Creative Coast & SCORE Logos



November 9, 2023

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm @ The Clyde Venue

SHE HUSTLES is both an event and a community that offers Savannah's women entrepreneurs and leaders a chance to network, learn, and inspire. The Creative Coast hosts tri-annual SHE HUSTLES events to bring Savannah's community of women leaders and innovators together!

For this fall's event, we're teaming up with Savannah SCORE to bring you SHE HUSTLES' signature panel discussion and an inspiring keynote speaker. Included with your $30 ticket are two free drink tickets to the wine bar, hor d'oeuvres, and a fun raffle prize drawing!


Renee LaSalle

Renee LaSalle

Media Personality

Wanna Rock all day with a touch of Southern sass? Then Reneé LaSalle is your girl. A long-time lover of all things Rock ‘N Roll, Reneé is just as much fun on the mic as she is on camera or in front of a crowd and loves putting her skills to work helping the non-profits and businesses in the Coastal Empire. A go-to in Savannah media for years, she finally got feisty and kicked out the competition to spend mid-days with you on I-95: The Rock of Savannah. It’s also her extreme pleasure to host the Cumulus Savannah public affairs show Coastal Spotlight. Reneé is a firm believer that high heels get you closer to God (the higher the better), yoga pants are work appropriate (as long as you wear them well) and that there’s no such thing as too much mascara & black eyeliner.



Jen Bonnett

Executive Director of The Creative Coast


Jennifer Bonnett is a serial tech entrepreneur, chief technology officer and entrepreneurial ecosystem builder focused on helping entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale technology businesses. Jennifer serves technology entrepreneurs in the Savannah, Georgia region through her role as Director of the Creative Coast. Jennifer serves female tech entrepreneurs globally through Startupchicks, an organization she launched in 2008, and is re-launching in early 2023. Prior to these roles, Jennifer was Director of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia’s Technology Incubator, a “top twelve incubators changing the world” according to Forbes Magazine. While at ATDC, Jennifer spearheaded the development of a recurring year round curriculum, statewide expansion, the “Accelerate” program and growing the number of physical incubatees from 19 to 90 companies.
Amy Shippy

Amy Shippy

SCORE Savannah Volunteer, Cofounder of Marche’ de Macarons and Owner of Blue Poppy Designs

my Shippy is the cofounder of Marche’ de Macarons and owner of Blue Poppy Designs headquartered in Savannah, Ga. Amy is a strong business development professional with proven success in the food & beverage industry. Amy’s journey to success was built from impactful lessons that taught her the fundamentals of business success. Amy was born and raised in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and later moved to Savannah, GA, in the ’90s to study Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). While at SCAD, Amy created her first business, a computer training company, as a spinoff service of a notable electronic superstore. Due to the success of the company, Amy found her footing and heart for entrepreneurship. Amy later went on to start a successful furniture store hitting $14 million in sales per year over ten years. She quickly learned the art of scaling fast and on a budget. The recession of 2008 took a toll on her business and forced it to close its doors. Still, Amy’s passion for entrepreneurship along with her heart of hustle proved resilient even in times of economic uncertainty. In 2012, Amy and her best friend started Mache’ de Macarons with a budget of $400 and lots of tenacity (hope and hustle). Mache’ de Macarons provides highly sought-after desserts for customers seeking decadent palatable experiences and unique touches for special occasions. Marche’ de Macarons continues to increase in sales and expand its reach year after year. Amy’s macaroons are featured in shops in Hilton Head, SC , Savannah, GA, and are shipped to store locations nation-wide. Amy later opened Blue Poppy designs, a coastal-inspired, hand-crafted design print company, to supplement her sons’ college education. Amy’s business idea won Biz Pitch Hilton Head in 2019, proving that her ambition resonates in everything she does. Amy’s endeavors have been featured in Savannah’s South Magazine, Chatham County Living Magazine, and Savannah Morning News. Her greatest accomplishment is raising two sons and instilling the same hustle principles in them in hopes that those principles are carried on to the next generation. Armed with a degree in Religious Studies and relentless compassion for helping others succeed, Amy also equips other women seeking help in navigating the potential pitfalls of business. Amy shows women how to use the skills they have, or in some cases, don’t have to make their business profitable as quickly as possible. Amy also continues to (humbly) make her mark on the world through her charitable endeavors and mission work both locally and internationally.

SHE HUSTLES is Made Possible by...

SHE HUSTLES Annual Platinum Sponsor

The Savannah Economic Development Authority's mission is to help create, grow and attract new job opportunities and investment in the Savannah region.

Whether a business is looking to relocate to the Savannah region or an existing business is ready to grow and expand, SEDA is the centrifuge of a propeller, making the connections, helping propel the business to success.

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Representing SEDA

Jesse Dillon

Chief Operating Officer at SEDA

As Chief Operating Officer, Jesse develops, implements, and manages SEDA’s Business Development strategic plan for developing product, attracting new business, and supporting established businesses grow in Chatham County. Jesse is a graduate of Leadership Savannah. She proudly serves as a board member for the Greater Savannah Regional Alliance, the Savannah Technical College Foundation, Housing Savannah, the Creative Coast, and the Advisory Board for Junior Achievement.

And the Nov. 9th SHE HUSTLES Sponsors...

Meet the SHE HUSTLES Keynote Speaker




Marianne Ganem-Poppell

President of Savannah Master Calendar

Marianne Ganem-Poppell is the Owner of Savannah Master Calendar, the Hostess City’s most comprehensive event and networking calendar, which is distributed to more than 44,000 local business professionals weekly. In addition, Marianne owns and operates Simply Savannah Marketing, Savannah’s elite cause marketing firm, and Savannah VIP, a discount app to drive local businesses to local establishments. She also is the Program Coordinator at The Women’s Business Center (WBC) of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE). She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Valdosta State University prior to spending more than a decade in the fast-paced world of fashion merchandising. A third-generation Savannahian, Marianne’s love of the Coastal Empire brought her back to her roots at the family’s thriving business, Johnnie Ganem’s, where she discovered a passion for helping local businesses succeed while simultaneously giving back to our community. Excelling in multiple customer service roles, Marianne has been able to gain a unique perspective on the customer experience. Specifically, she has identified teams who strategically operate with the intention of going above and beyond existing expectations in order to leave a lasting positive impression and build customer loyalty. This has become a true passion project within the ever-changing world of marketing. As the owner of SMC, Marianne has been sought out to assist countless organizations to implement and execute a solid, successful marketing path. Marianne currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Business Association and The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. She serves as the Chairperson for the Small Business Council for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. She also sits on the marketing committee for the United Way of the Coastal Empire in addition to passionately championing numerous philanthropic initiatives, including the Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Big Wigs and American Diabetes Association Kiss-a-Pig campaigns. Marianne is a graduate of the 2016 Leadership Savannah Class and was named a recipient of the Next Generation Rising Stars in Savannah, which honors local business leaders under the age of 40. She was the recipient of the Helen V Head Business Advocate Chamber Award in 2022. Marianne and her husband Rob are the proud parents of three active boys: Lawson, Brady Thomas, and Palmer—and one sheltie, Beau.

Meet the SHE HUSTLES Panelists


Panel Moderator

Alia Freeman

Servant Leader, Entrepreneur, & Author

Alia Freeman is a Savannah native of the past 34 years. A great way to describe her is like the salt of the earth that releases sound to empower our future. She wears many hats in life which all involve her embracing her gifts to serve those around her. She is a servant leader who finds joy in helping others through transition and transformation through stages of life, business, and beauty. She is a Master Cosmetologist and Salon and Spa owner of Divine Allure Salon and Spa, where she provides hair and makeup services through beauty transformational services and bridal events. She also provides salon education that provides global visibility of textured hair by offering structural training tips as guiding tools for textured hair. As a podcast host, she provides tips on leadership, beauty business, and empowerment in her podcast The Fight to Unite, which creates an elevated mindset for salon professionals for growth development. She serves as VP Public Relations of Hostess City Toastmasters Club which positions her to exercise her public speaking and leadership skills. Through every opportunity, it’s her focus to stand as a testament to the power of determination and the impact the future generations.
Jess Belfry Headshot


Jess Belfry

Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of Rooted In Savannah

Jess Belfry took the entrepreneurial leap in 2012 and has been successfully producing creative solutions for a variety of industries ever since. Moving from Wisconsin to Savannah in 2011, Jess started her first business, a retail shop focused on botanical solutions to hair and skincare in 2012. In 2016, Jess founded Savannah's first and only certified sustainable salon, Hustle and Blow Dry Bar. Selling Hustle and Blow in 2019, she was proud to discover her vision to bring sustainability to the local beauty industry was recognized as the 2020 Face of Sustainability by South Magazine. After a successful career in the beauty industry, Jess switched gears by acquiring a storage facility and began building her residential investment portfolio, which now 'houses' (excuse the pun!) 5 rental properties, both short-term and long-term. In 2023, Jess co-founded a business consulting company with her business partner, Dr. Valerie Reynolds. The female, veteran & black owned business caters to micro to small businesses and startups. The purpose of Rooted in Savannah is to provide a team approach to developing long-term, sustainable solutions for business owners. Jess specializes in establishing and growing brand presence, financial projections, budget and goal setting, time management and team building. In her freetime, Jess enjoys engaging with the community through acts of service and spending time with her 15 and 23 year old sons. If you don't see Jess at a local networking event, it's likely because she is travelling. Jess believes that travel keeps her modest, reminding her what a small place she actually occupies in the world.
Melanie DeFilippis Headshot


Melanie DeFilippis

Founder and CEO of Leto Maternal Health

Melanie DeFilippis is the founder and CEO of Leto Maternal Health. Prior to founding Leto Melanie held executive-level roles assisting health, medical, tech, and and consumer brands in business development, marketing, and communications.
Victoria Saxton Headshot


Victoria Saxton

President & CEO of the Small Business Assistance Corporation

Victoria Saxton is the newly appointed President and CEO of the Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC). In her role, she develops and designs programs to assist in future economic development activities for businesses and entrepreneurs. She has worked for SBAC for 8.5 years and has a total of 15 years of work experience in accounting. Victoria completed her BBA in Accounting at Savannah State University and received her Master of Accounting Degree (MAcc) at Georgia Southern University. She is a graduate of the Savannah Area Chamber Leadership Savannah Class of 2019-2020, serves on the City of Savannah Taskforce Subcommittee for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Development, and is a member of the Steering Committee for the first-ever minority-owned co-op, Ignite Advantage, in Savannah, GA. Victoria is also named one of Georgia Trend’s 40 under 40 award recipients for 2023.

Venue Details

The June 22nd SHE HUSTLES is set to take place at The Clyde Venue, which is located at 223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

On-street, metered parking is nearby as well as the City of Savannah's public Fahm Ave. Parking Lot., which is a 5-minute or less walk to The Clyde Venue. The City of Savannah requires payment to park in this lot unless otherwise noted by the city. Remember, parking is at your own risk. Find details here and please adhere to the City of Savannah's rules and guidelines for the parking.