Brand development is a key competent to building and sustaining a business, no matter the size. Because of this importance, our third quarter General Meeting will focus on a number of items, including your Brand Story! We have invited a fantastic group of local women entrepreneurs and brand experts to participate in a panel discussion around this topic, and you're not going to want to miss it! 

We will also be learning about the great opportunities available for businesses from the Downtown Management District, and internship opportunities to help you and your business grow through Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

This meeting is open to current WES MEMBERS. Please be sure you RSVP if you will be attending so we have an accurate headcount: https://www.facebook.com/events/891781114363369/

>>> Location Change! <<<

Due to larger than anticipated attendance, we will now be holding this meeting at:
Small Business Development Center
Room 106
3209 S Staples St
Corpus Christi, TX 78411


6:00pm – Mingling & buffet dinner (heavy h

6:15pm – Welcome  |   Nikki Riojas, Founder & President, WES:CC

6:20pm – Downtown Redevelopment Overview for Businesses  |  Alyssa Barerra, Executive Director, Downtown Management District

6:40pm –TAMUCC Intern Programs & Opportunities  |  Nancy Miller MFA, Associate Prof. Graphic Design, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi & Leslie Mills, Ed.D, LPC Intern, Interim Director, Career Services, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

7:00pm – Panel Discussion: On Brand: The Power of Branding Your Business (See panelist bios below)

8:00pm – Small Group Discussion - What's Your Current Brand Story?

8:30pm – Wrap Up



Executive director, Corpus christi Downtown management district


Alyssa Barrera was appointed as the Executive Director of the Corpus Christi Downtown Management District in February 2018. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Barrera had worked for the City for seven years, serving as the City’s first Business Liaison since July 2014. The Business Liaison coordinated internally for economic development, downtown redevelopment, and tourism efforts and with partner agencies, the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau and Corpus Christi Downtown Management District. Ms. Barrera also administered the Downtown Reinvestment Zone and coordinated the agenda for the Corpus Christi Business and Job Development Corporation (Type A). 

Ms. Barrera earned her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 2010 and Master of Public Administration Degree in 2012, both from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. She serves on the Alumni Board of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She is a graduate of Leadership Corpus Christi Class 42 and serves on the Leadership Corpus Christi Alumni Board as Strategic Planning Chair. Ms. Barrera was honored as Corpus Christi Under 40 in 2013. She has also served as Treasurer, President-Elect, President, and Past President of Young Business Professionals of the Coastal Bend from 2012 – 2015. She is a member of the International Economic Development Council. In December 2016, Ms. Barrera obtained an Economic Development Finance Professional Certification, through the National Development Council. 




It was love at first sight when Modern Moghul designer, Bibiana Dykema, made her first trip to Jaipur, India around six years ago. She was enchanted by the people, enamored with the textiles and totally blown away by the jewelry. The Texas-based architect bought fabrics for various interior design jobs and found a craftsman to make beads. She purchased strand-upon-strand of the traditional Indian gold over wax core bead necklaces as gifts for her friends. When Bibiana told her traveling companion, Ashvin Patel, a client of her architecture firm and native of India, about the enthusiastic reception to everything he said, “Why don’t we launch a business?” Virtually on the spot, the twosome as well as Ashvin’s son, Shital, got underway with their passion project.

The Modern Moghul collection is a seamless east meets west blend of centuries old regal Indian motifs rendered in new silhouettes and the vibrant colors Bibiana is known for in her architectural work. Her jewelry has most recently been featured by Oprah Winfrey on the cover of her latest issue of O Magazine.




Lauren is designer and co-founder of Hardage & Hardage, a small web studio specializing in custom Shopify design and development. She has been working for creative brands since 2005, and has helped launch hundreds of ecommerce websites for clients around the world. Her portfolio is known for its “clean typography, lovely color palettes, and calm, modern design.” 

When not designing - her idea of a perfect Saturday would include a good hunt through her favorite used bookstore, a thunderstorm, some good, flaky carbs, snoring dogs, and plenty of hot black tea.




Swat Kasham is a portrait photographer, wife and mother of three boys living in Corpus Christi, Texas. Swat studied fine art in university, and as a self-taught photographer, she uses her knowledge of art to guide her photographic creativity. Her passion is photographing the everyday woman, age eight to eighty, portraying her as a gorgeous magazine cover model. This passion stems from her desire to show all women that they are beautiful and worthy regardless of their age, size, race or culture. 



Nancy Miller, MFA
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, & owner, NANCY MILLER CREATIVE


Nancy Miller received her BFA in Graphic Design from Texas Christian University and her MFA in Media Design from Full Sail University with an emphasis in design theory concepts such as brand development, design integration, and creative strategies. Her areas of expertise are concentrated in professional practices and applications including design in advertising, emerging technology, animation, user experience design, copywriting, packaging and self-promotion. Leveraging over 15 years of real-world experience, initially as a Graphic Designer for top-ranking corporations such as Nike Inc. and later as a Creative Director at a Corpus Christi advertising agency, Nancy aims to empower students with cutting edge industry technologies and practical field expectations vital to their professional success.




Born and raised in the Coastal Bend, Kaley Regas is a Portland native who attended Texas State University where she studied Public Relations. While there, she worked for one of Austin’s premier event companies, Clearly Classy Events. After getting married in 2013, she and her husband, Jordan, moved back to the Coastal Bend where they worked together to launch The Bend Magazine. After wearing many hats for the first few years, Kaley has settled into her role as Production Director, where she works diligently to ensure the quality of the magazine is held to the highest standard. Kaley is also the driving force behind The Bend’s three signature events, Brunch on the Bay, The Local’s List and their charity event, 7 Most Beautiful Women: Inside and Out. Kaley and Jordan’s main goal behind The Bend is to help curate a culture and community in the Coastal Bend that celebrates this place we call home. Kaley serves on the board for Agape Ranch and fervently believes in their mission. When she’s not working, she is passionate about mothering her two daughters, Gemma and Tatum. 




Vianney Rodriguez is the Author of Latin Twist, a collection of nearly 100 delicious Latin-inspired cocktails and The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker, a gorgeous cookbook filled with 100 incredible Tex-Mex recipes that you can easily make at home in your slow cooker.

Sweet Life is a celebration of  life in South Texas and an exploration of South Texas food and culture. Simply put, Sweet Life is a delicious blend of the culture and flavors from Vianney's life.

On Sweet Life, she shares her passion for good food and experiences and memories celebrated with family, through travel, entertaining and soul satisfying meals together with family.  And every post on Sweet Life is filled with the vibrant culture and food of South Texas.  As a proud Tejana, Vianney invites you to join her on this journey and to experience all the rich culture that Texas has to offer.

See you there!