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Colette Phillips, President & CEO of Colette Phillips Communications, Inc
Holly Daniels Christensen, Founder & CEO, Dune Jewelry
Briar Forsythe, Owner, Willowdale Estate & Briar Barn Inn
Jeannette Kahn , Founder & Co-Owner, North Shore Children’s Therapies
Samantha Shih, Founder & Owner, 9Tailors, LLC
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
7:30am – 8:15am Registration, Networking, Breakfast
8:15am – 8:30am Open Program & Welcoming Remarks
8:30am – 9:00am Keynote Speaker:
- Colette Phillips, CEO & President, Colette Phillips Communications, Inc.
9:00am – 9:15am Table Activity (Introductions & identify 2 questions your table wants to ask the panel)
9:15am – 9:30am Table Report-outs
9:30am – 10:30am Panelist Discussion:
- Holly Daniels Christensen, Founder & CEO, Dune Jewelry.
- Briar Forsythe, Owner, Willowdale Estate & Briar Barn Inn
- Jeannette Kahn, Founder & Co-Owner, North Shore Children’s Therapies
- Samantha Shih, Founder & Owner, 9 Tailors, LLC
- Laura Swanson, Enterprise Center, Panel Moderator
10:30am – 11:00am Audience Q&A
11:00am – 11:30am Adjournment and Networking
Colette Phillips is President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications, Inc. She is a values-based leader, trusted adviser and understands the importance of engaging and influencing key stakeholders. She has extensive experience in developing public relations branding and internal/external communications in areas of strategy, multicultural marketing and corporate citizenship. She is frequently consulted by corporations and non-profit organizations about how to articulate healthy, inclusive working environments for their employees and how to engage culturally diverse consumers.
In 2008, she launched Boston’s premier inclusive business networking forum called Get Konnected!, which brings together professionals, business and civic leaders and entrepreneurs from all cultures and industries. Her mission is to enrich professional development and forge new inclusive business/social relationships, making Boston a more welcoming city. Get Konnected! is the creator of the historic GK100, Boston’s first comprehensive list of the 100 Most Influential People of Color. The Boston Globe cites the social impact venture as "changing the conversation on diversity” and Phillips as a “Social Connector.” As an active civic leader, Colette currently serves on Board of Trustees for Eastern Bank, The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts General Hospital President’s Council.
She has been named to Boston Magazine’s Power 2018: The 100 Most Influential People in Boston, the Boston Business Journal's 2016/2017 Power 50 and The Boston Globe’s A-List. Born in the Caribbean nation of Antigua, Phillips holds a Bachelor and Master of Science from Emerson College. She is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Law from Mount Ida College.
Holly Daniels Christensen
A CEO with an incredibly varied career path, Holly Daniels Christensen’s background has included stints as a zookeeper, pharmacy technician, promotional model, bartender, cellphone, car and cruise salesperson, not to mention 14 years in the highly competitive real estate business. Clearly the founder of Dune Jewelry is a unique “bootstrap” entrepreneur, unafraid of hard work, who possesses an inspirational “never say never” attitude.
In 2007, this self-taught jewelry designer began making beach sand jewelry for friends and family at her kitchen table, then officially launched Dune Jewelry full time in 2010. Now, Dune Jewelry employs a team of 30 people working in a 3,100 square foot loft space in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. They’re continuously filling orders for over 900 retail partners worldwide as well as their thriving e-commerce website where they focus on selling personalized Experiential Jewelry® that captures your most cherished memories.
Through contributions from their customers, Dune has gathered sand and natural elements from all seven continents. Dune Jewelry, the Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company® features custom rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms and men’s accessories set in sterling silver and 14kt gold which are all handmade in the USA. Holly has created an exclusive Sandbank™ which holds over 4,000 sands and elements gathered from iconic and memorable locations around the globe.
Holly is proud to spearhead many fundraisers each year for non-profit organizations such as SMILE Mass, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, APCC. In addition, Dune often donates a portion of their sales throughout the year to various charities such as the global relief organization All Hands and Hearts, the Surfrider Foundation and the P.A.W.S Project.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) named Holly Daniels Christensen the 2016 Woman-Owned Business of the Year for Massachusetts and New England.
In 2018, Inc. magazine honored Dune Jewelry as No. 2590 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000 List, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.
Holly lives in Walpole, Massachusetts with her husband Eric Christensen, their two daughters Alexa and Lyla and their handsome chihuahua, Tex. She is dedicated to creating a future that motivates people to understand that continued hard work and perseverance is a direct path to success.
For more information on Dune Jewelry visit, www.dunejewelry.com.
Briar Forsythe is a seasoned hospitality veteran and owner of Bramble Hospitality. Briar established Bramble Hospitality in 2017 with a dedication to great food, beautiful surroundings, and exceptional service. For over a decade Briar has been operating the award-winning Willowdale Estate, one of the most sought-after wedding and events venues in the area. In 2019 Bramble Hospitality introduced a second property, Briar Barn Inn.
After college, Briar began her career in hospitality as she joined the opening team for The Mary Prentiss Inn, a bed and breakfast in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here, Briar learned the importance of establishing a personal relationship with guests and developed a knack for making each guest’s stay unique. Briar went on to play a crucial role in her family’s next venture, The Kendall Hotel in Kendall Square. At the Kendall Hotel she led the restaurant operations, including building a team of well-rounded and successful employees. Briar’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to open a hospitality-driven event and wedding destination at the historic Willowdale Estate in Topsfield, Massachusetts, combining her skills in the inn and hotel business. Willowdale Estate now offers the unpretentious elegance of an authentic country manor with the services of a full-service caterer, marked by impeccable hospitality and personalized service. For over ten years Briar Forsythe has dreamt of owning a property with a full-service restaurant, inn and spa, all while maintaining premier hospitality at the heart of the business. Briar’s vision became a reality with the opening of Briar Barn Inn in 2019.
With a passion for event planning, cooking, and the arts, Briar enjoys spending time in New York City and immersing herself in the culture of ballet, opera, and theater. When she isn’t operating the Inn and Estate, Briar is studying voice, piano, and painting.
Jeannette Kahn is the proud founder and co-owner of North Shore Children’s Therapies which is celebrating its tenth anniversary of serving thousands of children and their families in the North Shore area.
After earning her Master’s degree from Northwestern University, Jeannette gained valuable experience working in early intervention, the public and private school settings, and the clinical setting.
Jeannette founded North Shore Children's Therapies in 2010 on a mission to provide truly outstanding patient care. North Shore Children’s Therapies offers a unique holistic approach to treatment as a multidisciplinary, pediatric practice focused on speech, occupational and feeding therapies, in addition to social skills coaching. NSCT provides services to children with a wide variety of diagnoses, ranging from mild to profound. A sampling of these diagnoses include children with general speech and language delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, motor planning disorders, and congenital anomalies.
Through her own motivation and determination, she learned the key factors for success. She did not have any formal training in business operations; however, she took advantage of many of the opportunities provided by Enterprise Center including their Emerging CEO Group. North Shore Children’s Therapies was the second place winner of the 2013 North of Boston Business Plan Competition.
Jeannette joined forces with Aimee Murray in March of 2019 and is excited to continue to grow the practice under the new partnership!
Sam launched 9Tailors –– a singular female voice in an industry dominated by men. Samantha Shih is equal parts visionary and executor. Sam’s background as a management consultant for Deloitte has been critical in turning her dream into a reality and expanding 9Tailors to where it is today. She has grown the business without the use of any external funding from just a single person operation to a 12 person team across two continents. Her expertise, eye for design and overall soft touch in advising her mostly-male clientele has made her one of the most sought after menswear style advisors in the city. She has designed suits for young professionals and professional athletes alike, such as Devin McCourty of the Patriots, Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs and Johnny Hekker of the LA Rams. Under Sam’s leadership, 9Tailors has won numerous local and national awards. The Knot named 9Tailors the best in menswear starting from 2013 through 2019. Since 2015, the Improper Bostonian and Boston Magazine have both awarded the 9Tailors team with “best of” in custom suiting.
Sam’s vision extends beyond crafting a custom suiting company. She aspires to having a greater impact beyond suiting. Sam spends her non-working hours helping to promote and foster female and minority entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses. She was in a panel of other distinguished female, minority business owners at the annual Color Magazine conference in 2010. She has since mentored Asian entrepreneurs through her involvement with the Boston chapter of the Asian Entrepreneurship Foundation, now known as Ace NextGen.
Ace NextGen strives to elevate the success of Asian entrepreneurs and is the millennial branch of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship. And, finally, she was asked to be a speaker of the first national Ace NextGen conference for AAPI entrepreneurs in 2017. Finally, Sam heads the Equity & Inclusion committee for Phillips Academy Andover’s Alumni Council.
Most recently, Sam was honored with the 40 Under 40 award by the Boston Business Journal. When she is not at work, you can probably find her at the Children’s Museum or the Franklin
Park Zoo with her husband and her 2 year old son
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