This week we talked with Natasha Zena and Dawn Leaks, co-founders of Lioness, a magazine for entrepreneurial women.
Natasha and Dawn started Lioness magazine in 2011, because there was no mainstream media outlet focused solely on women launching startups across all industries. Lioness’ mission is to elevate, educate and support female entrepreneurs. And they truly embody that mission in all the work they do. Not only do they publish the magazine, but they work directly with women launching or running businesses to aid in their success.
The two women share insights from their work with women business owners and how to conquer the biggest downfall for many women, our own fears and self-confidence to be successful.
Dawn who is CEO of the Lioness Group, says just do it! We’ve heard this on the show before, so it must be true! Dawn adds that it’s imperative to get out there and make your dreams happen, don’t wait for an invitation.
Natasha, founder and publisher of Lioness is the driving force behind the magazine’s editorial mission. Natasha has successfully bridged the gap between featuring well-known women entrepreneurs as well as female startup founders disrupting industries.
Their advice on how to get past your fears is priceless, including tips on how to get yourself out a stalemate with your own mind, leveraging resources to overcome, and being responsive to the market.
Dawn Leaks, Chief Executive Officer
Dawn Leaks is CEO of The Lioness Group, a mass media company dedicated to creating innovative ways to empower and engage women around the globe. Under her direction, the company’s popular digital magazine, Lioness, has grown exponentially, adding live and virtual events, coaching, mentoring, training and leadership programming to its offerings.
She was named the “Top Woman in Life/Business Coaching” by Western Mass Women Magazine in 2015 and that same year was honored with the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty award. Dawn is on the Board of Directors for New England Public Radio Inc. and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is the former state director of communications at the American Red Cross where she managed public affairs for the organization after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Dawn is a powerful teacher and trainer, providing leadership development workshops and classes to corporations across Western Massachusetts. An Adjunct Professor at Hampshire College, she has also served as an adjunct professor at Bay Path University and has guest lectured at the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management as well as Smith College.
She attended North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina and earned a B.S. in Business from Bay Path University. She has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovation as well as a Master’s in Communication and Information Management from Bay Path University. Dawn holds coaching and training certifications from The John Maxwell Team, Dream University and Leadership Greater Hartford. She resides in Springfield, Massachusetts and is an avid R & B Soul Line Dancer and Netflix watcher.
Natasha Zena, Publisher
Natasha Zena is the founder and publisher of Lioness Magazine, the first digital media outlet focused on helping women launch and scale startups. As the driving force behind the magazine’s editorial mission, Natasha has successfully bridged the gap between featuring well-known women entrepreneurs as well as female startup founders disrupting industries. In 2016, Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She was honored as one of the “Top 10
Women in Business in the Pioneer Valley” by the Women’s Business Owners Alliance in 2014.
Natasha was also voted “Top Woman in Public Relations” by Western Mass Women Magazine in 2011 and one year later Lioness Magazine was voted “Most Innovative Local Business” under her editorial leadership at the Springfield Republican’s Reader Raves awards.
She is a 2010 recipient of BusinessWest’s “40 Under Forty” award and a former mentor at The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, Calif. When she’s not telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do, she enjoys writing short fiction and spending time with her son Shaun.