Meet the Speakers: Women in Entrepreneurship

According to Forbes, men comprise about 91% of Fortune 500 CEOs–and not from a lack of female qualifiers. At Innovate Marquette, we feel passionately about highlighting the trailblazing women who pave the path for access to resources in entrepreneurship. Women in Entrepreneurship is an annual celebration of women, entrepreneurship and community, meant to share resources, networking and to inspire your inner entrepreneurial spirit.  The event, proudly sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, City of Marquette and Siren, takes place Wednesday, March 8, 2023 on International Women’s Day at the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

Meet the Speakers

Adela Piper is a communication strategist, entrepreneur, and Marquette resident. Her company, Siren, is a strategic communication firm serving economic development organizations, local governments, higher ed, nonprofits and professional service firms. Adela is co-founder and chief marketing officer, ensuring strategy guides the innovative work Siren does for its clients. Siren uses communication as a business tool, helping clients build trust with their audiences and communicate important information.

"My business partner and I spent years showing up – to meetings, pitches, events – where our major competitors were present, too. Being a younger company, and women founded, owned, and operated, simply being in the room with companies who had been around much longer and were led by men with already-storied careers created an extra layer of misconceptions of women in entrepreneurship to slice through with each of those encounters."

Jenn was born and raised as a Yooper in Wakefield. She graduated summa cum laude from Northern Michigan University in December 2006, when she joined the team at Tailored CPAs. Jenn became a CPA in February 2010 and was welcomed as a partner in January 2014.  In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, camping, and watching sports, especially hockey.

"We as women, are trying to be all things to everyone (a spectacular employee, a wonderful spouse, the best moms… the list could go on). We get into our own heads and are constantly trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. We need to concentrate on ourselves and what truly works for us as no one situation is going to be the same."

MJ Cartwright has led startup initiatives with disruptive technologies and positive social and business impacts. Her experience spans many different industries including manufacturing, education, healthcare, medical devices, and legal tech. Ultimately, she is a creative thinker whose diverse industry experiences catalyze the growth of the companies and teams she leads. MJ is a mentor at Innovation Partnerships through the University of Michigan. 

"The more we encourage and support each other, the sooner we will see more entrepreneurs and technologists without having to identify gender."

Anne White has a passion for addressing complex problems by applying common sense solutions. With over 25 years of experience in the environmental field advising large businesses and national and international government enterprises her career has taken her around the world doing what she enjoys most…solving problems. Anne is now Co-Founder of The Honorable Distillery in Marquette. 

"I overcame the challenges of the nuclear business by changing course and finally deciding to apply my skills in an industry that was more suited for them. That would be something I definitely suggest people do- understand what you’re good at and seek to engage in endeavors that highlight that. And, always be aware of your weaknesses so that you can ensure you have the correct team mix."

Nicole Gregory is the Co-Founder and CEO of Urban You; Modern Beauty and Wellness, multi-chain medical spa. She is Managing Partner of Urban Labs, an investment company in new technologies, most recently partnering with PinchGig. Nicole is the developer of Customs House, a luxury condominium complex located in downtown Marquette and Electric City, a mixed-use, efficient living experience currently in development for the local area.

Schedule of Events

  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM: Check-in and Networking
  • 6:00 – 8:00 PM: Women in Entrepreneurship Program
    • Welcome
    • Cash Flow Presentation with live Q&A
    • Panel Discussion with live Q&A