Karen Edmonds, Executive Director, Women’s Business Alliance

Karen Edmonds is a native of Mobile, Alabama. She holds a degree from University of Southern Mississippi in early childhood education, has taught elementary school and has had many years in real estate and resort development as well as new construction development  in Seattle, Washington and the Mobile area. In addition to the project management side of the real estate, resort and new construction development, Moore has also been a small business owner; she owned and operated a high-end art gallery in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area for several years.

Many of the key responsibilities of her years in the real estate and resort development called for all phases of the development, management and construction. These development phases included land negotiation, loan and appraisal submissions, all marketing aspects from pre-development to closeout. This included implementing and training of marketing teams, public events, hiring of architects and general contractors. All of her combined experience - overseeing multi-million dollar construction sites, management of hundreds of contractors and workers and her own small business background makes her a great fit for the Women's Business Alliance and where the organization hopes to go.

Karen is excited and motivated to be joining the WBA. “My goal is to take the mission of the Women’s Business Centers, combined with the vision and ideas of the local Alliance, and translate that into reality” she stated.

Ashley Simpson, Communication & Member Relations Coordinator

Ashley Simpson holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication with a concentration in Print Journalism and a minor in General Business from the University of South Alabama. She has a background in social media management/content development in the retail circuit, and currently enjoys hosting workshops on social media content development. Ashley works in all facets of communication for the Alliance, which also includes counseling WBCSA clients in their marketing efforts. Ashley has a passion for all things media related, and strives to stay on top of the changing media trends.

Ashley's passions outside of work include baking, yoga, spending time with her husband, and walking their rescue chi-weenies Harvey & Rue!

Lora Michael, Project Director, Women's Business Center of South Alabama

Lora has extensive training experience within the financial sector, has counseled and assisted many with loan and credit needs and has also served as a trainer for the WBCSA, including components of the Money Smart program. She has the highest level of certification for Management training, Business Development School I & II and is a Certified CU Credit Counselor. She has spent the last 5 years networking and creating relationships within our service area in South Alabama, focusing on business development. Lora’s experience also includes many years of being the Chief Executive Officer and President for a South Mississippi credit union in which she managed all aspects as one would with a small business. Further certifications and training include principals of Accounting & Finance and she has her educational background in Business Management and Marketing from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Lora’s son, Noah, is a Junior at St Paul’s Episcopal School where he plays football and baseball, so many evenings and weekends are spent with friends and family cheering for his team.  She is an avid photographer of sports and outdoors and enjoys painting and playing the piano.  She also has a daughter and son-in-law and three grandbabies that she visits with regularly.  Lora and her family have been Mobile residents for the past 14 years.  They are members of Praise Family Church in West Mobile.

Roslyn Spencer, Training Manager, Women's Business Center of South Alabama

Ms. Spencer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Alabama. She has an extensive background in training, marketing and management, having spent over ten years developing curriculum through the National Big Brothers Big Sisters program for adults, teens and children. In addition to mentoring and training experience, she values community service, having served several times with the Americorps Corporation for National Community Service.

Susan Rhodes, Project Director, Women's Business Center of Rural Alabama

Susan Rhodes graduated from Huntingdon with a Bachelor in Business Management. She has worked with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and USDA Farm Service Agency. She was involved with the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce and continues to help with various community events. She specializes in retail marketing, promotional events and design display. Susan has owned and operated her own small business, a florist and gift shop in Brewton, AL. She continues to consult for retail businesses in a variety of ways, including event coordination and design.