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The Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA) Hosts Its Annual "Starting the Conversation" Gala with Special Keynote from Dr. Marianne Cooper of “Lean In” Fame

Event Celebrates the WSBA's Second Anniversary and National Women’s Small Business Month.

Columbus, OH, August 23, 2014 --( The Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA) in Westerville announced today that it will host its second annual “Starting the Conversation” gala event with special keynote speaker Dr. Marianne Cooper, the lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," and author of the new book, "Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times." The event, with emcee WBNS 10TV’s Tracy Townsend, will take place on Weds., Oct. 15 at The Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 West Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. For full event details, visit

Cooper’s talk will provide a behind-the-scenes view into the issues and research discussed in Lean In. She will highlight the barriers women face in trying to get to the top, the particular challenges women entrepreneurs experience, and what we can do better to support girls and women in achieving their goals and ambitions. A podcast of her recent interview on WOSU-AM is available at

The evening includes networking, dinner and a recognition ceremony for the latest graduates of The Inspired Education Track, WSBA’s intensive entry-level program that gives aspiring entrepreneurs a solid foundation to create a successful enterprise. Former graduate Chef Sadaya Lewis, who was recently featured on and won the Food Network’s "Food Court Wars," will also be a presenter.

“This event is dedicated to celebrating women entrepreneurs,” said Mary McCarthy, Executive Director of the Women’s Small Business Accelerator. “Dr. Cooper’s body of work focuses on supporting women in reaching their goals, which is what the WSBA is all about.”

Individual tickets are $90 each and may be purchased at Companies interested in sponsoring tables for the event should contact Caroline Worley at

About Marianne Cooper
Marianne Cooper is a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and a contributor to She was the lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s book, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead." She is an expert on gender, family life, work, and social inequality. She writes, speaks, and consults about these issues for media outlets, companies, and professional groups.

In her new book, "Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times," Cooper examines how families are coping in an insecure age. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

About the Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA)
The Women’s Small Business Accelerator ( is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses succeed. The accelerator provides structured educational programs, mentoring, peer-to-peer facilitated roundtables and training to women entrepreneurs. In addition, the WSBA offers co-working offices at its headquarters at 403 West Main Street in Westerville, Ohio. It can accommodate up to up to 35 businesses in a shared environment that features three conference rooms, two kitchens and a training facility.

For more information about the Women’s Small Business Accelerator, please visit
Contact Information
Michelle Garrett
Sharon DeLay WSBA Executive Director
(p) 614-414-2449 (e)

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