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Women in Business: A Discussion with Three Entrepreneurs
by Colleen Kowalski on August 23, 2022
There are over 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. In the past year, over 1800 businesses were founded by women every single day. Women-owned businesses generate over $1.8 trillion in revenue annually. Learn more about start-up stories, transition planning, and post-exit life from three women entrepreneurs. Join the EPI West Michigan Chapter for their August 30 event.
Meet the Panelists
Anita-Maria Quillen, CEO/Owner of DEP Plastics and Engineering
Over the last 18 years, Anita-Maria Quillen has grown from a part-time office assistant to the majority owner of a multi-million-dollar, top-tier engineering & manufacturing company; DEP Engineering. She’s been featured on the front page of the New York Times, in multiple publications of the Plastics News, the Jackson Magazine, and more. She’s an inspiration to many, with her ability to continually overcome adversity, and hurdles that are unique to a woman entrepreneur.
As the majority owner of the business, DEP is a certified Hispanic Woman owned company through MMSDC and WBENC. As the President and CEO, she oversees the day-to-day operations as well as engineering & sales. DEP Engineering (Diversified Engineering & Plastics) is in Jackson, Michigan, and ships products all over the world.
Along with DEP Engineering, Anita has added significant diversity to her business background by way of creating, investing & partnering to fully integrate herself into the world of business management. She has ownership in 6 entities in a variety of markets from manufacturing, real estate, consulting, agriculture, engineering, investments, and more.
Rhonda Kovera, CEO/Owner of Visual Workplace
Rhonda Kovera has over 25 years of experience implementing Toyota Production System philosophies for manufacturing companies. She specializes in high-quality products needed to help users implement and sustain a Lean work environment. Visual Workplace products and training resources provide users with the tools they need to foster visual management processes in their facility.
Rhonda has developed visual systems for the automotive, aerospace, food, furniture, commercial products, hardware, and telecommunications industries.
Tina Roff, Co-Founder and President of Dataspec
Tina Roff began her career assisting veterans as the Director of Veterans Affairs for Sanilac County. She has served in various professional positions including, President of the Michigan Association of County Veterans Counselors and Executive Board member of the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. Tina worked directly with veterans as a Veterans Service Officer, helping them file for Federal and State benefits they were entitled to.
Realizing the need for a user-friendly and functional computer system to help Veterans Service Officers, Tina Roff and her sister Ann Graham founded DataSpec, Inc. in 2007. They partnered together to develop and build a premier Veterans Claims Management System, VetraSpec. Their vision at that time was to provide veteran advocates with a secure, reliable system that helped them better serve their veterans along with electronic submissions of claims to the Federal VA directly from their program.
Their company consistently doubled year after year in sales and customers. Customers included 32 State Departments of Veterans Affairs, thousands of county department users, and large service organizations like National VFW and American Legions.
Tina & Ann decided to contact a Mergers & Acquisitions company to assist them in an exit strategy. In 2021 Tyler Technologies successfully acquired DataSpec in an asset sale. As she pursues other ventures following the acquisition, Tina keeps up on the ever-changing VA field and will always continue to be a true veterans advocate.
Register For The Event
Join the August 30 event in person or virtually to hear from the three entrepreneurs about their experiences. This event will take place 7:30-9:00 AM at the Calvin University Prince Conference Center, Willow East Conference Room in Grand Rapids.
Join the West Michigan Chapter
The purpose of the EPI West Michigan Chapter is to create a forum where local professional advisors can collaborate to address the needs of their community. We develop educational programs for business owners that better prepare for a successful exit of a business. EPI West Michigan Chapter seeks to develop, encourage, and foster the adoption of best practices for the exit planning profession. They also promote the common business interests of advisors who endorse them.
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