Exceptional Talent + Good Will = The AE Advisory Board!


Please welcome Maria Yunis, Carol Costello, Debra Woog and Laura Bergamini as members of the Arlington Entrepreneurs Advisory Board. Our strategic planning capabilities have taken a large leap forward since their arrival, starting with the 2017 Arlington Entrepreneurs Wants and Needs Survey.

The Board came together as the result of an outreach gesture made by AE Founder Margy Rydzynski  during a coffee break last fall. Arlington Entrepreneurs is a large and diverse organization. Margy admitted that it was quite difficult for one person to run it effectively, particularly given her recent bouts with ill health. Margy asked for help and, to her delight and surprise, everyone at the coffee said yes and set up a date for the first meeting.

Since then, the Board has offered expert insights and suggestions, starting with the survey and going on from there. Here’s an introduction to each Board member. Please take a minute to visit their websites and connect with them on Arlington Entrepreneurs:



laura bergamini
Laura Bergamini

Laura Bergamini. Laura is a native Italian speaker who works as a technical-documents translator between Italian and English. Her multiple language fluency and European background offer some new perspectives on business and business management.

Visit and connect with Laura
Visit Laura’s Website


carol costello
Carol Costello

Carol Costello. Carol is a community-builder by trade. She’s managed two co-working offices, one in North Cambridge and the other right here in Arlington, at WorkBar. She was part of a group that helped create an organization for survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Before that she spent over 20 years in sales and marketing for a Fortune 500 company

Visit and connect with Carol on Arlington Entrepreneurs


debra woog
Debra Woog

Debra Woog. Debra has worked for nearly two decades as a leadership and career coach. According to Debra, “My communications firm connect2 Corporation teaches women professionals, via speaking, writing and coaching, to connect to and prosper from their brilliance.” Debra is also the founder of the AE group: “Women Entrepreneurs of Arlington.”

Visit and connect with Debra on Arlington Entrepreneurs
Join Women Entrepreneurs of Arlington
Visit Debra’s website


maria yunis
Maria Yunis

Maria Yunis
. Maria is the guiding light behind Live Your Unspoken Dreams, a life-coaching service that helps people fulfill their life’s potential. She offers several coaching programs, depending on her client’s specific needs and place in their personal journeys. She has over 15 years of corporate, high-tech, consulting, pharmaceutical, and academic experience, along with a background in design, corporate communication and curriculum development.

Visit and connect with Maria on Arlington Entrepreneurs
Visit Maria’s website

We Asked. You Answered. Here’s What You Said.


We asked and you answered. Thank you! Your replies have given us some great insights into our community’s needs and wants. Many thanks go out to the Arlington Entrepreneurs Advisory Board, who so strongly advocated for this basic bit of research. So, what did we find out? Here’s an overview:

  1. Most people participate in Arlington Entrepreneurs by reading the email newsletter (69%) and attending events (40%).
  2. Most people get information about Arlington Entrepreneurs by reading the email newsletter (91%) or finding it on Facebook (26%).
  3. Most members expressed similar preferences when it came to the type of event they’d like. Interestingly enough, the category “brainstorming/masterminding” was the category leader (68%) with social events like happy hours and coffee breaks, straight networking and educational/training types equally divided at 62% of respondents. One respondent also added “addressing non-profit issues” to the list.
  4. Date and time preferences were unexpected, at least to Margy. Most of you expressed the greatest interest in attending events in the 12-2 time slot. Thursday was a big hit, as was Wednesday. Time/date preferences were fairly consistent. The big change was the preference in the day of the week. Some folks even opted for Saturday and Sunday, although not a lot. Interesting!
  5. Here were the winners of the topics questions:
    1. Business operations: The majority of you want information about and/or help with  running your businesses. We’ll be ever so happy to oblige! Help with time management techniques and legal help were right behind. After that it was work-life balance, staying healthy and financial management. Trailing the pack were help with setting up a new business and crowdfunding/other ways of raising money.
    2. Sales and Marketing: The big winner was social media marketing, followed by traditional, offline marketing. Sales strategies and writing/editing help for newsletters, etc. were of less interest to the respondents.
    3. Technology. SEO (search engine optimization) walked off with the gold! Not far behind it was knowing which tech tools would be most useful to your businesses. We’ll be putting our computer geeks to work on these and other issues, like general computer and website maintenance. A few of you would also like help setting up a new website.

A sampling of some charts are copied below. Unfortunately, I can’t download a copy of the survey without paying for a monthly subscription. Hopefully, these charts will do!

Finally, we were all delighted with the fact that so many of you are willing to volunteer to help Arlington Entrepreneurs (63% of all respondents). It’s humbling to know that so many of you find us important enough to offer us your hard-earned time.

Thank you again for your feedback. We always welcome your suggestions and advice. No one person knows everything and this survey really brought home the adage: “two heads are better than one.”

Survey charts (blue: would like to learn more about; green: would like help with)

chart with business interests
Business Interests


sales and marketing chart
Sales and Marketing Needs


technology needs chart
Technology Needs

See a topic that interests you? Or, do you want to set a time to view the entire survey? Do you have something to offer? Do you need/want something else besides what’s listed here? Let us know. We’re here to help meet your needs. Your ongoing input will help us do just that.