Brea Chamber of Commerce to partner with Chapman University's Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship

Brea, California. Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics was recently selected as the Inclusive Innovation Hub for Orange County, made possible through the support of the Accelerate California CalOSBA grant. In conjunction with this grant, the Leatherby Center is working with the Brea Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development program, Women Rising Leadership Academy.


The Women Rising Leadership Academy (WRLA) is a program that explores the underrepresentation of women in top leadership positions and offers creative and proven strategies to help women overcome barriers to their career advancement. The Academy, offered through the Brea Chamber of Commerce, includes 8, 2.5-hour, intensive workshops, each focuses on a specific challenge women face to advancement. WRLA teaches strategies and solutions to overcome those barriers.


In addition, the participants are given five, one-on-one coaching sessions that help each participant apply the strategies learned to their specific career situation. All coaches are International Coaching Foundation (ICF or equivalent certified). The Academy has proven results, helping graduates elevate and accelerate their careers as business leaders. Valued at $6000 per person, the Academy is offered at no cost to participants, other than a small materials fee. There are currently 77 working women and female business owners in the 2023-2024 WRLA cohort.


Lacy Schoen, President and CEO of the Brea Chamber of Commerce said, “Helping underserved communities in business is not just the right thing to do, it’s a matter of more functional, effective, and profitable businesses. Diversity is the business strategy of our time, and we’re proud to partner with the Chapman University Leatherby Center on such an important issue.”


One goal of Accelerate California’s Inclusive Innovation Hub is to support female founders and to help women compete better in today’s economy.


Cynthia West, Ph.D., Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics shared, “Supporting mid-career women to advance to positions of leadership in Orange County is just one of our lofty goals associated with our Accelerate California, CalOSBA grant. Our partnership with the Brea Chamber of Commerce is an invaluable piece of our overall strategy.”


About the Brea Chamber of Commerce

The Brea Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, organization representing the business community in the greater Brea area. Founded in 1913, the mission of the Chamber is to foster a vibrant and connected business community. The Chamber is a Catalyst for business growth, a Convener of leaders, partners and influencers on important initiatives, and a Champion for a thriving business community. The Chamber provides education, information, business resources, training and government affairs services that benefit its members and the region. The Chamber provides Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and workforce development programs that elevate the business community and underrepresented populations throughout the region. To contact the Brea Chamber of Commerce, call (714) 529-3660, email, or visit


About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university in Orange, California, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. Chapman serves nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can choose from 123 areas of study within 11 colleges for a personalized education. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 "high research activity" institution. Students at Chapman learn directly from distinguished world-class faculty including Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur fellows, published authors and Academy Award winners. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society.


About The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics

The vision of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship is to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of talent to have an entrepreneurial mindset. To teach students how to innovate and take risks, whether they are starting their own venture, or working inside a corporation. Through our curriculum and our incubator, we provide hands-on experience to the next generation of talent, teaching them how to develop, scale, and launch their own ventures as future global citizens in the world economy.


Media Contact:

Lacy Schoen, President & CEO | | Desk: 714-529-3660 | Cell: 714-788-7571

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