Hera Hub DC was pleased to have been a marketing co-sponsor of the PNC Women Connect program, “From Passion to Profit: Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success,” along with the Washington Business Journal, Springboard Enterprises and Black Female Founders (#BFF). Jennifer Nycz-Conner, Editor-at-Large and columnist for the Washington Business Journal, moderated the panel discussion with four highly successful DC women entrepreneurs. They had a great turn-out that included PNC Bank employees as well as women entrepreneurs and organizations that support that community.

Jennifer was joined by Mary Lynne Carraway, President and Owner of Domino’s Pizza – Team Washington, Julia Farr, owner of Julia Farr, LLC, Deryl McKissack, Chairwoman and CEO of McKissack & McKissack and Courtney Spaeth, CEO of growth[period]. Each panelist shared their personal story of starting their business and talked very honestly about the challenges and achievements they faced along the way.

Courtney Spaeth’s encouraged women to “persevere, persevere, persevere ” and to not give up on your business even when it becomes difficult.

Julia Farr, who started a boutique and wardrobe business leaving behind a successful legal practice, said she started her business because “I wanted to model for my kids what a happy person looks like.”

A member of the audience posed a question about moving past the fear of not doing enough to make your business successful. Deryl McKissack immediately responded, “Fear is actually False Evidence Appearing Real,” and talked about how there is no room for fear when you have your own business.

When asked about how to create a diverse workforce, Mary Lynne Carraway talked about how important it is to be authentic in your hiring and employment practices. You have to truly want a diverse workforce in order to create one that works.

Many thanks to PNC Bank for hosting such a wonderful panel discussion and we look forward to future events!


Julia Westfall is the CEO of Hera Hub DC, a female-focused co-working space located in Friendship Heights. Hera Hub DC supports many women-owned businesses with office and co-working space as well as programming and educational resources to help them be successful. Julia is passionate about building a platform for female entrepreneurs to collaborate and support each other because of the experiences she has had in her own career. Her experience working in tech early in her career as well as with many small businesses over the years gives her the insight into what it takes to build and sustain a successful business.