Get to Know Our Team

Meet the talented, experienced and compassionate team dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs

Rana Shanawani
Executive Director, WCEC

“I believe entrepreneurship is the panacea for eradicating poverty, building communities, improving health, and economic development. Because women reinvest 90% of their income in their families and communities (compared with 30%-40% for men), investing in women entrepreneurs is one of the highest return opportunities available.”

Steve Maiorano
Women’s Business Center Director, WBC

“My favorite part of being the Women’s Business Center Director is that I impart my knowledge of writing a business plan and financial projections to our clients, while I learn about new and disruptive businesses, up-and-coming industries and the super niche markets they serve. Every day I learn something new while being inspired by the creativity and innovation of the clients we serve.”


Email: smaiorano@wcecnj.org

Nichole Russell
Education & Marketing Director, WBC

“To me, our mission of empowering women business owners is valuable and necessary. My favorite moments are when I’m working directly with clients in the classroom or sharing their business updates on social media. They’re not just starting their own business, they’re creating jobs and giving back to the community. ”

Email: nrussell@wcecnj.org

Lelani Clark
PR Manager

“I am excited about helping the WCEC boost its public profile and gain more visibility. Its mission to support women and minority owned businesses with counseling, training and access to critical Covid-19 relief funding is what makes me passionate about being part of this team. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy and working with clients impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic to develop the skills to pivot and thrive makes this rewarding work.”


Email: lclark@wcecnj.org

Kat Diwaker
Program Manager


“When equity is created, we all come out on the winning side. I am humbled in providing entrepreneurial guidance, education, and resources to underserved communities. Diversity is strength that’s forged in being seen and heard. I believe in our client’s entrepreneurial vision, ensuring it becomes a reality for all to see and hear.”

Email: kdiwaker@wcecnj.org

Rose Chery
eCommerce Program Manager
“As a woman and member of the BIPOC community, I understand personally how our entrepreneurs have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, one thing that has been made clear is the importance of pivoting to eCommerce. As the eCommerce Program Manager, it is an honor to alleviate some of the stress our clients face with the often intimidating yet necessary process of getting online in this post-COVID world.”

Email: rchery@wcecnj.org

Ananda Coutain
Small Business Outreach Coordinator


“My favorite moments working for the WCEC are when I receive questions regarding exactly what we do. Shortly after I describe what we do, I am frequently greeted with astonishment and surprise. I believe our center is sometimes a hidden gem, and when uncovered, women-owned businesses wish they had found us sooner.”

Email: acoutain@wcecnj.org

311 Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928

(973)507-9700

info@wcecnj.org

© Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship of New Jersey | All rights reserved


Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.