The Art of Turning Your Passion into Business

Women's Workshop

November 10 11:00a.m. - 2:00p.m. Juanita Community Club - Kirkland
Olga Holte
Founder, Managing Member and Financial Advisor, Holte FinanciaL Services, LLC

Olga has been in the Wealth Management industry since 2011. She started her career as a financial strategist at World Financial Group/ Transamerica Financial Advisors. Olga's education and experience as a Math and Physics teacher help her to be an excellent educator for her client and the general public as well. In 2016, she was certified as a Financial Educator with Hartland Institute of Financial Education, the non-profit organization with a mission to bring financial literacy to the people. Olga is passionate to teach personal financial management; she will be happy to see you at her next workshop! At the beginning of 2018, Olga started her independent Registered Investment Advisor firm. She holds the Series 65 Securities license, life, and disability insurance licenses. She is also a Certified Life Coach.

Diana Iakovleva
Founder and Pastry Chef of Yummy Yummy in Seattle

You probably know the feeling of losing yourself if you move to another country. Very often immigration erases 90% of our personality within us. We begin from scratch: new country, new people, new language. This is like being at point zero. So our task is to collect pieces, just like a puzzle, to create a new life and Self.

For me, immigration has become one of the most difficult in my life. However, at some point I realized that immigration is not an obstacle but is an opportunity. This is an opportunity to look inside and honestly answer very important questions, such as: What is your passion? What do you love for real? Do you want to radically change something? You start from scratch, and it's a chance to change everything.

From the age of 15 I worked as a designer, in the newspapers, magazines in advertising agencies. When I moved to the United States everything changed. I worked in kindergartens, cleaned, worked in the café. I was a nanny and a photographer. I did not refuse any type of work. One morning I woke up and realized that all the passions can be put into one big idea. So, the company Yummy-Yummy was born.

I began with love and passion and combined it with my favorite pursuits. I love to cook and bake. I use design and marketing tools. My passion for photography helps me with creative expression. Also, and I love to help people. The desire to help people pushes me to invent recipes for people with special needs. So, an entire new line of deserts has been born: gluten-free, dairy free, sugar free, and egg free, etc.

The most important pieces of advice I can offer are: First, do what you really love. Second important advice is: Do not stop learning, never! Improve your skills or learn new. Third, remember that your clients are just like you. If you understand their wants and needs, you can create unique products. Be charitable to participate. Think and speak about Self highly, do not be shy. A single day can change everything, so stand out, be extra ordinary. And remember, everything will work out. Every day take steps to be closer to your dreams!

Andrea Melero
Founder and CEO, Astera Consulting

With a background in International Relations and Law from Brazil, I dove in the business world after moving to Seattle 13 years ago, where I reinvented myself and successfully completed my MBA while growing my family with two amazing boys. Over the years, my passion for business grew alongside my experience which ranges from project and operations management and consulting to investing in multiple organizations across a variety of industries, such as Real Estate, Publishing, Education, Food and Beverage and Beauty.

My multicultural background and international experience have also given me a broad awareness of the world as a global community where we can capitalize on differences and complement our strengths. I truly believe in making the world a better place one company at a time!

This belief made me start my own business in 2007, now Astera Consulting, with an ultimate goal of helping organizations grow while becoming commercial and cultural bridges with a cooperative internal dynamic that fosters innovation and create a positive impact. We accomplish this by helping entrepreneurs and organizations assess top business priorities, address main constraints and obstacles and clarify their visions to devise actionable solutions and paths for growth. Our services include evaluation and reshaping of business models and business plans, development of marketing and branding strategies as well as ongoing implementation and project management for successful launch, reorganization and growth.

I also strive to be an active member of my community having participated as a volunteer, fundraiser and board member in education, professional training and arts nonprofit organizations.

Melissa Ventura
Co-Founder & CMO, Astera Consulting

Melissa holds an MBA degree from the University of Washington and brings to Astera nearly 22 years of experience as a successful business owner, manager and consultant across different industries, such as Hospitality, Relocation, Retail, Online Gaming and Arts.

She started her retail career in 1995 where she developed a passion for marketing and a strong interest in understanding the relationship between consumer behavior and product positioning. In 2001 she launched her own retail business in Brazil, she was involved in all aspects of the business from developing and implementing a business plan to frequently analyzing the market for new growth opportunities. In 2006 she sold her business and moved to Seattle with her husband where she pursued her MBA and worked as a manager in a gaming company, then she decided to take a break to dedicate more time to her growing family.

In the beginning of 2018 she got together with her friend Andrea Melero to found Astera Consulting. Her focus is to share her knowledge and expertise with entrepreneurs and help them get more clarity about their company/ideas by developing strategic business plans and marketing initiatives to help them start or expand their business.

Melissa's second passion and hobby are acting and play production. She produced several successful plays in Brazil and in the US and she acted in all of them. She also loves to travel with her family and is a big fan of Walt Disney as businessman, a dreamer and someone that never gave up!

Olga Kalata
Russian Roma Dancer

I moved to Seattle in 1994 from Vladivostok in the Far East of Russia. Since childhood I have been involved in folk and character dance performances, and carried my passion into adulthood.

After moving to Seattle, I have been affiliated with a number of dance groups – Russian ethnic, gypsy, flamenco and belly dancing.

My biggest passion is to express myself in the Russian Roma style which is famous for flamboyant skirt moves, spins and graceful arm movements choreographed to expressive gypsy songs.

I'm excited for opportunities to perform at community and private events!

Larissa Chuprina
Founder and Executive Director, Culture and Positive Psychology Coach,PhD, Educational Psychology and Cultural Studies MA, Linguistics/TESOL Fulbright Alumna, Business and Educational Administration, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Chuprina holds an advanced degree in Education from the University of Tennessee with specialization in Educational Psychology and concentration in Adult Education and Cultural Studies.

She has been providing language and cultural services for more than 15 years in various capacities. She develops curriculum and leads trainings on cross-cultural communication and cultural sensitivity at the workplace.

She provides strategic guidance on outreach, marketing, and research campaigns to businesses and organizations how to work with linguistically and culturally diverse communities in the area. As a leader, she shares her vision and brings people together across cultures to achieve organizational goals.

As part of Inclusive Network with the City of Kirkland, she established relationship with educational community, local businesses, and corporations to build welcoming communities and bring cross-cultural understanding.