The Force Behind Chic CEO

Founder & CEO

Stephanie BurnsStephanie Burns, A mid-westerner at heart, is the founder and CEO of Chic CEO. Chic CEO is an online resource for female entrepreneurs - bringing how-to information, tools and community to women starting businesses. With a background in brand building, media buying, strategy and entrepreneurship, Stephanie has wide experience with an eclectic portfolio of industries. While pursuing her MBA, Stephanie decided to create the business plan for what is now Chic CEO. After being a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune, she used her winnings to launch a web resource any woman could use and understand without having to obtain a business degree. 

Just 6 months after launch, Chic CEO was named as one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurial Websites for Women by Forbes and every year after. Chic CEO has also been included in the Top 100 Websites for Entrepreneurs by Forbes as well as featured in notable press outlets like Inc., Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Amex Open among others. With 50,000 female entrepreneurs subscribed, Stephanie's vision for Chic CEO to be the number one resource for any woman who wants to start a business and follow her entrepreneurial dream. 


Advisory Board

Jody GreeneJody Greene is originally an Oregonian and is an alum of the College of Business at CSUSM where she honed her marketing skills and entrepreneurial spirit. She has been in marketing for the past decade and also owned and operated her own styling and personal shopping business before teaming up with business partner, Stephanie Burns, to become the Chief Marketing Officer of Chic CEO. Jody enjoys being active in the community through numerous volunteer outlets, has a passion for connecting people and an eye for style.


Jim HamerlyDr. Jim Hamerly has over thirty years of business experience, fifteen as an entrepreneur, fifteen doing corporate research and venturing in large corporations. Ten years of academic teaching experience, including oversight of over 500 business consulting projects. He has served on over a dozen community and business boards. He's had personal experience in all stages of funding, " sweat-equity", "friends and family", angel as well as venture capital investing. Jim also holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (from MIT, IC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University).



Fran MaierFran Maier is serial entrepreneur, general manager, and brand builder with nearly 20 years experience in internet businesses. She currently serves as Founder and Chair of the Board of TRUSTe, the leading privacy trustmark and solutions provider, in addition to several other board and advisory roles for emerging startups. Fran's career, from co-founder of to CEO at TRUSTe, has made her an experienced agent of change and growth, particularly in companies that build brands and results by establishing trust with online consumers. In addition to her expertise in online privacy, she is also known for her expertise in social networking, brand building, business development, and marketing.


Veronica BelmontVeronica Belmont is a technology and gaming-centric video host based out of San Francisco. Currently her projects include Tekzilla (a weekly tech help and how-to show on, Fact or Fictional, and The Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast and community, co-hosted with Tom Merritt. Recently Veronica appeared on BBC America as the co-host of Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers, and she was the original host of Qore on the PlayStation Network.




Chic CEO Brain Trust

Allison Long Pettine  is the President of Crescent Ridge Partners, a venture fund that provides seed capital to early stage start-ups.  She actively invests in entrepreneurs developing disruptive technologies across all industries to build successful and sustainable companies. She has a vast background in investing, fundraising, strategic planning, and scaling startups in a variety of industries.



Brandon Hawk is an entrepreneur, life coach and inspirational speaker who lives in San Diego, but is originally from West Texas. His expertise is helping people illuminate vision and a blueprint for their life, and then actualize the life they've always wanted. As a very young boy, Brandon decided he wanted to play at Wimbledon, a large dream considering the fact that his town did not have one tennis court. By the age of 17, Brandon had competed and already won a round in the Main Draw of the US Open. At eighteen, he was one of four members of the US National Team and was a five time National Champion, and at age 21 he realized his dream and competed in the Doubles Division of Wimbledon. Since then he has started and sold a multi-million dollar company, helped grow his family business from $900,00 a year to upwards of $7 million, pastored a Church, and created a School of Cultural Transformation. Brandon knows what it is like to play at the highest level and carries his pro-mentality into every arena he steps into. He is an expert at helping people/businesses transform and expand in order to realize their highest potential and truly live the life they love.


Chris Corriveau has over 10 years of experience in the Technology industry and tech startups. Currently, he is Chief Technologist for StockTwits and Technical Advisor to Social Leverage. Advisor to growing startups Embarke, Unoceros, and MobileDevHQ.




Deborah Jackson is the Founder and CEO of Plum Alley, an e-commerce and crowdfunding site for women's innovation, and a Co-Founder of the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator-- an accelerator investing in women-founded mobile-tech companies. A Columbia Business School and Goldman Sachs alum, Deborah started her career as an investment banker raising public market and private capital for clients. Her experience with technology companies and strategic partnerships led her to become an early stage investor and an entrepreneur herself with the founding of Plum Alley and the WIM Accelerator. She invests her time and money in championing women and encouraging them to build technology, companies and their own wealth.


Denise Brosseau is a change agent and serial entrepreneur who enjoys a portfolio career as a business advisor, executive talent agent and professional speaker. Her book, "Ready to Be a Thought Leader?" will be published by Wiley (Jossey-Bass) in 2014. In 2012, Denise was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House and honored as one of six Women Who Have Made Their Mark by Watermark.  Denise is currently the CEO of Thought Leadership Lab (formerly Well-Connected Leader, Inc.), which specializes in building the visibility, credibility and thought leadership of executives and CEOs with the goal of accelerating their careers or growing their businesses. Denise began her career in the technology industry and then she was the founding CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) (now Watermark). In 1999, she co-founded Springboard, the prestigious women’s startup launch pad which has led to over $5 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs.

Blending a fresh perspective, twenty-five years of experience working with world-class brands including Sony and Frito-Lay, and a talent for inspiring audiences, Denise Lee Yohn is a leading authority on building and positioning exceptional brands.  Denise is the author of What Great Brands Do:  The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest (Jossey-Bass, January 2014.)



Howard Leonhardt is an inventor and serial entrepreneur. He was South Florida Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 and State of Florida Entrepreneur of the Year 2004. Leonhardt has founded 28 companies to date, majority funded by his venture firm Leonhardt Ventures and their angel network LeonhardtVentures Angels raising more than $145 million. Leonhardt helps lead Startup California and serves as the official state spokesperson on the JOBS ACT/Crowdfunding. He founded The California Stock Exchange, the first conscious capitalism stock exchange, for assisting small firms to raise capital with a commitment to improving women's access to capital and local investing, which is coupled with Cal-Xelerator and Cal-X Stars, his startup launch and 5 year business accelerator programs.
Lars Helgeson has been in the Internet marketing space since 2000, when he co-founded one of the world's first email service providers, CoolerEmail.  As a pioneer in responsible email marketing, he grew CoolerEmail to a global software company specializing in marketing communication with over 1,500 clients.  In 2010, after spending several years designing and implementing a more comprehensive way to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses, he launched Chic Works. Chic Works is the world's first and only Business Operating System, a cloud-based platform that simplifies and consolidates a company's sales, marketing, and operations. This platform currently provides technology solutions to over 3,000 companies worldwide.

Lauryn Ballesteros is a sales/marketing expert, blogger, and cultural entrepreneur focused on bringing authenticity into everything she touches. In that past, she was the VP of Strategic Partnerships for Seth Godin’s The Domino Project where she sold over a quarter million dollars in sponsorships with no sales experience in less than 6 months. She loves Italy, her dog, and a good book on the beach. She just released a free, three part series on how to land your ideal client here.



Leslie Fishlock is best known as the Founder & CEO of Geek Girl, everyone’s favorite resource for empowering women in tech, supporting startups and making technology easy to understand and use for everyone from 8-88. Geek Girl accomplishes this through its highly touted, localized Geek Girl Tech Conferences around the country, workshops, seminars, consulting, Help Desks, the Geek Girl Resource Directory and their monthly meetups. Prior to Geek Girl, Leslie was the Marketing Director for financial web startup StockTwits as well as working with angel investor Howard Lindzon, and previous to that was at the helm of Genevate, a web applications company she and business partner.

Liam Martin is co-founder and CMO at, an online staffing agency which matches employers and employees in long term working relationships. He has almost 10 years experience in remote team management, focusing on how to make teams work more efficiently online. He's managed large teams across 9 different countries and can answer any questions you have on online collaboration and business process modelling.



Lori Murphree has almost 20 years of experience in strategic and financial roles within business, investment banking and private equity. Her past experience includes both commercial lending and investment banking roles at Silicon Valley Bank, Grant Thornton  and boutique investment bank, Results International.  In these roles, she managed both M&A and private capital raise transitions, did analysis and due diligence on several tech and media companies and was responsible for growing both tech and digital media practices, engaging new clients such as Sapient and Velti. She has also been Director at Bacchus Capital Management, a Private Equity Fund that invested in wineries and acted as Director of Finance for newly acquired wineries. Currently, Lori acts as a consultant and part-time CFO for several companies in tech, media and consumer industries. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico and a Master of Business Administration and International Management from Thunderbird, The Graduate School of Global Management.
Maneesh Sethi is a serial entrepreneur, has written 4 books, is a DJ and lives his life traveling the world and Hacking the System. In 2008, while studying at Stanford University, he decided to take a little trip abroad. A little trip that lasted 5 years. He’s lived in Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Sweden, and many more countries. Since then, he’s made it his life goal to show others that there is another way to experience the world. It’s never been easier to live your dream, and Hack the System is his way to show you how.


Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess!, a nationally acclaimed full service event planning and catering company, and author of But Are You Making Any Money?, a witty and lauded business guide for entrepreneurs. Heralded as a must-read for any entrepreneur, Majcher’s book, But Are You Making Any Money?, simplifies - in a step-by-step process - the complicated aspects of running a lucrative business. Her profit technique and conversational style is what Forbes Magazine says “makes you want to keep reading more.”
Matt Staub is an attorney with Top Floor Legal, a corporate law firm that provides comprehensive general counsel services for small to mid-size businesses. Matt specializes in taxation, trusts and estates, business succession planning, and business law. In addition to acting as corporate counsel, Matt has represented a wide range of businesses against the Internal Revenue Service and Franchise Tax Board, as well as provided estate and succession planning for business owners. 


Melissa Woods started in 1987 when she founded JW Tumbles, a local children’s gym. Eventually growing to a successful franchise company, JW Tumbles grew to over 40 locations globally. As CEO of JWT Licensing Corporation Melissa developed and facilitated franchisee training programs, sales processes, and ongoing support systems, including comprehensive operating manuals and facilitated the sale of the company in 2007. Melissa has been guiding the careers of business owners, executives and entrepreneurs for the past 15 years. She is currently the President of THRIVE, a private coaching and consulting practice, focusing on start-up enterprises.



Monique Maley is a Communications Coach, trainer and public speaker as well as a successful entrepreneur and classically trained actress.  She worked professionally in the theater and film industry for over 15 years in both the U.S and in London.  She has also founded and run two successful companies, worked with Fortune 500 companies and with high profile professionals from around the world. Her work and training on stage, as a theatrical producer and as marketing professional have helped Ms. Maley develop expertise in helping individuals and teams hone their message, connect with their audience, and communicate with confidence and authenticity.
Stacy Donovan Zapar is CEO & Founder of Tenfold Social Training, a social media training company for recruiters and talent acquisition teams and a 15-year recruiting veteran for Fortune 500 tech companies. She is also the Most Connected Woman on LinkedIn since 2008 with more than 40,000 1st-level connections, making her the #6 most connected person out of 238 million members worldwide. She is a regular contributor on LinkedIn’s Talent Blog and served as Technical Editor for Wiley's LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day. Stacy is #6 on Huffington Post’s Top 100 Most Social HR Experts on Twitter and is one of ERE’s 25 People Most Retweeted by Recruiters on Twitter.



Need more info about Chic CEO? Check out our Press Room

At Chic CEO, we believe women should have the business knowledge and support they need right at their polished fingertips. We created this website as a resource for all the amazing women we've met who either didn't know how to implement their ideas or were too afraid to take the plunge. At Chic CEO you'll find easy to understand, easy to implement business knowledge in its most basic form. Best of all, you'll find other women who are willing to share their advice and experiences simply because someone else did the same for them. The ground level information is here for you to get started in being your own boss - the rest is up to you.


Get To Know Us

Keep in Touch

Friend us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Subscribe to our feed 

Get the Newsletter