July 2018 Spotlight

Pens & Heels Business Boutique

Pens & Heels Business Boutique is a South-Florida-based  organization, founded by Latina women, offering women-led seminars,  workshops, training and networking events to women in business,  including current and aspiring female entrepreneurs and small business  owners, female heads of industry, students and life-long learners. We  believe that successful women sharing their knowledge, stories and  experiences is the key to empowering other women to find their  individual success. 

Wine and Business Networking Night

Date and Time:  July 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Location: Puritas Lounge & Restaurant in Pembroke Pines-FL (which is a woman-owned business).


7817 Pines Boulevard

Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

Promo code: FRIENDOFWOAM, 50% off. 

Tickets are $15 ($7.50 with discount), each ticket includes Unlimited Wine, Lite Bites, a Mini-Boss Bag, & Networking.

Also, with  the purchase of a ticket, each person is eligible to showcase their  business. If someone wants to showcase their business they must email Pens and Heels  at info@pensandheelsbb.com for more information.

June 2018 Spotlight!

She Gear Fitness

She Gear Fitness is a Health and Wellness business that was started by Jenny.  She Gear Fitness gives 5% of their proceeds every quarter to the "Dream Foundation".  To learn more about Jenny and the Dream Foundation click She Gear Fitness.  While your there be sure to shop her website to show your support.  Thanks Jenny and keep up the Great work!!!

February 2018 Spotlight!

The Give Back Act - Weddings and Events

Click The Give Back Act to find out more about this wonderful organization.  

January 2018 Spotlight!

Popsitry by Sabrina

Our January 2018 spotlight featured Sabrina Monroe owner of Popistry by Sabrina.  To find out more about Sabrina and how she became a sugar artist visit her website Popistry by Sabrina.

December 2017 Spotlight!

Our December 2017 WOAM Spotlight features our new friend Kate,  a Fitness and Lifesytle Coach.  Her purpose, calling, and passion that fires her up is so much bigger then her.  She knows that everything she's been through has bought her to where she is today.  Kate's past challengers knocked her down to her knees many of times.  Although she faced many failures she picked herself up, dusted herself off and kept going,  She says that quitting is not an option and that is why she was chosen to be the December 2017 WOAM Spotlight.  She is truly an inspiration to us.  Thank you Kate for not letting your failures keep you from your life's mission.  You are truly a great example of a Woman On A Mission.  We wish you much continued success.

Click here to find out more about Kate's journey.

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November 2017 Spotlight!

Jay McElroy is a friendly, busy and highly productive woman.

It’s an understatement to call her a “ball of fire” — she’s more  like a “Supernova!” A supernova of ideas and actions, that is. Jay  herself describes it this way: “I’m, like, on speed from the minute I  wake up, and I just go all day.”In 2004 she founded McElroy  Enterprises (ME), a corporate training company specializing in hands-on  training for careers in the corporate IT, healthcare, retail and  construction fields. “We put together a Job Candidate Certification  (JCC) professionalization learning management system to give job seekers  a complete education in preparing for, finding and succeeding in  employment,” she said.ME has had phenomenal success. At one  point, with a barely believable staff of just 10, they were helping  between 800 and 1,000 people per month get back to work in IT,  healthcare, retail and construction. Beginning in 2008, JCC’s scope  expanded to include additional markets and embraced the increasing  utilization of video, electronic media and related technologies. 

A lifelong work ethic.

Jay is definitely the  driving force behind ME. She praises her parents for teaching her to  “work hard and never quit.” She was raised in a large family of “about  13 children,” she said. “My parents were always taking in other children  who needed some help and guidance.”Her father was a postal  worker who did construction on the side, while her mom laid the ground  rules for life at home. “We always helped around the house with chores.  As each kid graduated from high school we were given the same option: If  you weren’t planning on continuing on to college, then you had to pay  rent to live at home, and have a plan to put enough money aside to get  your own place,” she said.Jay’s original career interest was to  be an undertaker. “I figured it had lots of job opportunities and I’d  always be employed,” she said. “Mom never told us what type of jobs we  should work, ‘Just work hard and be honest.’ But this was the one time  she told me to ‘pick another career,’ so I chose computers.”Jay  worked full-time while attending the University of Pittsburgh and  graduated with a degree in Information Systems, as well as a minor in  Computer Science and Industrial Engineering. 

"Get her for our department!“ real testimonials

I always wanted  to work for IBM in Tampa, Florida, but there were no job offers. So  instead I went to work for the Westinghouse Corporation in Pittsburgh,  where I was assigned to a number of different divisions and learned a  lot of great things,” she said. At Westinghouse her work ethic and  positive attitude landed her in “special programs,” an elite group of  employees that traveled around the country working on various projects.IBM  eventually called and asked her to come to Raleigh, N.C., to interview  for a positon. Like a good high achiever, Jay didn’t just interview for  one position: “I met with eight different managers and got eight job  offers,” she said. Speaking later with HR, Jay mentioned that she really  wanted to live and work in Tampa, so they sent her down there for an  interview and, of course, she got that job offer too.To top  things off, IBM asked if, on her way home, she could stop in Maryland to  meet a couple of executives. “In Maryland I interviewed with nine  managers and received seven offers. I felt really good,” she said with a  laugh. “HR told me that they didn’t bother returning calls from the  other two managers, and that my only decision should be whether I wanted  to live in Florida or Maryland. I had an aunt in Maryland, so that’s  where I went.” 

“I just wanted to be a worker bee.”

Hard work and a can-do attitude led to career opportunities with  other well-known companies such as Concert, a joint venture between  British telecom, AT&T and MCI, Computer Sciences Corporation and the  Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Although Jay  has often worked in management she said she never wanted to: “I just  wanted to be a worker bee. My skills lie in understanding how all facets  of a system work — at the nitty-gritty level, and I credit my career  experiences with helping me recognize trending developments in IT  training.”Between 2005 and 2011 Jay recognized the need for  workforce skills training, particularly among young people. “I saw they  were lacking in basic skills that would help them find employment,” she  said. “So I created Reaching Higher, a program to teach youth soft  skills, created a six-week curriculum to help them find employment, and  they started finding jobs. Then some of their parents started asking if  we could teach them the same skills. So we did by creating Reaching  Hire, which focused more intensely on employment.”McElroy  Enterprises has always included strong elements of IT training in each  course. Recognizing the importance of IT certifications, Jay began  teaching how search engines work, and how job candidates could get their  resumes to the top of the stack. “Anyone can put a resume together,”  she said, “but if you don’t know how things work once you put it online,  it will not be seen.” 

Business,  Spotlight

Government contract.

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor selected Prince George’s  Community College to receive a grant of $2.5 million through the  department’s Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The College used the  grant to develop the Hybrid Technology Training (HTT) program.HTT  partners with employers to create accelerated training in computer  technology, networking and cybersecurity for unemployed workers,  veterans, displaced and disadvantaged citizens, and victims of foreign  outsourcing. Jay and McElroy Enterprises were a natural fit.When  HTT contacted ME’s Board, they suggested Jay help out, calling it a  “vacation” of sorts for her. “I’ve never been one to take regular  vacations — haven’t been on one in 10 years,” she said with a laugh.  “But I liked what HTT was doing and I knew I could help.”With  Jay, HTT is focused on IT certifications and is able to incorporate  virtual instruction, interactive simulations, online and real-world  problem-solving challenges, and collaborations between learners and  instructors.In September of 2014, HTT began an eight-week pilot  program focused on earning certifications for CompTIA: A+, Network+ and  Security+. They have had great success, and Jay is understandably proud.  “Our first cohort started with 18 students — three had to drop out, but  the other 15 earned all three certifications,” she said. “Even better,  several of them found employment in IT during the most difficult time of  the year, December and January.”One student, Roderick DeBrew,  told how HTT helped him earn his certs and land an IT position: “Since  December 12, 2014, I’ve been a contractor for the Department of Defense,  in a cleared position as a NOC engineer. Every day I’m learning new  techniques, processes and operational methods as it applies to  Information Security and Data Centers.” 

Success for students.

A second cohort began in January and is showing great promise as  well. In just five weeks, 20 of 25 students earned CompTIA’s A+  certification, and two earned Network+. Two other students earned  TestOut Corportation’s PC Pro and one earned TestOut’s Network Pro.Jay  attributes HTT’s success to assessments that help students identify  skill sets and interests. She also channels her mom by firmly telling  students that, “No is not an option!” Jay said some students struggle  and want to quit, but she does her level best to keep them engaged. “I  know this program works,” she said. “If they put their time in, and  sacrifice for a very short period of their lives, they will be  successful and the sky is the limit.”One of the components HTT  uses to help students prepare for certification exams is TestOut  Corporation’s LabSim Certification Training. “We use the  trouble-shooting component scenarios for students to give them real-life  on-the-job experience: Say they are moving an office and need to set up  computers. Students just log in and do the lab; it shows what they can  do,” Jay said. “LabSim is a phenomenal experience for students.”HTT  will continue its program through September and is hoping to market it  more widely to students and the community. As DeBrew says, “The IT field  is huge! I’m a product of the Hybrid Training classes. It’s a  birthplace for a new opportunity to build a rewarding career in the IT  industry.”Surprisingly, for a woman who pushes IT cert training,  Jay doesn’t have any certifications. “I kind of designed my own job  candidate certification,” she said. “It took years to perfect it.”Jay  is a deeply religious woman who credits all her successes to her best  friend, Emmanuel (God with us), and she feels an obligation to do as  much good as she can. Her motivation in utilizing IT training is to make  a difference in people’s lives. “I really get excited when I put  something IT-based out there,” she said with a wide smile, “and it helps  turn someone’s life around.”