For Immediate Release
March 22, 2021
Contact Information

Sonshine Communications ● Contact: Bernadette Morris
T: 305-948-8063 ● E:


to showcase Global, National and Local Women of Stature in Government and Industry

(Black PR Wire) MIAMI, Fla. – Women mean business…and they are dedicated to turning their passions into profitable ventures! Fittingly, M. Gill & Associates in collaboration with its Florida MBDA Export and Cares Act Business Centers will present the 11th Annual Women Mean Business International (WMBI) Conference, on Friday, March 26, 2021 from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the JW Marriott Hotel, Miami. A Hybrid event to be presented both in-person and virtual, the WMBI Conference will feature panel presentations and will honor women business leaders who have contributed to the entrepreneurial success of women business owners worldwide.

The event will include keynote messages from two powerful women who are prolific leaders of their time:  Her Excellency Fatima Maada - First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone to commemorate the launch of the first Consulate in Miami, and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, The First Woman of Color to be named Director-General of the World Trade Organization. The WMBI Conference will launch the Trailblazing Woman award to five women who have accomplished significant “firsts” in their respective endeavors.

“Our Committee has identified an eminent group of Women to be celebrated and rewarded for their business resilience, achievements and community contributions,” said Marie R. Gill, CEO of M. Gill & Associates and Operator/Executive Director of the MBDA Export & CARES Act Business Center – Florida.  “Most importantly, women will be encouraged to continue to blaze trails, share their stories, and support each other to achieve success.”

Gill emphasized that she is committed to showcasing and empowering women, as current women business owners need encouragement now more than ever in the age of COVID-19 and a sluggish economy.

The line-up of dynamic and inspirational speakers will examine the disparities and challenges faced by women in certain industries, while providing attendees and future businesswomen with the information they need to launch, survive and thrive in these challenging times.

To register to attend the conference in person, please click here:

To register to attend the conference online, please click here:

About the WMBI Conference Honorees:

2021 Global Women's Empowerment Award HONOREE

 Her Excellency Fatima Maada is the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone.  She is motivated by pan- Africanist ideals and she is a strong believer in women empowerment as key to sustainable development. A native of Sierra Leone, she pursued her passion for women’s empowerment as First Lady by staging a peaceful protest against gender-based violence. It was a historic march and for the first time in history, First Ladies from different African Countries came together in unity and joined the peaceful protest march on the streets of Freetown in December 2018. This was the beginning of her very powerful campaign themed “Hands Off Our Girls.” Her Excellency started her education at the Ansarul Islamic School in Kono, where she did her primary education and part of her Secondary schooling. She later joined the Saint Joseph convent in Freetown (Capital City) for her GCSE studies.  Sierra Leone’s illustrious First Lady has garnered success through hard work over the years in the entertainment industry in which she was an actress, script writer, executive producer and a multi award-winning face of the Nollywood industry. Among her barrage of prominent features in cinema is the ‘Mirror Boy,’ which she played the lead character and the movie ‘Battered’ which concept is based on Gender- Based Violence and which she wrote and produced.

WMBI 2021 Trailblazing Woman Award - HONOREE

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She is the first woman and the first African to hold this office. She is a global finance expert, economist, and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Currently, Dr Okonjo-Iweala is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Since its creation in 2000, Gavi has immunized 760 million children globally and saved thirteen million lives. She is regarded as an effective consensus builder and an honest broker, enjoying the trust and confidence of governments and other stakeholders worldwide.

WMBI 2021 Trailblazing Woman Award - HONOREE

The Honorable Daniella Levine Cava is the Mayor of Miami Dade County. As an elected official, Mayor Cava is for the people. She started her career as an attorney, later becoming the legal director for a court-run child welfare, legal program. Mayor Cava has always been for the people, later becoming appointed as the Miami Dade County program manager for the Florida Department of Children and families. In 2020 Mayor Cava created the Infill Housing Program that was created to build affordable housing. Mayor Cava’s dedication to her community is well noted as she earned endorsements from the Miami Herald, Congresswomen Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala.

WMBI 2021 Trailblazing Woman Award - HONOREE

Dr. Malou Harrison, is the first woman to hold the Executive Vice President & Provost of Miami Dade College. Prior to becoming Provost, Dr. Harrison published many scholarly articles, including: “League for Innovation in the Community College’s Student Services Dialogues” and the “Association of American College and Universities.” Dr. Harrison is a member of Blue-Ribbon Pane of the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, African American History Task Force of Miami Dade County Public Schools, and many others. Dr. Harrison is also a volunteer with Camillus House and works to provide aid to the homeless and the economically disadvantaged.

Ms. Althea A. Harris is the Supervisory, Outreach & Marketing Specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration in Florida. Ms. Harris has 27 years of experience in helping businesses. She started her career in 1993 at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she traveled the world to aid in the support of small to medium sized exporters. Althea Harris had led a marketing outreach team that serves a fourth of Miami District’s 24 county territory. She is also very active in her community and is a member of the Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee. Althea Harris also serves on the board of Miami Youth for Christ and the Missions Committee of Christ Journey Church in Coral Gables.

WMBI 2021 Trailblazing Woman Award - HONOREE

The Honorable Hazelle P. Rogers is Mayor of the City of Lauderdale Lakes. In 2008 Mayor Hazelle Rogers was the first Jamaican to be elected to the Florida House of Representatives. In 2014 Mayor Rogers was a recipient of the Broward College Award for her support of the Florida Dreamers’ Legislation. Mayor Rogers was also crucial in receiving a two-million-dollar funding for the Urban League of Broward County, for two consecutive years. Mayor Rogers has received many awards for her commitment to the wellbeing of others including: Broward Black Elected Leadership and Commitment Award (2011), ICABA’s 100 most Accomplished Caribbean Americans in South Florida (2012), Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Achiever Award, and many more.

About M. Gill & Associates, Inc.

 Gill & Associates, Inc. was founded by Marie R. Gill 30 years ago as a specialty consulting firm that develops, administers, and manages strategic growth and economic development initiatives for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses; government agencies; corporations; and educational institutions that operate in the local and global economies. M. Gill & Associates, Inc., operates the MBDA Export & CARES Act Business Centers in Florida. Both are federally funded programs that provide FREE technical assistance services to small, minority and women-owned firms. As an MBDA CARES Act Grantee, M. Gill & Associates helps firms throughout the entire state of Florida, that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, to recover and grow. The MBDA Export Center is committed to showcasing, growing, and empowering minority and women owned enterprises. The Center focuses on Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, providing business development services to help minority business enterprises create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues, and expand into new and global markets.

For more information on M. Gill & Associates, Inc. and the Women Mean Business International Conference, call 305-576-7888 or visit or email


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