E-Week 2022 Women in Entrepreneurship Panel

The Women in Entrepreneurship Panel is an event where attendees can engage, hear entrepreneurial experiences and ask questions from a panel of highly successful women entrepreneurs.

Our 2022 panel included women in a broad range of industries. To learn more, read the bios for the moderator and panelists below.

April Baratian '93, 2022 Panel Moderator

April Baratian '93, 2022 Panel Moderator

Director of Development for Northeast Ohio, Bowling Green State University

As BGSU's director of development for Northeast Ohio, April Baratian serves fellow Falcons as a conduit between Northeast Ohio and the entire BGSU community - supporting students, alumni, donors, faculty and staff. Her goals are to foster alumni success, champion a culture of philanthropy among all Falcons and help to achieve BGSU’s vision of becoming a premier learning community.

Prior to BGSU, Baratian was the director of development at Seton Catholic School. She was directly responsible for major gifts, the annual fund and a gala fundraiser. She oversaw the planning and execution of a $2 million capital campaign.  

Baratian graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with specializations in international business and marketing.

2022 Panelists

Charmaine D. Brown, Connexions Consulting, Inc., President & Founder

Charmaine D. Brown, Connexions Consulting, Inc., President & Founder

Charmaine Brown is an entrepreneur, inclusion and diversity expert and community capacity builder. She is the Founder and President of Connexions Consulting, Inc., and is a passionate inclusion advocate committed to helping leaders draw the connection between inclusive behaviors and high performing & profitable organizations.

With over 27 years of experience in strategic human resources, diversity & inclusion, human resource compliance and philanthropy, Charmaine’s experience spans a range of industries including real estate, banking, healthcare and nonprofits. She has demonstrated expertise in building diversity and inclusion programs from infancy to national recognition. Additionally, she has cultivated an extensive network of community partnerships and relationships with national, regional and local organizations aimed at enhancing community capacity building efforts.

Sara Yarger '18, Founder, Magna Halter

Sara Yarger '18, Founder, Magna Halter

Sara Yarger is an intervention specialist at Ohio Virtual Academy and the founder of Magna Halter, a manufacturer of horse halters designed for riders with fine-motor deficiencies or disabilities.

As a member of The Hatch class of 2018, Yarger was ready to accept an offer from the investors of $20,000 for 25% of her company. But then the unexpected happened when a member of the audience, Ed Reiter ‘62, made her a no strings attached proposal of $10,000.

Yarger made the most of the investment by working with organizations connected to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship and the U.S. Equestrian Federation to refine the product and test it in more than 20 states. She’s also been able to enlist the help of Heather Smith, a gold medal-winning equestrian in para-reining, in the testing process. She has displayed Magna Halter at tack shows for direct sales and has set up an e-commerce site.

Yarger graduated from BGSU's College of Education and Human Development with a bachelor's degree in 2018.

Sara Yarger '18, Founder, Magna Halter

Julie Brandle '93, President and Founder, Metis Construction Services

Julie Brandle is the president and a founder of Metis Construction Services, a female-owned commercial general contractor located in Kent. Metis completes ground-up, renovation and facilities maintenance projects throughout Ohio, and across the country. With over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and public relations, Brandle oversees these areas of expertise for Metis along with being an integral part of the management team that designs and manages the overall business strategy.

Brandle is a committed community advocate and currently serves on the boards of Kent State University's construction management program, the Portage Development Board (economic development), Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Urban League, Greater Akron Chamber, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Northeast Ohio, Rotary Club of Akron, Coleman Foundation and the Hattie Larlham Foundation. She volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. Brandle is a Lifetime Gold Award Girl Scout and holds the adult honors of Women of Distinction and the Thanks Badge.

Brandle is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she earned a double major in interpersonal and public communication and Soviet studies, as well as a travel grant scholarship to study in Kiev, Ukraine. She is a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses, ScaleratorNEO, Leadership Portage County and Leadership Akron's Class 37 where she serves her class as President.

E-Week Events

The Women in Entrepreneurial Panel is part of Entrepreneurship Week (E-Week) at BGSU.

Each April, the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthrost College of Business hosts entrepreneurial leaders from around the world to share their experience and expertise through presentations and other events including The Hatch, the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame and the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship.

There are many opportunities to engage through lunch and learns, presentations from world-renowned speakers and much more. Several E-Week events are open to the general public!

For the complete lineup of events, check out the master schedule.

Updated: 05/31/2022 03:01PM