnered great support from the residents of the East Orange.
Kyana Woolridge, graduate of Howard University School of Law, started her legal career as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Claude Coleman in Essex County Superior Court in the Law Division. Ms. Woolridge was then an Associate for the law firm of Hunt, Hamlin & Ridley a general litigation law firm. She also served as First Assistant of the Legal Department to the Township of Irvington where she focused on departmental hearing, redevelopment law and contract review and formation legislation for the Township. Ms. Woolridge is a founding partner of the Law Firm Souder, Shabazz & Woolridge where her focus areas are Workers Compensation defense for municipalities and Land Use matters for private clients.