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Susan DeFife
Founder and CEO of Women's Connection Online
Susan Williams DeFife founded
Women's Connection Online in 1994 to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Internet to leverage the strength of the women's market. An early innovator of the community business model, Women's Connection Online fills the void for useful information, networking opportunities and value-added products and services for women business owners and professionals. Since receiving its initial venture capital financing in May 1997, Women's Connection Online ( has become the top online community for this audience.

The WCO website at features original high-quality content and news of interest to women. The site includes: over 1,100 pages of content in its information library covering topics such as business/career, politics, personal finance, health and other issues; bulletin boards and chat; a searchable events calendar; a listing of women's organizations and links to other women's sites on the web; electronic commerce areas; and directories of members of the WCO community, including a searchable directory of women-owned businesses. Women's Connection Online has been recognized by Lycos Top 5%, AOL Hot Sites, SNAP! Online's Best of the Web, Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, Yahoo's Beatrice's Web Guide, CNN Interactive, The Washington Post, and Microsoft Money '98.

Susan has substantial organizational, management, leadership, and marketing experience. Prior to founding Women's Connection Online, she served as Executive Director of Women Executives in State Government, a leading nonpartisan executive women's organization. Susan previously owned her own marketing and public affairs consulting firm, The DeFife Group, and was active in Delaware politics as a press advisor to Gov. Mike Castle in both his campaign and as Governor. She has also been a successful television and radio reporter.

Raul Fernandez
Founder and CEO of Proxicom
Raul J. Fernandez, founder and CEO of
Proxicom, believed so strongly in the idea that technology would change the way companies collaborate, communicate and conduct commerce that in 1991 he invested his own savings to launch what today has become the leading provider of Internet-based business solutions. As the pioneer in a rapidly expanding Interfintra/extranet marketspace, Proxicom offers business process consulting, systems integration, application development and strategic marketing services to FORTUNE 1000 companies such as GE, OwensCorning, Mobil, Merrill Lynch and Fox Broadcasting.

Proxicom, a privately held firm, has a history of consistent profitability, doubling its revenues year over year. The company employs over 160 personnel in its Virginia and New York offices and has received national recognition from business publications and industry leaders. Under Raul's leadership, Proxicom received the first Gold Clio awarded for Web site design in 1996. In recognition of Proxicom's success, KPMG Peat Marwick awarded Mr. Fernandez with its 1997 High Tech Entrepreneur Award. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Washington Post, PC Week and other renowned publications have featured Mr. Fernandez and his company.

Prior to founding Proxicom, Mr. Fernandez was the Director of Emerging Technologies for a Washington, D.C. based government contracting firm. Before starting his high-tech career, he served as a legislative assistant to Representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) from 1984 to 1988. Currently, he concentrates his time on setting the strategic direction of Proxicom with a goal of maintaining a yearly growth rate of 100%.

Mr. Fernandez holds a degree in Economics from the University of Maryland and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).

Nat Kannan
Founder and CEO of University Online Publishing
Nat Kannan has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of University Online Publishing (UOL Publishing) since he founded the company in 1984. Prior to fonding UOL, he co-founded Ganesa Group, Inc., a developer of interactive graphics and modeling software, in 1981. Prior to this, he served as a consultant to Booz Allen and Hamilton, Inc., the MITRE Corporation, The Ministry of Industry of the French Government, the Brookhaven and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories , the White House Domestic Policy Committee on Energy and Control Data Corporation. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India and he performed advanced graduate work in business and engineering at Dartmouth College.

Rob McGovern
Founder, President and CEO of NetStart, Inc.
Rob McGovern is founder, President and CEO of NetStart, Inc., a Reston, Virginia, developer of Internet-based recruiting software solutions. McGovern is a 15-year computer industry veteran with extensive knowledge of HR business processes and their impact on productivity within an organization. Through executive management positions at Legent Corp. and Hewlett-Packard, McGovern managed hundreds of employees and played a key role in building recruiting teams to attract the talent necessary for the success of the organization. While at Legent, he served as Vice President and General Manager of the company's Availability and Performance Management products group, a $160 million division. Prior to Legent, McGovern spent 10 years with Hewlett-Packard and set company records for sales performance and new territory development. An expert in Internet recruiting, Mr. McGovern has spoken at Red Herring's Venture Market West conference, SoftEx, HRMS, Society for Human Resources Management, The Northern Virginia High Tech Council, Recruiting and Staffing for Technological Functions, and Technologic Partner's Internet Outlook conference.

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