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Are you a female business owner or is your business partner a woman? Have you ever considered getting certified as a woman-owned business? Do you work with your spouse and wonder how others manage their family-owned business?

If you answered yes, then check out this episode of Collaborative Connections Radio Show and Podcast. Dr. Pamela Williamson with WBEC West, Brandi Byers, co-owner of Arizona Automotive Equipment, and Lauri Erickson, Founder of The Project Pros shared stories, lessons learned, and more with host, Kelly Lorenzen.

They talked about everything from the journey to entrepreneurship to communication and connection, mixing family with business to how to obtain woman-owned certifications, and more. Intrigued? Then check out this podcast episode.

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WBEC-West’s mission is to increase economic vitality in the communities we serve by advocating for procurement opportunities for Women Business Enterprise.
Delivering innovative educational programs and providing trusted and relevant certification programs.


Dr. Pamela Williamson is the President and CEO of The Women’s Business Enterprise Council West. She works with Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) connecting them to opportunities with corporate America and each other through targeted networking, education, and certification.

She believes that she can contribute to the movement towards financial parity between women-owned businesses and their male counterparts by creating programs to enhance the growth and development of women entrepreneurs with the goal of building up successful women-owned businesses and a vibrant WBE ecosystem.

During her tenure at WBEC-West, the organization has launched multiple educational programs and has made almost one hundred thousand connections between WBEs and corporate America. Pamela holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s degree in Organization Management, and bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Social Work.

She currently sits on the Women on Boards Advisory Committee, The Arizona Better Business Bureau. And, also serves as a Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks Expert Panelist for The Centre for Global Inclusion.


Follow WBEC-West on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.  

Project Pros was inspired by one simple yet profound thought… What are the missing pieces holding small businesses back? The answer we came up with was skilled, reliable assistance. Hence, we constructed a dynamic team that our clients could benefit from while keeping overhead low.

In 2015, Lauri identified that there is a need in small businesses for extra administrative labor, without the time and expense of hiring an employee, onboarding them, and then once on payroll, having to manage them. They started The Project Pros, a woman-owned company, as a team of talented administrative assistants that could accomplish the tasks and jobs needed to support their small business customers.

The Project Pros services include answering phones and scheduling appointments, bookkeeping, email management, HR administration, producing and filing title transfer documents, mobile notary, and much more. Whether a company needs 5 hours a month or 40 hours per week, Lauri and the team would like to talk about how they can support you and your company.


Lauri Erickson’s inspiration and experience in various companies and positions gave her the executive-level expertise to understand where and how help was needed in business and led her to create, The Project Pros. Her background in human resources, bookkeeping, customer service, and sales gave her the insight to really understand what small businesses need.

Lauri’s success, is also in part, due to her 5 years of running a non-profit, which gave her other valuable perspectives that she can bring in support of her customers.

Lauri’s intention is to help build and grow small businesses. She does this by aligning herself with a team of like-minded, highly talented, forward-thinking, energetic, and supportive people who love what they do and our customers can sense it.

Work-life balance has always been a very important value to Lauri. She likes to spend time with her husband Todd, daughter Taylor, and their two rescue dogs, Sassy and Little Boy. Watching Taylor play sand volleyball, traveling, and doing projects around the house keeps Lauri well-balanced.

Connect with Lauri on LinkedIn and follow The Project Pros on Facebook and Instagram.


Arizona Automotive Equipment, LLC, also known as Mohawk Automotive Lifts Southwest, started in 2004 by Mike and Karen Green. Their goal was to provide annual lift safety inspections and supply detailed inspection reports for customers to stay OSHA-compliant. After careful consideration, they decided to retire in 2021 and spend more time up north.

Enter, Jason and Brandi Byers, a husband and wife team committed to carrying on and improving upon the legacy created by Mike and Karen. Always encouraged to take risks and embrace opportunities by their families, Brandi and Jason tackled the opportunity to take ownership in January 2021.

“Our Mission is simple,” says Brandi. “We strive to be our customer’s trusted company in the automotive lift and equipment industry.”


Brandi Byers had an interesting career being a high school business teacher, Project Manager, and Consultant. She has vivid childhood memories playing business owner in her parents basement.

Growing up, she was always curious about the entrepreneurs she admired in her family – her father and both her grandfathers.

Follow Arizona Automotive Equipment, LLC, a majority woman-owned on Instagram.

About Collaborative Connections

The purpose of Collaborative Connections Radio Show and Podcast is to build a connected community, one collaborative show at a time. We highlight local non-profits, associations, small and family-owned businesses. By bringing 4 like-minded people together for an hour of in-depth conversation, our hope is that they connect and collaborate in life and business in the future.

Check out some of our other episodes on our Radio Show Page.

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