Meet Kim Avilez, President at The Staten Island Minority Women in Business Association (MWBA), a non-profit organization that works to engage and empower minority women who live and do business in Staten Island.
Being a businesswoman herself, Kim Avilez is supporting minority women in business and is helping them achieve their Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) certification. Avilez is also the owner and Chief Executive Officer at Glow Event Management & Glow Travel Group. It is an event management company for public and corporate events. She is an experienced professional in event management, talent development with a background in communication. Kim’s leadership qualities and her devotion to support women of color landed her the role of the president of MWBA.
Most businesses in Staten Island took a hit during the pandemic. MWBA was started by one of Kim’s colleagues, looking at the lost business opportunities for women of color due to COVID. This called for a need to galvanize women for the cause. The pandemic worked as a catalyst to bring together this group of women with an entrepreneurial background who wanted to help fellow businesswomen thrive. They joined forces to solve the need they encountered in the community and look for ways to fulfill them together. And when the opportunity to lead such an organization was offered, Kim took over happily. As the president, she leads a “diverse team of minority professional women in business who seek to advocate, educate and mentor women of color and other minority women who primarily live or do business on Staten Island”.
The organization assists the business owners in securing government and city contracts through business education and networking. They offer information, training, and workshops to the existing business and startups in the area. The non-profit acts as an advocate on the behalf of these women to facilitate an equitable playfield for them. It ensures access to proposals and understands how to build capacity for the contracts as they come. As a member of the organization, you are assisted in all aspects of business by the MWBA team.
When asked about how working for MWBA affected her life, Avilez says, “As you are fostering other people’s dreams and ideals, it just helps solidify your own”. She feels that it is always a good idea to network and build interpersonal relationships with new people. It inculcated a sense of community, especially during the pandemic where communication came to a halt for a time. She believes that if you are given a chance at an opportunity that requires your skillset, then you should take it. That’s what she did with MWBA and is presently shattering glass ceilings with her team.
One of the biggest takeaways from the initiative for Avilez was to understand the need to support people and show up. She notes that as an organization, you have to be proactive in your approach to help rather than following a reactionary behavior. Waiting for others is never going to work as you need to take the first step. She is a responsible leader who believes in the ability to take on new challenges. Kim is successfully leading the nonprofit whilst managing her own business. She is an inspiration to our readers and all the potential entrepreneurs out there.