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Special Small Business University

April 30, 2013

MAFCU SBU and Leading Female Entrepreneurs Help Area Business Owners
Develop Financial Success and Find Work-Life Balance

Germantown, MD –  On Wednesday, May 22, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union Small Business University (MAFCU SBU) and leading metropolitan-DC female entrepreneurs Marissa Levin (Information Experts), Jamie Ratner (CertifiKid), Elizabeth Thorpe (Poshbrood, writer), and Melanie Treanor-Coburn (Cadre), will host a special seminar to help educate and empower area small business owners with tips on how to succeed in today's competitive business environment while maintaining work-life balance.  

According to the U.S Census Bureau and the Montgomery County Commission for Women, roughly 32% of Montgomery County's businesses are women-owned, and generate approximately $4.4 billion dollars in revenue each year.  Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union's Vice President of Marketing, Marc Wilensky states, "Women entrepreneurs are an important part of our community and economy, and we want to support them in any way we can.  For this seminar, we have brought together a phenomenal group of female entrepreneurs.  These individuals have not only successfully navigated their way through the competitive business landscape to grow their businesses, but were also able to strike a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives.  By having these business leaders share their experiences with other area entrepreneurs, we hope to help our small businesses grow, while strengthening our community and building our local economy at the same time."

Among the speakers at this event is Marissa Levin, the founder and CEO of Information Experts, a $15 million dollar strategic communications firm based in Reston, Virginia.  Ms. Levin feels that serving as a role model and mentor to the next generation of women business owners is of great importance.  She states, "When I started my first business almost 20 years ago, there were virtually no support organizations for women entrepreneurs. It began as a lonely and difficult journey. My hope is that by sharing my experiences, I can inspire other women to pursue their dreams of business ownership, and empower them with courage and resilience to carry them through their challenges. Despite the difficulties, entrepreneurship is the most fulfilling and impactful path a woman can choose – for herself and the world around her."

When addressing the subject of work-life balance, Levin adds, "Every woman must create their own definition of work-life ‘balance' that works for their priorities and their life. Remember to focus on the ‘life' part of the equation. Time passes faster than we think it does."

MAFCU Small Business University events are open to the public.  All proceeds from this event will be donated to the MAFCU Universities at Shady Grove Business Scholarship Fund.

MAFCU SBU - Successful Women in Business

Date:  Wednesday May 22, 2013

Time:  8:00 AM to 9:30 AM EDT

Location:  The Universities at Shady Grove - 9640 Gudelsky Drive, Building #1, Rockville, MD 20850  

Registration Fee:  $5.00

To register for this event, go to

For questions or comments regarding this event or the MAFCU Small Business University Series, contact, or call (301)944-1800.


About the Speakers

Marissa Levin, Information Experts, Founder and CEO

Marissa Levin founded her first company Information Experts, a global strategic communications and education firm, in 1995. She launched her firm with no outside funding after working for a man that capped her worth at $34,000. 18 years later, Information Experts is forecasting $15 million for 2013. Marissa has led her firm through the implosion of the telecom and internet industries, 9/11 terrorist attacks which shut down the DC business region, two recessions, one government shut-down, the collapse of the auto, finance, & housing markets, and two cancer scares, while raising two sons as a hands-on mom.

Jamie Ratner, CertifiKid, Founder and CEO

Jamie created CertifiKid after years of being an expert deal finder and writing a successful Washington area blog geared to parents and particularly moms who are looking for a good deal and new things to try locally. The blog had scores of daily readers who trusted Jamie's advice on local events, restaurants, products, and services. The reason they trusted Jamie is because she is just like them - a working mother of 2 trying to balance it all, provide for her kids, get an occasional evening alone with her husband, and always looking for a good bargain. Jamie believed that there was a local void that CertifiKid could fill for the benefit of her readers and other parents and parents-to-be (ok, and her too).

Elizabeth Thorp, Poshbrood, Founder and writer for Huffington Post

Elizabeth Thorp is a family travel expert and writer for Huffington Post, Peter Greenberg, National Geographic and Washingtonian. She is also the founder of Poshbrood, a curated catalog of mom-tested, upscale family-friendly properties. She has been navigating public affairs and communications in Washington for 20 years. On Twitter, Elizabeth has over 19,500 followers and has sent over 18,700 tweets. Elizabeth lives in Bethesda with her husband, Almus, and three young daughters Isabelle, Lucy & Penelope.

 Melanie Treanor Coburn, Cadre, Founder

Melanie along with her husband Derek founded Cadre which offers successful professionals a new approach to networking. Their primary purpose is to help each other by sharing expertise, exchanging ideas, and connecting one another with remarkable professionals from our respective networks. They foster a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie by developing meaningful new relationships and deepening existing ones. Together they create a powerful synergy, because when professionals of similar caliber and mindset join forces, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.




About MAFCU:

Based in Germantown, Md., Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union (MAFCU) is a not-for-profit institution managed for the sole benefit of its members, and offers many financial services at better rates and fees. Profits are returned to MAFCU members in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and lower fees.  MAFCU currently has over 25,000 members and over $270 million in assets. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in Montgomery Country, Maryland. For more information, please visit, email or call: (301) 944-1800.


About MAFCU Small Business University

Small Business University is a monthly seminar series sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union that discusses topics relevant to small and mid-sized businesses. The goal of the program is to provide area businesses with the information and the tools needed to succeed in the ever-changing competitive climate.  Classes are flexible and non-accredited. SBU classes are open to everyone, members and non-members.

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