Breakfast Panelists #EWC27, Part 1 – Hedy Ratner and Carol Dougal

Hedy Ratner and Carol Dougal, who on August 1 stepped aside as co-presidents of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), are synonymous with women’s business ownership. They started the organization 27 years ago with one purpose: to give women a leg up in finding economic independence through entrepreneurship. Hedy Ratner and Carol Dougal

You’ll get their take on this still-timely topic at the Women’s Forum Breakfast during the 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference September 26th at McCormick Place, Lakeside Center. They’ll be joined on the panel by Emilia DiMenco, the WBDC’s dynamic new president and CEO, and Debra Jennings-Johnson, supplier diversity director at BP America and the organization’s long-time board president, in what is certain to be a dynamic conversation, moderated by the inimitable best-selling author Terry Savage.

A few things you won’t hear about at this year’s Forum Breakfast are the more fun facts about Hedy and Carol.  However, they do make great conversation starters so keep them in mind when you bump into one of them walking the tradeshow floor or networking at the reception!

  • Hedy is an avid biker, not just on weekends but weekdays when she pedals to and from meetings – in gaily-colored silk dresses, no less.
  • Hedy is a new bride. She married the love of her life, retired PR exec Mort Kaplan, in August of 2012.
  • Hedy, who with Carol is an ardent feminist, will continue at the WBDC as a consultant, working on women’s economic empowerment issues.
  • Carol has a weakness for bright colors, green jello, the movies – oh, and “holding babies,” which she plans to do a lot of, now that she’s retired.

So what the does future hold for this evolving organization and women’s business ownership in general?  To find out, don’t miss EWC and as always, stay tuned to the WBDC’s Twitter and Facebook accounts! One thing’s for sure:  the WBDC will continue its commitment to fighting the challenges that continue to exist everywhere for women- and minority-owned businesses.


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