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Women’s Business Development Center Names New President

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 10, 2017 -- The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) d/b/a the Women’s Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-sNJ (WBEC) has named a new President today.  Former Deputy Director of Commerce and Executive Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia, Angela Dowd-Burton, assumes the role beginning this week.

Dowd-Burton is succeeding founding President Geri Swift, who will remain active in the organization as President Emerita and a member of the Board of Directors to assure a smooth transition and serve as an advisor on strategic initiatives. As President, Dowd-Burton will assume overall responsibilities for WBDC and WBEC.

“I am thrilled to take on the role of President for such an outstanding organization that fosters the development and growth of women-owned businesses,” Dowd-Burton. “The role that Geri has played in helping women succeed is second to none and I’m honored to continue her legacy.”

Founded in 1995, WBDC has provided more than 28,000 women with inspiration, encouragement, empowerment, and the resources they need to start new businesses and grow existing ones. The organization serves women from all socioeconomic backgrounds in all stages of business development that represent key sectors of the economy.

I started WBDC to make sure that women had access to entrepreneurial training, counseling, capital and business opportunities,” said Swift. “With Angela’s background in the public and private sector, her commitment and dedication to promoting women throughout her career, she brings the leadership, business acumen and experience to build the future vision for WBDC to help more women realize their dream of economic empowerment.”

Since 2000, as regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the nation’s leading third party certifier of women-owned businesses, WBEC has certified nearly 1,200 Women Business Enterprises that generate $7 billion in revenue and employ almost 30,000 in the region. It also counts 54 national and regional corporations and city, state and quasi government agencies as members.

Prior to her most recent positions with the city, Dowd-Burton worked for Rohm and Haas and Dow Chemical in global roles of finance, supply chain management, commercial management, and government relations. She also served as Procurement Commissioner Deputy Director of Finance, Deputy Director of Commerce and Executive Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia.  In these positions she collaborated with WBDC on many issues regarding women-owned businesses.

Over the last four decades, Swift has been a prominent leader representing the economic, political and social interests of women entrepreneurs in both the public and private sectors.  As a founding member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Swift changed the business landscape for women.

About WBDC
The Women's Business Development Center (WBDC), formed in 1995, fosters the development and retention of successful business by delivering resources that enable individuals to start new businesses and grow existing ones. WBDC facilitates the relationship between corporations, government and women-owned businesses to provide growth and sustainability through our Women's Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-sNJ, a marketing, procurement and certification assistance council. For more information, visit

The Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) is a purchasing council for certified women’s business enterprises (WBEs) in Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey. The Council provides WBENC women business enterprise certification as well as educational, networking, procurement-related, and informational programs and services that foster growth and business opportunities between WBEs and purchasing entities, including corporations and government agencies. WBEC also is the third-party certifier of women-owned businesses for the City of Philadelphia, the State of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Program. For more information, visit


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