Amazon CO-OP and Women’s Conference 2020

Melissa Simonson joins the show to discuss her new conference and the ratio of men to women at events, and how she plans to help change this in the future.


  • Melissa Simonson is an entrepreneur and has been in e-commerce for two years.

The Empower Women’s Conference

  • Dates: February 20th and 21st.
  • Men are welcome to attend but only women on the stage as experts.
  • The idea is to present women who break the stereotype and show that they are the top in their field.
  • There should be more women speakers in events in the future.
  • Concepts and subject matter will be broader, more technical and tactical plus balance with inspirational speakers.
  • Having these women onstage is to show that women should be on these events because there are people they can identify with.
  • E-commerce events are not boys clubs.
  • Link to conference:

Speakers Line Up

  • Michelle Barnum Smith, Marketing

    Michelle Barnum Smith is an 18 year Marketing veteran. Michelle teaches Amazon sellers how to use Messenger to build their own lists, launch products, and improve their rankings and reviews on Amazon.

    Michelle has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, The Examiner, and on TV and Radio shows around the world.

  • Ritu Java, Co-Founder of PPC Ninja

    Ritu Java is the co-founder of PPC Ninja, offering Amazon PPC software and services to sellers and advertisers. An accidental digital nomad, she has now lived and worked in 4 countries, including her birthplace – India, Japan, the United States and Canada. Other fun facts about Ritu – She is a podcast junkie, soccer mom, jewelry designer, and fluent Japanese speaker.

  • Izabela Hamilton, CEO of Rankbell

    Izabela Hamilton is the Founder and CEO of RankBell, a brand accelerator that helps Amazon businesses grow to 7 & 8 figures through driving organic keyword ranking and optimization. Izabela is on a mission to help third-party sellers make an impact with their brands, build sustainable wealth, stop stressing about financial security, and start living the life they’ve always dreamed of.

  • Micaela Bellopede-Olivera, Author & Entrepreneur

    Micaela Bellopede-Olivera, M.Ed, MIEM, CHt, C.IET, is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, mother, and philanthropist. She holds a master’s degree in Education and a master’s degree in International Economics and Management. Over the last 25 years, she has built six successful businesses and created The Miraclecatcher Foundation to support children. She taught business at the University of California San Diego for 10 years and was nominated in 2000 for the Who’s Who in Education. She is also a certified holistic healer in Reiki, Hypnotherapy, Integrated Energy Technique, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Sound Healing. In her book Happiness Is Not A Destination: 50 Countries, 50 Years, 50 Lessons she shares valuable life lessons on health, wealth and love. Now, at age 52, managing two businesses with her husband, staying home with her baby, she wants to teach others how to create an empowered life and manifest miracles.

  • Emma Schermer Tamir, Entrepreneur

    Emma Schermer Tamir transforms her insatiable curiosity into conversion-spiking copy. As co-founder of Marketing by Emma (, she’s helped over 650 businesses from around the world boost their sales and build their brands. By creating authentic, compelling Amazon listings, websites, and more, she’s figured out how to break through the noise, grab and hold customers’ attention, and send conversion rates soaring. Excite your dream clients and make them click “Add to Cart” with the Emmazon team!

  • Joy Packard, Entrepreneur

    Joy Packard is a mother of 8, a Lola (grandma) to 12, with another 2 grand babies coming in 2020. Her “Why” is her family and she has always had a passion to find ways to earn passive income while staying home to be able to be there for them. Her e-commerce journey started 6 1/2 years ago and she hasn’t turned back since! She has mastered the art of training Virtual Assistants and implements the same concepts in running and balancing her family. She loves helping people not just in e-commerce, but in self-development. She runs a retreat called Retreats With Joy, as well as has a podcast called “Joy Reveals.” She loves to travel, find great deals online, music, and spending time with her family.

  • Elena Saris, Co-Founder of Source in Asia

    Elena Saris is a semi-retired criminal defense attorney and former stand up comic who has done multiple 7 figures in Ecommerce on both the Amazon and Shopify platforms. She is the co-founder of Source in Asia and recently created Ecom Roadmap with her business partner Chris Reiff teaching online sellers how to sell on Shopify by mastering Facebook Ads. She specializes in showing sellers how to diversify from their Amazon-only Ecommerce businesses.

  • Erin Taylor, Industry Leader & Founder

    Erin Taylor is a founder and leader of multiple companies with several brands across various industries such as hospitality, real estate and apparel. With over 20 years experience, Erin has also held leadership positions and as a consultant advised companies of several industries including higher education, finance and insurance. Through first hand experiencing the struggle of the solo-entrepreneur, Erin has found the mission of Empowery to be the solution to so many of our issues: now we have a common voice, buying power of a much large organization, and a united voice in Amazon matters. Erin has made it her passion to spread this message to other entrepreneurs, especially female business owners.

  • Regina Peterbursky, Serial Entrepreneur

    After 30 years without a “salaried” job, Regina Peterburgky considers herself to be unemployable. In fact, when she had a realization just about 3 years ago that the business she was in would not get her the financial or freedom goals she had set herself, she was propelled into becoming one of the new breed of Amazon entrepreneurs…… ordinary people who have managed to escape the 9 to 5 rat race and build the lifestyle of their dreams through their Amazon businesses. Regina has tried her hand at many careers in life – succeeded in some and failed in others. She has done everything from selling advertising, cars and insurance on commission, to traveling the world as a Tour Director for 10 years and more recently owned a fashion business with manufacturing, wholesale and 2 retail stores to manage.

Venture Capital for Women

  • There is a disparity: only 2.2% of venture capitalist funds were awarded to women in 2019.
  • There are lesser women seeking funding from VC.
  • Women can go to
    • if it is 51% women owned businesses or more, they can apply for grants.
  • There are several movements to help women in business.


  • Founded by Steve Simonson and Evan Hackle.
  • Steve is leaving a legacy — by helping people in business.
  • They have created the Empowery Cooperative for e-commerce sellers.
  • Steve and Evan created this to protect e-commerce sellers to come together and empower them, defend themselves.
  • The co-op also creates leverage for the sellers.
  • Link:
  • Empowery negotiates with service providers in behalf of members.
  • This is a non-profit organization.

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