Showcasing Women-Owned Businesses in Northern Virginia and Beyond!

Carolyn Howell, Events USA

Location: Belmont Country Club 19661 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn

Carolyn Howell Events USA Headshot


Carolyn Howell is the President & CEO of EVENTS USA, a corporate event planning company with a focus on producing events that assist companies recognize, reward and retain the valuable talent that they employ. She is an exceptional event planning professional with twenty years of experience specializing in corporate picnics, company outings, team building events, employee appreciation workplace transformations and executive retreats.

Carolyn directed and hosted the Sterling Women of Washington DC monthly luncheon from November 2014 – January 2017 leaving that role to focus more fully on her corporate clients. In 2011 Carolyn founded and was the CEO of Fun Company Events LLC, a minority woman-owned small business that specializes in creating memorable and exciting company picnics, corporate outings, team building events, day-cations and corporate reset events.

Her career in corporate event planning began in 1997 when she as the Vice President of a Golf Sports Center developed a keen desire to help companies create events that went beyond the normal and basic standards. Since then she has produced more than two thousand successful events for corporate clients.

In 2010 Carolyn was recognized by the Washington Business Journal as a Minority Business Leader and in 2015 received the Sterling Woman of the Year Award.

She served on the Board of Directors of Visit Loudoun from 2004 – 2011 and benefited greatly from the common thread that runs through the Hospitality industry, the Tourism industry and the welcoming qualities needed for a successful corporate event planner.

She currently holds seats on the Board of Directors of the DC Chamber of Commerce, Wolf Trap Associates Board. The O Mansion & Museum and The Fibroid Foundation.

Carolyn resides in Maryland with her husband Ben, the two have been happily married for more than 42 years. Carolyn and Ben are the parents of two married daughters, Sky and Stephanie and a son, Blake.



Francisca Alonso, AV Architects + Builders

Location: Belmont Country Club 19661 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn

Francisca Alonso


Born in Chile, to a Bolivian father and German mother, Francisca was raised in Costa del Sol, Spain in a family of architects and builders. Her father was an internationally acclaimed Spanish architect, Melvin Villarroel Roldan, who designed luxury resorts and hotels on the Mediterranean coast and all over the world. Growing up in a multicultural family and surrounded by a philosophy, driven by her father, to “find ways to make a difference and pursue a passion” she decided to strip away from being one of many at an architectural firm in Washington, DC after graduating Magna cum laude from The School of Architecture at The Catholic University.

Francisca and her husband, Antonio Alonso, launched AV Architects in 2001 with a passion for architecture and a vision to provide full architectural services to high-end homeowners in the Washington Metropolitan Area. A year later, she realized that many of the designs were being compromised by third party builders. In 2002, she added a sister company, AV Builders, to control the construction process and provide their high-end clients with a single point of accountability from concept to completion. Her background, professional training, and dedication for her craft has led her to establish a unique design-build approach that is beautifully exhibited in many homes all over the Northern Virginia Area and maximizes the client’s investment budget.

Her unconformity with being one of many uniquely translates into her own philosophy through the creation of Vacation Style Living™.   A philosophy that she currently shares with clients, colleagues and at speaking events. She thrives to empower people to create their dream home around the idea that a home should feel “like you are on vacation all year round.”  In her newly released book “Nesting for Empty Nesters®” Mrs. Alonso shares her approach to Aging in Place, a practical guide to using smart design to prepare your home now for a better quality of life in retirement and beyond.

Francisca’s experience has been highlighted in Profiles in Success: Inspiration from Executive Leaders in the Washington D.C. She is an inspiration to young professionals and her success serves as empowerment to many young Virginia women through her participation in the The Hot Mommas Project® and the Tyson’s Chamber of Commerce Shadow Program, among other mentoring programs.  Sharing her father’s beliefs that architecture should reflect a social conscience, she is an active philanthropist who supports Habitat for Humanity, Second Chance, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital along with local causes in Great Falls, VA where her offices are located.   Francisca Villarroel Alonso is an influential entrepreneur and enthusiastic mother of four young adults.

Awards and Affiliations

Mrs. Alonso was awarded 2014 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women and in 2013 she received The Hot Mommas Project® 2012-2013 STEM Award.  She is the 2016 Chair for the AIA NOVA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN); and member of the National Association Remodeling Industry (NARI), Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVIBIA), National Association of Home Builders, American Institute of Architects – National and Northern Virginia Chapter (AIA); National Association of Professional Women; Women in Architecture; National Association of Professional Business Owners; McLean Chamber of Commerce; Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce. Under her leadership, AV Architects + Builders has received the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Best of Houzz Award; 2014 Home & Design Kitchen and Baths Award among others; their work has been featured in renown newspapers and magazines including Home & Design, Home & Design 100 Top Designers Portfolio, Fairfax Times, The Examiner, LUXE Interiors + Design, Modern Luxury DC to name some.


Jeri Mae Rowley, Speaker ~ Trainer ~ Saddle Maker’s Daughter

Location: Belmont Country Club 19661 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn

Jeri Mae Rowley


Jeri Mae works with organizations committed to empowering employees and delighting customers. Her programs sparkle with “campfire tales” about the precious customer service, leadership and life lessons she learned as third generation of her family business— a world-famous western saddle making company.  Her authentic brand of Western Wit and Wisdom for the Workplace™ has enriched audiences in 39 states, Canada and the US Virgin Islands.

Jeri Mae’s clientele includes an intriguing variety of industries and organizations: from the Federal Reserve to National Wildlife Preserves; semiconductors to pet cemeteries; drill bit manufacturing to tropical island resorts.  She delivers keynotes and seminars with memory-boosting interaction, engaging storytelling and her own unique [dry and quirky] sense of humor to every presentation.

Before launching her speaking business in 2006, Jeri Mae served as a tenured college faculty, instructing courses in entrepreneurship, marketing, travel and human resource management. She also held positions as college internship coordinator, workforce training director and directed a state-wide customer service program for Travel Montana Tourism Division. She has a Masters in Human Resource Management and has completed coursework on a Doctor of Education degree researching Emotional Intelligence in Leadership.

Jeri Mae’s adult children, and precious little grandgirls, live in Montana.  She and her family still own  Ray Holes Leather Care Products, Inc.  The family business, now operated by generation four, has retailers in 14 countries.

She and her husband, Allen … a National Director at the US Forest Service … celebrated their wedding anniversary with a 75-mile mule ride in Montana.  They’ve lived and worked in the Bob Marshall Wilderness; the Salmon River Breaks of Idaho; amid the Red Rocks of Central Utah and now Washington D.C.

Recognition and Service

Jeri Mae received the prestigious “Visiting Scholar Award” from the National Tourism Foundation and has been recognized for her success as a leader and educator with state, regional and national awards. She has served as president numerous organizations including: Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Society for Human Resource Managers, Montana Speakers Association and College Faculty Senate.

She served as President of the four-state National Speakers Association: Mountain West Chapter leading speaking professionals in Utah, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming; and is President Elect of the National Speakers Association DC Chapter board today.  While on the National Chapter Leadership Council, Jeri Mae mentored other association presidents.  She also served on the SPEAKER magazine advisory board.

Please visit her website:



Angela Fuentes, The Step Sisters

Location: Belmont Country Club 19661 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn

Angela Fuentes


Angela Fuentes is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of The Step Sisters, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to improve the quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer by funding needed support services in Northern Virginia. The idea behind the Step Sisters was, in part, due to Angela’s own breast cancer journey.

When Angela was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 at the young age of 34, she had the support of family and friends. They rallied around her to help take care of both her and her young family. When Angela finished treatment, she wanted to pay forward the generosity shown to her and her family. She realized that while she had the support and love of her family and friends, not every breast cancer patient is as fortunate. Facing breast cancer is challenging enough, but having to face it alone is even more challenging.  The Step Sisters organization strives to be that family or “sister” to women going through breast cancer treatment, so that no one faces treatment alone.

Angela grew up as a military brat, was born in England and has also lived in California, Seoul, Korea and Florida.  Angela is a graduate of The University of Virginia’s School of Commerce and has a background in business and finance. Her career began working for CSX Transportation in their finance department in Jacksonville, FL, but she ultimately moved back home to Virginia where she continued in corporate finance. After becoming a mom, she chose to put her career on hold to be a stay-at-home mom, which she loves and still considers her primary and most important job.  But her background in finance eventually led her to start her own bookkeeping business, Ashburn Accounting, which she still runs today. Long-time residents of Brambleton, Angela, her husband and 2 boys enjoy spending time with family, participating in sports, mainly soccer, and being involved in the community.  Angela has a passion for dance and even spent a few years cheering on our local Washington Redskins on the sidelines as a Redskins Cheerleader.


Paola Moya, Marshall Moya Design

Location: Belmont Country Club 19661 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn