Nancy joined BGV in April 2015 after having owned and operated her own start up, NanBrands, dba NanCakes. She has lived the life of a Bad Girl and appreciates the highs and lows, disappointments and triumphs, and the happy, sad, tired, and ecstatic emotional roller coaster startups can bring.
Nancy’s extensive marketing, management, and fundraising background will be put to good use at BGV as we strive to expand regionally while continuing to offer top quality training, support and mentorship for women owned businesses in Ohio and Kentucky.
When not actively engaged in making the life of regional female entrepreneurs better, you can find Nancy with her husband David (also a small business owner of his solo Obstetrics/Gynecology practice) at the many football and basketball games their twin sons play or visiting their daughter at beautiful University of Virginia. Both life long Cincinnatians Nancy and Dave love enjoying all the great Cincinnati restaurants, and the Reds, Bengals, Bearcats and Buckeyes!
Angela started with the BGV team in July of 2015 as the Program Manager. A Bad Girl at heart, she spends her time dreaming of how to support and encourage female entrepreneurs.
Angela’s professionalism, creativity, and enthusiasm are great assets to program. Before she became a Bad Girl by association, she was in the food & consumer packaged goods industry with experience in sales and data analytics. Her experience and entrepreneurial mindset will be leveraged to take BGV, Inc. to the next phase in its growth.
Originally from Michigan, Angela enjoys exploring Cincinnati and the surrounding areas with her friends. Some of her favorite activities include Pilates, volunteering, being outdoors, and drinking lattes.
Reka Barabas became the Director of Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) Cleveland in 2011. In this role, she leads BGV’s chapter in Northeast Ohio and is in charge of fundraising, relationship management, and operations. She is constantly building a support network for the entrepreneurs BGV works with, while also ensuring the quality of their education, and raising funds for the loan pool.
Before joining Bad Girl Ventures, Reka served as the Executive Director of The International Entrepreneur (TiE) Ohio for three years. TiE is driven by established foreign-born entrepreneurs who mentor the next generation of immigrant entrepreneurs and help them forge connections in the U.S. Prior to that, while at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Reka managed all international programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that bring foreign professionals to Cleveland for short-term training. She was responsible for strategy, development, new technology implementation, website, and marketing related to the program.
Reka holds a M.A from Bowling Green State University and a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University.
Anne joined the BGV staff team in January 2017. With a background in program planning, membership, marketing, and more, she is excited to work with female entrepreneurs. A female entrepreneur herself, she brings a ton of positive energy and a can-do attitude to everything she does.
Cheryl Stamm is a professional sales executive with 25+ years successful sales management and direct sales experience in the software industry. Cheryl’s skills include executive level solution selling to Fortune 500 companies, strategic planning, building sales plans, forecasting, and P&L responsibility in both sales and presales activities. In her roles she has managed and mentored sales managers and sales representatives to achieve their goals by selling to the C level executives, focusing on the salient business issues, working in a team environment and executing on the business plan.
Most recently Cheryl was VP of Sales for Balanced Insight, Inc., (a CincyTech portfolio company) focused on Agile Business Intelligence delivery software. Prior to that Cheryl spent 6 years at SAS Institute as Sr. Sales Director managing a $45M division selling Business Intelligence solutions to the Fortune 500 companies in discrete manufacturing, automotive and commercial services; (GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Whirlpool, TransUnion, LexisNexis, Nielsen, Cardinal Health, Hertz, Enterprise). In this role she managed a team of 20 individuals made up of 3 sales managers and 17 account executives. In her last year at SAS the business grew 12% which was made up of $10M in new sales and recurring revenue of $35M.
Prior to SAS, Cheryl was with start up company, Synchrony Systems, as VP Sales. At Synchrony Cheryl worked with Balanced Insight CEO, Tom Hammergren, and along with Synchrony CEO, Mark Richey, grew the company and sold to Divine. Synchrony developed and sold eCRM software for the call center space.
Janet has built a career using her skills in the field of accounting and finance and currently serves as Treasurer of the BGV Board of Trustees. Her past positions have included Corporate Controller for United Way of Cincinnati and CFO and Treasurer of a mid-size custom manufacturer. She currently provides financial consulting services to small businesses and is the CFO for The Valen Group in Cincinnati.
Janet received her BBA in accounting from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University.
In addition to her work with BGV, she also volunteers for the Cincinnati Art Museum. Her hobbies include travel and art.
A twenty-one year veteran of the financial services industry, MaryAnn has been with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney since 1999. She tries to focus her business on Cash Flow Management, Divorce Planning and Consolidation of Assets. She also specializes in reviewing all aspects of a financial plan including Insurance, Educational Funding, Investments and Estate Planning. MaryAnn is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST™. She has attained her Series 3, 7,8 24, 63, 65 and life and health insurance licenses and has been on the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Directors Club. MaryAnn completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New York, College at Oneonta. She also served as the Branch Manager until 2005 when she decided to step down from the responsibility to focus more on her clients needs. A native of New York, MaryAnn has resided in Kentucky for eleven years with her husband, Matt Grannen and two sons. She participates in karate with her boys and currently has a black/red belt (eleventh level) She is an avid reader and enjoys running and wine tasting. MaryAnn has also served as Chairperson for HealthPoint Family Care Foundation Board and a board member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. She is currently a member of the Planned Gifts Committee of St. Elizabeth Medical Center and chairs the HealthPoint at the Pops annual event.
Michelle Andersen is the Design Director for Flourish Design, LLC. Andersen started Flourish as a landscape design company in 2010 after freelancing and realized her dream of owning her own business. Flourish has evolved into an award winning, high end residential landscape and interior design business that also handles installation and maintenance for prominent properties across the Tri-State. Prior to Flourish, Andersen worked as the Horticulturist for the City of Cincinnati caring for the grounds surrounding Krohn Conservatory and the Hinkle Magnolia Garden in Eden Park.
Andersen is a graduate of University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Architecture program. During her time as a student, she co-oped for architecture firms in Adelaide, Australia and Hawaii that focused on eco-friendly design. Michelle’s passions include being involved in philanthropic work, giving back through mentorship, spending time outdoors and traveling abroad.
Kathy is the Managing Shareholder of the Cincinnati office of Elliott Davis Decosimo. She has over 20 years of experience in public accounting, specifically in the tax compliance and planning area. Her tax consulting experience includes comprehensive S-corporations, partnerships, not-for-profit entities and individual research and planning. Kathy also works with estate and gift tax planning, review and compliance, and representation before the Internal Revenue Service. She was named one of the Top 10 Women Accountants in Cincinnati by Women’s Business Magazine and has been consistently named as a Five Star Wealth Manager by Cincinnati Magazine since 2009.
Karen Finan is a Partner with Gilman Partners, Cincinnati’s leading executive placement firm, responsible for new business in concert with the company’s focus on a number of executive and technical industries. She finds opportunities with companies in search of mid to senior level talent and is growing the firm’s CRE/Chamber/Economic Development Practice.
She is also owner of Finalized specializing in project management services for select private and non-profit opportunities. Finan’s experience lends itself to a comprehensive, collaborative approach to the work at hand with an eye towards the results impacting the bottom line. Think it. Plan it. Do it. The company’s tag line clearly calls out the approach each project receives.
Fortified with extensive background in a variety of industries, Karen previously served as SVP for Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) where she led 45 relocations/expansions at the national level accounting for over $250 M in Capital investment in the Northern Kentucky region. She previously directed national marketing and new business efforts at Duke Realty Corporation and Duke Construction.
Recently named ”Professional Woman to Watch” by Cincinnati.com based on largest deals completed and innovative initiatives and a 2010 recipient of NKY’s Outstanding Woman award, Karen holds a BA from Northern Kentucky University. She is actively engaged on the national level with the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). Locally she is Chairwoman of the Redwood Board; Board member of the European American Chamber of Commerce; Vice Chair of the NKY Education Council and member of Northern Kentucky University’s Foundation Board.
Contact Karen at email@example.com or 859.620.3583
Matt has been a part of the Bad Girl Ventures family as a collaborative partner since BGV’s inception in 2010. Since 2013, he came on as a coach and mentor and currently as a Board Member in 2014. Matt brings a wealth of experience in micro-lending, small business coaching and sound advice particularly in areas of business regulation, zoning and real estate matters. Matt’s previous micro-entrepreneurialism experience as Loan Committee Chair and Vice Board Chair of ECDI, Ohio’s largest SBA micro-lender.
Matt has diverse experience in the fields of urban planning, entrepreneurialism and micro-lending and public sector economic development. Throughout his career, Matt has prided himself on mastering the art of implementation. Matt has implemented many forms of development assistance programs, understanding their mechanics and details. Matt has spent years in the economic development industry and understands the tactics and tools necessary to bring results. And finally, his years working development industry provides insights on zoning, real estate and compliance issues in operating a physical presence for a business.
Matt’s education background includes a Bachelor of Urban Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton. Matt has previous experience in city management experiences in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus regions. Other professional involvements include Board positions with Columbus2020, MODE and American Planning Association and Great Placemakers Lab Director.
Kristie Beck is Vice President Product Management & Operations at Elemica and is responsible for Elemica’s Sourcing business. She leads product strategy, product marketing, and strategic partnerships for Elemica’s Sourcing Application Suite. She also heads global Sourcing Services comprised of client managers, customer solutions, consultants, and project managers supporting both standalone technology implementations and strategic sourcing BPO outsourcing services.
In her career, she has held numerous leadership and customer facing roles in global B2B Enterprise Cloud and SaaS software companies – spanning a wide spectrum of sectors, including aviation, consumer products, corporate travel, financial services, and manufacturing.
Kristie is passionate about building products, companies, and communities that thrive. She serves on Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland advisory board and actively mentors entrepreneurs focusing on business strategy and planning. Kristie received her B.S. in Supply Chain Management and Operations from Bowling Green State University.
Dan is an attorney with Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer Co. LPA, a general practice law firm located in Oakley. He practices primarily in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, commercial lending, and non-profit and tax-exempt organizations. He advises his clients on transactions, the drafting and negotiation of real estate documents, including contracts and leases, and on the qualification and operation of organizations that operate as 501(c)(3) entities.
Dan joined the Board of Directors of Bad Girl Ventures (“BGV”) in January, 2014. He hopes that his service allows BGV to help female entrepreneurs realize their dreams of business ownership and financial independence. Through that success, Dan believes that the Greater Cincinnati community will benefit from great businesses, more jobs, improved neighborhoods, and a vibrant business environment.
As a long-time resident of Cincinnati, Dan is involved in a number of community service activities. In addition to BGV, he volunteers as a reader at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a lector at the Community of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, a volunteer at Montgomery Community Church, and as a Board member of Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center.
Jennifer is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing management in labor and employment law. Her practice focuses on putting employers in the best position to avoid employment claims and to successfully defend claims made. She is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Labor and Employment Law, and has written several articles and spoken at numerous seminars and to community business groups on employment law topics.
Jennifer is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and received her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She has been an Officer, Trustee, Committee Chair and Member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and the Women in Law Section of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Bar Association. She is also a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and has organized several successful networking events uniting women attorneys and business owners.
Suzanne Galvez is vice president of content at Findaway, a global leader in digital audiobook content delivery. Passionate about innovation and entrepreneurism, Suzanne brings two decades of digital strategy and management experience. She got her digital start at Book Stacks Unlimited, the company credited with the first Internet transaction. Suzanne also co-founded a digital marketing company, oversaw the operations and client teams for a leading global advertising agency and serves on the board of directors for the Audio Publishers Association, a not-for-profit trade association focused on audiobook growth.
Lynn-Ann Gries is an expert in the creation of seed stage investment funds designed to spur regional economic growth. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams while simultaneously generating returns for investors. She is the principal of Gries Consulting.
As a co-founder of Cleveland-based JumpStart, Inc, she led a team that invested $30 million in 75 start-ups over the course of ten years, generating over $500 million in regional economic impact. Think of it as a kinder, gentler version of “Shark Tank” where the desired outcome was not only a return on investment, but an increase in the vibrancy of the region’s entreprenuerial economy.
Amy Martin is Partner, Marketing at Jumpstart. She has more than 18 years of experience helping organizations and brands reach target audiences with relevant messages that drive action and awareness. She specializes in: digital channel development (including SEO), social channel strategy, messaging and media relations, creating national thought leadership platforms, building strong brands that can evolve over time and across sectors and integrating all communication and marketing efforts across organizations to create consistency and alignment.
Tricia Tortoreti is a coach and co-owner of Birdtown CrossFit, a strength and conditioning gym in Lakewood, Ohio. She holds multiple national fitness certifications including CrossFit -L2 & CF-L1, CrossFit Kettlebell and is a USAW Level 1 Sports and Performance Coach.
Tortoreti and her business partner are Bad Girl Ventures alumni and past micro-loan winners. They opened Birdtown CrossFit in January 2013.
Laura Bennett is co-founder and CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance, an accident and medical insurance provider for pets. She was the first-ever pet insurance actuary in the United States.
Laura co-founded Embrace after training and working as an actuary at a life and health insurance companies and earning her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to leading Embrace, Laura also launched the first worldwide pet insurance blog to change the image of the pet insurance industry. She served as Board Chairman of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association for four years and won a 2012 Women in Insurance Leadership awarded by Insurance Networking News.
Ann provides legal and strategic advice on general commercial issues, customer and supplier contracts, real estate, labor and employment, and claims and disputes at Eaton. She advises business leadership on ethics, human resources and compliance matters, and participates in strategic planning and business leadership meetings. Supporting Eaton’s B-Line Division, Circuit Protection Division, Controls & Power Conversion Division, Electrical Automation Solutions Division and Electrical Sector Canadian operations, Ann also serve as the Law Department’s Mining vertical lead.